Technology, Environmental Sustainability and the ethics of Anthropoholism

Author(s): Samuel Akpan Bassey1
  • 1. Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.

Abstract: Technology has immensely shaped our society, economy and environment. The quest for new, better and smarter ways to human development has always been a key driver of technological advancement. However, this technological drive has transformed humans into slave owing to its devastating effect(s). Hence several philosophers of technology have described technology as alienating because it causes humans to lose their connection with other species in nature - resulting in environmental degradation. As human civilisation faces unprecedented environmental challenge(s) in the face of the negative impact of technology on human societies, it (technology) can still be and remain useful. Tackling the ensuing environmental challenges threatening humanity is not simply a matter of reducing or increasing technological use, but rather a clarion call for re-thinking the way technology is being developed, deployed and employed. This study investigates how environmental sustainability can be achieved by humans even while applying technology to the environment. It agrees with several environmentalists that anthropocentric attitude which sees the environment only as a storehouse for human exploitation with the use of technology is the major reason behind environmental degradation. The research, therefore, proposes that humans need to adopt the ethics of 'anthropoholism', which sees the environment as having inherent value and humans as a caretaker of the environment. The work posits that since anthropoholism emphasizes humanity as a part of nature, such that humans cannot exist independently of the environment, it could offer the ethical framework that technological tools should be developed and applied with the 'live and lets live' attitude towards sustainability of the environment. This study employs the contextual analytical and critical approach to arrive at its conclusions.