Morality can be narrowly described as the set of accepted conduct, beliefs and behavior of a society. Morality can, therefore, not exist in the absence of a society. A society is a group of people living in a given territory, united by common values, beliefs and purposes and or sharing a cultural, historical and religious background. It is imperative to appreciate that while there are differences in opinion in society, there are mundane, agreed upon and accepted moral practises that combine to form what is commonly called the moral fabric of society. This moral fabric is dynamic, evolving and organic in nature. However, societal morals have one thing in common, that is, they tend to emphasise on positive elements in strengthening the moral fabric. This common thread in societal morals is, however, under threat in the modern day. It is this paper’s contention that part of the reason for the weakening and the attendant erosion of societal morals is the application of technology. This paper will discuss and seek to show the role of technology in the erosion of morality.
Technology has come in many ways with the intensified use of scientific applications and models in life’s day to day processes. The worldwide web, also called the internet leads the pack in the technological changes that have affected and modified world affairs. The internet has facilitated in enormous volumes the erosion of morality. One, the internet has enabled communication and relay of information from across large geographical distances only by a click of the button. This way societal norms have been eroded through exposure to illicit and immoral practises broadcast and communicated through the internet. This broadcasting and communication process has been manifested in different ways whose common denominator is the application of the internet.
Some of these manifestations have been seen in the context of pornographic movies, photos and literature run and spread through the internet. This aspect has taken a hugely technical level even boiling down to online interactive sites that allows access and viewership of pornographic material. This has highly sexualised society especially the young population. Innocent internet users have fallen into the trap of viewing pornographic material on the internet. This has eroded morality in relation to sexuality. The effects can be seen in the high numbers of abortions, child sexual abuses, unwanted and early pregnancies, irresponsible sexual verbiage from the younger generation, among other things. Indeed, parents and teachers have been left with the colossal responsibility of maintaining and containing the moral fabric of society in relation to their children’s appetite for and interaction with pornographic material. While it would be fallacious to posit that pornography was an innovation fathered by the internet, it is factual to assert that pornography has been greatly facilitated and spread by the internet. This is one regrettable consequence of technological innovations which has gone down to erode the morality of society.
Another moral erosion can be seen in light of the discourtesy, disrespect and the bullying culture that the internet has facilitated. Modern day society has lost its traditional courteous approach to things and escalated into a bully the weak approach. The internet again comes in play in the facilitation of this erosion. One, the internet has allowed for unlimited and unrestricted communication and interaction. Applications have been consequently developed in good faith for the promotion of societal interaction even in the face of global differences among cultures. Societal sites have evolved for such communication and interactions. However, the modern day blogger, tweeter, or user of any social site has fallen off the mark and misused this opportunity, instead facilitating a tirade of incitements, hate speech and cyber bullying. A lot of children have lost their self-esteem or have been left with bruised egos after being harassed and bullied by their friends and fellows over these social sites. In addition, the tone of language and word choice used by some of these social site subscribers have left tongues wagging, people worried and society more divided. The point is that these technological applications have failed in providing restrictions as to communication that is only constructive. Again, it would be essential to note that not everyone has fallen prey to the misapplication of social sites. Others have used it responsibility and in the pursuit of noble goals. However, the random citizen in the society has misused these applications, vented their frustrations and championed cyber based wars, bullying and harassment activities. These has gone down into negatively impacting on the societal values of courtesy and moral upbringing. The tirade of insults, abuses and slanderous content exposed to the younger generation has occasioned a much offensive, insensitive and discourteous society.
The business community, government and the entrepreneurial citizens have also misused technology in a way that impacts negatively on societal morals. For starters, it is essential to appreciate that while technology has facilitated globalisation and competitive businesses, it in the same breadth has fuelled economic crimes, falsities and manipulations that mirror an eroding societal fabric. The need not only to make profits but to also maintain strategic and competitive excellence has seen the business community resorting to technological applications that do not emphasise on societal morals. Some of the glaring examples include the continued use of chemically dangerous elements in the drug industry manufacturing medicines, the legalisation and or support of prostitution, the unabated exploitation and misuse of natural resources and the pollution of environment and natural resources in the name of pursuing development. A glaring consequence the latter two has been seen in the threatening global warming which could lead to dramatic climatic changes. It has been observed that companies and entrepreneurs in their quest for individual economic accumulation have resorted to applying technological applications that produce products that could be harmful to the environment and humanity. These segments in society pay lip service to the ecological activists, go green campaigns or other moral advocates. In the same breadth, the proliferation of weaponry in mineral concentrated areas such as Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are signs that the business community do not have the human interests at heart while in the pursuit of economic success. The overall consequence is that societal nobles and values such as respect for people and law, the practise of selflessness and the continued support of the needy has reduced substantially to the chagrin of the affected communities.
Finally, it is impossible to talk about technological misapplication to the extent of erosion of morality without mentioning the scientific and in overall the world of academia. It is ironical to blame this segment for the simple reason that they are credited for the technological advances and innovations. However, the consequences they have occasioned and continue to perpetrate have escalated to the negative. For instance, scientists have challenged the premise on which morality is derived, that is, the existence of God. They have employed technology to navigate the universe and have come to the conclusion that no God exists. In addition, they continue to labour daily in their attempts at cloning humanity. This has been observed particularly by moralists in the religious domain as an affront to societal moral fabric and consequently regrettable. In addition, it should be noted that some scientists have been irresponsible in their technological advancement and innovations ending up with detrimental outcomes. Glaring examples worth mention in this category include the discovery of mass weaponry especially the nuclear bombs, the innovation of diseases, genomes, variants, viruses and bacteria that lead to health conditions such as the HIV virus and genetic foods that have been allegedly held responsible for some strains of cancer. All these detrimental effects cast aspersions as to the moral inclinations of these scientists.
In conclusion, it is noteworthy that in the overall, technology has facilitated a better lifestyle, an informed and conscious society and an interactive community in the global sphere. However, its unlimited and unrestrained applications have escalated into moral abuses and erosion with the net consequence of a morally bankrupt society that is insensitive to dictates of humanity and the overall moral fabric of society. This ought to be halted if the current and future generation is to be saved from a moral erosion. It must be noted that morals are the backbone of a stable and progressive society.
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