Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. ~ Genesis 11:6

While different in circumstance, is not today getting quite possibly close to how it was with the tower of Babel? While we may not all share one language, the internet lets us converse with anyone anywhere, and translation services are slowly getting better.

Also, while we do not all wish to build a tower to be at the same height as God, many things in modern society seek if not to have the power of God, to possibly control it as they wish, such as puppies cloning, weapon of mass destruction (ability to control lives), abortions, and aspects of TVs/Computers.

While we are not a united planet, we are quickly becoming more proficient in communication and spreading ideas. Should the temptation come up such that a collection of God's children wished to trample on God's glory, be it in the near future or further off, how would God respond to such an event? Would it be similar to the Tower of Babel, where God would somehow scatter the collective might, directly or through human intervention, or perhaps something completely different?

Or perhaps is it when the word reaches such a point as the Tower of Babel again, that is when God would plan to rapture those who believe, and test those who do not?

share|improve this question
This is a discussion question. –  DJClayworth Jun 23 '12 at 12:33
While I have a strong personal interest in this topic, I have to agree with @DJClayworth and the other three people to voted to close this. Discussion questions that call for people to speculate or that are indented as as formative for a doctrine in a new area are really not constructive questions for the SE format. We're looking for things that can be answered using specific verifiable doctrines, which also means questions usually need to be addressed at specific traditions as per our faq. –  Caleb Aug 4 '12 at 9:45
You got one good answer from a historic Catholic perspective, but another answer that disagres with that using a different doctrinal framework would be equally valid. Any question that leads to opposing answers being equally valid isn't a good fit for this site. You might check out our question guidelines at What makes a good focused question? for more on this issue. –  Caleb Aug 4 '12 at 9:47
add comment

closed as not constructive by DJClayworth, Flimzy, warren, Andrew, Caleb Aug 4 '12 at 9:38

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Modern science could be considered a language of Babel and needless technology (not that all technology is needless) the tower it produces.

God will scatter the nations that globalization, brought about by advances in technology due to modern science, seemingly binds together. Why? We have become too prideful in our modern science, which is becoming less a pursuit of truth for the love of God and our fellow men and more a pursuit of controlling matter. We must be very wary of scientism, the philosophy that modern science is itself a philosophy.

Pope John Paul II wrote about scientism:

Another threat to be reckoned with is scientism. This is the philosophical notion which refuses to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences; and it relegates religious, theological, ethical and aesthetic knowledge to the realm of mere fantasy. In the past, the same idea emerged in positivism and neo-positivism, which considered metaphysical statements to be meaningless. Critical epistemology has discredited such a claim, but now we see it revived in the new guise of scientism, which dismisses values as mere products of the emotions and rejects the notion of being in order to clear the way for pure and simple facticity. Science would thus be poised to dominate all aspects of human life through technological progress. The undeniable triumphs of scientific research and contemporary technology have helped to propagate a scientistic outlook, which now seems boundless, given its inroads into different cultures and the radical changes it has brought.

Regrettably, it must be noted, scientism consigns all that has to do with the question of the meaning of life to the realm of the irrational or imaginary. No less disappointing is the way in which it approaches the other great problems of philosophy which, if they are not ignored, are subjected to analyses based on superficial analogies, lacking all rational foundation. This leads to the impoverishment of human thought, which no longer addresses the ultimate problems which the human being, as the animal rationale, has pondered constantly from the beginning of time. And since it leaves no space for the critique offered by ethical judgement, the scientistic mentality has succeeded in leading many to think that if something is technically possible it is therefore morally admissible.

—Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio §88

Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2009 encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate ("Charity in Truth"), relates the importance of combating a segmentation of knowledge to that of economic prosperity (my emphasis and [comments]):

30. In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: the correlation between its multiple elements requires a commitment to foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge in order to promote the authentic development of peoples. Often it is thought that development, or the socio-economic measures that go with it, merely require to be implemented through joint action. This joint action, however, needs to be given direction, because “all social action involves a doctrine”. In view of the complexity of the issues, it is obvious that the various disciplines have to work together through an orderly interdisciplinary exchange. Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within. Knowledge is never purely the work of the intellect. It can certainly be reduced to calculation and experiment, but if it aspires to be wisdom capable of directing man in the light of his first beginnings and his final ends, it must be “seasoned” with the “salt” of charity. Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile. [Summa Theologiæ, Iª q. 12 a. 13 ad 3: "[Faith is] a kind of knowledge, inasmuch as the intellect is determined by faith to some knowable object." Cf. this.] Indeed, “the individual who is animated by true charity labours skilfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it, to overcome it resolutely”. Faced with the phenomena that lie before us, charity in truth requires first of all that we know and understand, acknowledging and respecting the specific competence of every level of knowledge. Charity is not an added extra, like an appendix to work already concluded in each of the various disciplines: it engages them in dialogue from the very beginning. The demands of love do not contradict those of reason. Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead [This is what Einstein means, too, by saying: "At a time like the present, when experience forces us to seek a newer and more solid foundation..."]: this is what is required by charity in truth. Going beyond, however, never means prescinding from the conclusions of reason, nor contradicting its results. Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.

31.This means that moral evaluation and scientific research must go hand in hand [Morality involves determining what the greatest good is in a given situation. It involves much more than resolving never to kill anybody, to "be nice," etc. It guides even questions in science such as "How should I approach this problem?", "What methodology should I use?", "Where is it taking me?", "It is worth it?", etc.; consequently, morality is vitally important for those who seek truth (cf. Veritatis Splendor).], and that charity must animate them in a harmonious interdisciplinary whole, marked by unity and distinction. The Church's social doctrine, which has “an important interdisciplinary dimension”, can exercise, in this perspective, a function of extraordinary effectiveness. It allows faith, theology, metaphysics and science to come together in a collaborative effort in the service of humanity. It is here above all that the Church's social doctrine displays its dimension of wisdom. Paul VI had seen clearly that among the causes of underdevelopment there is a lack of wisdom and reflection, a lack of thinking capable of formulating a guiding synthesis, for which “a clear vision of all economic, social, cultural and spiritual aspects” is required. The excessive segmentation of knowledge [Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical LetterFides et Ratio (14 September 1998), 85: AAS 91 (1999), 72-73.], the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences [Cf. ibid., 83: loc. cit., 70-71.], the difficulties encountered by dialogue between science and theology are damaging not only to the development of knowledge, but also to the development of peoples, because these things make it harder to see the integral good of man in its various dimensions. The “broadening [of] our concept of reason and its application” [Benedict XVI, Address at the University of Regensburg, 12 September 2006.] is indispensable if we are to succeed in adequately weighing all the elements involved in the question of development and in the solution of socio-economic problems.

Also, interestingly, Pope John XXIII would not have considered Latin a language of Babel:

It is a matter of regret that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvelous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects. … Yet, in spite of the urgent need for science, Our own view is that the very contrary policy should be followed. The greatest impression is made on the mind by those things which correspond more closely to man's nature and dignity. And therefore the greatest zeal should be shown in the acquisition of whatever educates and ennobles the mind. Otherwise poor mortal creatures may well become like the machines they build—cold, hard, and devoid of love.

Veterum Sapientia

share|improve this answer
add comment

Babel, later called Babylon, has always represented the powers of the world, apart from God. As the world becomes strong and more and more united in its confident position without God, it puts itself in a dangerous place. The final prediction of Christ's return seems to suggest Babylon is at its greatest strength, with very few believers left on this earth.

Just like in the days of Noah where nobody was worried about a 'flood', Christ will suddenly return:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Mathew 24:37)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.