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Pope Francis with members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (CNS/VaticanMedia)

Scientific and technological abilities, which are the product of human creativity, are accelerating at such a rapid pace that people must decide how to use their creativity responsibly, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: OSV News.

“In other words, how can we invest the talents we have received while preventing the disfigurement of what is human and the cancellation of the constitutive differences that give order to the cosmos,” he told members of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The Pope met the members at the Vatican as they were celebrating the academy’s 30th anniversary. It was the first day of the academy’s two-day general assembly in Rome, focused on the meaning of being human.

Understanding what is distinctive about the human being is a question of “utmost importance”, the Pope said. While it is also an age-old question, today’s technologies are challenging people to reflect on this question in increasingly more complex ways.

“The increased capabilities of science and technology can lead human beings to see themselves as engaged in a creative act akin to that of God, producing an image and likeness of human life, including the capacity for language with which ‘talking machines’ appear to be endowed,” he said.

The temptation to “infuse” some kind of spirit into inanimate matter “is insidious”, he said. “What is being asked of us is to discern how the creativity entrusted to human beings can be exercised responsibly.”

It is not a question of being “for” or “against” tools and technologies, he said. “What is needed, instead, is to situate scientific and technological knowledge within a broader horizon of meaning,” that is, an anthropological and cultural approach.

“We are challenged to develop a culture that, by integrating the resources of science and technology, is capable of acknowledging and promoting the human being in his or her irreducible specificity,” the Pope said.


As tech quickly evolves, we must use creative power responsibly (By Carol Glatz, CNS via OSV News)