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Technological optimism is the belief that technology can be used to better our lives and that it can make the world a better place. A lot of people nowadays rely heavily on technology, and there is good reason for it. One example would be medicine. Generally, people usually care about not dying. Throughout time, we have improved upon medicine tremendously. As a result, more people are living longer, have better survival rates, and can live a “normal” life. An example would be polio. Around the early 1900s, there was the polio outbreak. Many people became crippled, died early, or even remained in the iron lung for the rest of their lives. However, in the mid-1900s, the vaccine was introduced. This led to a massive decline in polio outbreaks and is nearly gone as of today. Even now, there are still many new medical advancements. As a result, this leads to a greater well being for everyone.
Technological pessimism is the belief that technology has created more problems than solved for the well-being of humanity. While a lot of people do incorporate technology into their daily lives, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any downsides to it. An example of how technology has caused us problems is through the internet. The internet is full of information and has allowed us to be able to communicate across the world in less than a second, however, that is also it’s downfall. Within the past couple decades, there have been many leaks of personal information to surface the web. Such information would be private pictures, address, phone numbers, bank accounts, social securities, classified documents, etc. An example of a recent leak would be the Equifax leak. Due to that breach, millions of people’s personal information has been made public. This allowed many people to steal other people’s identities. Other cases of leaks have even led people to committing suicide due to enormous stress and pressure from unwanted information becoming public. Some people in favor of technological pessimism can say “If there was no internet, then such problems would not have arisen.” While there certainly were leaks prior to the internet becoming widespread, it definitely wasn’t on a big scale.
While driving down a neighborhood, you will seldom see a house using passive solar energy. Even though they aren’t common, they are objectively better. A few reasons why they are better are that they use renewable energy and have little to not impact on the environment. Because it takes energy from the sun, a source that cannot be depleted, it will always be a form of getting energy, unlike coal or oil, which are nonrenewable. If everyone were to make the switch to solar energy, it would greatly reduce the use of coal, thus reducing the amount of CO2 emissions. This will greatly reduce air pollution, thus reducing respiratory illnesses for humans and animals and improving the well-being for everyone.
Since passive solar energy is objectively better, design professionals are morally obligated to push it. In utilitarianism, we are to make decisions that will benefit the well-being of everyone, not companies. By pushing passive solar energy, it will reduce the use of coal, thus improving the overall health of every human and animal. In addition to that, it will save economies money due to it being cheaper, and it will allow that money to be directed to other technological advancements or policies that may improve our well-being. In the end, under utilitarianism, pushing passive solar energy will increase overall utility, so it is morally required to do so.
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