Knowledge is a sin
Monkeys have a specific utterance, or warning, for “snake,” and fish, birds, and herd animals appear to recognize the warning signals of other species.
It is arguable that this signifies the beginning of language, without which there can be no transmission of knowledge or nuance.
Or more importantly in our case, no sense of narrative or sanity.
Life, when looked at objectively, is a primarily a series of random events. Did you really choose your spouse or college or which crotch you crawled from?
Our lives are stories that we tell ourselves in order to remain sane, and it still isn’t easy. Most of us feel at least a little lost, confused, or filled with regret, even with some illusion of coherence or causality.
This is not to say we don’t have some free will, or aren’t held accountable for our actions, especially if they’re considered to be negative. Some people deliberately sabotage themselves in order to affirm that they have agency or control over their lives, whether they realize this or not.
According to the Old Testament, taking this knowledge, from a snake no less, is what expelled us from paradise.
Or in other words, ignorance is bliss, and knowledge is a sin.
Try to imagine a “paradise” in which most of us are living brutal lives without the capacity to dream of anything better. It would be a nightmare, but the truth is that knowledge, or technology, is potentially even more dangerous. And the inherent feeling that life is random and pointless troubles us all to a degree.
The question is whether or not it’s better to know, even if the framework of that understanding is almost impossibly flawed.
Far too often through human history, we see people, like Robert Oppenheimer, so obsessed with whether or not something is possible, they fail to fully consider the implications of success.
The reality is that we do know, and that knowledge or technology are just tools.
I prefer to have the option of using these tools, but admittedly, can’t imagine the alternative of sitting mindless in some garden, either, and have to concede the possibility that it might be a more honest, if ultimately much worse, life.