Wildy the Journeyman (into_the_wild) wrote,
Wildy the Journeyman
into_the_wild

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:: Pardon me for my lj barrage, but I'm interested in Epistemology ::

Right after Planet today, I met up with a neophyte of Reiki for a vegetarian lunch and aftermeal talks of energy and channels.
I stated firmly my belief; that I only choose to believe in what I am able to believe, on the plane of realism.
I absolutely do not believe in blind faith. And my heaven is Nirvana.

My definition of Nirvana?

\Nir*va"na\, n. [Skr. nirv[=a][.n]a.]
In the Buddhist system of religion, the final emancipation of
the soul from transmigration, and consequently a beatific
enfrachisement from the evils of wordly existence, as by
annihilation or absorption into the divine. See {Buddhism}.

Erm, not that close. My Nirvana, is, in fact, a total and complete death, where one cease to exist at all.

So what is my religion? I am most likely Agnostic.

\Ag*nos"tic\, n.
One who professes ignorance, or denies that we have any
knowledge, save of phenomena; one who supports agnosticism,
neither affirming nor denying the existence of a personal
Deity, a future life, etc.

Then again, it is not a religion at all, but a philosophy of religion.
I just cannot believe how I can believe something based on blind faith.
Then of course, everybody chooses to believe what he or she wants to believe, just that I prefer to follow in the veins of Epistemology.

Epistemology (Epistemic) – The theory of knowledge (or knowing), or to do with knowledge of knowing.

Perception – Perception is reality (i.e. the way things are to me or you – "I perceive this to be…")

Validate – To be able to say with certainty that something is true.

Three Starting Points for Epistemology

Realism (sometimes called Naïve Realism)
– The notion that behind the physical realm there are ‘certainties’ which are unaffected by our experience or perception of them. For example, realists generally believe you can have secure knowledge about the world i.e. When looking at an object one could make the claim with a large degree of certainty that, "It is red!". Most Christians are realists in that they believe God exists as a separate being to humanity and has revealed moral truths to us in the Bible, which we are to follow. Both Plato and Immanuel Kant are realists.
(I am not definitely not this!)

Non-Realism (sometimes called Anti-Realism)
– The belief that there are no ‘absolutes’ in the universe outside our own perception (which logically leads to relativism and subjectivism). Non-realists believe that our knowledge is affected by our own perceptions i.e. we think the way we do largely as a result of our social and cultural influences. In terms of epistemology non-realists would often allow someone to make the claim "It is red!" and another person to say, "It is yellow" despite looking at the same object. They would do this because they would claim that each person validly perceives the same object in different ways because they are having different experiences of it (i.e. they may argue that one person is colour-blind). Non-realists could accuse realists of being imperialist or dictatorial in their attitudes and would argue that people live their lives on the basis of what seems right to them and is agreed by society at the time. In terms of religious belief Christian non-realists would argue that the word ‘God’ is not a reference to some Supreme Being in the heavens but a literary term we use to describe the ‘Sum Of Our Highest Ideals’. Both Ludwig Feurbach and Don Cupitt are non-realists.
(I agree with this.)

Critical Realism
– Critical realists traverse a middle ground between realism and non-realism. They accept the arguments of non-realists and recognise that we perceive the world through our own culturally and socially affected ‘glasses’ however they would also accept that there are moral and epistemic certainties in the universe. (i.e. A critical realist would say "I believe this is red even though I may be colour blind and mistakenly perceive it to be red when it is in fact yellow.") Critical realists believe all knowledge should be held up as in some way contingent despite the fact that they accept the need to act as though it is certain (i.e. I may doubt the certainty of my own knowledge but if I act as though this car travelling towards me is not real then I will die).
(I agree with this as well.)

Ultimately, the aftermeal talk ended with my conclusion that validating 'blind faiths' is impossible. Validating religious truth claims is difficult for the simple fact that people will presume the truth of that which they are seeking to prove to be true. Yet it might be the case that one day we might conclusively validate the existence of God using empirical evidence. It might be that there is an afterlife and that we will one day stand before God in it (as the Apostle Paul says, 'Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face' (1 Corinthians 13:12)). Of course, the next question will be which God we might see amongst all those represented by the variety of religions in the world today? Even if an afterlife exists it could be that even there we might still presume certain truths about God (i.e. God is the Christian God, or the Hindu God, or the Sikh God etc.), and never fully comprehend God's true reality.

Usually it's easier to just forget about it all and go watch tv.
La la la.

PS: and bungee jumping is not a leap of faith. nothing should be.

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