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Vatican diplomat: new technology needs to be used ethically

July 05, 2013

At a United Nations meeting devoted to science, technology, and innovation, the Holy See’s chief diplomat at the UN office in Geneva cautioned that progress in technology does not always lead to authentic human development.

“Technology and innovation are not neutral: their outcome will vastly depend on what they are used for,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi at the July 4 meeting of the Economic and Social Council. “Most importantly, we need not surrender to the idea that science has embedded a notion of self-determination according to which whatever can be done is feasible.”

In addition to calling for “an ethically responsible use of technology,” Archbishop Tomasi said that science and technology “carry a social mortgage that finds expression in solidarity with poorer individuals and countries and in a lifestyle based on human relations that take precedence over technical mechanisms, as useful as these are.”

“Investing in education and innovation opens the way toward a future of greater equality and prosperity as they sustain growth, employment and distribution, but with an indispensable condition, that the human person with her dignity, aspirations and fundamental rights be placed at the center of all policies and programs,” he concluded.


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