Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Physics Makes Lousy Metaphysics

The universe is not the product of darkness and unreason. It comes from intelligence, freedom, and from the beauty that is identical with love.
In the Beginning, 37.

Reflection – You are not the result of random process of evolution. Every person is made; every person is loved. This is the ringing testimony of Pope Benedict XVI at his installation Mass as Bishop of Rome in 2005.
It is of the essence. Over the past two hundred years, the physical sciences have pushed back the frontiers of ignorance about the processes of matter and energy to a truly exhilarating degree. We know a great deal now about cosmology, sub-atomic movements, and the structures of physical reality.
When this surge of physical knowledge, however, is transferred (illogically!) to the metaphysical level – when all of reality is deemed (without rational argument!) to be the result of random physical processes, then terrible consequences follow.
The deep sense of futility, emptiness, pointlessness of life that so many carry today flows from this (unsubstantiated!) viewpoint. The great modern/post-modern plunge into hedonism, workaholism, dissipation of various kinds, or political radicalism can be linked to this (unverified, and unverifiable!) presentation of reality.
It is only a metaphysic, a whole view of reality, that contains with itself an originating mind that can establish us in a world that is good and true. It is only a metaphysic that contains within itself an originating mind that is disposed to love what it has made that establishes us in a world that is genuinely beautiful. The empty void, the dark cold caverns of space, understood as the ultimate, most significant realities, leave us empty, cold, and in darkness, in a dangerous universe that cares not for us, because it cannot care for anything at all.
Only when we begin to believe that all that is in the physical realm is held by a Person, a Mind, a Love, can we rest, and open ourselves to both receive reality and give our own reality to one another. Christianity provides such a metaphysic. Atheism does not.

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