Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS
"Don't they train pilots to fly in an emergency without the technology these days?"
Which "they" do you mean?
Airbus are pretty much completely reliant on technology, and it is openly acknowledged in their design philosophies etc. The pilot cannot bypass the technology, that capability no longer exists, and that has to be explicitly part of the design->deployment process.
Boeing in public have been criticising Airbus's reliance on technology, saying that the pilot should always be able to take full control if the need arises.
Boeing HQ and the US regulators apprear to have lost the plot, at least temporarily, and some of the FAA's equivalents elsewhere (e.g. EASA) appear to have followed suit (see NYT article link below).
Unfortunately, many people have already lost their lives as a result - whether or not the Air Ethiopia crash had te same root cause as last year's LionAir incident remains to be seen, but in the meantime, readers might find some interesting reading at
Also worth a look is:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/03/world/asia/lion-air-plane-crash-pilots.html (3 February 2019)
e.g. for sections like this:
"the new engines for the Max were larger than those on the older version, they needed to be mounted higher and farther forward on the wings to provide adequate ground clearance.
Early analysis revealed that the bigger engines, mounted differently than on the previous version of the 737, would have a destabilizing effect on the airplane, especially at lower speeds during high-banked, tight-turn maneuvers.
[EASA] was inclined to rule that M.C.A.S. needed to be included in the flight operations manual for the Max, which in turn would have required that pilots be made aware of the new system through a classroom or computer course [...] But ultimately [...] the agency did not consider the issue important enough to hold its ground, and eventually it went along with Boeing and the F.A.A.
When Brazilian regulators published their required training for pilots, they singled out M.C.A.S. as one of the changes that needed to be flagged.