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June 17, 2015 + Ethics and Technology – Part 2

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Completely conscious of the presence of God and without any pride, Noah built a wondrous ship that was for his salvation and of the new mankind's that was to be born.

In a darkened consciousness regarding God's presence, people filled with pride agreed among themselves, "Let us build a city and a tower whose top shall reach heaven, and make a name for ourselves." That was the building of the tower of Babel.

When King Solomon finished building the glorious Temple of God, he lifted up his hands to heaven, and in humbleness cried out, " Behold, heaven and the heavens above the heavens I cannot comprehend you, let alone this Temple I have built."

This wondrous Temple lasted for eleven generations. It was destroyed to dust and ashes when the godless descendants of King Solomon in deed, turned it from a "house of prayer, into a house of trade."

Not to the credit of technology did the Temple remain standing for centuries, nor to the blame of technology did it vanish from the face of the earth.

Technology is deaf, mute, and unanswering. It is completely dependant on ethics, as ethics on faith.

Well known is the Biblical story of King Nebuchadnezzar. He built the city of Babylon with palaces, and hanging towers, with such technological workmanship and beauty as the world till then had not seen. The King looked down at the city he had built, standing on the roof of his palace and said pridefully," Is this not Babylon the Great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?" While he was yet speaking these conceited words, God smote him with insanity and he became insane, and in insanity he lived for seven years like a beast among the beasts of the forests.

His city Babylon the Great became a heap of rubble and was sneered at, and was a desert without any inhabitants, exactly how the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied. ( Jeremiah 51:37)

Wherever the fear of God vanishes, and the moral law of God is trampled, that is where the mountain of human technology falls into the dust from which it was built.

That is how the Eiffel Tower and the German cathedrals, and the American skyscrapers, the towers of human technology and architecture, will collapse into formless dust if human pride, and that yet even Christian, fight in defiance against God, and pass all measures of pride and sinfulness and succeed in ending the long suffering of God.

Why are so many glorious civilizations buried deep beneath the earth that on top of them the plowers plow the ground not even realizing that their towers and bones are lying beneath the plowed ground?

How is it that out of all the glorious marble buildings of the Greeks nothing is left but the Acropollis?

How has the earth dared to conceal from the sun and the eyes of men the titanic temples in Balbekka and Egypt, as well as the glorious cities Egbata, Perzopolis, Tyre, Sidon, and Troy, that now cows peacefully graze on top of them, and pigs bellow, and shepherds build stables from the scattered marble? Why did the proud cities and temples and castles of King Montezuma vanish without a trace? Also the kingdoms of the very cultured Incas and Peruvians? What unmerciful hand rolled mounds of mud over all these human constructions, who by their strength and design, and beauty, could compete with the best modern constructions?

Why are there breaks and not continuity in the civilizations of mankind?

It is because none of them were pleasing to the One Holy God.

None of those buried civilizations were destroyed by time nor by the lack of solid technological construction, but by sin against holy faith and holy ethics.

Instability of ethics and not technology buried them all in deep darkness.

From the Complete Works of Bishop Nikolai [in Serbian], Book 12, p. 23. Translated from the Serbian by Marija Miljkovic
from, accessed June 4th, 2015.


Martyr Nectan of Hartland

Troparion, Tone 4

O holy Father Nectan you followed the bidding of the Lord and left your father and mother for His sake to embrace the hermit's life. Faithful follower of Christ unto death pray that He may save our souls.