1.- Orientation of Anthropological Discourse: Levels, Domains, and Dimensions of the Person.
This point aims to promote, accommodate, and open dialogue to reflection on human beings in their integral constitution.
- The three levels that constitute them: soma (body), psyche (soul), and pneuma (spirit).
- The four spheres that relate them to themselves, to the transcendent, to other human beings, and to nature: personal, sacral, social, and cosmic.
- The multiple dimensions which integrate all the achievements of human creativity for physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being: history, science, religion, art, culture, therapy, economics, politics, and sports, among other fields.
A comprehensive consideration of this point requires that metaphysics once more occupy at the center of cultural awareness.
- As a guiding light, metaphysicsal insight must fulfill its founding and integrating role in each sector of research applied to life: physical, biological, and social sciences; reflection on medicine, law, politics, economics, the arts, and the peaceful coexistence of peoples.
- Overcoming the dichotomies posed by the scientific world: creation-evolution, statism-movement, faith-reason, throwaway culture-ecology, and authority-freedom, for example.
3.-The Individual Challenged by Robotics, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.
The myth of the superman is flourishing in all its intensity with the advances of new technologies.
- Can human beings be built with technology created by human beings themselves?
- The threat of new dangers for humanity arising from technologies which, far from promoting physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being, could annul human personality.
- The imperative need for a well-formed anthropology which develops the constitutive capacities of the human being without reductionism, exclusivism, and intransigence.
4.- Consciousness and Neurosciences
An empowering, inclusive, and dialoguing consciousness could be the most adequate support for science, culture, and religion, contributing to an integral knowledge of the human person, far from technological and materialistic reductionism.
- Consciousness is more than any of the faculties which constitute the human person and more than the sum of all of them. The so-called neurosciences can provide invaluable knowledge of the psychosomatic factors in consciousness, but they do not exhaust it and tend to leave out the spiritual level.
5.- Pandemic and Postpandemic: Between the Personal and the Global
Pope Francis asserts that we will come out of this pandemic better or worse, but not the same.
- The current times are marked by the covid-19 pandemic, which, in affecting the whole of humanity, has forced people to modify not only their modus vivendi, but has also influenced the different means of existence: personal, family, sociocultural, religious, and so forth.
- In the near future, the covid-19 pandemic will be a planetary event with both positive and negative effects. Science in general and metaphysics, in particular, cannot remain on the sidelines in the search for answers to the questions posed by human beings at this historic moment.
6.- Personhood and Sexuality: Constants and Variables
Contemporary society has, on the one hand, overcome certain taboos in sexual matters, but has given rise to some deviations in this same field, on the other, which seriously put into question the very being a person.
- Is it possible in these situations to speak of “chastity”?
- Are gender ideologies not calling into question the transcendence of the creation of man and woman and the purpose for which they were created?
7.- Unity and Diversity in Integral Human Formation
Human persons must be seen in their integral constitution, without ideological reductionism.
- The education of human persons must necessarily take into account their intrinsic values in all their manifestations, both those of an immanent character and—most especially—those of a transcendent character.
- The individual and social aspects which characterize people should be taken into consideration, without excluding the peculiarities that make each human being unique and unrepeatable.
8.- Authority and Freedom in the Different Spheres of Experience and Decision-Making
There is a need for a well-formed metaphysics which can provide the basis for a definition of personhood and correctly orient political science and law so as to avoid a lack of focus which would deprive human beings of direction and meaning.
- Benedict XVI posed the following question: Has the conception of a transcendent natural law which could ground the shared existence of human beings remained almost exclusively in the domain of Christianity, and should we be ashamed of this fact?
- It is evident that, far from a transcendent notion which provides inspiration, people are applying a series of absolutizations—“right is right,” “political majority is political majority,” “law is law,” “ethics is ethics”—which lead to aberrations nullifying the very dignity of the human person.
- A principle of authority is established which is absolutized (“authority is authority”) by a supposed majority that sanctions the rules which will regulate the freedom of all citizens.
- The sciences of the mathematicizable seek to reduce the field of knowledge, to the detriment of the sciences of the spirit.
9.- Culture, Art, and Sports in a Changing World
The speed of change imposes a pace of life that ends up reducing interpersonal relationships to what can be useful, above all, for physical well-being, with a deterioration of psychological and spiritual well-being, a necessary source of social well-being.
- Serious reflection is needed to restore to people their intrinsic value, expressed in their varied manifestations: family, culture, art, religion, sports, or solidarity.
- Sports have gone from being a marginal activity to a massive phenomenon embracing a large number of people. They involve myriad situations which affect many branches of science: sociology, economics, ethics, medicine, psychology, and others. They can be viewed from the standpoint of those who practice them or those who enjoy them only as spectators.
10.- The Mystical Dimension and Religious and Cultural Ecumenism
A well-formed metaphysics could help to overcome obstacles which are sometimes ancestral and deeply rooted in tradition and to lay a solid foundation on which to maintain open and unbiased dialogue.
- The intellectual world rejects an abstract metaphysics which does not meet the expectations of our time. What is needed is a theoretical vision corroborated by existential experience which arises from a mystical life without prejudices whose core content is love, the synthesis of all virtues and values.
- A well-formed metaphysics could be accepted by all cultural and religious currents, opening up an authentic ecumenical dialogue.
11.- Permanent Ethics Encountering New Humanisms
Globalization, on the one hand, and the wealth and breadth of communications, on the other, have brought to light hitherto unknown cultural models that call into question permanent criteria valid in all times and places.
- A definition of persons which takes into account their constitutive dignity is necessary.
- Ethics and mentalities must be adequately considered.
12.- The Complementarity Between Metaphysics and Mystical Life
A metaphysics devoid of mystical life would be reduced to unfocused speculation, dependent on insufficient ideological or pragmatic concerns; mysticism devoid of metaphysics would be reduced to pure phenomenology. This division has led us, in the history of thought and life events, to the result of deformed, fanatical, mutually excluding, reductive, docetic, irrational, syncretistic, and disincarnated experiences.
- John Paul II spoke of the need for “a philosophy of authentically metaphysical scope, capable of transcending empirical data in order to arrive in its search for truth at something absolute, ultimate, and fundamental.”
- Pope Francis, in referring to mystical life, affirms that “it will not be possible to engage in great things with doctrines alone without a mysticism that animates us.”
- We must ask ourselves if, in spite of everything, metaphysics is still of current interest, considering that there have been so many denials of it in modern and contemporary philosophy.
- Metaphysics and the mystical dimension, when properly considered, ground, order, and open up vast horizons, providing unity, direction, and meaning to the various areas of thought and the experimental and experiential sciences, as well as to all human tasks and life commitments.