Concept Of Reality In Christianity Essay, Research Paper
What is REAL?
“For I see in a mirror dimly, but then, face to face. For I know in part and I prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:9-10.
Genuine, authentic, original, existing, actual, substantive, tangible… Such words are seen as synonyms for the word real. When I am asked to decide on a definition for the idea of reality, I tend to think of all of these words, but the one that is the best representation of what is real is the word ultimate.
In preparation for the writing of this paper, I have been talking to everyone that I come in contact with to see what he or she says about the idea of reality. The concept puzzles me, but as a person living here on the earth, I feel it necessary to have somewhat of idea of my beliefs on this topic.
“Reality is a persons beliefs and values put into actualization.” “Reality is like the wind, always changing, yet always there.” “Nothing is real.” “Anything that is not in movies.” These are a few of the responses that I received, during the time that I spent communicating. I find it quite interesting that four people from the similar backgrounds and upbringings can have such differing views of this idea.
As you can see, reality is a complex thing. I feel that there are two different types of reality. Personal reality is a person’s thoughts, things that they come in contact with, and everything that they believe in. Thus in my opinion, different things are real to different people. The other type of reality is ultimate reality. Anything that is constant and definitive, should be real to all, when in retrospect, the person might not admit that they feel that it is real.
How can anything that does not change, not be real? There is one thing that we know does not change, and that is God. I am saying that reality is personal, except when it comes to the question of Is God real?
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So God is real. Whether a person chooses to believe this or not, does not mean that He is non-existent. Some one that you may come in contact with, might believe in Buddha, and thus does not mean that means that God ceases to exist.
Each person’s reality is like a circle. All holds his or her thoughts and beliefs in high esteem (such are the thing that you would find inside of their circles), and those are the things that are real to them or as I referred to previously as personal reality. All circles have overlaps with others people’s circles. I feel that they all link to God, some in large ways, for those that know Him, and for those that have not come to trust Him yet, in a smaller way. God is still with the person and that is why their reality does in some way link to him.
If one person believes that material things are real, then their circles would link to others that believed the same. And if that same person believed in the existence of Santa Claus, their overlap would fall with the others who believed so, now branching off of the previous ones. Their thoughts are real to them, yet they are not ultimate reality, only God is ultimate and unchanging.
We as human beings come into interaction daily with physical, social, mental and spiritual things. To each our own beliefs and concepts define that which we hold dear and true to our hearts, forming our personal realities, and also at the same time molding us as people.
Plato would disagree with me on the fact that God is reality. He believed that nothing is real because everything changes and the only then that could be real is change itself. His idealism denied the existence of material things. Plato was correct in the fact that the things of this world are in constant flux, but I do not necessarily feel that just because something changes does not mean that it can not still be real to a person. I wonder if Plato knew that God did not change, if he would have thought that God was reality?
Plato clings to the idea of “objectivity.” He identifies it as pertaining to the world of forms. He also believed that form resides in a separate world. Some forms that Plato feels that we can know are justice, beauty, truth, and love. I wonder if Plato thought that such forms were real? In observing such things, I would say that these things all change, so using Plato’s definition, they must not be reality.
Richard Rhorty believes that there are two types of objectivity. First he deals with the concept that there is “a correspondence between what is out there and is supposedly discovered by an algorithm.” He does not feel that this is feasible because he says that there is no apparent way to perform such a task. Rhorty would not agree with the ideals that I hold this can be seen from his second point; the notion of objectivity involves such things that are adopted by a consensus or coherent and rational individuals. This is in contrast to that which I hold true. I feel that even though everyone does not agree that God is reality that it does not mean that he is not.
All absolutes are a part of everything: God is everything. This is the branch that my personal philosophy of rests upon.