The digital revolution is forcing us to rethink what it means to be human | Catholic National Register

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“The specificity of the human being in all of creation, our uniqueness vis-à-vis other animals, even our relationship to machines are called into question.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said technological innovations have created the need for renewed reflection on essential questions of what it means to be human, based on scriptures, classical tradition and the wisdom of non-human cultures. European.

In a video message sent on November 23 to Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pope declared that “the new changes brought about by the digital revolution and the incredible developments in science … are forcing us to rethink what it is to be human”.

“Today, a revolution is underway – yes, a revolution – which touches the essential nodes of human existence and requires a creative effort of thought and action. The two. There is a structural change in the way we understand generation, birth and death ”, Pope Francis noted in the video.

“The specificity of the human being in all of creation, our uniqueness vis-à-vis other animals, even our relationship to machines are called into question.

Pope Francis emphasized what he called the “fluidity of contemporary cultural vision”.

“This is the age of liquidity,” he said.

He said that this current “fluidity” is a marked difference from the days of the Second Vatican Council, when a secular, immanentist and materialist humanism shared at least a common basis with Christian humanism “on some radical issues related to it. to human nature ”.

“However, the conciliar Constitution Gaudium and Spes is still relevant in this regard. It reminds us, in fact, that the Church still has much to give to the world, and it obliges us to recognize and evaluate, with confidence and courage, the intellectual, spiritual and material achievements which have emerged since then in various fields. of human knowledge, ”commented the Pope.

The Pontifical Council for Culture held its plenary assembly this week with the theme “Rethinking anthropology – Towards a new humanism”. The council holds meetings every two or three years to reflect on the major issues and cultural realities of contemporary societies.

In his video message, the Pope said questions about human identity are decisive today.

“What does it mean today to be a man or a woman as complementary people called upon to relate? What do the words “paternity” and “maternity” mean? ” He asked.

“And again, what is the specific condition of the human being, which makes us unique and irreplaceable compared to machines and even to other animal species? What is our transcendent vocation? Where does our call to build social relationships with others come from?

Pope Francis underlined that the Bible offers “the essential coordinates for sketching out an anthropology of the human person in relation to God, in the complexity of relations between men and women, and in relation to the time and space in which we live. . “

“Biblical humanism, in fruitful dialogue with the values ​​of classical Greek and Latin thought, gave birth to a lofty vision of the human person, our origin and our ultimate destiny, our way of living on this earth”, he said. -he declares.

The Pope added that while this fusion of ancient and biblical wisdom remains “a fertile paradigm”, a new creative synthesis is also needed with “the contemporary humanist tradition and that of other cultures”.

“I am thinking, for example, of the holistic vision of Asian cultures, in a search for inner harmony and harmony with creation. Or the solidarity of African cultures, to go beyond the excessive individualism typical of Western culture. The anthropology of Latin American peoples is also important, with its keen sense of family and celebration; and also the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world, ”said Francis.

“In these different cultures, there are forms of humanism which, integrated into European humanism inherited from Greco-Roman civilization and transformed by the Christian vision, are today the best way to tackle the worrying questions on the subject. future of humanity.

Pope John Paul II founded the Pontifical Council for Culture in 1982 to promote dialogue between the Church and contemporary cultures. In 1993 he combined the council with the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Nonbelievers.

Today, the council is dedicated to creating a space for Catholic dialogue with the sciences, humanities, economy, digital culture and artificial intelligence, sports, cultural heritage, the arts and music.

“Now more than ever, the world needs to rediscover the meaning and value of the human being in relation to the challenges we face,” said Pope Francis.


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