We read in Genesis Chapter 3:
4. And the serpent said to the woman, "You will surely not die.
5. For God knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like angels, knowing good and evil."
6. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise; so she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
The main temptation here is the idea that one could somehow be like The Creator. That somehow with the attainment of certain wisdom man could become like and therefore, independent of G-d.
Throughout history, man seems to have this same obsession which began even then. If only they found some new scientific "breakthrough" they would somehow be "godlike"
We know that there is certainly nothing wrong with man using his earthly resources to ease pain and suffering and certainly we were given the authority to do so.
In Genesis we read:
9:1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and He said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
2. And your fear and your dread shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the fowl of the heaven; upon everything that creeps upon the ground and upon all the fish of the sea, [for] they have been given into your hand[s].
3. Every moving thing that lives shall be yours to eat; like the green vegetation, I have given you everything.
So man has dominion over the earth at least in a sense. He may use his resources.
Yet with every new technology comes it's own shortcomings. A new disease is obliterated only to have a new and more dreadful one replace it. With atomic energy that can be used for good comes the atomic bomb. With the automobile which certainly makes travel easier, so comes accidents and pollution. With new factories likewise, what man has done to advance science has helped..it is also tempered by the fact that it can and usually does, also hurt. Despite out advances. Man kind still dies, there are still birth defects, disease, war, etc.
So the atheist may ask. Why would G-d have this? Why should man develop a cancer through seemingly no fault of his own? Why would children be born with birth defects? Why is there war with all this "wonderful" technology? Why can't people live forever?
We look again to the Torah for our answers and what better place to look than in the beginning?
Genesis 3:22 reads: 22. Now the Lord God said, "Behold man has become like one of us, having the ability of knowing good and evil, and now, lest he stretch forth his hand and take also from the Tree of Life and eat and live forever."
We understand that at this point, man did indeed have somewhat of a god-like quality. He was self aware and now had discernment. According to RAMBAM, "If man had the capacity to live forever, he might well spend all of his days pursuing gratification and cast away intellectual growth and good deeds and fail to attain the spiritual bliss that G-d intended for him. If so, man had to be banished from Eden so he would not be able to eat from the tree of life and live forever."
I think I can even expound on that train of thought a bit.. If man in his continuous quest to be "like gods" ever truly not only be able to live forever, but cure all of his own ills through science and medicine, if man never had any of his technologies be a two-edged sword, never had to deal with illness, never had to deal with birth defects or human suffering, he may well begin to suffer the delusion that he is somehow a "god." I hate to see human suffering. there is nothing worse than hearing about 5 year old children with cancer, a baby born with a deformity or losing someone close to you to some dreadful illness or hear of auto accidents. Yet we also must try and learn from these things. Namely, that they remind us that despite our various advances, we are not now, nor will we ever be gods, nor can we ever be independent of or greater than the Ribbono shel Olam. We should all welcome good doctors and scientists and surgeons which Hashem in his infinite mercy has provided us with. yet while no doubt it is truly a gift that G-d has endowed some of us with the capacity to bring great healing and great advances in technology that makes our lives easier and less painful, we must always remember that we are as HaShem said to Adam......... "dust" and we will all eventually return to dust. While we thank Hashem for the gifts of modern science, we must never forget that we are but humans and our quest for wisdom should never temper our need for things that have nothing to do with science. Compassion, Charity, Forgiveness and Love and pursuit of Justice and a reverence for the One who's will brought it all into being.