The Reality

Reality.  What an interesting subject, reality.  For ages man has wondered about reality, does it exist, is it all around us, or is it just a figment of our imagination?  Tough questions, that is probably why they are still unanswered today.  Will they ever be answered?

Reality is the world we live in.  It is what we all believe exists around us.  Honestly, it is hard to imagine a world behind the one we see everyday.  Many different philosophic ideas center around the notion that there are more than one reality.  Our visible world is just a screen hiding the real one.  Others believe that there is nothing around us at all.  We are just minds floating in nothing, just imagining the things we sense.  These are all argued for ideas and none of them can be disproven, yet neither can the age old idea that what is around us, is….around us.

The idea easiest to imagine for most people is the idea that what we see is really what is in front of us.  The things that we see, the things that we hear, the things that we taste all point us to believing that everything around us is actually there.  The closest distance between two points is a straight line.  What we see, hear, sense is the straight line pointing us in the direction that our senses are giving us correct information.  That there is only one world and we are living it day to day.  This is the notion I find myself believing until I start doing thought experiments, but for the record it would be hard for anybody to function in society if they didn’t believe anything was real or any of us were here.  Some may consider a life like that, a person like that socially unavailable.

Religion has us take what we sense and ignore some of it.  Religion tells us that the universe is run by a Being that none of us can see, hear, taste, and sense at all.  Religion tells us that there is another reality that none of us have ever seen.  That is not a straight line, but yet a majority of people believe that the world works in a different way then the straight line of reality.  By no means is that wrong, I can’t prove that there is not another world, I can’t prove that this world is the real and I am not just a ball of mind floating in a sea of nothingness.  The only thing I honestly believe I can prove is that I exist.  The Descartian way of “I think therefore I am.”  Personally, it is interesting that most of the world follows a path that deviates from a straight reality line.  If I was to ask someone if they believed that the chair they were sitting on was not really a chair but a greater idea of chair.  That they did not know what they were really sitting on only the chair really understands what it is to be chair.  They would look at me like I was fresh out of the loony bin.  But yet, the same person believes in a Being that is invisible, unable to be proven, all knowing, all powerful, and able to be anywhere and everywhere at once.  A Being that really only knows what it is to be itself.  We have no idea, but this person believes that he or she knows this being.  That a book written by the hand of man is the word of God.

To believe in science and to believe in religion are two different things, but people will have you believe that they are not.  Both are belief systems.  Both are parts that make up reality for each one of us.  I person that believes in religious Beings must make a leap into their reality just as a person that believes in science does.  The difference lies in how far the leap must be.  Take Christianity for example.  A person must believe in an all powerful Being, that’s 1.  That person must also believe that the bible was written by God, that’s 2.  The third is that if the bible was written by God then they must believe everything in that bible.  Which brings us to the fact and belief system of the Christian believer, the bible.

Now lets look at the same person who believes only in science.  That person needs only make one leap, and a leap that all functioning humans make in their daily lives.  Now if you were not to make this leap it would be almost impossible to function in our current human society.  What must we believe?  The answer is simple; that we can know the world around us.  To use science as a belief system all we need to believe is that we can know the world around us.  Once we make that jump science opens itself to the masses.  Quite a straight line.  There is yet another theory that also comes to mind in situations like this, where we need to explain our reality, it is Occam’s razor.  It states that all things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.  Fancy that, but when you think about it, when talking about reality, there is never anything equal about it.  It is close to impossible to apply the razor to a belief system because you are limiting yourself to believing in a belief system that includes Occam’s razor.  That being said a religous belief system just cannot function on a foundation that includes Occam’s razor.  We would always come to the conclution that we can know the world around us, being that, the world can be known and God cannot it is a far simple and shorter conclution, and as far as the universe goes, not one person knows God.

BIGFIX01

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Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. What you say about science is true of most aspects of physical science, but not all of them. What scientists and theists must admit is that we come from mystery (our origins are guessed at but cannot be “known”) and our destiny is mystery (where we end up as a species and as life forms can be guessed at but cannot by “known”).

    Also, to your point about belief in science as the shortest distance between two points: the simplest answer is not necessarily the best one. Just something to consider.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I do agree with your argument that the simplest answer is not always the best one; for sure that is not the case. I do believe that the simplest answer based on Occam’s razor is more likely to be the correct one. I never would say it always is the correct answer.
    Also I am not sure the community of scientists has to admit we come from mystery. That would be very unscientific. As scientists we look for an answer to the question of where we come from. To say we come from mystery and end it there would go against everything scientific study stands for. Scientists put forth a theory and then test against that theory. There are many different theories of where the human species comes from. We have not been able to prove them…yet, but I do not believe that we cannot know where we come from; we just haven’t figured it all out yet.
    Lastly I agree that our destiny is a mystery and cannot be known, I believe we have freewill and to say that we can know what choices a person or thing will make is taking poking huge holes in freewill. To know our destiny would constitute scientists as fortune tellers, the future will be unwritten until it moves to the past.

    BIGFIX01


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