For the past few centuries humanism has seen the human heart as the supreme source of authority not merely in politics but in every other field of activity. From infancy we are bombarded with a barrage of humanist slogans counselling us: “Listen to yourself, be true to yourself, trust yourself, follow your heart, do what feels good.”

. . . In a humanist society, ethical and political debates are conducted in the name of conflicting human feelings, rather than in the name of divine commandments.

. . . Even though humanists were wrong to think that our feelings reflected some mysterious “free will”, up until now humanism still made very good practical sense. For although there was nothing magical about our feelings, they were nevertheless the best method in the universe for making decisions.

. . . Given enough biometric data and computing power, Big Data systems could understand humans much better than we understand ourselves. Once that happens, humans will lose their authority, and humanist practices such as democratic elections will become as obsolete as rain dances and flint knives.

Yuval Noah Harari, «On big data, Google and the end of free will», in Financial Times ; London : The Financial Times Ltd., 2016-08-26 (excerpt La Litera información)


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