Gabriel Mario Rodrigues – Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES, the Brazilian Association of Private Higher Education Institutions
The trajectory of human history has always occurred in the face of the challenges of survival in the struggle to defend oneself from catastrophes of nature, enemies, and the search for food and shelter. The sacred books also portray the daily struggle of man between good and evil, seeking in the divine the strength to face his adversities.
The authors of these works, in their diversity, show the violent and spiteful God of the old testament and the Jesus Christ of peace and love, which is repeated in other beliefs and religions. All in the course of the times shuffled in taming the passions of the man-animal, always entangled with the problems of murders, robberies, assaults, sensuality, immorality, misunderstanding between families and war between peoples.
We can confirm that to this day everything remains the same, because the struggle for power is a constant, as shown by the current corruption in the “Car Wash” investigations. For this reason I was intrigued, when in the book “Thank you for being late,” which deals with the exponential advance of technology, Thomas Friedman responds in Chapter 11 to the question many people ask him about whether God is in Cyberspace.
His spiritual mentor, Rabbi Tzvi Marx, explains: “It depends on his vision of God. If it is that of the almighty, that makes its presence felt through divine intervention – striking evil and rewarding good – you can bet that He is not in cyberspace, because it is full of pornography, blogging games and tweets attacking different people, from all directions, with songs full of obscenities and not to mention all kinds of preaching in defense of intolerance. And now cyberspace is permeated by invasions and recruitment of groups impregnated with hate like Isis.”
This means that the technological development that could build the ideal world conceived by all the religions of the world and by the privileged minds of the planet, besides not having a God to believe in, is also not supported by any system of values, filters or governance. And the worst is that the problems of 20 years ago are growing exponentially.
Putting it straight, Friedman writes that we are being able to build a world where humans are gaining more than a divine dimension, but we are creating a reality with vast territories called cyberspace outside the rule of law and seemingly lawless.
People are clamoring for some moral innovation. Friedman signals that they seek him “by asking us to rethink ethics and wanting to know how to cultivate certain values in a world in which we are closer to the figure of God and in which there are more domains that seem to be devoid of God, values and law.”
The reality is that, if they have not already taken up much of cyberspace, the algorithms are in charge, without people and without ethics. Soon we will have to surrender, for the truth is that certain technological forces have come together to make the power of men and machines leap to a new stage of exponential importance, much more rapidly than we have reformulated ourselves as human beings, much faster than we have been able to rethink our institutions, our laws and our modes of leadership.
Unfortunately there is no law for human progress and moral development versus technology that creates possibilities for new behaviors, experiences and connections. However, it is necessary to count on human beings so that behaviors are dictated by principles, so that the experiences are relevant and the connections, deep and rooted in shared values and aspirations.
The issue becomes particularly problematic as cyberspace enters the home (WhatsApp, Telegram, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, etc. etc. via mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, iPods, iPhones, Apple Watch, etc. etc.).
This coexistence between fake and factual news has just begun and requires a serious analysis of the national legal/normative system regarding how privacy in cyberspace should be governed/ regulated and balanced with the growing impact of messages of men and women of all shades.
We are driven by uncontrollable impulses or strong emotions, in the face of doubts as to the decision to be made. It is when we manifest the ethical sense that tests our moral conscience, demanding that we decide, that we justify for ourselves and for others the reasons for our decisions and that we take all the consequences of them, referring to values such as justice, honesty, integrity, generosity, and also the feelings provoked by values (admiration, shame, guilt, remorse, anger, fear, etc.).
Laws and religions according to their codes and rules seek to give way to a world without conflict, but values are exercised by example from birth. Deities and governments are important, but in order to convey the sustainable values of honesty, tolerance, integrity, solidarity and mutual respect, we will need to have the example of the parents, the family’s look, the religious’s word, the friend’s voice, teacher’s advice, community support, and individual discernment.