Thursday, January 24, 2013

What does Pope Benedict mean by "“technological prometheanism”


Otto Greiner - Prometheus
Now, what does Benedict mean by this phrase?

What he means is that modern science, with its great and increasing technological power, together with a "Promethean" attitude toward all limits, may lead us to terrible problems.

It is a dense, unusual phrase for a Pope, a phrase with no basis in Scripture (because Prometheus, of course, is not a character in Scripture, but a character of Greek myth).

Nevertheless, despite its newness and difficulty of interpretation, this may come to be seen as a "signature phrase" for this Pope, and for his diagnosis of our present predicament.

So what does Benedict mean when he warns of "technological prometheanism"?

Scientific Knowledge and Spiritual Knowledge


In the Western classical tradition, the Greek mythological character Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven to give to mankind and then was punished for his theft by Zeus and bound forever to a mountaintop in the Caucasus by unbreakable chains, became a figure who represented human striving, particularly the quest for scientific knowledge.

Over time, and especially in the Romantic era, Prometheus was seen as the archetype of the lone genius whose efforts to improve human existence also could result in tragedy.
continue at Spero Forum

HT Fr. Angelo 

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