Worldviews

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Worldviews

Hey, I'm taking a worldview class called speculative mind. I've only just started but i'm no stranger to the topic. We were talking about how you can determine with decent accuracy someoen's worldview based on how they answer the following 7 questions. Just curious how some of you would answer these.

1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?

2.)What is the nature of external reality, the world around us?

3.)What is a human being?

4.)What happens to a person at death?

5.)Why is it possible to know anything at all?

6.)How do we know what is right and wrong?

7.) What is the meaning of human history?

 

My short answers would be...

1.) God is real and we are his creation. God is sovereign, transcendent, immanent and personal.

2.)God created the universe out of nothing, there is both the spiritual world and physical world. dualism between soul and body.

3.)Humans are created in God's image. we are unique, male and female are equal in God's eyes, we reflect God's image though not perfectly because of the fall

4.)Eternal life in Heaven or eternal seperation from God in Hell

5.)General revelation- What we can observe, reason, science. Special revelation- Scripture

6.)Biblical ethics

7.)History is linear with an origin at creation moving towards an end time


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 1.)What is "prime

 1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?

I don't like "prime reality" but if I'm asked what is really real, I will say the natural universe.

2.)What is the nature of external reality, the world around us?

The universe is composed of matter/energy and space/time.  It operates in accordance with observable principles and constants.

3.)What is a human being?

An animal in the order Primates and the Genus Homo.

4.)What happens to a person at death?

Death is the ceasing of the process known as biological life.  When a human dies, their life ends.

5.)Why is it possible to know anything at all?

Well, now that's the kicker, isn't it?  How do we know that we know anything?  The short answer is that in the most pedantic way possible, we don't know that we know anything.  However, if our perceptions are completely removed from "true reality," then for all practical purposes, what we perceive is what is true.  In other words, we are forced by our perception of reality to begin with our own axiomatic existence, and to proceed from there to what we can perceive outside of our own existence.

6.)How do we know what is right and wrong?

Morality is the box we use to think about human interactions.  (It can be convincingly argued that morality is also extended from humans to other species, as well.)  Put another way, what we call morality is the evolved pattern of behaviors, feelings, and valuations applied to our own actions and those of other humans.

We know (more or less) what is right and wrong by assessing individual situations and reasoning out which action is most consistent with our cultural and innate sense of what is beneficial to us and those of our fellow humans that we value highly.

7.) What is the meaning of human history?

Search me, buddy.  I have no idea.  Meaning is derived from purpose, and I have no idea what your purpose is in asking this question.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Welcome to the forum Jordan!

Welcome to the forum Jordan!

Oh cool, questions. 

_Jordan_ wrote:
1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?

I don't know what "prime reality" is. The universe and everything in it is real. There might be other things that are real, but I don't know anything about them.

Quote:
2.)What is the nature of external reality, the world around us?

I'm not sure what that means. Reality might be as we perceive it or it might not be. I live like it is.

Quote:
3.)What is a human being?

Wikipedia: "A human is a member of a species of bipedal primates in the family Hominidae." 

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4.)What happens to a person at death?

Nothing. The person died. He's gone.

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5.)Why is it possible to know anything at all?

We have brains; we can collect and retain information from our environments.

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6.)How do we know what is right and wrong?

There is no absolute right or wrong, but we have our instincts and logic.

Quote:
7.) What is the meaning of human history?

We can certainly learn from our history, but I'm not sure what "meaning" is. Events have causes, but they don't have "meaning."

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Thanks for your responses!

Thanks for your responses! hopefully you don't mind me probing some of your answers. Just trying to flesh them out a little.

1. I take prime reality to mean more of, is it just us or is there some sort of spiritual world as well. is what we see all there is?

2.) guess reality isn't one people argue about to much anymore about prime reality. though I am sure there are still people that claim nothing is real, that it is all a figment of our imagination and that nothing matters.

3.)I have trouble looking at humans as simply another type of creature on this planet. I mean, just going around day to day i have a sense that we are more than just the result of natural selection. I live for more than just myself as i'm sure you do as well, but where does that sense of wanting to live for other people come from. I mean i know how i would answer that but i'm curious as to how you would.

 

4.)death is certainly not a happy topic and i've heard the argument that life after death is simply an invention to help deal with grief. do you believe in the paranormal or anything? souls sticking around, tied to this world by there emotions form some unhappy death. i guess i'm jsut wondering where our soul comes from and what happens to it. is it simply the result of chemical and electrical impulses in our brain?

