Technologies Not Only Influence but Actually Determine Social Customs and Ethics.

Living in a society where technologies have flooded into every corner of our life, including the social ideological field, we can feel their enormous influence more than ever. Then, are technologies so powerful to affect and even determine social norms and morals, as is asserted by the quotation? As far as I am concerned, technologies do influence but cannot determine social customs and ethics; instead, the rules and moralities of a society determine its technologies.

Admittedly, technological development has promoted the spread of traditional rules and morals of our society, as well as resulted in the emergence of technique related ethical dilemmas. On one hand, multimedia technology in combination with printed materials makes traditional social principles and values more prevailing and influential. Retrospect to one hundred years ago when the promotion of religious ideas was realized by missionaries difficultly traveling around the world and orally promoting their religions. Nowadays, people just transmit their beliefs through far-reaching and public acceptable media, such as TV programs, textbooks, and online videos. On the other hand, technology challenges social ethics and customs in that it causes conflicts between potential technological benefits and moral contradictions. One case related here is the development of robots. It is true that robots are endowed with super ability to work efficiently in industry, to do detection in extreme environments, and to precisely calculate mathematical problems. Nevertheless, since lacking ethical awareness and operating beyond human customs, robots are equally likely to kill people as intelligent weapons, which is morally unacceptable.

Although powerful techniques are, they can not reverse the fate of being decided by social ideas and customs. Obviously, each technology originates from and is realized by scientists, whose ideas and behaviors are restrained by norms rooted in the society. Thus, scientists have to...