Re: Science and Unemployment...

Madhudvisah dasa Swami (
Tue, 27 Jun 1995 23:19:50 GMT (T. Joseph W. Lazio) wrote:

>>>>>> "BS" == Bruce Salem <salem@pangea.Stanford.EDU> writes:

>BS> In article <>
>BS> writes:
>>> Has increasing technology resulted in the disappearance of jobs?
>>> Yes. Is this a bad thing? Depends. It certainly is a bad thing
>>> for the worker whose job disappears because a robot can do it
>>> faster, better, and cheaper than a human. But what about society
>>> as a whole, i.e. what about all of us?

>BS> In 1955 3% unemployment was regarded as optimal. Now the
>BS> figure is about 6% nationwide. The way the Labor counted jobs,
>BS> especially after the Regan years, is that a great many temp and
>BS> part-time jobs are counted as full-employment. I should think that
>BS> you would regard it as a serious matter that an increasing
>BS> percentage of people are not employed to their potential or are
>BS> dissatisfied with the quality of work they have to do. This
>BS> includes hightly educated as well as under-educated people.

> I agree that this is a serious problem. However, that wasn't the
>issue being discussed.

> The position of Madhudvisah dasa Swami ( is that
>technological progress is bad. I (and others) have been arguing that
>even though technological progress has its costs, turning back the
>clock to A.D. 1800, 1000, or 1000 B.C. has far higher costs.

I have not said "technology is a bad thing". But I have questioned the
current direction. I have also said we can't, in reality improve the
"quality of life"... This is my most controversial statement because it
questions the basis of current western "civilization"...

There has always [an will always be] suffering in this world, in the same
way there has always been happiness. Suffering comes, in one way or
another, even if we have all the modern technological gadgets. These
things don't bring happiness actually... We "reap what we sow" as the
Bible says. If we do good things we generate "good karma" and we are happy
in the future. If we perform sinful activities we generate "bad karma" and
suffering is the result. It can not be avoided by technology. Technology
simply shifts the burden, that's all. One type of suffering is eliminated
but at the same time another is created...

There has always been some level of "technology" in human society. But
that's not the main point of human society. The technology is meant to
serve the society, but the technology we see today is being utilized to
destroy the society we now know... I'm sure the people behind this know
what they are doing and where we are heading, but whether it will be good
for society?

In reality simple life is best. We are conditioned to equate "simple" with
"primitive". But simple life is not primitive. We have our bodily demands:
eating, sleeping, sex and defence, and these have to be met, but that is
not the purpose of life. We, as human beings, are meant to ponder the
bigger questions: "Who am I?", "What is the purpose of life?", "What
happens after death?"... But if we're just mad for increasing the
technology and working so hard to pay for it we will miss these important
questions and that will be a great loss...

No mater what we do here this place will be full of problems. It's
designed like that... This is not the place for eternal pleasure. That is
the Kingdom of God, the spiritual world. So we should use this life to
elevate our consciousness so at the time of death we are thinking about
God [Krishna]. If we can do this we can go back home, back to Godhead. We
don't have to take birth in this material world again...

Chant Hare Krihsna and be happy!

Thank you. Hare Krishna!

Madhudvisah dasa Swami

Quotes from His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(c)Bhaktivedanta Book Trust