Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Science and us....

In October on a visit to the Lateran University in Rome, Benedict XVI spoke about the crisis of contemporary culture which sacrifices humanism for the sake of technology. He told those present that "The contemporary world seems to give pride of place to an artificial intelligence ever more dominated by experimental techniques and thus forgetful that science must always defend man and promote his efforts toward true good.…"

The sciences of technology, medicine, ecology, and others are on a dangerous path when they begin their inquiries and experiments with an underlying assumption that man is on the same level as everything else in their purview. In this view people are things sharing the same footing, and value, with the rest of creation. Man is at the service of the sciences and not the other way around.

I think that all of us know in our hearts that the human person has a worth beyond all the rest of nature. Each of us has the capacity to be loved and to love. This love is self sacrificial, that is, it is true love. Just look at the lives given by our soldiers, police, and firefighters. Look at parents and others who will die just to save their children. Moreover, there are countless examples of men, women, and children who have sacrificed their lives in order to save the lives of strangers, simply because help was needed. This is the quality of love -- the Love of our Lord on the Cross.

A scientist cannot dissect this love; nor can he probe the soul as if it were merely a composition of substances and energy. When human beings are at the mercy of the sciences, we are in a bad state of affairs. The utter disregard of the unborn child is just plain awful. He or she is called an embryo. Therefore it's OK now, by this reasoning, to use, experiment, and throw away these defenseless persons. How long will it be before adults -- of course, they have to be unwanted -- are treated the same way. History certainly bears witness to this many times.

Once you and I are thought of as things, then we are in trouble, and we cannot count on the government to help. I remember once President Reagan said that the worst two things you could hear are: "We're the government" and "We're here to help." No, we can count only on God. Then, we are able to rely on those who humbly are his faithful children. We can depend on the very thing that gives us immeasurable value: love, the Love of God.

Fr. Stanley