Tech has Replaced Religion as Existential Escape Obsession Du Jour

There are more and more people who are tech rapturists, who have simply substituted technology distraction escape obsessions where Jesus or Mohammad Jabadad or Buddha or name-your-sky-god-here or sprit animal or generic miracle maker or philosophical transcendence were the distraction escape obsession du jour in their parent's generation. Pinning existential escape on tech so makes one no more scientific than did existential escape through god .

The distinction is motive.

Has nothing to do with the domain of obsession. There is absolutely nothing more scientific about a rocket or a quantum computer than there is about heaven or paradise. Not anyway if the reason you are doing so is other than the pure desire to get beyond self interest long enough to build an abstraction of what actually is. Same inward subjective desperation drives all escape distraction obsessions. So why should it matter if people are looking to tech to satisfy the same supernatural fantasies they used to look to flying grandpas to satisfy?

Well the problem of course is that science is being lost in the black hole of subjectivity.

Very few people get what it is that science is, what makes science so ridiculously difficult for humans to do, why science is so much more effective than every other posible investigative device. We atheists are eternally smug about our ability to distinguish science from belief. But doing so is dead easy. No one ever confused Zeus's control of lightning with science, Moses's parting of the sea, with science. Turns out the truly difficult task is far closer to home. Turns out the difficult task is distinguishing engineering/technology from science. But given the public ignorance of what science is (and isn't) we are easily confused into believing that tech = science, that a rocket means science because it is technically difficult to build and operate, that a fusion reactor, that artificial intelligence, that a quantum computer, that a gene sequencer, that a spectrum analyzer, that a radio telescope array, is, for the same reason.

This confusion is spurred on by the fact that tech dangles the existential carrot closer than religion ever did.

We've been seduced by the exponential growth of computer chip power into believing that tech will get us into holodeck equipped galaxy hopping pleasure ships, that tech will make us smarter and richer and younger and make our surroundings, our lives, heaven-like. Along the way, we've lost track of the critical difference between science and all of the tech crap we like to hang the "science" sign over to make our subjective noise less obvious and more authoritative seeming. In doing so, we've done serious harm to science. Tech rapture escape distraction obsession has caused more harm to science than religion and belief ever did. Why? Because it is mimic's attack. Nobody ever confused a religious belief with science, but almost no one has the chops to determine the difference between a quantum computer, a rocket, AI, and science.


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Comment by Tom Sarbeck on November 13, 2019 at 7:08pm

Tech need not be like religion; it’s enough that tech serves as an escape.

But sci fi may be an escape more dangerous to science. Science requires imagination but it binds imagination to evidence, while sci fi and big bang cosmology both give imagination a universe. (Pun intended.)

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 5, 2019 at 7:23pm

Okay Randall

Thanks for the clarification. Based on those representations and cogent arguments i am in agreement with your hypotheses. 

Comment by Frankie Dapper on July 31, 2019 at 1:11am

Randall, I am not in agreement w any of your ideas. You have not explained how escapism into tech is a substitute for religion? Are techies automatically apostates  or less religious?           

Those who substitute religion for tech are more inimical to science than those who lived in ignorance and whose escape was in belief? Makes no sense to me. My guess is that techies have stronger grasp of science and are more scientifically inclined than non techies although age is relevant. Also based on the monopoly religion held on the exchange of ideas,an obvious requirement for science to flourish,  the indoctrination in faith and superstition,  also hostile to science... I have no idea how the latter escapism is a greater threat to science than the former.                                                   



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