Monday, September 14, 2015
The Ultimate Nature of Existence--We Think, Therefore It Might Be
A thinker needs to start with two moral values as presuppositions: Honesty comes first when one thinks about what is true, and humility is a close second.
The latter, humility, means keeping a constant awareness that even as a committed thinker, one is still only a brief finite being, a primate with limited reasoning ability, living within a relatively short specific culture within all of human history which itself is only a blip in the age of the earth, which is a very small planet
in the vast universe;
and there may be gigantic
universes outside of our universe,
the multiverse that some cosmologists
have speculated about.
And who knows if there is more existence outside of Space and Time as we know it?
Most of us seek to be meticulously honest when dealing with the nature of existence, but many of us often fail at the second beginning point--humility.
Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, and so forth often talk as if they 'know’ or are at least fairly confident about the ultimate nature of existence.
Whenever I make a point, I will do so with IMHO—as the stated undertone. Each moment we live, we encounter choices; so we have to make decisions and in order to make those decisions, we have to assume that some things are scientifically, philosophically and ethically true.
But I am well aware that in many areas, indeed possibly in all areas, we may be in error or even worse very deluded. Look to the past; recall how many leaders and billions of humans in nations in history have chosen sincerely wrongly, and done so after much thought and discernment.
So let us constantly doubt and re-evaluate what we discern to be true and what we think might be the ultimate nature of reality.
All of this gets very speculative…
To paraphrase Descartes: We think therefore, it might be;-)
These are some of the main views of reality that humans have considered, speculated about, even fervently thought were true:
#1 All reality came about by cosmic chance.
#2 All reality came about by a cosmic determinism of meaningless matter and energy which is eternal.
#3 All reality came about by emergent possibilities in a quantum singularity vacuum or some unknown ultimate reality. But where did the quantum singularity vacuum come from? Here goes "turtles all the way down."
#4 All reality came about by an impersonal ultimate reality of cosmic beauty. Scientists such as Albert Einstein stated this was his view, that he thought the impersonal god of Spinoza was true. But this seems similar to #3. Unlike #2, the emergent possibility cosmos isn't meaningless and purposeless, but filled with meaning.
#5 All reality is coming about by the everlasting but limited Process God of thinkers such as philosopher and mathematician Alfred Lord Whitehead, philosopher Charles Hartshorne, theologian John Cobb, etc. This cosmic but limited God who is far beyond human understanding "woos" matter and energy and conscious life such as homo sapiens into increasing patterns and forms of beauty, meaning, and purpose. This is also the view of some Reform Jews.
But where is the evidence for this? Process thinkers explain that consciousness, reason, mathematics, natural law, creativity, aesthetics, etc. are the evidence.
#6 All reality came about as just one of an infinite number of universes of an infinite multi-verse, the view of some modern cosmologists. What is the ultimate of the multi-verse is unknown or maybe the multiverse itself is ultimate.
#7 All reality came about by the Omni-God of absolute sovereignty and meticulous control who does and plans and ordains everything only for his own glory, including all natural and all human evil. This is the view of Augustinians, Calvinists, some Lutherans, most Muslims, etc.
#8 All reality came about by the ultimately essentially all-loving God of Open Theism, Arminianisn, Quakerism, Universalism, and other forms of mystical, ethical religion, and so forth.
#9 All reality came about somehow by a temporary, finite, imperfect, even distorted, expression of the perfect eternal Ideal Forms of Platonism.
#10 All reality came about by the impersonal Brahma God of Hinduism and some modern New Age leaders such as Ken Wilber with his Integral Theory, and Deepak Chopra, etc. . The impersonal God Brahma is conducting a cosmic dance in which it forgets its self and dreams into billions of separated forms including in one minor edge of the universes, thinking humans.
But all is illusion. And all events both good and evil are produced by Brahman. That is why Ken Wilber and other such leaders claim that Brahman caused 9//11.
#11 All reality came about by unknowable factors. Everything beyond and before the Big Bang is such a complete unfathomable mystery that it will probably not ever be solved by finite humans.
Could a flea figure out the Theory of Relativity?
#12 All reality continually comes about by infinite impersonal reality which never had a beginning. No creator god exists. Some forms of Buddhism (though other forms are theistic).
Think deeply on all of this. Take your pick:-)
What do you think?
To be continued--
In the Light,