 

5.)more on the level of how can we know truth? how do we know that what we know is at all reliable?

 

6.)So is morallity subjective? i can see things being ok in one culture that is worthy of death in another.

 

7.)For instance some people would believe history is just a continuous stream of events with no end. I would of course believe that there was a begining and there will be an end. how bout fate? are we destined for something?

 

I know that's a lot but I am very curious to hear responses from real people and not just the things i've heard from figureheads. Thank you for taking time to humor me!


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 Quote:1. I take prime

 

Quote:
1. I take prime reality to mean more of, is it just us or is there some sort of spiritual world as well. is what we see all there is?

No.  The word "spiritual" lacks a universe of discourse, and literally refers to nothing.

Quote:
2.) guess reality isn't one people argue about to much anymore about prime reality. though I am sure there are still people that claim nothing is real, that it is all a figment of our imagination and that nothing matters.

They're silly.

Quote:
3.)I have trouble looking at humans as simply another type of creature on this planet. I mean, just going around day to day i have a sense that we are more than just the result of natural selection. I live for more than just myself as i'm sure you do as well, but where does that sense of wanting to live for other people come from. I mean i know how i would answer that but i'm curious as to how you would.

I understand the emotion behind these sentiments, but emotional conviction isn't a very good measure of empirical accuracy.

Our concern for other humans is not unique in the animal kingdom.  Most intelligent social animals have protective, nurturing, and compassionate feelings towards their own.  Our ability to form second-order thoughts -- that is, thinking about ourselves thinking -- is apparently unique among animals, and so we are able to reflect upon our feelings of compassion for our fellow man, but this seems like a relatively insignificant distinction.

The nutshell explanation for prosocial behavior is that it is the best way for social systems to work.  Collective effort between animals is more effective than individual effort.  A single hyena cannot kill a bison, but ten hyena can do it with relative ease.  Emotions are natural selection's way of getting animals to do what works.  When a mother bird sees a cat climbing the tree towards her nest and unprotected chick, she experiences a basic emotional reaction, and abandons whatever she's doing to go harrass the cat and try to keep it away from her nest.  As humans' brains became more and more complex, our emotions became more complex as well.  Even so, we still have the same basic prosocial traits as other animals.  Protect our tribe.  Be good to those who are good to us.

If you look at social animals from the bottom... say, ants... to the top, humans, you will see that for the most part, cooperation and protecting one's own group are pretty much universal, and it isn't that difficult to see human empathy as a complex version of the same thing.

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4.)death is certainly not a happy topic and i've heard the argument that life after death is simply an invention to help deal with grief. do you believe in the paranormal or anything? souls sticking around, tied to this world by there emotions form some unhappy death. i guess i'm jsut wondering where our soul comes from and what happens to it. is it simply the result of chemical and electrical impulses in our brain?

No, there is no credible evidence for anything paranormal that I'm aware of.  

"Soul" is a nonsense word.  It doesn't actually refer to anything, and is forced to borrow from the natural to describe the supernatural.

To be more precise, what most people think of as a soul is a misplaced attempt to give physical (superphysical?) form to something that is properly regarded as a concept.  We humans notice that a brain is not the same as a personality, or logic, or fantasy.  For most of the few billion years life has been evolving, there has been no need for thinking about what such things "are."  It's only been in the past few hundred thousand years that one species' brain got complex enough to think about thinking.  (Perhaps some other extinct members of Homo also did this, but we'll probably never know for sure.)  The fact is, evolution simply didn't prepare us for thinking about concepts.  All of our pre-human existence, anything that mattered was a "thing."  That rock is useful for cracking nuts or skulls.  It's only been in the past few thousand years that we've started thinking about what, exactly, a "personality" is.  It's only been in the past hundred years that we've had enough knowledge to say how a brain functions, and what electrochemical processes cause various emotional states.

Before we knew what a personality was, our caveman brains quite naturally assumed that there must be a "thing" that went into humans to give them their "them-ness."  The concept of a "soul" as a real "thing" came from this uninformed guesswork.  Today, we realize that a person's personality is the result of staggeringly complex electrochemical processes which begin with DNA.  There is no magic invisible pixie dust.  Just ordinary chemical processes.

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5.)more on the level of how can we know truth? how do we know that what we know is at all reliable?

