American Catholic Philosophical Association Meeting 2016
On November 3-6, 2016 I delivered a paper in San Francisco again on the topic of custom. This was for the American Catholic Philosophical Association meeting on the topic of justice.
The highlight for me was to hear Father James Schall, SJ speak about virtue. Much of the new liberal agenda isn’t really about freedom, and individual “rights.” (I’m not really a fan of the rights-speak anyways). But as Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. pointed out, human beings – religious or not – yearn for the infinite and eternal life. The Both Plato and other ancient greek metaphysicians concluded it exists for the individual based on how they lived their life. Christianity agreed in a profound way and solved most of even Plato’s most difficult questions.
With the abandonment of metaphysics and theology in the “enlightenment,” the concept of eternity did not disappear, it was just transferred to the species. Individuals die, but the species can go on forever and that is how we will participate in the eternal. We know now that the sun will eventually burn out and we cannot live on this planet forever. Logical new aim for politics, whether orchestrated consciously or not: conserve the earth so we don’t run out of resources before we can get people on another ‘earth’. More people means more resources are burned up more quickly, ultimately making it less likely we will survive. Humans now live longer, so we need to cut the number of people being born (and the useless). I think Fr. Schall is right when he suggests that this largely the motivation behind globalization, conservation, sustainability, contraception/abortion/euthanasia.
But sorry humanists, God exists, and he doesn’t love “humanity” the logical category, he loves individual humans.
The full program of speakers can be found here.