Towards an Ethics of Technology: Re-Exploring Teilhard de Chardin’s Theory of Technology and Evolution

I just came across this paper that looks very interesting. I have not read it yet but hope to do so in the next few weeks.

Scientific Research Publishing

Read  full  paper  at:

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=51174#.VFgt0WfHRK0

ABSTRACT

Defining the mechanism of evolution is a controversial issue that, until now, divides the scientific community. Some have argued in the strictest Darwinian terms that evolution’s primary mechanism is necessity—“survival of the fittest”. Other evolutionists followed in the footsteps of Jacques Monod, the French biologist, who argued for a mixture of random chance and necessity. Teilhard de Chardin, it is widely believed, took Monod one step further by asserting that evolution is the fundamental motion of the entire universe, an ascent along a privileged and necessary pathway toward consciousness—thus, evolution was guided chance and necessity. However, if evolution is being guided, what is doing the guiding? And where, ultimately, is it going? His bold answers brought Teilhard to the heart of a widely perceived scientific, as well…

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About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog (www.teilhard.com) explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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3 Responses to Towards an Ethics of Technology: Re-Exploring Teilhard de Chardin’s Theory of Technology and Evolution

  1. mkenny114 says:

    I’ve not read the paper as yet either, but the abstract does raise some issues that have concerned me for a while (with respect to Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas about convergence and the possibility of our ‘directing’ our own evolution). Briefly, I am worried about the implications that our having control over our future evolution might have regarding our use of technology therein, and the use some might make of TDC’s ideas to promote transhumanism. Do you know of any work that has been done to assess the potential exploitation of his ideas in this regard and/or the buffers one could use (preferably from within Teilhard’s writings) against such exploitation?

    • Michael:

      Thank you for your comment. I look forward to reading the article. You are correct that some have used Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas to promote Transhumanism in the sense of self-directed evolution beyond homo sapiens. I do not believe this article does so (I have not read it yet however), but that is why I believe it is important to keep Teilhard de Chardin’s views within the contextual framework that he intended them; namely that humanity as a whole is moving toward a greater unity but that unity is directed by God with the goal of ultimate union with God in the next phase of existence (post-death).

      Peace,
      W. Ockham

      • mkenny114 says:

        Thanks for your reply William,

        I was not aware that some actually had used Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas to promote transhumanism! I was though, concerned with the possibility of this happening, and rightly so it seems 🙂

        Would you say then that the best antidote to these sort of misuses of his work is from within Teilhard’s oeuvre itself? Also, do you know of anyone who has tried to tackle the transhumanist mis-application of his work?

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