Laudato Si 108: Of Technology and Power

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. More on the paradigm of technology:

108. The idea of promoting a different cultural paradigm and employing technology as a mere instrument is nowadays inconceivable. The technological paradigm has become so dominant that it would be difficult to do without its resources and even more difficult to utilize them without being dominated by their internal logic.

In other words, we cannot create compartments: use technology ruthlessly without any impact on our humanity. Some people attempt to excise science and technology from their lives, a counterculture found in both Left and Right:

It has become countercultural to choose a lifestyle whose goals are even partly independent of technology, of its costs and its power to globalize and make us all the same. Technology tends to absorb everything into its ironclad logic, and those who are surrounded with technology “know full well that it moves forward in the final analysis neither for profit nor for the well-being of the human race”, that “in the most radical sense of the term power is its motive – a lordship over all”.[Roman Guardini, Das Ende der Neuzeit, 63-64 (The End of the Modern World, 56)] As a result, “man seizes hold of the naked elements of both nature and human nature”.[Ibidem, 64 (The End of the Modern World, 56)] Our capacity to make decisions, a more genuine freedom and the space for each one’s alternative creativity are diminished.

The challenge is that money and power are more easily amassed in the modern system. And it is difficult to convince the powerful to share.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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