Metaphysics helps scientists avoid evil, notes Vatican official

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Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education. Credit: Matthew Rarey.

Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski said that the study of that which lies beyond the physical realm can help scientists reflect on the meaning of their work, and avoid putting their knowledge at the service of evil.

During the International Metaphysics Congress held in Rome on Nov. 8, Cardinal Grocholewski told EWTN News that science has unfortunately led to the creation of instruments that bring evil to the world, and that people must address this reality.

“We have to reflect profoundly on the question of what the meaning of science and its research is. What is the meaning of man and what does it consist of?” said the cardinal, who serves as the prefect for the Congregation for Catholic Education.

In the modern world, Metaphysics must be acknowledged as something “absolutely necessary for carrying out science and using it in the correct way.”

“We have to ask ourselves, what is the meaning of science? What is science for? These are difficult questions, but they are necessary, because science ought to contribute to the good of humanity,” the cardinal added.

He also pointed out that the human being is capable of distinguishing between good and evil and scientists are not exempt from this. 

“We all know well that the great scientific and technological discoveries can be used for both good and evil. They have often been used for evil: for wars that are increasingly more horrific, for injustices, for terrorism and oppression,” he said.

Cardinal Grocholewski said metaphysics would alleviate humanity of numerous threats, such as weapons of mass destruction or drugs that pose a danger to human life.

“There has been much progress in the world, but the reality is there is misery and injustice.”

Without metaphysics, he continued, “neither philosophy nor religion would exist, nor the great ideals that can change history.” 

“Doing” must never overshadow “being,” the cardinal said.

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