Progress, Technology and Human Purposiveness

technological-progress

The measure of human progress cannot be a mere technological one. Technology has become an end rather than a means to an end because we have lost sight of what authentic human-ends could be.

The classic rubric of the true, the good, and the beautiful, which are basically aesthetic objects when drawn together, would also be truly transforming ones if they were understood as pathways to human fulfilment.

This may sound odd, or absurdly romantic, but if we consider our current motor for fulfilment which is money and examine how technology has become an instrument for manufacturing profits, then we can see how progress becomes swamped in a circular movement that is totally absorbed by the singular notion of making money. The result is that, without an end-notion or a teleological principle, authentic progress towards fulfilment cannot progress at all. Something is needed to pull the activity forward and out of the nihilistic circle of money-making and money-spending in order for any human realisation to be found.

We believe, and have tried to show in many of these writings, that the principle motivating force for pulling us out of the circle has to be necessity. Only after necessity has been embraced will the great aesthetic ideas be feasible as purposeful motors for humanity as well. Only through authentic human-necessity will the seemingly non-utilitarian notions of aesthetics become powerful life-affirming elements capable of drawing forth the true Sapiens potential of humanity as a vital element in the vast idea of the Universe itself.

Our relation to the Universe is an aesthetical one, but so is our relationship with the world we live in and our very survival in this world will depend on how quickly we can make the leap forward from the economic animal of the money-system to the aesthetic being of authentic human-fulfilment.

Human purpose cannot be disassociated from the Universe which we depend on for our existence, without being fatally short-sighted. Through association with the cosmos, the ends of physics have to also be metaphysical or transcendental ones – knowledge is an unending voyage unto truth; purposeful actions are movements toward good; and all creative acts are born out of the passionate struggle unto beauty.

Once these concepts are allowed, through necessity, to become motors for our life-affirming instincts, authentic purposefulness can begin to become manifest.

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6 thoughts on “Progress, Technology and Human Purposiveness

  1. Siera, you would have your argumentocracy as a cacophony. Your comments have become too obsessive and repetitive to publish. If the argument does nothing to embellish, advance or provide serious criticism of the ideas in the blog, we won’t publish it. Obsessive comments only seem like trolling. And really, wouldn’t you be better developing your argumentocracy on your own web site instead of trying to invade this one.

    • Thanks Landzek. If you take away the intellect it is libidinal. But the fact that we have an intellect allows us to transcend the libidinal and find a deeper purposiveness. Most searches for human meaning stimulate existential judgements that trivialise the significance of our animal instincts. Sex is great, up to a point … usually the orgasm … and then we need something else to satisfy us.

      • Well, libidinal is often used in a larger sense to mean “drives“ in general. Not just sex. And so some people approach even the intellect as a particular response to inherent drives.

        For example, Zizek is well known for his use of Freudian and Lacan in his application of psychoanalysis to cultural analysis through philosophy.

        Zizek’s General point is that inherent drives manifest a particular manner of intellectually grasping reality. One of the ways that he speaks about this particular manner, one of the ways he distinguishes as example, is wet many authors have referred to as Jouissance.

        A more pedestrian interpretation of this French word is “pleasure”, .but many authors in many different disciplines have used this word to indicate how derives manifest as intellectual capacity or appearance.

        But it is interesting to think along the lines of aesthetics as being an avenue through which reality arrives.

      • I would argue with Zizek and Lacan that drives do colour our intellects, but only until we find something better to think about.

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