I've written an extensive answer to this question.  

Read it HERE.

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6.)So is morallity subjective? i can see things being ok in one culture that is worthy of death in another.

Turns out I've written about this, too.

Read it HERE.

Quote:
7.)For instance some people would believe history is just a continuous stream of events with no end. I would of course believe that there was a begining and there will be an end. how bout fate? are we destined for something?

Well, to be precise, "history" is the recounting of past events from a particular perspective.  There is no such thing as "objective history" in the strictest sense, for every historical story is a narrative.  For humans, history began somewhere between six and ten thousand years ago, and is only continuous in the sense that we can pretty much prove that there was never a point at which all humans disappeared from the earth for a time.  There are considerable gaps in our knowledge of specific events which definitely happened, and quite a few cultures that we know little or nothing about.  It's also probable that there are as-yet-undiscovered societies.

I also believe there will be an end to human history.  It will come when humans are no longer on earth.  I don't know whether humans will go extinct or evolve into other (another?) species.  In either case, when there are no more Homo sapiens on earth, human history will end.

Are we destined for something?  Depends on how you use the word.  Is there a magic outside force that has intelligence and purpose for humans, and is manipulating them towards an end?  It seems so unlikely as to be considered impossible.  However, I think it's fair to use "fate" to describe the inevitability of human nature.  We are "destined" to always be social animals, and to mate sexually, and to raise our young rather than leave them on their own at infancy.  It is our fate to live once and die.  Some things will be, and there's nothing humans can do to prevent or alter them.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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_Jordan_ wrote: 1.)What is

_Jordan_ wrote:

1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?

I’d start with Descartes’ “Cogito, ergo sum.” --a basic ontological argument for self existence. I’d also have to assume things like other minds exist and that my senses are working as properly.

_Jordan_ wrote:

2.)What is the nature of external reality, the world around us?

This assumes that the “world around us” is real. I have no reason to think it is not, but neither could I prove otherwise. To suppose it has a “nature” is not really something I can do without getting outside the “external reality”, but I can observe that there are basic patterns and inductively conclude that these basic patterns are what indeed apply to the whole of “external reality”

_Jordan_ wrote:

3.)What is a human being?

I am a human being. You are a human being. But to pin down essence of human being is a tough chore. Are we merely physical, or is there a synergy about the relationships between the physical parts that produce ontology greater than the whole of the physical body, or is there some sort of transcendent spirit that inhabits a body? We can often point to something, and say "this is that", but to define a "that" is tough without somehow excluding a "this" that we would want to include. But in order to have any meaningful discussions on the matter, we should at least try and converge on something.

_Jordan_ wrote:

4.)What happens to a person at death?

Contingent on question #3.

_Jordan_ wrote:

5.)Why is it possible to know anything at all?

This is a loaded question, as it presumes we can know something. Even Descartes’ maxim is assumed to be true.

_Jordan_ wrote:

6.)How do we know what is right and wrong?

Another loaded question, as it assumes there is such a thing as right and wrong. I’m not necessarily saying there is not, but be careful how you ask this. I'd first ask, "Is there right and wrong?" if one answer "Yes", then ask your question.

_Jordan_ wrote:

7.) What is the meaning of human history?

Yet another loaded question, which presumes there is meaning to human history. You might be better to ask more fundamental teleological questions before you attempt to answer this one, such as "Why am I here?" which is largely contingent upon #1 and #2.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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_Jordan_ wrote:1. I take

_Jordan_ wrote:
1. I take prime reality to mean more of, is it just us or is there some sort of spiritual world as well. is what we see all there is?

I know this world exists. I don't know about anything else. 

Quote:
2.) guess reality isn't one people argue about to much anymore about prime reality. though I am sure there are still people that claim nothing is real, that it is all a figment of our imagination and that nothing matters.

Haha, I would ask them how they know that.

Quote:
3.)I have trouble looking at humans as simply another type of creature on this planet. I mean, just going around day to day i have a sense that we are more than just the result of natural selection.

Eh...you have "a sense" isn't a very good reason.

Quote:
I live for more than just myself as i'm sure you do as well, but where does that sense of wanting to live for other people come from. I mean i know how i would answer that but i'm curious as to how you would.

I would explain it using natural selection and our evolution as a social animal. Do you accept the theory of evolution?  

