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Is Technology Evil?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on March 14, 2009

celllent

“And he gives to all, small and great, the poor and those who have wealth,   the free and those who are not free, a mark on their right hand or on their brows; So that no man might be able to do trade but he who has the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

A couple of days ago I read a story about, Catholic bishops and priests in Italy asking churchgoers to make the ultimate sacrifice – and give up text messages, TV, iPods and Facebook for Lent. What could be their motivation for issuing such a warning?


We should be certain that, anyone who watches a TV is capable of knowing that Satan can come in many forms. He can be disguised as a very tempting sexy woman, a snake, a superhuman who can do whatever he/she wants, a magician who can wield a pitchfork etc.


But who would have guessed that the devious lord of hell would be a Web site? So, could it be “Facebook.”? This “networking” site allegedly offers to help the typical lonely, needy college students find each other. A place online where we can connect and form key bonds and lasting friendships. Or may be not.


Technology is a wonderful thing if we know how to use it properly. But, over the last couple of weeks I’ve reached a profound conclusion, that Satan, as well, is using technology to destroy humanity. One of the fun things about watching technology march by like a parade — one where all the bands get smaller and rounder as time goes on — is seeing new interpretations of the Bible based on the latest advances.


Early last century, the Mark of the Beast was your Social Security card, which presumably was encoded into the Computer Punch Card of the Beast and fed into Satan’s Mainframe.


After that, the Mark of the Beast was your credit card, and in the ’70s the UPC symbol was the new Mark, presumably because of the passage in Revelations stating, “And the mark was placed upon the Wonder Bread, both white and the kind they call wheat, even though it’s basically a slightly more tan version of the white stuff.”


Now, of course, the Mark of the Beast is RFID chips. It’s not enough that they might get your purchases tracked or your identity stolen, they might also get you booked into the Hotel Inferno for all eternity. Soon we will have TV or Movies on our eyes through contact lenses.


I think Bible believers, followers and/or thumpers are really overlooking the other technological warnings inherent in Revelation. Here are some actual Bible verses, and the cutting-edge technology to which they clearly refer:


“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”


This is obviously a reference to file sharing. The “stars” in question are the hard-working entertainers of the world, “falling to earth” because of the “casting” of their works to and fro like figs (figs were the main form of entertainment in the ancient world) by a “mighty wind.” A mighty wind? Like a “torrent,” perhaps?


In Revelation 6:15 we read further, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.


Clearly the “hiding” is the anonymity provided by “dens” of personal web spaces like Facebook and MySpace. The rocks are friends lists or something… Once the mighty men start joining Facebook, we’re screwed. So, please don’t do it, mighty men!


One that will no doubt rock the foundations of both social life and established religious thought could come through technology. Could the devil be lurking behind Facebook to suck the soul of unconscious and unaware folks?.


Of course, the weak are easy prey to Facebook’s temptations. We all show weakenss one way or the other. I used to check Facebook first. And there goes my afternoon. For many, it is difficult to wrap their mind around the mysterious allure of Facebook. Someone may add a new band to his “favorite music” category. Friends may reveal their likes of scary movies or some other weired things. Actually, if one tells you in person, you seriously won’t care. But when someone updates their profile, of course, we are there checking it out.


True, every once in a while people hook up or break up, and without Facebook we might have to wait a couple of hours to get the news. But who wants to hear this stuff in person when the message can be delivered by Facebook’s tactful “broken-heart” icon? Probably no one! Another thing everyone likes on Facebook is when people add photos, another enjoyable diversion. But, to me, I can’t help but feel a strictly Facebook-related kind of shame when I realize I’ve spent the last 15 or so minutes clicking through pictures full of people I don’t even know, discovering the test of exhaustion and depression.


If a photograph can steal your soul, what can an online profile do? Facebook keeps constant tabs on us all. It wants our current status and our vacation plans. It makes sure we are searchable at all times. You think Facebook is taking you places, connecting you with the world. But it’s really just putting you in your place, and your place is Facebook. This site is not your friend. It’s an insidious assault on your time and your brain cells. It doesn’t just want your soul, it already has it. Admit it: you are Facebook’s slave. You check in and report your doings, you read its messages, you receive its gifts. There is no escape. This is your world now. Sure, you can just take your butt offline. But the dark lord knows you can’t survive long without a news feed.


In the end, we ask ourselves, “what are we doing with our lives? I always used to think to much of TV was the devil, but I was wrong. Facebook and co. must be infinitely worse than reruns of “Friends”.


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