Giving Up The Gun Thesis

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Giving up the Gun tells the story of Japan, a highly civilized country, who possessed a highly developed technology in firearms and voluntarily chose to give up these weapons to return to a more primitive style culture. There was no real forceful abolition of firearms, but instead a slow voluntary effort and shift of mindset. Further than the story though, Giving up the Gun makes the claim that progress is not inevitable, and that we are able to control and guide its direction. Firearms were brought into Japan in the mid-1500s and actually took a while to catch on and be mass-produced. There were both technological and social aspects that hindered the development and use of these weapons. Japan has a very rich history when it comes to war and battle, and warrior’s swords and spears were symbols of an individual’s honor. Once the guns were further developed, Japanese generals realized how effective these weapons were in battles. Firearm production and use took off over the next half century in Japan. Despite how well firearms were performing though, some resistance developed against them. A lot of Japanese were against guns…show more content…
The idea of nothing really being neutral in creation brings up some good discussion when thinking about Japan’s experience. The question about whether technology is good, evil, or neutral can really be applied in this situation. Was it evil that guns were brought into Japan, and was it a good thing that the country actually went away from guns for a few centuries? It appears that when guns were introduced into Japan the harmonious culture was disturbed, and after the usage deteriorated, the country began to flourish again. While this seems to be the situation, I believe that the nature of technological developments depends more on an individual’s worldview and beliefs, opposed to the actual object
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