Critical Evaluation of Technology Conclusion Case Studies Reformed Technology Reformed Worldview Critical Evaluation of Technology

Chapter 7: Critical Evaluation of Technology

The concepts and ideas with which you should be familiar are included in the chapter 7 checklist. Print out the checklist to use as a study/notes guide while working through the chapter.

Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire and metalworking, had a pronounced limp. Entrusted with the development and maintenance of many key technologies, Hephaestus was responsible for keeping society running smoothly and perfectly. Yet he was, ironically, the only imperfect member of the pantheon of classical gods. This ancient irony is compounded by current attitudes toward Hephaestus's crafts. Technology is the focus of much public homage. . . .Yet . . . as in Hephaestus himself, the power and versatility of technology are often marred by crippling defects.

Norman, Colin, The God That Limps: Science and Technology in the Eighties, (New York: W. W. Norton, 1981), 15.

"Critical evaluation" means carefully considering the costs and benefits of a technology. It means weighing the advantages against the disadvantages and adopting a new technology only if it is appropriate. Critical evaluation can be done in the context of an individual or in a broader societal context. Such judgment must be informed not only by a knowledge of the details of the technology, but also by a worldview perspective that lends moral weight to the decision. This book uses a Reformed worldview as the foundational belief structure from which to discuss and critically evaluate information technology.

In this chapter we look at:

  • Reformed worldview
  • Technology as part of a Reformed worldview
  • Case studies
  • Conclusion
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These pages were written by Steven H. VanderLeest and Jeffrey Nyhoff and edited by Nancy Zylstra
©2005 Calvin College, All Rights Reserved

If you encounter technical errors, contact rit@calvin.edu.