REL 19.19 Religion and Technology
This class explores the conceptual and ethical challenges raised by the relationship between religion and technology. In what ways is technology a response to the difficulties of labor and work, the biological limitations of bodies and lifespans, or the unpredictable forces of nature, for instance? What do Western religious and philosophical traditions have to say about such forms of augmentation of life capacities and processes? What promises and perils arise from technological progress? Why is the problem of technology seemingly central to the question of modernity, and how does religion fit in, if at all? We explore a variety of themes, which may include: bodily enhancements, biomedical procedures, humans vs. machines, robotics and AI, as well as digital and virtual worlds, asking what hopes and concerns certain religious and philosophical traditions in the West bring to such developments, and why it matters to think deeply about such issues.
Open to all classes.
Distributive and/or World Culture