The Relativity of Truth and the Non-Neutrality of Technology: Exploring the Intersections

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Dec 25, 2023

4 min read


The Relativity of Truth and the Non-Neutrality of Technology: Exploring the Intersections


In a world shaped by diverse perspectives and advancing technology, we find ourselves questioning the relativity of truth and the neutrality of technology. These two topics may seem unrelated, but upon closer examination, we discover intriguing parallels and interconnectedness. This article aims to explore the concept of truth and the impact of technology on our lives, highlighting their common points and uncovering unique insights. Let us delve into the relativity of truth and the non-neutrality of technology to gain a deeper understanding of these complex subjects.

The Relativity of Truth:

When confronted with individuals who staunchly believe they possess the truth, we are tempted to counter with the idea that truth is subjective and varies from person to person. This principle, "à chacun sa vérité," serves as a foundation for tolerance and open-mindedness. By acknowledging the relativity of truth, we combat dogmatism, which is the unwavering defense of a thesis without accepting criticism. The truth, we realize, is not an absolute entity but is influenced by cultural and individual perspectives. However, the limits of relativism become apparent when we question if all opinions are equally valid without any criteria for evaluation. This dilemma between tolerance and the dissolution of truth leads us to consider alternative perspectives.

The Non-Neutrality of Technology:

At first glance, technology appears to be a neutral collection of tools at our disposal. However, upon closer examination, we find that technology increasingly shapes our lifestyles, thoughts, and interactions. This prompts us to question whether technology conditions our existence. Like truth, the neutrality of technology can be viewed from two contrasting angles.

On one hand, proponents argue for the instrumental conception of technology, asserting that it is a mere means to an end. Plato's portrayal of Gorgias, the sophist, exemplifies this perspective. An instrument, such as a weapon, is deemed morally neutral, as its purpose depends on its user. The responsibility lies with humans, not the technology itself. Marx further emphasizes that technological alienation, the alleged dispossession of human life by technology, is unfounded. Instead, he advocates for political change as a response to the challenges posed by technology.

On the other hand, critics argue that technology is not neutral but has a profound impact on individuals and society. Hannah Arendt highlights the enslavement to necessity, where machines demand that humans serve them. This non-neutrality of technology manifests in the pursuit of efficiency and productivity, which becomes the driving force in various aspects of our lives. The emphasis on quantitative success and happiness leads to a purely quantitative interpretation of achievement. Additionally, the development of technology can contribute to technocracy, where bureaucratic control and planning weaken democratic institutions. The domination of politics becomes technocratic, with individuals seemingly driven by the demands of technological apparatuses.

Connecting the Dots:

While exploring the relativity of truth and the non-neutrality of technology, we uncover interconnected themes. Both concepts highlight the influence of subjective perspectives on our understanding of truth and the shaping of our lives by advancing technology. We observe that the pursuit of truth requires diligent research and critical thinking to transcend subjective beliefs. Similarly, the responsible use of technology necessitates self-awareness and conscious decision-making to prevent its negative repercussions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace tolerance without losing sight of objective truth: Recognize the relativity of truth, but also engage in critical thinking and open dialogue to reach a deeper understanding of objective reality.
  • 2. Foster technological literacy and ethical awareness: Educate ourselves about the impact of technology on our lives and society, ensuring we make conscious choices that align with our values.
  • 3. Advocate for responsible technological development: Encourage ethical considerations and public participation in shaping technology to prevent the erosion of democratic values.


The relativity of truth and the non-neutrality of technology are complex subjects that intertwine in unexpected ways. By acknowledging the relativity of truth, we promote tolerance and foster open-mindedness. Simultaneously, recognizing the non-neutrality of technology empowers us to make informed choices and shape its development responsibly. Through critical thinking, ethical awareness, and public participation, we can navigate these interconnected realms and create a balanced and inclusive future.

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