Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Spirit & Life: The Fourth Prophesy of "Humanae Vitae:" When Self-Mastery is Rejected

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” This is one of the most famous lines from the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park. It’s spoken by Dr. Ian Malcolm, played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum. It’s the final line of a remarkable little speech Dr. Malcom makes to billionaire John Hammond, the creator of the dinosaur park. “The lack of humility before nature here staggers me,” Dr. Malcolm first tells Hammond, after hearing of his grandiose plans. “I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here. It didn’t require any discipline to attain it.”

It might seem a bit flippant to begin a column on perhaps the most serious of Pope Paul VI’s four prophesies in the encyclical Humanae Vitae – the totalitarian imposition of birth control by governments – with a reference to Jurassic Park. And yet, Dr. Malcolm’s speech is packed with truth; rarely, indeed, has a Hollywood movie contained a more succinct and relevant indictment of some of the worst tendencies of our time.

Human beings have understandably become wholly enamoured of their technical prowess these past two centuries. We have conquered nature in ways that previous generations could not have even imagined was possible. And yet as humans have pivoted away from the ancient preoccupation with attaining wisdom in favor of the modern preoccupation with perfecting technique, we have increasingly run the risk of single-mindedly pursuing . . .

Sincerely yours in Christ, 
Father Shenan J. Boquet 
President, Human Life International
Human Life International
www.hli.org ● 540-635-7884 ● hli@hli.org
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