Laudato Si 177: Planning and Foresight

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.

177. Given the real potential for a misuse of human abilities, individual states can no longer ignore their responsibility for planning, coordination, oversight and enforcement within their respective borders. How can a society plan and protect its future amid constantly developing technological innovations?

We cannot always foresee technological developments coming our way. But it doesn’t exclude a mindset prepared to plan for the common good. It is also an excuse to suggest that because the contemporary experience is so novel that morality can be put aside. Not. Principles of life, self-determination, and justice may be inconvenient for producers, marketers, and other opportunists. Human behavior is at the root of injustice–not the developments themselves.

Even though it has eroded for the expoitative behaviors of the 1%, law is a basic expectation of a civilized society:

One authoritative source of oversight and coordination is the law, which lays down rules for admissible conduct in the light of the common good. The limits which a healthy, mature and sovereign society must impose are those related to foresight and security, regulatory norms, timely enforcement, the elimination of corruption, effective responses to undesired side-effects of production processes, and appropriate intervention where potential or uncertain risks are involved. There is a growing jurisprudence dealing with the reduction of pollution by business activities. But political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.

About catholicsensibility

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