For example, should Alfred Noble be blamed for suicide bombers as he created dynamite?

  • Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. You question is too broad and open-ended to be a good fit for our site, they can be addressed by reading encyclopedias, like Wikipedia, Ethics of Technology or SEP. We take more pointed and specific questions that come up after general reading. – Conifold Nov 11 '19 at 6:12
  • You can also see Heidegger’s later work, and Adorno and the books of Nicolas Maxwell. Some of Maxwell’s publications are listed here en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Maxwell – Gordon Nov 11 '19 at 18:06
  • Knowledge is vital to Humanity. Otherwise, we wouldn't have the vast number of creations and inventions in this world and outside our world by humans. So it is good mostly at first. The implementation of that knowledge is notable here. Sometimes before and after acquiring the knowledge we need to ask critical questions. Who, What, How, Why. “Time, as it grows old, teaches all things.” -- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound. So if an innocent person discovered knowledge for good purpose first and later it was used against humanity that's where the red flag stands out. – mvr950 Nov 11 '19 at 22:05

I think runaway technology - from ongoing militarization to genetically modified food - will very likely obliterate our species. Just look at what we've done to our planet already.

So I'd like to answer your question NO.

The problem is one of parameters. Should WHO pursue knowledge? And WHAT KIND of knowledge are we talking about?

And can anyone possibly know how the knowledge they acquire will be used in the future? The test tube and syringe are two of the greatest things that ever happened in the realm of medical science, yet both can also be used in biochemical warfare.

Given human curiosity, it's hard to imagine how we could ever stifle the quest for knowledge. The best we can do is monitor and control certain kinds of knowledge if we perceive it to be dangerous. For example, there are at least some safeguards that limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and there will probably be safeguards against the GMO racket in the years to come.


You may find useful verses 9-11 of the Isa (Isavasya) upanishad :

Into blind darkness enter those who follow the way of ignorance. Into ever greater darkness those who devote themselves to knowledge alone

He who knows That as both in one, the Knowledge and the Ignorance, by the Ignorance crosses beyond death and by the Knowledge enjoys Immortality.

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