Too Much of a Good Thing: How Splendid Technologies Can Go Wrong

Daniel Callahan

in The Roots of Bioethics

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199931378
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980598 | DOI:
Too Much of a Good Thing: How Splendid Technologies Can Go Wrong

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The rising cost of health care and the rising number of automobiles pose for our society great problems and yet bring great benefits. They are central features of American life and demonstrate how hard it is to change social patterns that are deeply woven into our common life. Health care brings great health and social benefits: it can save our lives, reduce pain and suffering, and rehabilitate us if injured. Yet its heavy dependency on technology drives up the cost of care, so far uncontrolled. Automobiles give us mobility, pleasure, transportation, and allow us to commute to suburban towns if that is where we prefer to live. Yet, automobiles are a major cause of global warming and commuting to work by car is too often to spend excessive time in traffic jams. Efforts to change that pattern have generally failed, as have efforts to radically increase public transportation. Technological solutions have been offered for the healthcare and automobile problem, but so far none have had any striking effect.

Keywords: automobiles; medical technology; environment; limits; culture

Chapter.  3557 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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