There Are Tools, and There Are Tools

A screwdriver is a tool. It’s used to screw things in, or out. It’s not a hammer–though on occasion, when I’ve not had a hammer handy, I’ve used a screwdriver handle to pound nails. It might, or might not, work.

It’s not the best tool for that job.

Just like hammers, and screwdrivers, the Internet is a tool. One wouldn’t use a Phillips head screwdriver to look up restaurant reviews on Yelp. No, for that one uses the Internet. Specifically, one uses either a smartphone app, or a web browser, to access that information.

This may seem a tad silly, but bear with me. I have a point to make:

Just as there is such a thing as the right tool for the right job, so also is there such a thing as a tool misapplied. I mentioned above how I’ve on occasion used a screwdriver for purposes other than which it was designed. Chances are one can get hurt wrongly using a tool. For instance, a meat cleaver cleaves meat–but it can be used to kill. Is the cleaver at fault? No. As an inanimate object it is entirely amoral.

It’s a just a tool.

The culpability resides with the person who has misused that tool. Likewise, guns are tools. Only when handled can they become deadly.

The Internet can be likened to a loaded gun insofar as it is a tool–one which can used for good (looking up useful information), or ill (exploring the darkest corners of human experience). Just because a tool has the potential to be misused does not make that item a bad tool. Because there is such thing.

It’s a tool which has been put to inappropriate use. Something used for nefarious means. (I’m not here addressing items specifically manufacturered to cause harm. Yet even those things are entirely amoral–for it is in their application that they cause said harm).

And the culpability lies with the human who, in so doing, has made of themself the tool.

A tool of sin.

There are tools, and there are tools.

Which one will you be?

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