THE PASSERBY | Humanizing and Christianizing technology

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

MANY economists and other analysts highly recommend that the youth of today must be convinced that their chances of being gainfully employed will increase significantly if they take less interest in diploma-oriented college courses in the traditional universities and colleges.

They should rather take technical courses that will prepare them for employment in the construction industry, health and wellness sector, agribusiness sector, tourism and travel and other labor-intensive industries.

This suggestion is, of course, well taken. It’s obvious that the developments and the needs of the world these days require a lot of technical training and labor-intensive skills. There is hardly anything today that does not increasingly involve technical expertise. Otherwise, we would just be left behind.

But we should never forget that this plunging into the technical and labor-intensive world would require the appropriate training in its humanization and Christianization. We cannot deny that neglecting this dimension of education, or even just taking it for granted and giving it only a lick-and-a-promise attitude, would lead to a disaster for all of us.

All parties—the government, the churches, the schools, the families, etc.—should help in forming an educational system that would give the proper human tone and Christian spirit in this pursuit for this increasingly sophisticated technical training.

We should be wary of our tendency to simply give a knee-jerk reaction to the challenge we have today by only attending to the technical aspect of our educational system without giving it the corresponding human and Christian spirit.

For example, the students should be taught how they can relate the technical things they are learning to their personal integrity and development, to their duties towards the family and society in general. Most importantly, they have to learn how they can relate their technical training to their spiritual and moral health, and to God.

We should not be deceived by the argument that the technical training should mainly if not only respond to our economic needs. That would make us not much better than robots, or worse, not much better than prostitutes who offer their services simply for pleasure and economic gain.

Our technical training should be such that it would foster a more intimate relationship with God. It should strengthen our spiritual life and our piety, rather than drying them up. It should foster greater personal, not impersonal, relation with others, starting within the family and then with everybody else. It should make us more aware and more skillful in fulfilling our duties toward the common good.

We cannot deny that the powerful advantages of our technologies these days can easily lead and trap us in a world of pure self-indulgence, feeding our weaknesses of pride, greed, lust, deception, corruption, etc.

These days, we have to be aware of some shifting of world power due to the emergence of the so-called big techs. It’s a highly dynamic and evolving issue that we have to learn to get a handle on. And this issue has to be given its true human and Christian spirit, otherwise it will play the game of the devil who is an expert is seduction.

Indeed, we have to promote technical training these days. It should include the oldies who are still not quite adept at technical things. But we should never forget the human and Christian requirements that this training greatly needs!

Fr. Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE) in Talamban, Cebu City. E-mail him at