The Triangle Of Human Progress: Society, Technology, And Morality

988 words - 4 pages

The interplay between the needs of society, the implications of society using technology on a wide scale, and the role of morality all play a role in defining human progress. The goal is to balance each in order to create a sustainable future. A sustainable future involves using resources and creating an environment that can sustain future generations. However, it is clear that the current triangle of human progress is an unsustainable arrangement because the arrangement is unstable. Therefore, progress does not necessarily translate to a sustainable future. However, one must take a closer look at what defines progress and how it relates to sustainability in order to discover a connection ...view middle of the document...

One can define morality as a time when your actions benefit others almost as much as they benefit you. Sustainability is not self-destructing. In other words, sustainability is the cyclical use of resources. Society’s overconsumption of resources is not a sustainable arrangement. Nevertheless, material progress is hindering moral progress. This suggests that progress does not always result in a sustainable future. However, progress does lead to a sustainable future if we look at Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons.
In Garrett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons, Hardin states that the population problem has no technical solution and that it requires a fundamental extension in morality. Hardin recognizes that we are experiencing a population problem. Our culture firmly believes that resources are infinite. However, this is far from the case. Carrying capacity refers to the size of a population that can live indefinitely in an environment that the environment can sustain. This applies to plants, animals, and people. The law of nature states that populations must not exceed the carrying capacity of their environments. Otherwise, organisms die and the environment may be permanently. Humans overcome these limitations and increase our carrying capacity by using technology. However, we have decreased the carrying capacity of countless of other organisms by increasing our carrying capacity.
One can observe the wide spread use of technology and notice that an increase use in technology does not necessarily result in human progress by observing the world’s agricultural system. Our society is dependent upon industrialized agriculture to produce most of the world’s food supply. Industrialized agriculture relies heavily on technology, large amounts of fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. In contrast, traditional intensive farming relies heavily on human energy as opposed to fossil fuels. Industrial agriculture uses about 10 units of energy (fossil fuels) to produce one unit of food energy if you consider the entire food production, processing, delivery, and preparation system. On the contrary, traditional intensive farming uses one unit of energy to produce 10 units of food energy....

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