I’m going to try to make up some philosophical explanation for why we are here, who we are, and where we’re going.
NOTE: This is not the Truth, not even a fraction of the Truth, and nothing LIKE the Truth.
Also, I freely admit that I do not have very much background in philosophy but, it is possible to go about making a theory without much background in philosophy or religion – as demonstrated by Pierce.
So here is my first bit of evidence:
So we are all agreed on the basis of science that the universe is expanding. It has also been determined that the universe has no ending. Thus is this a strange oxymoron we have arrived at; how can something that has no end, continue to expand? In fact, how can it expand at a faster rate?
My theory is that we are in fact creations of a Mind.
You might think that has nothing to do with the universe and its expansion, but allow me to explain and perhaps I will convince you.
Being that I am agnostic, I cannot definitively say that this Mind is God, or a pantheon of gods. In this case, “god” is taken to mean a being that is omnipotent and omniscient. However, I can say that even if this Mind does happen to be a god of some sort, I doubt it is the god that we have created in any of the religions of our world. This point, however, will be discussed shortly, as it is part of my argument
This Mind, however, I will refer to as The Author from here on out.
I will thus, over the course of several posts, try to create a philosophy/religion or something.
Reality and You
Descartes posited that the senses could not be trusted, and so we have to have universal doubt about all things we encounter.
He, however, is wrong. Reality is, as found in everyday life, all the things we perceive with our senses. This point is discussed by Pierce and the Pragmatist movement of philosophy. Descartes’ reasoning for Universal Doubt was due to the fact that the senses can trick you. Admittedly there are numerous documented occasions of hallucinations – visions of islands that are merely reflections of heat on a flat surface, or drug-induced visions of babies on the ceiling (just to be extreme, but my point should be obvious). Pierce’s commentary on the subject was that because our abstractions are created out of everyday experience, we cannot wholly discount everyday experience. To jump from what we experience to saying that only abstractions and Perfect Forms of ideas are the true reality is total horseradish. However there is documented evidence that a scent can evoke memories; memories are never remembered correctly. You can ask several different people who witnessed the same event, and none will tell you the exact same story.
In fact, if they are allowed to speak to each other after the event, they will create a different version of the event that is wholly different than what any of the people would have said individually. This is due to the fact that we are autonomous individuals, capable of seeing things differently from someone else. Perception, in the end, is what lies, rather than the senses. Since Perception is what causes us to question whether something is real or not, we can safely say that our perception of the world is probably wrong; even our collective perception of the world, including what we know of science.
Now that I have talked myself into a corner, I will now show you the backdoor out. To rescue science from a circular argument that defeats itself, allow me to suggest that perhaps our reality is what it is because we have been given a set of rules in which our universe works. These rules are something like the Clock Maker God theories of the Renaissance. These are also the Laws which have been discovered by great minds like Einstein and Newton. This is also a ploy used by writers when creating universes and worlds that are both like and unlike our own. Readers are not likely to read, or take seriously, a story that does not obey a set of logical rules that are applied to the world the story is set on. For example, a world in which the main character can do anything is a boring world – unless the villain is just as powerful as the main character, in which case that sets limits on what the main character can do. A system of science that does not function in a way that is understandable fails to catch the reader’s attention. The same goes for any system of magic that is chaotic and frequently contradicts itself. That is not to say that the rules have to be boring – there are worlds created with very strange sets of rules, such as Diskworld, and the universe of The Hitchhiker’s Guide. Our universe, too, has rules, and while we may not fully understand them, we at least know those rules exist and function in a way that prevents us from flying off into space if we jump into the air.
However, as I pointed out before with the comment on the universe and its rate of expansion, there are plot holes. The only way to allow for both the endlessness and expansion to occur in the same “object” (I scare quote this because space is a void – another point I will get to later) is that the Author is still creating our universe even as we breathe. So, we can at least take reality with a grain of salt, knowing that the Reality we exist in may not be the only one there is. Other worlds may function with a different set of rules which only apply to that world.
In a way, then, Reality is the rules which govern this world, what you choose to believe is there, and what the Author has placed in this world as plot devices. We can then break Reality into three categories: that which we know, that which we do not know because it is not yet created, and that which we do not know because we have not discovered it yet. Admittedly, the last two would be impossible to determine, due to the fact that they are things we cannot know without changing them and forcing them to be categorized as something we know.