Issue 88 "Technologies not only influence but actually determine social customs and ethics."
As a frequently discussed issue in the realm of social sciences and humanities, the influence of technology to the social customs and ethics has been a spiny and perplexed problem and thus give rise to the enduring debate. As the speaker asserted, technologies have not only influenced but also actually determined the social customs and ethics. To some extent, I concede that many evidences accord with the assertion. However, the speaker unfairly makes the generalization that social customs and ethics are determined by technologies, while overlook other contributing factors in determining the social customs and ethics, which may play equally, if not more, important roles.
Admittedly, as the speaker asserted, technological developments has influenced various aspects of our society from the ancient time to information age thus varying social customs and ethics as a result. Technology has improved how people lived on both individual and societal level. To be specific, on the societal level, the most significant contribution of technology to the social development is that it helps develop the tools. With more efficient tools and advanced approaches, people save more time and energy, and tend to formulate their customs and values. One remarkable example is that, in agricultural society, with the development of implements and devices, people celebrate harvest by various rituals and ceremonies, and coming down as a social custom. And moreover, the influence is even apparent in today's world, with the development of technology and expansion of industry, labors cannot satisfy the needs. Many women used to be housewives went to work and improved the realization of women's rights. Technologies are involved in the various social developments and surely exert influences on social customs and ethics.
Besides, technologies not only influence the society as a whole, but also have impact on our personal lives. There is no more convincing evidences than the influence of information technology on our everyday lives. The Internet has been a major outlet for leisure activity since its inception, with various entertainments such as blogs, videos, games, music; Many people use the World Wide Web to access news, weather and sports reports, to plan and book vacations and to find out more about their interests. People use chat, messaging and email to make and stay in touch with friends worldwide. In a word, the Internet has enabled entirely new forms of social interaction, activities, and organizing.
While I concede that technologies have indeed influenced social customs and ethics somehow, there are two generalized fallacies the assertion has made. The first is there are more than one certain factor in the influences of social customs and ethics such as the diversity of natural environment and climate. It is evident that different climates, geographical position has played the vital role in the differences of the western and oriental customs and ethics. On the other hand, there exist many ethics which cannot be altered by the technologies, such as the qualities of honesty, persistence, courage cooperation, prudence and the like. And honesty is invaluable to a balanced and well-rounded leader; ambition is always inspired to achieve personal goals; persistence is esteemed to be essential quality to fulfill one's dreams; courage is nurtured to challenge obstacles; prudence is raised to be an indispensible character to final success.
To sum up, I agree with the speaker's assertion insofar as the technologies exert significant influences on some social customs and ethics. However, with thorough analysis, the assertion is problematic in two respects: neglect influences of other important factors in social customs and some ethics unchangeable by the technology. The judgment fails both in its necessity and sufficiency