Noble, David F. The Religion of Technology
New York: Knopf 1997. ISBN 0679425640
Pages 4 and 207
Some contemporary observers have argued, echoing generations of religious apologists, that the resurgence of religious expression testifies to the spiritual sterility of technological rationality, that religious belief is now being renewed as a necessary complement to instrumental reason because it provides the spiritual sustenance that technology lacks. There is perhaps some truth to this proposition, but it still presupposes the mistaken assumption of a basic opposition between these two phenomena and ignores what they have in common. For modern technology and modern faith are neither complements nor opposites, nor do they represent succeeding stages of human development. They are merged, and always have been, the technological enterprise being, at the same time, an essentially religious endeavor.
This is not meant in a merely metaphorical sense, to suggest that technology is similar to religion in that it evokes religious emotions of omnipotence, devotion, and awe, or that it has become a new (secular) religion in and of itself, with its own clerical waste, arcane rituals, and articles of faith.
Rather, it is meant literally and historically, to indicate that modern technology and religion have evolved together and that, as a result, the technological enterprise has been and remains suffused with religious belief....
The expectation of ultimate salvation through technology, whatever the immediate human and social costs, has become the unspoken orthodoxy, reinforced by a market-induced enthusiasm for novelty and sanctioned by a millenarian yearning for new beginnings. This popular faith, subliminally indulged and intensified by corporate, government, and media pitchmen, inspires an awed deference to the practitioners and their promises of deliverance while diverting attention from more urgent concerns. Thus, unrestrained technological development is allowed to proceed apace, without serious scrutiny or oversight—without reason. Pleas for some rationality, for reflection about pace and purpose, for sober assessment of costs and benefits—for evidence even of economic value, much less larger social gains—are dismissed as irrational. From within the faith, any and all criticism appears irrelevent, and irreverent.