“Modern technology has made today’s world increasingly dangerous.” Do you agree?

Interpretation of keywords:

Increasingly: requires candidates to analyse a trend – the word requires a comparison between the past and the present to illustrate a growing/new trend regarding the danger of technology.

Opposing argument: to prove that modern technology helps make the world SAFER

Important things to note – this question is not simply about the general pros and cons of technology!!

Arguments + Examples for technology making the world more dangerous.

1st Argument:

The advent of the Internet has heralded the dawn of a new era in our human communication. Yet, regrettably, such online technology has also spawned the rising culture of cyber-crime on the Internet, endangering society with this new form of crime.

Compared to the past when cyber-crime was unheard of, the internet has indeed engendered a new form of crime that can be committed anonymously and insidiously with little trace of evidence.

Examples:

The Anonymous is an infamous international network of hackers who pry into the confidential data of government databases to fulfil their political agenda and their notions of social justice.

Cyber-attacks: The government websites in Singapore by the Anonymous to protest against the media regulations proposed by the local government in Singapore.

Cyber-bullying: A rising and prevalent crime among young netizens on social media and the Internet — the controversial suicide of Amanda Todd in 2012 as a result of the high-profile case of cyber-bullying.

Cyber-warfare: China has been accused of engaging in cyber-warfare to exploit and extract information from the confidential databases of the U.S government for political gains.

Cyber-crime: Credit card frauds and online scams have also risen with the advent of technology. Criminals who are able to source for our credit information can easily use our cards to purchase items online. Backed by the wall of anonymity online, these fraudulent acts are hard to crack down on.

Link: Our interconnectedness has made us vulnerable to such attacks. Every single nation, community and individual can be subjected to cyber-crime. Technology thus has made this world a much more dangerous place to live in.

2nd argument:

Modern technology has increasingly spelt disaster for the environment, as it has caused much deterioration to nature, endangering/threatening the biodiversity and the living conditions of the world.

Indeed, scientists have proven that our environmental degradation and carbon footprint/greenhouse gases have indeed skyrocketed since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.  Such an accelerating rate of environmental degradation jeopardize the very survival of the human species and the sustainability of the Earth.

Examples:

Industrialisation in economic powerhouses such as China and India has engendered massive air pollution/haze crisis in major cities such as Beijing.

Urbanisation and deforestation are also taking place at an alarming and unregulated rate, as a result of the advancement of machinery in clearing lands for industrial and residential purposes. Shrinking the size of forested acres in the Amazon, Kalimantan and Indonesia.

The development of nuclear technology is also said to be threatening the environmental safety, because of radiation and the dangerous disposal of toxic waste. The Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011 is a gruesome reminder of the catastrophic radiation of a nuclear plant that went haywire.

Link:

These examples clearly illustrate the causation of environmental degradation due to technological progress.  Our greed and modernised technologies have polluted and debauched the precious planet that we live on, putting the livelihood of ourselves and our offspring at stake.

3rd argument :

Modern technology is also threatening our fundamental moral values and ethics in human society. The more technology advances, the more dangerous the moral encroachment(intrusion, invasion) becomes, as technology is challenging, reversing and questioning some of our traditional moral and religious beliefs that we honour for a very long time. It is dangerous because, with modern technology, we are no longer clear about what is right and wrong, as technology is increasingly blurring/disorienting our moral compass.

Example:

Cloning of animals – the controversial cloned creation of Dolly the sheep has drawn fierce criticism from the conservative and the religious society because it is an act of playing God determining the life and death of living things.

Gene editing in humans – manipulating human genes to have certain desirable characteristics.

This poses serious ethical issues, as we now are now given the power to choose the type of children that we want. This undermines the unconditional love of a parent, as they now choose the type of children that they have, rather than accepting and loving the child holistically. Children would no longer have individuality, and they would be subject to the wants of their parents, rather than having their own genetic makeup.

Link:

These new advancements will invariably affect the morality of our the world, as it will become more acceptable to create children and food, based on our needs and wants, rather allowing it to naturally flourish on its own. Children will no longer be seen as children, rather as a by-product of the whims of a parent. We will live on a planet where a child’s life is commoditised.

Arguments + Examples for technology making the world safer.

1st Argument:

One must also acknowledge that modern technology has increasingly enabled governments and law enforcement agencies to combat and deter crime in a much more efficient manner. Hence, modern technology does help to uphold law and order in society.

Examples:

CCTV (closed-circuit television), DNA profiling, fingerprinting, and forensic science in an autopsy. Law enforcing authorities use these advances in modern technology to track criminals with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Tools for security:

Internet banking – security device to provide further authentication to fight cyber-crime.

Verification codes:

Social networking platforms have also become increasingly more secure with the implementation of two-step authentication, requiring a code that is sent to a personalised mobile number to gain access to an account. This thwarts the attempts of fraudsters attempting to gain our personal information.

Link:

These advances in technology have brought more crimes to light, whilst deterring those who desire to swindle and steal.

2nd argument:

Automation and robotic technology have replaced human labour, allowing us to perform dangerous technical work without endangering our safety.

Example:

Drones – military drones (unmanned military crafts controlled via remote sensing)

The use of robotic technology has allowed human labour to bypass or avoid unnecessary danger in performing technical work, hence increasing safety.

Link:

Modernisation of technology has been one of the most pivotal factors in keeping us safe from danger, allowing us to lead more comfortable and risk-averse lives.

3rd argument:

Modern technology/Modern medicine has empowered mankind to fight diseases, allowing humans to live much longer and reducing infant mortality rate.

Examples: MRI scan to detect tumours and cancerous cells

HIV drugs to prolong one’s lifespan

PReP – the world’s first HIV prevention pill – reducing the infection rate to 80 to 90 %

Polio, yellow, smallpox — brought under control, thanks to successful vaccination

Golden rice:                                                               Normal rice infused with beta-carotene, which alleviates symptoms of malnutrition.

Bangladeshi eggplants:

Bangladeshi genetically modified eggplants have benefited farmers greatly. These new eggplants, contained a pesticide within them, preventing the crops from being eradicated by insects. This allowed farmers to acquire greater crop harvests for lower costs, as they needed to spend less on pesticide and had fewer crops which were affected by pests. Furthermore, this new breed of eggplant has significantly increased the health and safety of the farmers, as they are exposed to lesser amounts of pesticide as they no longer have to spray pesticide on their crops.

Stem cell research:

Modern developments in stem cell research have allowed us to create organs from the most basic of building blocks. In a recent experiment, researchers were able to create a fully functional heart. This gives us new hope in saving the lives of those who are in need.

Link:

Technology has not made our world more dangerous, but rather has given us the opportunity to better our livelihoods and health, by providing people with healthier alternatives which are both sustainable and financially sound.