By Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of Engineering and Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Caritas in Veritate, the recently released encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, raises important questions about the role of technology and its contributions to the common good. For example, “Will corporations embrace social responsibility and develop the technology needed to support human development in the light of diminished (or no) profit incentives?” “What is the role of intellectual property rights in technology development?” And, “Does that role create barriers to the use of technology for the benefit of those most in need?”
Clearly a discussion of the role of faith in relation to technological innovation is needed to better understand the impact of the global marketplace on the common good. While some advocate a technology based, profit-driven, regulatory motivated approach to solving these issues, do we need to demand more of ourselves as a Catholic community and thus more of the world?