The following is the abstract of a paper soon to be under review. If you would like a personal copy, please e-mail me here.
Is Personal Dignity Possible Only If We Live in a Cosmos?
The Catholic Church has increasingly relied upon the principle of human dignity as part of its evangelical mission in modern times. Catholic philosophers must therefore defend this principle in service to Catholic theology. One aspect of this defense is how the human person relates to the universe. Is human dignity of a piece with the material universe in which we find ourselves? Or is the part’s dignity alien in kind to such a whole? Or does the truth lie somewhere in between? The Thomistic metaphysics of creation properly locates the human being in the universe as a part, ordered to the universe’s common good of order and ultimately to God. Human dignity is possible only in a cosmos; that this is concordant with modern scientific cosmology is briefly defended in conclusion.