-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

Curse of the Apple

Carter Boyd | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One of the most compelling biblical stories depicts the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. As the lives of Adam and Eve unfold, they are living in a perfect world when the serpent coerces them to eat the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. These acts of free will result in their disobeying of God’s orders, causing Adam and Eve’s fall from their perfect state of grace and union with God. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is most commonly referenced as being an apple. Perhaps this story tells us more than the biblical origin of original sin. In fact, it seems to describe the current predicament of our world and the struggles we face.
We, people of the 21st century, have bitten into an apple as well: the apple of technology.  The Apple company logo depicts this familiar image, an apple with a bite taken into it. When Adam and Eve took a bite into the forbidden fruit, they disobeyed God and with their bite gained the knowledge of right and wrong. With this knowledge, they became responsible for doing what was right over what was wrong.  Adam and Eve were unprepared for this responsibility and thus sin, evil and all other bad things were allowed to run rampant in our world. We inherited this responsibility, and it is a responsibility we have struggled with throughout the ages to maintain, observing the many injustices occurring in our world and society.
We have taken a bite into the technology surrounding us in the 21st century. This technology has afforded us an array of tools and resources that have helped us progress as a people. But with the good has also come the bad. There are many ways we can use technology to subject, use, abuse, cheat, objectify, hoax, kill and manipulate other people. Like Adam and Eve, we were unprepared for the responsibility that would be given to us when we acquired the fruit from which we ate. This unpreparedness is evident in many atrocities surrounding us in this world.
Look at the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn. A man did not use the technology of a gun responsibly, and he hurtfully took more than 20 innocent lives in an elementary school. Even if it is meant to be a positive tool, technology can cause chaos in our lives. It is increasingly popular for high schools and now some elementary schools to require iPads, tablets or laptops during school and for homework. Yet, many students have been using these devices for games and movies rather than schoolwork. Not only do their GPAs suffer, but they are also developing serious addictions to this technological empire.
More importantly, millions of innocent lives have been taken since the introduction of easy and inexpensive ways to abort babies developed in the last several decades. Modern day genetic testing technology allows for people to know what chances their child has of getting a disease before birth, and people are using this information to decide whether to abort the child. What has happened to our social responsibility?  
The Internet can be a great tool for communicating, researching information, conducting business and shopping, yet there are many horrific circumstances this new invention has made available to the world.  Some examples include online banking fraud, identity theft, pornography, slander via social media and online stalking. Just ask Manti Te’o how he feels about online dating.
I am not against technology. I would not be able to type this article, travel home for the holidays, keep in touch with friends or have the amazing opportunities we all take for granted every day without it. I do, however, suggest we must instill morals and values in our society so technology does not impede our social conscience anymore. At this point, technological advancement is inevitable. There is no turning back. We have entered onto a one-way road with no easy turnaround. The world needs technology. There is no way around that. But as a society, we need to figure out how to ensure technology will be utilized prudently and safely for the betterment our world.
Carter Boyd is a freshman studying science-business. He can be reached at
cboyd1@nd.edu
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.