As G. K. Chesterton wisely noted, the question about technology is not whether we should have it, but how to keep it from having us. That is, how do we ensure that the machines we make serve us and the true human good, rather than make us their servants, forming us in their mechanical image?
A recent study on nomophobia reveals the deep difficulty we're having with smartphones, which so define our identity and our precious time, that we suffer separation anxiety if we are removed from them for even a few moments. In the words of the study,
"separation from smartphones is found to cause increases in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings—the symptoms of nomophobia (i.e., the feelings of discomfort or anxiety caused by the nonavailability of amobile device enabling habitual virtual communication). Although nomophobia is not formally included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a psychological disorder, research suggests that nomophobia may serve as an indicator of a social disorder or phobia for individuals with a strong dependency on communication through virtual environments."
If you doubt the effects of "nomophobia," and you own a smartphone, just do a simple experiment: don't look at it for six hours (not even a peek--turn it off, and put it away). Record the effects--honestly. Then ask yourself: do I own a smartphone, or does it own me?
As I make clear in my In Defense of Nature, internet and smartphone addiction is a real problem, one that detaches us from the good of our own nature, and defines us in terms of a mechanical device, rather than a rational animal, a creature wonderfully made in the image of God. The literature on such addiction is growing by the minute, as you'll see in the footnotes.
A new study has just found something rather interesting: even atheists don’t trust atheists. Or, to put it the other way around, atheists themselves assume that religious believers are more likely to act morally than their fellow atheists, and atheists are more likely to engage in grossly immoral acts. In the words of the study, “people overall are roughly twice as likely to view extreme immorality as representative of atheists, relative to believers,” so that “even atheists intuitively associate immorality more with atheists than with believers.”
Read the rest at National Catholic Register
Is it possible to talk about the pollution of sexuality in the same way that we can talk about the pollution of the air with sulfur dioxide belched out of smoke stacks or pollution of the water through industrial waste dumped in rivers?
If we can befoul nature by violating its intrinsic order and beauty, can we do the same to human nature and, in particular, human sexuality? If intemperance and greed destroy the natural environment, do they also destroy the sexual environment? Can we measure that destruction, so that it is scientifically verifiable?
Yes. Our sexual environment is about as polluted as China’s air, and the harm caused by such pollution is just as scientifically demonstrable.
Readers will forgive me, I hope, if I have to treat some rather delicate topics in what follows. Talking about the evil effects of dumping raw sewage into our streams is much less embarrassing than examining the evils of dumping the parallel equivalent of raw sewage into our sexuality. But the seriousness of contemporary sexual pollution demands some candor on my part.
Read the rest of the post at Catholic World Report