Human Responsibility

Contemporary Reflections in Light of Nazi Ideology
  • John T. Pawlikowski


Back in the early seventies two futurists introduced us to a fundamentally new reality with which religious ethics has yet adequately to grapple. Victor Ferkiss, a political scientist out of the Catholic tradition, and Hans Jonas, a social philosopher of Jewish background who escaped the Nazis, served warning that humankind had reached a new threshold in its evolutionary journey. Humanity was now standing on a threshold between Utopia and oblivion, as Buckminster Fuller has put it. The human community now faced a situation whose potential for destruction equalled its capacity for reaching new levels of creativity and human dignity. What path humanity would follow was a decision that rested with the next several generations. Neither direct divine intervention nor the arbitrary forces of nature would determine the ultimate outcome. Human choice was now more critical than ever in the past for creational survival. And the decision would have lasting impact, well beyond the lifespan of those who are destined to make it. It would, in fact, determine what forms of life will experience continued viability.


Human Responsibility Liberal Tradition Holocaust Education Catholic Tradition Catholic Bishop 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Pawlikowski

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