“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Materialism – the interpretation of the concept is that everything is made of matter, in form of energy and everything that includes such as energy, atoms, are not non-material and non-physical. Humans and everything related to the mind is presented through chromosomal patterns and nothing outside of nature is accepted as real by Ancient Naturalism, Modern Scientific Naturalism, Humanism, or Dialectical Materialism.This idea is controversial for believers and successfully adopted by atheists. Everything that exists is explained based on scientific arguments and every aspect of human behavior is described in physical terms.
Idealism – the ideas exist only in the mind and the only reality is the ideal world and is not associated with the material world. Throughout the years, Platonism has been a highly influential philosophy. Plato thought that the physical world around us is not real; it is always changing, and so it is impossible to describe what it is. There is a universe of ideas that is a realm of absolute and unchangeable truth. Concepts such as moral perfection cannot arise out of the actual world, it should originate from an ideal world. “But whatever power I may have over my own thoughts, I find the ideas actually perceived by sense have not a like dependence on my will. When in broad daylight I open my eyes, ‘this not in my power to choose whether I see or no, or to determine what objects shall represent themselves to my view; and so likewise to the hearing and other senses, the ideas imprinted on them are not creatures of my will. We are creating ideas based on what we perceive through senses, and in time those become our reality based on beliefs, and this indicates that what we may imagine as the ideal is what constitutes “reality”.
Dualism – in this tradition both matter and soul could exist independent of each other. To support this concept, Plato thought that souls must be separated and that comes from a different realm as we can remember something that was forgotten when incarnated in a body that uses senses and gets confused by emotions and feelings. Descartes believed that the souls could exist independent by the body ““A “thinking thing” is a thing that thinks and by that would be included: imagining, conceiving, hoping, dreaming, desiring, fearing, conjecturing, reasoning, remembering, and more. For him a “thinking thing” needed no physical parts to do what it does. Modern science has established that there is no evidence of humans that are without a physical body and its brain.”This concept is controversial in our times as medicine and science proved that a body without neurological activity is incapable of these attributes. However, evaluation of these studies could prove some of these aspects, but there are not sufficient yet to support this idea, hence what is left is only the faith of believers that our soul would exist afterlife.
Existentialism – the idea of which we are aware of our existence and the one for those around us. Our existence is the only reality that can be checked, and we are conscious that are things that exist do not have freedom and awareness like us. “There is no proof of souls or spirits or ghosts or deities and thus their existence is nothing other than what people make a decision to believe. People decide whether or not to believe that such entities are real or not and they decide on the criteria for making such decisions.” What exists is only what can be verified, the other aspects are based on our beliefs, in this case, it is our choice if we want to believe in something without proof, such as ghosts, spirits, and souls, but that would not make them real.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
― John Lennon
From the theories concerning reality, the one that makes the most sense to me is idealism. Considering first that reality is the total sum of all realities, I believe that even the reality based on experience and beliefs are part of the whole concept. I am associating everything around me through my senses and I created an idea in my mind about what those represent. I can picture this idea like a kaleidoscope, and no matter how much I would twist it and how much the patterns will change the reality will remain the same, is just the idea of how I perceive the patterns. Because my beliefs may change in time that could lead to a change in experiences but is just in my mind that something is changed, as everything is happening in the same world, and is it myself that sees it and acknowledges different. “But whatever power I may have over my own thoughts, I find the ideas actually perceived by sense have not a like dependence on my will. When in broad daylight I open my eyes, ‘this not in my power to choose whether I see or no, or to determine what objects shall represent themselves to my view; and so likewise to the hearing and other senses, the ideas imprinted on them are not creatures of my will. There is, therefore, some other will or spirit that produces them,” The ideas of everything around us it is imprinted in our conscience, and we may lead our lives based on false memories and events that were outside of ourselves or were perceived in a different way with the mind of a child. We carry these ideas with us in time, and if we are not able to understand that everything is happening in our mind is hard to see the reality and to understand that we are able to change our beliefs and that could lead in the end to understanding the truth and the reality of this world.
