Technology Isn’t a Neutral Tool (Jason Thacker)

From social media, to the printing press, to artificial intelligence, to the pencil, technologies have often been regarded as things that can’t be good or bad apart from how people choose to use them. Jason Thacker doesn’t think any technology is merely a neutral tool, because as people use technology to shape the world, it also shapes them and their culture.

Jason Thacker serves as an assistant professor of philosophy and ethics at Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He also is a research fellow in Christian ethics and director of the research institute at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is the author of several books including Following Jesus in the Digital Age and The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity

He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. He also holds a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is currently a PhD candidate in ethics, public theology, and philosophy. 

Show notes: 

  • 00:26 What is technology?
  • 04:25 Jacques Ellul on “technique” and how technology forms us
  • 08:19 Two views of technology: instrumentalist and deterministic
  • 16:05 Optimism, pessimism, and realism about technology
  • 22:27 Some tools don’t have good uses
  • 28:23 A biblical theology of technology?
  • 31:54 Technology and the vulnerable

Show notes by Celina Durgin

Image created by Rubner Durais

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