In this article, W. Norris Clarke, Gustave Weigel, and Ong contribute their ideas on the relationship between Christianity and technology.  While the writing of all three men suggest that the editor of America was looking for some disagreement on the issue, for the most part, all three writers agree that Christians must confront the presence of advanced technology in the contemporary world.

Ong, who wrote the third section of the article after reading Clarke and Weigel's reactions, claims that he cannot disagree with either writer but can expand the discussion of this topic.  Ong asserts that Christians cannot simply accept the presence of technology in their lives, for "[t]he problem confronting the Catholic mind today is not the problem of tolerating the technological age, of living with it" but "[t]he problem is rather that of participating unselfishly in it, of contributing to it" (764).  Instead, Ong argues, Christians must stop rejecting technology out of ignorance and start working a perspective that acknowledges the evolutionary progress of humankind into what is already being taught in schools.

Ong's response summarizes many of the ideas already discussed in earlier articles, but worthy of note is the link between this article and "Scholarly Research and Publication in the Jesuit College and University," in which Ong describes the opportunities Catholics missed during the nineteenth century because they were not as involved in the social sciences discussion that appealed to the working classes.  While philosophers such as Robert Own and J.S. Mill put forth ideas that led to the rise of socialism in the twentieth century, Catholic intellectuals kept themselves isolated from non-religious disciplines; as a result, the Catholic Church did not establish the strong tie it could have with the working classes.

In this article, Ong elaborated on that discussion when he praises Weigel for his observation that technology has the ability to break down the barrier between the "haves" and "have-nots" but notes that Marx recognized the need to change the conditions of proletariat life long before any Catholics did.  In fact, Ong writes, Marx "seized imaginatively and creatively upon the emergence of a new technological order and upon the evolutionary nature of the universe and of human soceity, at a time when all too many Catholics were meeting the challenge of the age by talk of being satisfied with one's 'state in life' (that is, a static view of human society)" (765).

Also worth noting is that Ong wrote a letter to America after this article ran, in which he clarified that he was not, in the article, criticizing Pope Pius XII who, in Humani Generis, questioned the views of those people who adopt an evolutionary approach to all subject matter.  Ong makes it clear that he does not hold such extreme views and that Pius XII's writing on this subject was intended only for those who held very extreme views, not those who, like Ong, want to acknowledge evolutionary theory without giving up Christian theology.
 

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