If realizing the true nature of mind is the ultimate goal that drives us to enlightenment, constant blizz and the end of suffering, what would be the interest of developing technology?

Technology makes life easier and helps us live longer, but why would this be of benefit if happiness comes from within ourselves regardless of the life conditions surrounding us?

To put the question within a context, imagine a different setting from that of today. Go back in the past to a point far away from the industrial evolution and the invention of complex machinery. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense if we ask the question within today's context given that we live in an era of great technological advancement. There is no interest on going back (or at least I think so).

Technology has driven many advances that have considerably improved our daily life, but at the same time it is technology that has driven a society of consumerism. Besides, technological development comes from people who are "thirsty" of knowledge, the main root of dukkha (one of those words difficult to translate, but that it is often translated as "suffering"). So the main root of technology may be also the main root of suffering.

This question arises from a personal thought: If the humanity had been composed of good Buddhists seeking enlightenment from the "beginning of intelligent human kind", we would still be living a simple life in the jungle and perfectly happy as happiness is within ourselves and should not be conditioned by the outer world. All of this without great technological advancements.

  • This question requires quite a bit of speculation, since it's quite uncertain what would have happened if... Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 10:13
  • 2
    Voting to close. Counterfactuals such as this are largely opinion-based, very broad, and don't really have a basis in expert analysis. Especially given the subjectivity of a "Good Buddhist."
    – Hrafn
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 10:14
  • What is the harm on that? Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 11:31
  • 2
    While it may solicit interesting discussion, it is simply not a good fit for a Stack Exchange website, which is designed to solicit answers to relatively specific questions, not to be a general purpose forum. See also Gorilla vs. Shark.
    – Hrafn
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


The minimum standard of a good Buddhist would be someone who has taken refuge in the triple gem and keeps to the 5 precepts. Such a person wouldn't necessarily lack enthusiasm to develop technology.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .