The following comes from a Mar. 15 posting on The Catholic Thing. It is based on a presentation made to the annual summit in Silicon Valley of the technology site Always On by Father John McCloskey of the Faith and Reason Institute.
Silicon Valley will continue to change the world – but in what ways? What kind of world will it produce?
That will depend in large part on the vision of the creators and entrepreneurs of the Valley: in how they use the new technologies they develop, and the new wealth that flows from them. And that vision in turn may depend on whether they recognize the connection between their accomplishments and the heritage – moral and intellectual – that made these accomplishments possible.
…. Ultimately, then, Silicon Valley is about the uses of creativity by human beings who have the God-given power to create wonders from “crystals of sand,” as George Gilder has put it. The past generation of technological innovators has been able to use scientific discovery to create immense wealth for themselves and the rest of the world; however, the ultimate purpose of this kind of power, like every other kind, is to promote the good of humanity – materially, yes, but also and more importantly (for ourselves and for others) for the spiritual good of mankind.
That is manifested by perhaps the most frequently used phrase by the soon to be “saint” John Paul II from the second Vatican Council: We all are called to make the “gift of self to those who surround us.” And that goes for the Valley too.
A wonderful recent example of this gift of self for the good of others is Pope Francis, who has dedicated himself to using every form of media to spread his gospel of love for all and particularly for the poor. And here he includes those who are not only poor in economic terms but also poor in spirit – even if they live and work in Silicon Valley.
A useful reading assignment might be the last book of the Space Trilogy of the distinguished twentieth-century Christian Apologist C.S. Lewis. Entitled That Hideous Strength. It shows the results of technology when it is not grounded in faith and the ethical values of the Beatitudes and the commandments, instead measuring performance solely according to profit and innovation.
Money is the least of it – after all, the more you give away, the happier you will be (who wants to leave money for the IRS?). To achieve the kind of true success I am talking about, you might consider acquiring a spiritual coach to help you find fulfillment in this life and (for those of you who are believers) happiness in the next. In any case I remember from my days on Wall Street in the 1970s the saying: “No man on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’”
None of us knows the day or the hour of our death. Let us make our contribution to this world now, and – whether or not you look forward to an eternal reward – let’s leave this world a much better place.
To read the entire posting, click here.