Originally Posted by Michael Chui
This is a very nice claim, but I don't see any substance in it. I can guess at the logical progression you stepped through to arrive at this conclusion, but at the same time, I somewhat doubt you've gone through any at all. So I am asking for something more than a hand-waved assertion about the ills of technology and its supposed role of "making lives easier".
Hope you don't mind me stepping in here, Michael.
From Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
"Traditionally, the problem of existence has been most directly confronted through religion, and an increasing number of the disillusioned are turning back to it, choosing one of the more standard creeds of a more esoteric Eastern variety.... For hundreds of years these religions provided satisfying goals for people to spend their lives pursuing. But today it is more difficult to accept their worldviews as definitive. The form in which religions have presented their truths-- myths, revelations, holy texts-- no longer compels belief in an era of scientific rationality, even though the substance of the truths may have remained unchanged.... In the meantime, those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works."
I think this strikes at the heart of the problem. It isn't that science and technology are bad, we just don't have a worldview as a society that is compatible with it to give our life meaning. And what gives life meaning has something to do with how we experience life.
While this existential angst may cause some people to take themselves out of the human race, it also provides an opportunity to really tap into the human potential without the fetters of dogma.