Free Will and New Technologies
The list of emerging technologies reflects the ingenuity and creativity of mankind. Connection and efficiency will be the guiding values of the next generations. Through artificial intelligence, augmented realities, and driverless electric vehicles, humankind will experience life with more physical convenience than ever. There would appear to be more time to exert man’s free will and less time to meet necessities. The 21st century abounds with the potential to manage better personal goals, finance, and pursuit of happiness than at any time in the United States. For the first time, Americans will indeed be able to exercise their voices, ideas, and visions in a more democratic society due to the technologies that will actively engage citizens of a free world.
Judge Napolitano strongly believes in man’s free will. Anything that oppresses or represses someone from exercising this right is not only unconstitutional; it is immoral. Individuals must put the new technology to use for the benefit of the individual and not the government or interest groups who control individual freedoms. In the hands of the people, the emerging technologies will empower the public to assert their will and self-worth. No government can ever provide the ingenuity and innovations that individuals with freedom can develop independently. Many critics of these emerging technologies fear the economic and social disruptions they are causing to the status quo. The critics have forgotten how much Americans pride themselves on leading the world into the next century. Now it is time to retake the role of pioneers.
A free man will use their right to improve their lives through technology but should be cautious of ever becoming too dependent. Napolitano believes people are too dependent on technology these days. They stare at their extensive and hand-size screens, absorbing the ideas and propaganda from different sources. Many people seem to be waiting to hear what they want rather than proactively engaging with the content and its creators. A person of freedom acknowledges the importance of introducing more technology into society to further civil liberties and self-actualization. Napolitano finds it concerning that many fellow Americans are using new or emerging technologies to passively surrender their freedoms to a government that promises safety and stability.
Judge Napolitano asked in one of his opinion articles,
“What if personal freedom […] is God’s greatest gift, after life itself? What if, without freedom, [people would be] subservient to whomever or whatever took […] freedoms away or persuaded [fellow citizens] to surrender them?”
“What if state legislatures are utterly without power to interfere with [the] daily choices in the name of emergency and safety? What if those same state legislatures cannot give to governors powers that they do not have?”
“What if the principle underlying liberty is to restrain the government to maximize individual autonomy?”
People must not depend on technology the same way they cannot depend on the government to provide for them and their families. These new technologies must be for the people and by the people first and foremost.