Hardback
September 1, 2022
9781647122690
English
254
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6.00 Inches (US)
$149.95 USD, £112.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
September 1, 2022
9781647122706
English
254
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6.00 Inches (US)
$49.95 USD, £37.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Tomorrow's Troubles

Risk, Anxiety, and Prudence in an Age of Algorithmic Governance

The first examination of predictive technology from the perspective of Catholic theology

Probabilistic predictions of future risk govern much of society. Policymakers and private companies design institutional structures to manage risk by controlling the behavior of citizens and consumers, using new technologies that comb through past data to predict and shape future action. Choosing between possible future paths — all with their own risks and opportunities — can cause anxiety as our every decision becomes a calculation to achieve the most optimal outcome.

Tomorrow's Troubles is the first book to use virtue ethics to analyze these pressing issues. Over three parts, moral theologian Paul Scherz uses a theological analysis of risk and practical reason to suggest ways to enjoy the positive benefits of these predictive technologies while constraining their dangerous aspects. Part One shows how risk-based decision theory reorients our relationships to the future through knowledge of possible dangers and foregone opportunities, and how this deceptive hope for total security is instantiated in politics and business. Scherz presents this view of temporality as problematic because it encourages a desire for stability through one's own efforts instead of reliance on God.

Part Two examines how new predictive models use data to influence behavior. While this presents many dangers, Scherz argues that the largest problem is that predictive models do not address individual reason and free will. Part Three focuses on how we can take a positive Christian approach to risk by examining theological frameworks of responsibility. Instead of dwelling on a future we cannot control, we can use our past experiences and the Christian tradition to focus on discerning God's will in the present. Scherz's thoughtful new framework will help Christians benefit from the positive aspects of predictive technologies while recognizing God's role in our lives and our futures.

About the Author

Paul Scherz is an associate professor of moral theology and ethics in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of Science and Christian Ethics and the coeditor of The Evening of Life: The Challenges of Aging and Dying Well. He has a PhD in theology from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in genetics from Harvard University.

Reviews

"Tomorrow's Troubles provides the careful ethical analysis we need to make sense of the dilemmas we face in our everyday lives today. As epitomized in the global pandemic, a probabilistic pursuit of risk minimization has effectively become the default criterion for both social deliberation and personal moral evaluation, yet few have interrogated the ethical implications of this trend. In Tomorrow's Troubles, Paul Scherz not only tackles these critical questions but also develops the theological and ethical tools to help us put the assessment of risk into its proper place, at the service of a genuine practice of prudential judgment." — Conor M. Kelly, associate professor of theology, Marquette University

"Tomorrow's Troubles is a prophetic work calling readers to reevaluate the entire sociotechnical world. Technology, risk management, culture, and our mentality have distorted our core Christian commitments such as trust in God's providence and love for our neighbor. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time." — Brian Patrick Green, director of technology ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

"" —
Georgetown University Press
Moral Traditions

9781647122690 : tomorrows-troubles-scherz
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September 1, 2022
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9781647122706 : tomorrows-troubles-scherz
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