Wednesday, February 10, 2016

On Care For Our Common Home - 102


102. Humanity has entered a new era in which our technical prowess has brought us to a crossroads. We are the beneficiaries of two centuries of enormous waves of change: steam engines, railways, the telegraph, electricity, automobiles, aeroplanes, chemical industries, modern medicine, information technology and, more recently, the digital revolution, robotics, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies. It is right to rejoice in these advances and to be excited by the immense possibilities which they continue to open up before us, for “science and technology are wonderful products of a God-given human creativity”.[81] The modification of nature for useful purposes has distinguished the human family from the beginning; technology itself “expresses the inner tension that impels man gradually to overcome material limitations”.[82] Technology has remedied countless evils which used to harm and limit human beings. How can we not feel gratitude and appreciation for this progress, especially in the fields of medicine, engineering and communications? How could we not acknowledge the work of many scientists and engineers who have provided alternatives to make development sustainable?

[81] JOHN PAUL II, Address to Scientists and Representatives of the United Nations University, Hiroshima (25 February 1981), 3: AAS 73 (1981), 422.
[82] BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 69: AAS 101 (2009), 702.