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湖南大学佘浩:My View on the Role of Humanism in Today’s Technologically World
来源:21英语网  时间:2012-04-17 18:03

佘浩:湖南大学选手,第17届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛三等奖获得者。

演讲稿:

Ladies and gentlemen:

Undoubtedly, technology has played a great role in improving our living condition and making our life more convenient. But today, I am standing here to tell you that technology without humanism has done more harm than good to human beings. Just like a knife can be used to cut meat or kill people, advanced technology can be applied for the general benefit of human being or for the destruction of humans and the nature as well.

What are exactly technology and business for? How will our innovations affect life as a whole? How can we use technology for our own benefit?

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, technologies have been introduced to improve efficiency. The 20th century, in particular, saw the birth of new branches of high technology, which have been involved in all realms of human activities. Driven by efficient production and distribution processes, people began to act as gears in the machine. Clothing was no longer produced by groups of women sewing and gossiping together, but by cold and lifeless machines operating at an amazing speed.

Now, in the 21st century, personal computers and Internet have significantly simplified work, and the world is virtually knit together in a web of information and phone lines. Want to check in to office? Just dial in from your home. Hungry?Go order food from an online delivery service. Bored?Then Download a new digital game.

Somehow, it seems nothing counts as far as spirit is concerned. It is nothing but digital nowadays. Somehow,we have long been haunted by the prospect that we are turning into the machines of our own making: efficient, productive, but somewhat soulless. The cutting-edged technologies, I fear, are making us as flat as our screens, turning us into streams of bits of interchangeable data.

Today, people see “humanism” just as an academic subject when asked about “humanistic education” or “human sciences”. They simply let “humanism” decorate technologies like a diamond ring that allows its wearer to look down upon others though it has no practical use at all.

Of course, humanism would not matter if mankind’s life had no significance other than good foods , fine dress , harbour-view villas for all households, and a big Rolls-Royce for everyone who drives.

But does human race really live for no other purpose than simply seeking and creating “even higher levels of eating, drinking, sleeping, and discharging wastes”?

What’s the meaning of life? What’s the value of civilization? What kind of a society do we want to have? How can people live a life of higher happiness, better joy, and greater harmony?

Seriously, the great leaps forward in technology have stirred worries that they may run wild out of control. It is up to every soul to ponder about the future of the entire human race now. This is a human concern – human in a broad sense – in which lies a chance for the revival of humanism.

Thank you for your attention!