In normal speech we use words like progress. But when we examine these words and ideas we find that they are vague words that mean almost anything. We talk about progress and that it is a good value but what type of progress do we mean? A related issue is that different types of progress gets mixed up in our minds.
In star trek which will be 50 years old next year the future of humanity will have evolved to a more perfect future. It is a beautiful vision but I think it confuse technology with human society.
Certain medicines like antibiotics are less effective. There could be a time when they will have no affect. This would turn medicine back towards the 19th century. Our modern society is based on oil. Transport, power, plastics and our modern technology is based on oil. But oil is a finate resource, it will run out. I hope an alternative will be developed but if is isn’t would our technology revert to the steam age of the 19th century.
The middle ages were inferior technology to the Roman Empire. The Romans had piped water and public baths. While the society of the middle ages is restrictive compared to today it was an improvement compared to ealier ages. Slavery was dimished during the middle ages.
While I hope for our technological society to develop and grow, I think that progress towards greater freedom and equality is more important. Different technologies grow and decline but I believe that as humans democracy has grown from a city state like Athens to include more and more countries.
John O Brien.