Technology is highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens our horizon. But human freedom is authentic only when it responds to the fascination of technology with decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility. Hence the pressing need for formation in an ethically responsible use of technology.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Venitate, 70
Although Pope Benedict wrote those words in 2009, “the pressing need” is sharper now than ever. Thankfully, the challenge of properly contextualizing and implementing technology is an age-old problem. As we approach smart phones and smart homes, computers and virtual reality glasses, performance enhancing chip implants, self-driving cars, and biotechnological marvels, we’re not on our own as we make “decisions that are the fruit of moral responsibility.”
For a week in early June, 2023, adult learners from around the country gathered to grapple with the promise and the problem of technology. Led by Wyoming Catholic College faculty, they read and discussed authors such as Thomas Moore, Francis Bacon, Thomas Hardy, Martin Heidegger, and Wendell Berry, considering the questions of how to make wise, morally responsible decisions about technology for ourselves, our children, and, if we’re teachers, our students. Many of the professors’ lectures and presentations were recorded, and those recording are available below: