Murray Jardine leads us down a path that many have noted before, but he does a good job of it. Namely, our scientific and technological capabilities are outstripping our ability to morally process their implications before implementing them into our lives. Throughout his book, The Making and Unmaking of Technology Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity From Itself, Jardine seeks to awaken us from a sense of mesmerized stupor at the shiny baubles we are allowing to control our lives.
Jardine repeats the critique of Weber that Weber makes of his own orientation in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and adds his own particularities to it. That is, the ascetic aspect of Christianity – it’s moral restraint – on its own is actually detrimental in the long-run to the idea of a healthily functioning society because it doesn’t allow for a reasonable mitigation of the effort it will put toward earning money. So, Jardine argues that we need more characteristics to be emphasized alongside moral restraint. He writes for instance that we need,
“a sense of the moral limitations inherent in our capacity for speech … Thanks to literacy and modern inventions … we live in a culture that is extremely visually oriented and relatively closed to the sound-dimension of human experience. Thus it is essential, if we are to develop a moral sense that can enable us to deal with technology, that we recapture a much richer sense of what we are doing when we speak and listen to other human beings. This in turn implies that we must rebuild local communities characterized by face-to-face contact—that is, where speaking becomes a more central part of daily life …”
Overall, Jardine is looking for a complete, recovered sensibility of the Christian faith as love for all people that he believes has the capacity to overturn all kinds of social negativity and create a new socio-political milieu. I greatly appreciate that Jardine is calling for a renewal of a sense of ethicality in our day-to-day lives. I like that he is also calling for a refocusing on the tools of our technological multiverse that have become so pervasive in our lives. He isn’t saying “no” to any of these things. He is just saying that it would be in our best interests to think more thoroughly about the how and why and how much of each of the items we implement into our lives. Sound advice.
How does the technology that I use facilitate growth in my faith? How does the technology that I use further connect me with others and enhance community? Is there a way that I can lessen my use of technology and continue any positives that I am experiencing? Antithetically, how does the technology that I use hinder my faith? How does the technology that I use separate me from other and stunt community growth? Is there a way that I can lessen my use of technology and end any negatives that I am experiencing?
How would you answer the above questions?
 Murray Jardine “The Making and Unmaking of Technology Society: How Christianity Can Save Modernity From Itself.” (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2004), 25.