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Where Do I Fit In The Universe

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REALITY CHECK: WHERE DO I FIT IN THE UNIVERSE?

What would life be like if there was no prime reality? Would meaning exist? A person believing that nothing is real might wake up each morning, knowing that the shrill ring of his alarm clock and the wave of sleepiness that accompanies it are completely nonexistent. If he believes that everything is nothing, then to him, the world, humans, death, knowledge, right, wrong, and history are nothing, as well. I believe that a person's perception of reality is the main factor that shapes who they are, and their worldview. Some say that history guides a person's worldview, because nothing can be known unless it has happened first. However, I think that a person's view of reality enables him to view history in a different light. A person cannot know anything unless something is real. It is this idea that helped shape my worldview.

Before discussing my worldview, it would be helpful to define the concept of worldview. I believe that a worldview is a commitment to a guiding set of principles by which we lead our lives. These principles give us a framework on which to base our perception of reality. It is important that a person's worldview is a commitment, because it implies stability. For example, a person's worldview can change, if he learns new information. However, a worldview should be something that is not easily changed. It is a matter of the heart and deepest inner being. In addition, a worldview is not principles themselves. Principles are meaningless unless they are consistently followed. I think that a worldview is a more constant and stable concept than choosing to follow different principles each day. A steady commitment to a fundamental set of principles, which are an unconscious part of our decision-making process, is required.

The concept of worldview should be distinguished from the concept of reality. Although a person's perception of reality is only a small aspect of his worldview, I think that his perception is fundamental to the development of the rest of his worldview. If a person is not committed to a perception of reality, he possesses no cornerstone to balance the remainder of his beliefs on. Many people balance their beliefs on sensory reality. Reality can be based solely on what a person can see, taste, touch, hear, or smell. When asked if a chair is real, the average person will confirm that it is. Even Aristotle believed that the highest degree of reality was found through experiencing the sensory world. Still other people form their perception of reality on the assumption that God exists. Philosophers such as Aristotle and Aquinas believed that God has always existed because there must be a "first cause" for everything. I believe that God is a being that has always existed and always will exist because of the implications of the phrase, "I Am." When Jesus says, "Before Abraham was, I Am," it implies that God's existence possesses no beginning or end. He just is. Since it is assumed that God has always existed, and always will exist, He is reality. He exists in a completely different realm in which time has no implications. This is a difficult concept for most people to understand, because our perception of reality generally consists of what we can sense. I believe that God understood our tendency to put our faith in sensory ideas. This is why he gave us something tangible, i.e. the Bible, for us to see and touch.

I do not believe that God's existence and the sensory world are two incompatible different realities. I agree with Aristotle that God and the sensory world are both real. However, like Augustine, I think that the highest degree of reality is in God, and that all of his creations are real. I believe that true, or prime, reality is a combination of the sensory world and the existence of God. Because God is real, and because he created everything, everything he created must be real. This notion brings up a new question. If prime reality is a combination of the sensory reality and the existence of God, is there more than one reality? I do not believe so, because God cannot contradict himself. We have established that God exists, and that he is reality. Therefore, if there is more than one reality, then there would be more than one God. This would mean he contradicts himself, which is impossible to do. My solution to this dilemma is the idea of multiple facets of one reality. I believe that every aspect of our known sensory and un-sensory world is a different view of reality that guides us to the prime reality, in God.

A person's perception of reality is crucial to his understanding of the world we live in. If I believed, as Plato did, that prime reality exists in a world of ideas, I would see the world around me completely differently. Since I believe that prime reality is experienced both through God and through our senses, I believe that the nature of the world around us is founded in God. There are two major views on how the world originated. One believes that a large explosion, called the big bang, occurred when all of the matter in the universe came within close proximity. This gave rise to the planet earth, along with all the rest of the galaxies and planets. According to this theory, at one point in the history of the earth, life originated in a primal soup. The other major view sees earth as a creation of a supreme being that has always existed. Life was created when he spoke it into being. There are many variations on these two major views, but they both have a similar foundational concept. Both the scientific view of the origin of the earth and the Biblical view of the origin of the earth require faith. Scientists still do not know exactly what happened before the first living species assembled together in the primal soup. They have faith in the idea that an infinite number of molecules could spontaneously assemble into the complex structures of a living being. In addition, Biblical scholars do not know exactly what God used to bestow life upon a non-living planet. Both views require faith in something unseen, and unknown. I believe that God, a supreme being, created the earth and everything in it in six literal days because each aspect of this world reflects the character and personality of the God I know to be real. When I see the intricate complexities of human and animal behavioral interactions, I cannot help but doubt the idea that they merely happened to be that way. The main reason I believe that God created the world in six literal days is because my interpretation of the Bible confirms that belief. I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and if the Bible says that the earth was created in six literal

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