Christian Engineering Education Conference
Technology is not ethically neutral. It is biased towards certain uses, persuades the user towards particular actions, and has built-in values in its structure. This bias has been recognized by a number of philosophers and historians of technology, though called by many names, such as “valence” or “value-laden”. Christians can find an underlying foundation for this bias in the story of creation and the fall. Rather than a complete acceptance of technology as is, or complete opposition, this paper presents an argument for a middle ground – a wary acceptance of technology as part of God’s good creation but corrupted by the pervasive influence of the fall. But all bias is not necessarily due to sin. Some trade-offs are simply part of the created order. This discussion leads to a critical evaluation of technological products, seeing bias as a multifaceted effect with sociological, cultural, scientific, economic, and theological strands. After establishing a case for the non-neutrality of technology, the practical implications for engineering design methodology and engineering education are explored.
Back to CEEC Program