How has modern technology deprived us of more human skills?
How has modern technology deprived us of more human skills?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating the news, particularly with the release of ChatGPT. But what is AI and should Catholics embrace this technology or be wary of it?
When the late William F. Buckley set out to find a religion editor for National Review, he was careful to choose a Protestant. Though a Catholic himself, Buckley feared that his magazine—by then, already the flaghship of American conservatism—was becoming “too Catholic.” Eventually, he settled on a bombastic Lutheran minister named Richard John Neuhaus. Alas … Read more
In 1577, St. John of the Cross was taken prisoner by a group of Carmelites from Toledo who were opposed to the reforms of the Order he was undertaking with St. Teresa of Ávila. For eight or nine months, he was held in a six-by-ten-foot cell. The ceiling was so low that John (not a … Read more
Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron recently gave a pair of quite interesting talks at Google and Facebook. Now approaching 30 million views, Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is the most influential Catholic evangelization ministry online. Bishop Barron is the ideal teacher, and this for two reasons: mastery of his subject and a genuine … Read more
A quickly forgotten film last year painted the portrait of a tech company that ran amok with its ambition to know and share everything. Just as we often learn a lesson through extreme examples of what can happen, The Circle, based on a 2013 novel by Dave Eggers, provided a chilling look at what a … Read more
I am not a techy-type and I never thought I would do it, but I did—I took the infernal trouble of customizing my cellular telephone’s ringtone. With tongue in cheek, but not without symbolic intent, I programmed my phone to emit the sound of Darth Vader’s ominous breathing for every incoming call. Though people start … Read more
No artifact shapes our daily lives so much as the smartphone. Most of us are ashamed by our dependence on them, but we don’t consider tossing them out—for that seems impossible to do. Nor apparently, do many parents consider withholding them from teenagers, so necessary they seem to the new shape of social life. So … Read more
Sexual liberation and transhumanism share an anthropology. Both view the human person as an emergent phenomenon, and as something malleable. Both view the self as sovereign, the will as ultimately answerable to nothing other than its own prerogatives. Exploring the intersection between these two movements requires me to give an account of technology. In speaking … Read more
All of human life is lived between two worlds. God has placed us on this earth as wayfarers on a pilgrimage—where we are meant to work, pray, and love—although we are meant ultimately for a world beyond. The Second Letter of Peter sums up this future hope and the passing nature of this world: “We … Read more
There is a current television show that close friends recently drew our attention to called The Carbonaro Effect. The main character of the show is a young illusionist named Michael Carbonaro who, with the aid of spy-cameras in everyday settings, is able to perform some rather incredible magic tricks. In one scene, he acts as … Read more
Summer is ripe with possibilities for activity. More daylight, warm temperatures, and, at least for those who benefit from the break afforded by the academic calendar, more free time. This is an opportunity for many good things, but also can be a perfect petri dish for the germination and growth of sloth in our lives. … Read more
In a recent piece in Crisis I argued that secular and rationalizing ways of thought applied to the social environment soon bring us to inclusiveness. Giving people what they want equally, which is the goal of a liberal technocratic society, includes giving them equal social positions. Inclusiveness is thus part of the modern effort to … Read more
There is a growing consensus among human beings that the effects of our developing technology are not conducive to human development. Popular technology, despite its claim to interact and connect, breeds isolation. It causes people, especially young people, to stray into an introverted withdrawal from others and the world. As such, these results are antithetical … Read more
My family and I are in the process of moving to a small town in northwest Ohio called Fostoria. We are here for practical reasons—it is the town closest to where I work that has a good Catholic school. That said, I have found the people, on the whole, to be quite charming and welcoming. … Read more
Absence often manifests the importance of presence. I think of my one year old son Raphael. When my wife is not at home, he looks at me and utters a plaintive interrogative, “Mama?” “Mama will be home soon,” I respond, hoping the tone and feeling behind my words will convey a comfort their meaning cannot. … Read more
The Sixties wanted Paradise Now: a paradise that ignores the distant and difficult in favor of the immediate and effortless. We wouldn’t transcend life’s conflicts and difficulties by striving after a higher unity, we’d abolish them by denying them recognition. Each would do his thing and follow his bliss, and all would be well. As … Read more
Should a 13-year-old be able to purchase a school-shooting simulator without parents’ knowledge or consent? The Supreme Court says that freedom of speech requires that 13-year-olds have that opportunity. In a 7-2 decision, the court struck down a California law barring the sale of graphically violent video games to people under 18. I have not … Read more
Golf historians trace the invention of the great game’s basic concept to the mid-15th century, to the day when some self-flagellatory Scot, strolling the featureless wastes between pastures and the sea, came upon the deceptively simple idea of hitting a ball with a stick until it fell in a hole. On the second day … Read more
Pope Benedict XVI’s third encyclical — Caritas in Veritate — arrived today containing 30,468 words: an introduction, six chapters, conclusion, and 159 footnotes. It’s not thrilling reading, even by encyclical standards, but as the latest papal statement on the Church’s social teaching, “Love in Truth” will be a work of lasting significance. Those who dig … Read more