How Can the Grand Metaphysical Questions of the (Christian-)Metaphysical Tradition Be Re-thought Today?
Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:83-91 (2004)
The necessary task for philosophy is the development of a metaphysical ontology, i.e., a philosophical theory of everything. The urgency of this task is apparentin, for example, the weakness of proofs for the existence of God. When such “proofs” are not rooted in a comprehensive metaphysical ontology, the principlesapplied, as well as the “God” whose existence has supposedly been proven, are unintelligible. Thus, the explication of Being, from within an adequately articulated framework, should be the central focus of philosophy. The basic conceptual structures required for this task are the three fundamental modalities: necessity, possibility, and contingency. With these tools, we can refute the thesis that everything is contingent and nothing is necessary or absolute. The all-is-contingent thesis has as an implication the assumption of the possibility of absolute nothingness. But this concept both is itself contradictory and has an impossible consequence. Finally, the relation between the absolute dimension of being and persons like us (contingent beings) can be understood by conceiving of the absolute dimension as a personal absolute. From here, we can attempt to interpret the history of the free acts of the personal absolute by studying the history of revealed religions
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