Science and technology have a “soul”

After World War II, as technological advances began the tremendous acceleration that, in less than twenty-five years, would have catapulted man from a helicopter to a landing on the Moon, a new streak of science fiction literature asserted above all in the United States United states. At the heart of the works of authors such as Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury were no longer extraordinary interstellar adventures or alien conquests, but a society often grappling with the shocking turmoil produced by progress and ready at any moment to emerge from human hands. Against the background of questions regarding meaning such as the responsibility of scientists, the limits of research, and the effects of technology as an end in itself.
To what extent there are unusual themes in the questions we see so well today that the hopes continually nourished by new scientific discoveries must be measured with ever-increasing stakes. Because, in the words addressed by Pope Francis to the participants in the “Common Good in the Digital Age” symposium, “a better world can be achieved thanks to technological progress if this is accompanied by an ethics based on a vision of the common good…, an ethic of freedom, responsibility and fraternity capable of favoring the full development of people in Relationship with others and with creation. Indeed, “the indisputable benefit that humankind can reap from technological progress will depend on the extent to which new available possibilities are used in an ethical manner,” while, on the contrary, the “dominant paradigm – the ‘technocratic paradigm” – which promises unchecked progress. And unlimited will impose itself and possibly eliminate other factors of development that carry enormous risks for all of humanity.”
In 2006, Benedict XVI, speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said, “Man cannot place such a radical and unconditional trust in science and technology to believe that scientific and technological progress can explain anything and fully respond to all his existential and spiritual needs”, While” scientific predictability also raises the question of the moral responsibilities of the scientist. Its conclusions must be guided by respect for truth and honest recognition of both the accuracy and the inevitable limits of scientific progress… ». John Paul II once noted: “Scientists, precisely because they” know more ‘, are invited to ‘Serve More’. Since the freedom they have in research gives them access to specialized knowledge, they have a responsibility to use it wisely for the benefit of the entire human family.”
Thus, at present, as Bergoglio put it, “the prevailing belief that humanity faces unprecedented and entirely new challenges,” it has become more than ever necessary to “confront moral challenges in the context of the concept of the ‘common good’.” Because “there is no moral order worthy of the name and does not regard this good as one of its essential reference points.” Otherwise, “if technological progress causes more marked inequalities, we cannot regard them as real progress.” And “the so-called technological progress of mankind, if it becomes an enemy of the common good, will lead to An unfortunate retreat into a form of barbarism dictated by the law of the strongest.” A rapid race toward self-destruction.


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