LOS ANGELES – While Google may have defined the modern-day search engine, Bishop Robert Barron, known as one of America’s premier Catholic preachers and teachers, believes that today’s search for meaning is inextricably tied to religion as much as technology.
In a speech on “Religion and the Opening Up of the Mind,” delivered on Tuesday at Googleplex – the main headquarters of the tech industry giant – Barron said there’s an explicit connection between the modern world’s constant quest for immediate answers and the question of God.
“Whatever our minds, if not our hearts, desire is readily available for our consumption,” said Barron. “This moment in our civilizational development has an intriguing connection to religion.”
Humans naturally want to ask questions and seek answers – sometimes stubbornly so – observed Barron, and that’s why he believes that whether it be through search engines or through religion, there’s a correlation “to the restlessness of the intellectus agens,” or the active or searching mind.
Drawing on Saint Thomas Aquinas, the thirteenth century Dominican philosopher and theologian, Barron said it’s for this very reason he believes the most serious objections to both secularism and atheism is that they both shut down the mind’s active quest for knowledge.
“Though skeptics and atheists, both old and new, tend to wrap themselves in the mantle of reason, I fear that they are, in point of fact, enemies of reason, precisely in the measure that they drop or rule out of court the most interesting questions,” he posited.
“Religion at its best always represents the opening up of the mind, the liberation of the spirit, the full engagement of the intellectus agens,” he said.
In an industry dominated by towering individuals known for revolutionary ideas -including the likes of Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sheryl Sandberg – Barron pointed to Aquinas as an original innovator, of sorts, who helped the world make sense of the deepest desires and eternal questions in a systematic manner.
Read more at Crux.