The theories that state that can be simultaneous multiple realities are based on personal experiences and personal beliefs. Due to the difference in our appearance as skin color or gender, social status, or the place we are living, we are perceiving the reality around us differently and that could be seen as multiple realities. The experiences we have in life are different than any other person and for each of us, there is a different reality at the same time. Our beliefs also create a different reality as we can see them in the example of the shape of the earth, where some people believe it has a spherical form and others like a saucer. These beliefs are leading to multiple realities even though one of them is wrong as they cannot exist at the same time, but only in the mind. These ideas make sense based on the context because if it is presented the reality of someone based on their experiences or beliefs it is obvious that we can have multiple realities. However, these realities are true only if we consider that the reality is the sum of all that is real, and these realities are part of that idea. The reality is singular, and it is what makes this third-dimensional world. The evidence that supports this idea is hard to determine, and it is necessary to common sense and critical thinking about these subjects. To prove any statement, it needs to have arguments and proofs that can support an idea. In case of experiences and beliefs that would lead to biases and the truth about reality would be lost in feelings and emotions and not supported by logic and rationality.” Cutting across the division of the academic and the popular, there is another way of dividing metaphysics: theoretical and applied. This distinction is like the division between science and technology; one describes; the other applies the description to practical problems, putting knowledge to work. Gathering knowledge (or alleged knowledge, critics of metaphysics would say) in metaphysics traditionally is by rational thought; in a more popular understanding, knowledge gathering may be either mystical or occult; in either case, the pure knowledge is to be distinguished from the practical application of it.” For sure this applies in every situation based on reality 2 and 3 of different experiences and beliefs that someone holds. Considering reality 1, in that case, would not be any contraction in opinions as reality is the total sum of all realities. There are not two different realities, but only the perception is different. There is one reality perceived in a different way. People had experiences and are holding beliefs that create multiple realities. However, Charles Sanders Pierce affirmed that, ” there was such a reality 1 and that humans would develop better and better understandings of just what reality 1 is but never capture it totally and completely”. In other words, even though we will understand reality we will still not be able to fully comprehend reality 1. Like the idea of God or the Universe, we can get a better understanding of all these subjects, but we will never be able to grasp everything, as we cannot have the same perspective and we are limited to our lives with experiences and beliefs.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
In a reality-based on beliefs, these realities can coexist but would not be reality-based on truth. In reality-based on truth, it cannot be both at the same time spherical and flat, and one of them is wrong. The reality is based on scientific methods and the truth is to be determined based on arguments and proof. “Claims about the shape of the earth or any other physical claim can be determined in theory and most in practice to be true or not by using the scientific method. There is but one physical universe.” Each person or group is entitled to their own reality if we consider the reality based on experiences and beliefs. However, in a reality where everything is based on the sum of all realities, this idea is part of the whole, and it might be perceived as incoherent or misunderstood. There is a need for understanding of this concept, and common sense about reality is necessary, because the experiences and beliefs even if they are expressed in a large community or enforced to others, would not become the reality based on truth. People can adhere to the reality of believers, but it cannot be by any means implemented as truth without supporting arguments and proofs. “these claims are not claiming about what exists and are real but rather they are claims about what people think about their own experiences and behaviors” Claims of different realities are used to bring arguments and to verify the accurateness of physical reality. Without these claims, everything would be based on beliefs, emotions, or feelings and not based on evidence and data to support the statement. According to Plato “absolute good”, be it the truth or the best possible alternative, using intelligence, logic, and reason.” In other words, we need to use critical thinking and logical arguments to support our ideas in front of others, because a conflict based on power or without sustaining are just opinions and not changing the truth
Any of these theories would not solve disagreements, conflicts, social and ethical issues, hence objective truth is necessary because the truth matter. Why the truth matter? The truth would not leave any doubt or bias about the claims and a world based on truth is a world where virtue and morality make a difference between humans and all other living beings.
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoevsky
I welcome you to follow the tale of that young lady who understood that life on Earth is based on beliefs and experiences and the truth is a hard prize to get. In a world with multiple realities it challenging to follow and achieve the objective truth, but even though we will never find it, it is worth it at least to look for it…
….continue reading the rest of the tale in PART 56