Quote:
4.)death is certainly not a happy topic and i've heard the argument that life after death is simply an invention to help deal with grief. do you believe in the paranormal or anything? souls sticking around, tied to this world by there emotions form some unhappy death.

Not really. The best evidence I've seen is from is from a show called Ghost Hunters on Sci-fi (one of only a few legitimate ghost hunting shows on television). 

Quote:
i guess i'm jsut wondering where our soul comes from and what happens to it. is it simply the result of chemical and electrical impulses in our brain?

Assuming you define soul as whatever it is that makes me an individual, then yes. It's just our brains. There have been cases where people's personalities have changed, lost control of limbs, etc., after suffering brain damage. Also, people can sometimes be resuscitated when their heart stops. However, if their brain dies, it's all over. If we have some kind of "spirit," I can't fathom what purpose they serve.

Quote:
5.)more on the level of how can we know truth? how do we know that what we know is at all reliable?

It's possible that we can't. I don't think we can be 100% sure of anything other than that we think and we exist. 

Quote:
6.)So is morallity subjective? i can see things being ok in one culture that is worthy of death in another.

Yes....maybe.

I think morality is a human concept. In nature, nothing is right or wrong; it just is

Quote:
7.)For instance some people would believe history is just a continuous stream of events with no end. I would of course believe that there was a begining and there will be an end.

Maybe there was a beginning. Maybe there wasn't. I don't know.

Quote:
how bout fate? are we destined for something?

I think events in the universe are probably determined, but I don't think it's destined, in the sense that it's not unavoidable.

Quote:
I know that's a lot but I am very curious to hear responses from real people and not just the things i've heard from figureheads. Thank you for taking time to humor me!

No problem. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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_Jordan_ wrote:Hey, I'm

_Jordan_ wrote:

Hey, I'm taking a worldview class called speculative mind. I've only just started but i'm no stranger to the topic. We were talking about how you can determine with decent accuracy someoen's worldview based on how they answer the following 7 questions. Just curious how some of you would answer these.

1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?
The energy, matter and information are real. They exist in many seen and unseen forms. Including life forms.

2.)What is the nature of external reality, the world around us?
The structure is regular. Matter and energy exists in certain qualities, which are scaled according to sevenfold spectrum of "octaves". They form the worlds of still finer matter. A finer world is more influential than a more dense world "under" it. Therefore, our reality is based on the hidden reality.

3.)What is a human being?
It is a multi-dimensional being, threefold in it's nature. This is not obvious, unless a personality is evolved enough to manifest the higher qualities. A new kind of psychology is necessary for these more evolved personalities.

4.)What happens to a person at death?
The physical, etheric, emotional and mental vehicles of a personality gradually decompose to a certain degree and are rebuilt (if necessary) for the purpose of a next incarnation. A success of this life is evaluated and next one is planned.

5.)Why is it possible to know anything at all?
Because many of us have eyes to see, ears to hear, mind to think, memory to remember and antahkarana to know things by intuition Smiling

6.)How do we know what is right and wrong?
There are choices which lead to development and choices that doesn't lead to development. By their fruits you shall know them.

7.) What is the meaning of human history?
Human history means a gradual development of physical form (which is almost complete), and consciousness. The development of consciousness is exponential. It is extremely slow from the beginning, but extremely fast in times like today.
It is also characterized by various lessons which the humanity underwent. For example, for last 2000 years the main lesson was about expansion or rule (exoterically) and idealism or devotion (esoterically). Not anymore.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Hey guys, thanks for your

Hey guys, thanks for your responses, i appreciate it. I'll respond when i have time.... 18 credits was a dumb idea...


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1. The physical world we

1. The physical world we interact with, since there is nothing else.

2. See, 1, since there is no differentiation between internal and external.

3. An animal with an complex central nervous system (compared to other critters on this planet).

4. Our brain stops being electrically and chemically active, then we decay into our component matter.

5. Observation.

6. Empathetic instinct, upbringing and societal tradition, which is created by an evolutionary process governed by self interest.

7. I don't understand the question.  Why would it have any meaning?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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_Jordan_ wrote:Thanks for

_Jordan_ wrote:

Thanks for your responses! hopefully you don't mind me probing some of your answers. Just trying to flesh them out a little.

1. I take prime reality to mean more of, is it just us or is there some sort of spiritual world as well. is what we see all there is?

2.) guess reality isn't one people argue about to much anymore about prime reality. though I am sure there are still people that claim nothing is real, that it is all a figment of our imagination and that nothing matters.

