Words to live by. Words to preserve the human race. With the so-called end of communism's grip on us, Pope John Paul knew that evil was far from vanquished. In fact the threat of mass depersonification of human life has only gotten worse, and the longterm impact of our headlong rush to modernity will only being more tears, more death, more loss of freedoms if we do not stop to ponder their implications.
Pope John Paul confronted the worst evils of the 20th century, and perhaps that mankind has ever known. But were we listening? In Frontline's Millennial Pope, New York University professor Tony Judt said with resignation that John Paul will leave"no legacy of success in defeating modernity, and there will certainly be no sense in which he will have occupied the ground between absolute faith and modern nonbelief." However, Judt goes on to concede that John Paul did manage to "shape the conversation at the end of the millennium in a way no one else has." But I would argue that the seeds John Paul planted are just beginning to grow. One need only watch Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell II: Innocence to see a deep philosophical discussion being brought to the world of entertainment by a passionate artist who asks the question: what does it mean to be human when scientists are talking about replacing us with genetic engineering techniques, cloning, and cybernetics?
Msgr. LORENZO ALBACETE, Prof. of Theology, Friend: To the Pope, science and the wonder it evokes in us is not an obstacle to belief but a privileged path to it. John Paul II urges us to look beyond our intellectual ideas because reason, which limits man to the visible world, will kill faith. -- John Paul II: The Millennial Pope
The threat to man does not come in the first instance from the potentially lethal machines and apparatus of technology. The actual threat has always afflicted man in his essence. The rule of enframing (Gestell) threatens man with the possibility that it could be denied to him to enter into a more original revealing and hence to experience the call of a more primal truth. --Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning TechnologyThe world has awoken to the dangers of stem cell research, abortion, and the view of life in terms that attempt to quantify the value of life.
We can thank John Paul for asking us all to reject the moral collapse that only continues at an even more rapid pace with unquestioned technological progress. But is the impending danger unnoticed? Not by any means. Artists and philosophers are demanding the same caution demanded by John Paul. They warn us that science when used to transform mankind into gods can bring us down and destroy us without mercy. John Paul not only shaped the dialog over what it means to be human in a postmodern world where engineering can practically blur the lines between life and death, but the debate he urged is far from over. It has just begun.
He would again tell us: be not afraid.
Thanks for the link.
Thanks for the ping!