computer idols

Perhaps the computer room in Belfast Central library is like a temple, with men bowing and praying to these gods of silicon and glass?
I’ve always imagined temples with idols, carved from wood and stone and human prostrating themselves before them in prayer and meditation, hoping to appease the gods by saying the right words and be blessed by them.

Yet here we sit typing words into a god of circuitry and processors hoping for love or relationship, for the right job or connections.
Just because the PC doesn’t l0ok like an idol in the traditional sense, does that mean that it isn’t?
Do we worship our machines and think that they offer us salvation?

And we become like the idols we worship don’t we?
We become passive….

 their idols are plastic and silicon,
   made by human hands. (perhaps in some factory in the Far East with cheap labour)
5 They have speakers, but cannot speak,  
   webcams, but cannot see.
6 They have microphones, but can’t hear, 
   fans, but can’t smell.
7 They have keys, but cannot type, 
   are mopile, but cannot walk,
   nor can they utter a sound with their speakers.
8 Those who make them will be like them,
   and so will all who trust in them.

 Even messing around with Psalm 115 a bit makes me feel uneasy because computers do seem so powerful. It appears they can see, they can hear, they aren’t like the passive idols of old that didn’t. They really seem like gods, like something different and more dangerous than the idols that sat on an alter and did nothing. There seems to be some type of magic in the web and networks that humans have constructed, that they are their own stand alone beings, something that was always destined to be and we must respect.

Yet, we can’t lose sight of the fact that they are man made objects, they’re not God. They’re not the gods that will bless me in life. Giving cheap laptops to kids in Africa won’t heal that land, being able to manipulate the computer won’t make us rich.


3 thoughts on “computer idols”

  1. >Do we worship our machines and think that they offer us salvation?

    A computer is a tool, like the telephone before it or the plough before that or the flint axe before that. Did mans use of those things (and seeming inability to go without them) mean they were treated as ‘gods’ and ‘idols’? How does my computer offer me ‘salvation’? Seem like a huge leap from buying an ink cartridge on eBay to thinking that same laptop can grant me eternal life.

    So in short then, no, that’s just silly 🙂

    1. do you work with computers by any chance? 🙂

      I don’t know, the computer and world wide web seems to me to be a lot more than a tool – perhaps that is just me though.
      I can’t imagine that peope spent a lot of time just sitting in front of a plough or an axe for hours, and when they used them it was only in their locality and they kept you earthbound. You had your field or your forest and that was it.
      You could spend hours on a phone but generally that is in relationship (or trying to get away from Talk Talk), and there are still limits. Like you could only really engage with one person at a time.

      To use a really simple example from my own life, it used to be that if I was worried about something I might have went for a walk and prayed about it because I didn’t know what to do.
      These days if I have a problem or am worried about something I am more likely to go on Google and search for answers there and forget about the praying.

  2. Good points, but I still don’t see it. Maybe TV is a better earlier example as plenty of us stare at it for hours and also learn stuff and see other things through its ‘window’.

    I still can’t make the leap between all that and the Idol/worship thing though. But perhaps others do? (I don’t work in computers either btw) 🙂

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