3.)I have trouble looking at humans as simply another type of creature on this planet. I mean, just going around day to day i have a sense that we are more than just the result of natural selection. I live for more than just myself as i'm sure you do as well, but where does that sense of wanting to live for other people come from. I mean i know how i would answer that but i'm curious as to how you would.

 

4.)death is certainly not a happy topic and i've heard the argument that life after death is simply an invention to help deal with grief. do you believe in the paranormal or anything? souls sticking around, tied to this world by there emotions form some unhappy death. i guess i'm jsut wondering where our soul comes from and what happens to it. is it simply the result of chemical and electrical impulses in our brain?

 

5.)more on the level of how can we know truth? how do we know that what we know is at all reliable?

 

6.)So is morallity subjective? i can see things being ok in one culture that is worthy of death in another.

 

7.)For instance some people would believe history is just a continuous stream of events with no end. I would of course believe that there was a begining and there will be an end. how bout fate? are we destined for something?

 

I know that's a lot but I am very curious to hear responses from real people and not just the things i've heard from figureheads. Thank you for taking time to humor me!

 

1. Well, as long as you mean what we can detect, or could possibly detect, and not literally what we can see.  There will probably always be things we cannot detect, but that does not make them supernatural.

2. You can still make an argument for that, but why bother...it isn't productive and it doesn't make anyone any happier.

3. Our brains are complex enough we can analyze our own thought process, which makes us feel superior to animals that cannot.  But it is just biology.  Feeling like you are something more than an animal does not make it real.

4. There is no soul, in the usual use of the word.  People think there is something that makes them, "them".  Something outside the physical...but the problem is you can physically or chemically change a person into a totally different being.  If I chop out a piece of your brain, "you" will be gone, and never return.  Similarly, I can give you chemicals that make you angry, happy, sad, we can use chemical and psychology to make you forget your dearest memories, etc.  I think if "you" were something non-physical, that would not be possible.  Since I can show that your conscious thought/emotions/memory are a product of chemistry, and electricity, what part of you is non-physical?

5. Well, we can test to show that our beliefs are consistent anyway, for what that is worth.  The only "truth" though is what we can predict with relative certainty.

6. Yes, but certain behaviors are detrimental to any society.  Murder, if unchecked, would destroy a human population so it has consistent rules associated with it that tend to cross national borders.  Morality is also governed by a type of evolution, so it does tend to progress/regress.  Discussions about secular morality deserve their own discussion though, for the most complete explanations.

7. History just is.  We are just a byproduct of the way matter aligned in our solar system.  I imagine eventually human history will end, just because we are unlikely to get off this planet before something destroys us, but in the right circumstance I suppose it could go on forever, or at least until that which we define as time ends, like if the universe collapses.  But if we survive even another ten thousand years we might not be "human" anyway, much less millions, billions and trillions of years into the future.

 

(Edit: Geeze, I'm not copying you Hamby/Butter, I responded before I read your posts!)

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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 Jordan wrote:"Hey, I'm

 

Jordan wrote:

"Hey, I'm taking a worldview class called speculative mind. I've only just started but i'm no stranger to the topic. We were talking about how you can determine with decent accuracy someoen's worldview based on how they answer the following 7 questions. Just curious how some of you would answer these.

1.)What is "prime reality?" what is really real?

My short answers would be...

1.) God is real and we are his creation. God is sovereign, transcendent, immanent and personal."

 

Hamby, ButterBattle, and you other folks have said what I'd have said better than I can say it but I can't help hauling you up your question 1 and answer 1, Jordan.

What is "really real" in this universe is what's physical and provable in this universe. You're so far out on a limb in answer 1 your arms are flapping.

You need to speculate on this a good deal further.

And while I'm at it I can't not trip over this little Jordan gem above: "I have trouble believing we're just the result of natural selection...".

Jordan, the process of natural selection is a beautiful, elegant, discernible scientific fundamental.

Even now there are mice changing coat colours, kids developing longer thumbs and viruses furiously mutating as they fight to survive the depredations of modern medicine.

You, Jordan, are an intermediate form, an amazing beast - and the absence of an invisible, unprovable creator god does no more than make you and your existence more jaw

dropping still.

If standing on the edge of a mental clifftop contemplating the profound reaches of the unknowable with no one holding your hand doesn't give your life meaning, then believe me,

nothing will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck