“In any case, theological assumptions served as a controlling ideology, and whatever tools were invented had, ultimately, to fit within that ideology. We may say, further, that all tool-using cultures—from the technologically most primitive to the most sophisticated—are theocratic or, if not that, unified by some metaphysical theory. Such a theology or metaphysics provides order and meaning to existence, making it almost impossible for technics to subordinate people to its own needs” ( Postman 26).
Literally: I believe Postman is saying that technology has always been built around beliefs, whether it is religious or philosophical. These beliefs have not only controlled what can and cannot be made, but how something may be used. Postman uses the crossbow as an example to this as he explains that Pope Innocent II judged it to be “’hateful to God’ and therefore could not be used against Christians” (Postman 23). Although we can say that these beliefs have limited our potential, they do help bring order and meaning to our lives. It may be safe to say that without such beliefs, chaos would be sure to ensue.
Intellectually: This passage makes me think about all the ways that technology, from past to present has been centered on beliefs. Such as the sword, some wielded it in the name of god and slaughtered anyone who believed otherwise. This passage also makes me wonder if we are better off having such beliefs to build technologies on. Would we be live in a more peaceful world if religion wasn’t around to be argued about? The crusades could be used to support this argument as thousands were killed because of opposing views on religion.
Emotionally: This passage makes me feel somewhat angry as it seems that religious and philosophical beliefs have limited what we can do with technology. Perhaps we would be more technologically advanced if beliefs weren’t so important to each and every one of us. Postman supports this theory as he explains that Leonardo da Vinci once created a design of a submarine that he kept secret because “it [may have been] too harmful a tool to unleash, that it would not gain favor in God’s eyes” (Postman 26).