This is rather interesting: Pope Francis giving a TED Talk.
What he speaks about is directly connected to an issue I have been reflecting upon more and more: materialism. What is commonly referred to as “materialism” is one possible aspect of materialism, but not a necessary aspect and one can reject materialistic belief while at the same being obsessed with the accusation of material objects. Materialism is the belief that nothing exists except matter, which was condemned has a heretical belief by the First Vatican Council of the Catholic Church at the end of the 19th century. While there have been materialistic theories in the past, such as in some ancient Indian, Chinese, and even Greek philosophies, the modern theory that has come into vogue has its origins in opposition to Cartesian dualism. This opposition to the philosophical theory of René Descartes is mostly credited to Pierre Gassendi, a brilliant scientist and a Catholic priest. While Gassendi maintained that the human intellect is immaterial and immortal, those who furthered the successful rebellion begun by Martin Luther against western religious authorities were not compelled to maintain belief in anything immaterial.
This resulted in the atheistic materialism that now dominates the physical sciences, though perhaps only in prominence and not necessarily in population. However, the materialistic theory that is the basis of this belief system continues to be an unprovable theory and is merely an assumption based on a religious belief. (The rejection of all religions is still a belief regarding religion even though it is not a formal religion itself.) The myth that the Catholic Church is opposed to science is merely fallacious propaganda to discredit the dogmatic condamnation of this unproven theory by the Catholic Church. Many Catholic scientists continue their work despite this dominate materialistic prejudice, such as Georges Lemaître, a Jesuit priest like Pope Francis, who proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory. Unfortunately, many unknowingly hold beliefs that have developed from a materialistic foundation even though their general philosophy in life, and possibly even their religious beliefs, are opposed to materialism.
The ultimate ethical conclusion of the unprovable theory of materialism is that a human being is merely an arrangement of physical elements with the intellect only comprising of chemical reactions and electrical singles, having no more value than anything else that is material. This has become the dominate philosophical assumption of modern western medicine due to the influence of eugenics and psychiatric theory, the latter continually being discredited by statistically superior psychological theories. It also results in the nihilism that Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly attempted, but failed, to avoid. Materialism is ultimately a rejection of love.
While there are choices of which assumption to base a scientific theory, if that choice is ultimately opposed to love, it is an unethical choice. After all Love is a Choice.