“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 was that everything was made of matter, in form of energy, and everything that included such energy, atoms, were not non-material and non-physical. Humans and everything related to the mind were presented through chromosomal patterns and nothing outside of nature was accepted as real by Ancient Naturalism, Modern Scientific Naturalism, Humanism, or Dialectical Materialism. That idea was controversial for believers and successfully adopted by atheists. Everything that existed was explained based on scientific arguments and every aspect of human behavior was described in physical terms.  

Idealism – the ideas existed only in the mind and the only reality was the ideal world and was not associated with the material world. Throughout the years, Platonism has been a highly influential philosophy. Plato thought that the physical world around him was not real; it was always changing, so it was impossible to describe what it was. There was a universe of ideas that was a realm of absolute and unchangeable truth. Concepts such as moral perfection couldn’t arise out of the actual world and originated from an ideal world. Ideas were created based on what was perceived through senses, and in time those became the reality based on beliefs, and which indicated that what was imagined as the ideal was what constituted “reality”. 

Dualism – both matter and soul existed independently of each other. To support that concept, Plato thought that souls had to be separated and that came from a different realm that was remembered or something that was forgotten when incarnated in a body that uses senses and got confused by emotions and feelings. Descartes believed that the souls could exist independently of the body “A “thinking thing” is a thing that thinks and 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.” The concept was controversial in time as medicine and science proved that a body without neurological activity was incapable of those attributes. However, evaluation of those studies could prove some of those aspects, but there were not sufficient to support the idea, hence what was left was only the faith of believers that souls would exist afterlife.  

Existentialism – the idea of humans were aware of their existence and the one around them. Their existence was the only reality that could be checked and they were conscious that were things that existed without freedom and awareness like them. “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 existed was only what could be verified, the other aspects were based on their beliefs, in that case, it was their choice if they wanted 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

Of the theories concerning reality, the one that made the most sense to me was idealism. Considering first that reality was the total sum of all realities, I believed that even the reality based on experience and beliefs was part of the whole concept. I associated everything around me through my senses and I created an idea in my mind about what those represented. I could picture that idea like a kaleidoscope, and no matter how much I would twist it and how much the patterns would change the reality would remain the same. It was just the idea of how I perceived the patterns. Because my beliefs changed over time, that lead me to a change in perspective but it was just in my mind that something changed, as everything happened in the same world, and it was myself that saw it and acknowledged it differently.  “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 me it was imprinted in my consciousness, and I could lead my life based on false memories and events that were outside of myself or were perceived in a different way from the mind of a child. I carried those ideas with me in time, and if I was not able to understand that everything happened in my mind it was hard to see the reality and to understand that I was able to change my beliefs and that could lead to the end of understanding the truth and the reality of the life on Earth.  

The theory that stated that could be simultaneous multiple realities was 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 were living, we perceived the reality around us differently and that could be seen as multiple realities. The experiences I had in life were different than any other person and for each of us, there was a different reality at the same time. Our beliefs also created a different reality as we could see in the example of the shape of the earth, where some people believed it had a spherical form and others like a saucer. Those beliefs lead to multiple realities even though one of them was wrong and in reality, couldn’t exist at the same time.  Those ideas made sense based on the context because if the reality of someone was presented based on their experiences or beliefs it was obvious that could exist multiple realities. However, those realities were true only if it was considered that reality was the sum of all that was real, and those realities were part of that idea. The reality was singular, and it was what made this third-dimensional world. The evidence that supported that idea was hard to be determined, and it was necessary the common sense and critical thinking about those subjects. To prove any statement, were necessary arguments and proofs that could support an idea. In the 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 those applied in every situation based on reality 2 and 3 of different experiences and beliefs that someone held. Considering reality 1, in that case, would not be any contraction in opinions as reality was the total sum of all realities.  There were not two different realities, but only the perception was different. There was one reality perceived in a different way. People had experiences and were holding beliefs that created 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 I would understand reality I would still not be able to fully comprehend reality 1. Like the idea of God or the Universe, I could get a better understanding of all those subjects, but I would never be able to grasp everything, as I wouldn’t have the same perspective and I was limited to my life 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, those realities could coexist but would not be the reality based on truth. In a reality based on truth, it couldn’t exist both at the same time spherical and flat, and one of them was false. The reality was based on scientific methods and the truth was 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 was entitled to their own reality if it was considered the reality based on experiences and beliefs. However, in a reality where everything was based on the sum of all realities, that idea was part of the whole, and it would be perceived as incoherent or misunderstood. There was a need for understanding that concepts and common sense about reality were necessary. The experiences and beliefs even if they were expressed in a large community or enforced on others, would not become the reality based on truth. People could adhere to the reality of believers, but it couldn’t be by any means implemented as truth without supported arguments and proofs. “These claims are not claims 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 were used to bring arguments and to verify the accuracy of physical reality. Without those 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, was needed critical thinking and logical arguments to support ideas in front of others, because a conflict based on power or without sustainability were just opinions and not changed the truth.

Any of those theories would not solve disagreements, conflicts, and social or ethical issues, hence objective truth was necessary because the truth matter. Why did the truth matter? The truth would not leave any doubt or bias about the claims and a world based on truth was a world where virtue and morality made 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

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