During his address to Cor Unum, the Holy See’s development agency, Pope Benedict XVi warned of the dangers confronting us from materialistic hedonism joined to technological Prometheanism:
‘In every age, when man has not sought such a plan he has fallen prey to cultural temptations that have in the end enslaved him. In recent centuries, ideologies that praised the cult of nation, race and social class have proved to be real idolatries; and the same could be said of reckless capitalism with its worship of profit that results in crisis, inequality and poverty. People today share more and more a common feeling about the inalienable dignity of every human being and about our reciprocal and interdependent responsibility for it; and this is to the advantage of true civilization, the civilization of love. However, unfortunately, our time also knows the shadows that hide God’s plan. I am referring above all to the tragic anthropological reduction that reproposes the age-old hedonistic materialism, but to which a “technological Prometheanism” is added. From this union of the materialistic vision of man and the great development of technology a fundamentally atheist anthropology emerges. It presupposes that man is reduced to autonomous functions, the mind to the brain, human history to a destiny of self-realization. All this disregards God, his properly spiritual dimension and the horizon of the afterlife. In the perspective of a human being deprived of his soul and consequently of a personal relationship with his Creator, what is technically possible becomes morally licit, every experiment is acceptable, every demographic policy permitted, every manipulation legitimized. The most dangerous snare of this current of thought is in fact the absolutization of man: man wants to be ab-solutus, freed from every bond and from every natural constitution. He claims to be independent and thinks that his happiness lies in his own self-affirmation. “Man calls his nature into question…. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be” (Discourse to the Roman Curia, 21 December 2012). This is a radical denial of the nature of the creature and child in man, which ends in tragic loneliness.
Protect the Pope comment:The Holy Father is continuing his analysis of the threats to humanity that he began in his Christmas address to the Curia when he analysed the false ideas about human nature in modern ‘philosophies of gender’. In one of his first addresses of 2013 he analyses the related threat from materialistic hedonism united with technological Prometheanism, exemplified by IVF, designer babies and surrogacy. In the UK alone one million embryonic human beings have been discarded as the waste products of the IVF industry. This is a crime against humanity that goes unnoticed and unacknowledged.