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What is ultimate reality?

What is ultimate reality?

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What is ultimate reality?

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  1. What is ultimate reality? Philosophy Meetup

  2. The Fields of Philosophy • Metaphysics – the study of the nature of reality. • Epistemology – the study of the nature of knowledge • Axiology – the study of the nature of value. • Ethics –values in the realm of morality • Aesthetics– values in the realm of beauty and art • Logic – principles of right reasoning

  3. Metaphysics The study of the nature of reality

  4. Definitions • Metaphysics: the philosophy of being which seeks to answer questions about existence. • Metaphysics: study of questions about the world left unanswered by the natural sciences, such as those regarding First Causes; Laws of the Universe; Mind/Body; Freedom/Determinism. • First used by Aristotle who wrote first his Physics (concerning the physical world) and the Metaphysics (beyond the physical world).

  5. Metaphysical Questions • What is reality? • What is a being? • Why is there something and not nothing? • What is ultimate reality? • Is there a supreme being? • What, if anything, gives meaning to life?

  6. Metaphysical Questions • Who am I? • Why am I here? • Where did I come from? • Where am I going?

  7. 2 Foundational Principles • Principle of non-contradiction - no real being can both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. • Principle of sufficient reason: every being has the sufficient reason for existence in itself or in another. It is not possible for something to be its own cause (otherwise it would violate the Principle of non-contradiction). Every being that does not possess the sufficient reason for its own existence in itself must have an efficient cause (necessarily extrinsic to itself).

  8. Theories • Idealism • George Berkeley 18th Century • Denies existence of material things • Reality is ideas and the minds that hold these ideas • “Esse est percipi” (“to be is to be perceived”) • Objects are ideas that God placed in humans

  9. Theories • Platonic Realism • Reality is ideal forms or ideas that are timeless, unchanging, immaterial, and more perfect than the world of changeable things • Forms in the World of Being __________________________ • Things in the World of Becoming

  10. Theories • Materialism or Physicalism • Pre-Socratic Philosophers • Everything is physical; Reality consists of matter. • Matter – particles in motion and forces like gravity.

  11. Materialism versus Dualism • Dualism • Mental is separate from Physical • Mind and Soul can pre-exist the body and survive bodily death • Dualists believe in the afterlife, and the paranormal • Materialism • Man is simply an animal, and brains are simply chemical systems • No soul • Humans are like computers.

  12. What is ultimate reality? • Could it be matter/energy? • If it is matter or energy, it would have to be eternal, unless it could spontaneously generate. • But something cannot come from nothing. • 1st law of thermodynamics • If something now exists, then something must have always existed. • Scientists say that the universe had a beginning. • The universe is running down, so matter can’t be eternal. • 2nd law of thermodynamics • The universe would already be cold and lifeless, if it had already existed eternally.

  13. What is ultimate reality? • Ultimate Reality is likely Spirit • Again, if something now exists, something must have always existed, since something cannot come from absolutely nothing. • What existed always would account for what had a beginning. • Since the physicality of the universe had a beginning, the cause of the universe would be immaterial. • This eternal, self-existent, immaterial being would need enough power and intelligence to bring the universe into being.

  14. What is ultimate Reality? • Since the universe began in time, the eternal being would likely have willed the universe into existence rather than it coming into existence by necessity. The intelligence and will of this being would give it personality. • So it makes sense that the originator of the universe (Ultimate Reality) is a Person. • Simply through reason, we can conclude that the universe had a personal beginning.

  15. What is ultimate reality? • If we begin with impersonal matter/energy, there are only two other factors that exist: time and chance. No one has ever demonstrated how time and chance, beginning with the impersonal, could ever account for all the complexities of the universe, including the personality of man. • The best explanation is that the universe had a Personal beginning.

  16. What is ultimate reality? • Ultimate Reality appears to be a Person. • If this Person did put us here, then it seems that he would want to communicate to us, and let us know why we are here. • The Bible seems to have the best claim on being divine revelation, given the proofs for the physical resurrection of Jesus, who claimed to be God come in the flesh. • The resurrection of Jesus is the most established fact in 1st century history.

  17. What is ultimate reality? • What did God say was the purpose for our existence? • To bring glory to God by living in a love relationship with Himself and with each other. • Unfortunately, humanity rejected a relationship with God, and as a result pain/suffering came into the world as a natural consequence.

  18. What is ultimate reality? • God wanted to restore our relationship with him, so Christ Jesus (God the Son) came into the world to pay the price for our sin (through his death), destroy the power of death through his resurrection, and give us the assurance of living with Him forever if we choose to follow Him (Jesus) as our Way, believe him as the Truth, and receive him as our Life. • So Ultimate Reality is a Person who wants to have a personal relationship with each of us.

  19. Arguments for the Existence of God

  20. Is there a God? • The Cosmological Argument • God is the only adequate explanation for the existence of the universe. • The Teleological Argument • All the intricate design in the universe argues for a purposeful first cause. • The Anthropic Principle • The universe seems fine-tuned for human life. • The Moral Argument • The sense of moral obligation all possess points to a Moral Lawgiver. • The Argument from Religious Experience • Even if only one person has had a genuine experience with the Divine, the Divine must exist.

  21. The Cosmological Argument Arguments for the Existence of God

  22. The Cosmological Argument (pt. 1) • Anything that exists must have an explanation for its existence. • The universe exists. • Therefore the universe must have an explanation for its existence.

  23. The Cosmological Argument (pt. 2) • One’s existence can be necessary (thus one can be self-existent, and be its own explanation) or it can be explained by an external cause. • The universe is not self-existent, or necessary. • The universe can only be explained by an external cause.

  24. The Cosmological Argument (pt. 3) • The external cause of the universe must be self-existent. • God by definition is self-existent and necessary (he couldn’t not exist). • Therefore, God is an adequate explanation for the universe.

  25. The Kalam Cosmological Argument • 1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. • 2. The universe began to exist. • 3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

  26. The Kalam Cosmological Argument • Premise 1: Whatever Begins to Exist has a Cause • Something cannot come from nothing. • If something can come into being from nothing, then why doesn’t anything and everything come from nothing? • Scientifically, premise 1 is constantly verified and never falsified. Common experience also confirms the truth of premise 1.

  27. The Kalam Argument • Premise 2: The universe began to exist. • If the universe always existed, then an (actually) infinite number of past events occurred prior to today. But that is impossible, since an infinite number could never be reached (in actuality). • You can’t pass through an infinite number of elements one at a time. • If you can’t count to infinity, then you can’t down from infinity. • The expansion of the universe points to a beginning. • The beginning of the universe is also the beginning of time. • The second law of thermodynamics • Given enough time, all the energy in the universe will spread itself out evenly. The universe will experience a “heat death.” If the universe were eternal, why are we not already in this state of equilibrium?

  28. The Kalam Argument • Premise 3: Therefore the universe has a Cause. • On the basis of both philosophical and scientific grounds, we know that the universe has a beginning. Since anything with a beginning has a cause, the universe has a cause. • The universe cannot be self-caused. • The universe must have a transcendent cause. • The cause must be uncaused because an infinite series of causes is impossible. • The cause must be immaterial, non-physical, and unimaginably powerful. • The cause must be personal.

  29. Why a Personal First Cause • Only a Mind could be immaterial, non-physical, transcendent, unimaginably powerful. • A personal cause is the only way to explain how a timeless cause can produce a temporal effect (beginning of the universe). Without a will, there would be no permanent cause without a permanent effect. • A personal being with freedom of the will could bring about something spontaneous and new, such as the creation of the universe. • This personal, powerful, timeless, necessary, self-existent First Cause is the God of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.