2016 – The Year of Realizing Things
In my pre-phil’s day off discussions with my classmates (Kamakshi, Yury & Mei specifically), I encountered a few new ideas that helped me develop a better understanding of my topic for metaphysics: Can Science and Religion Coexist?
In terms of new concepts & ideas, I learned about Taoism, morality and the different beliefs that people have about the afterlife. Our initial discussion and introduction of our topics lead to several different side conversations my favourite of which explored the purpose of our topics. The key concept that seemed to connect all of our ideas was belief. We talked about the functions of various belief systems and theories on why hummanity seems to prefer to live according to these belief systems rather than accepting the truth: we can’t prove anything. As mentioned in my first metaphysics post, it is essentially impossible to argue with the fact that we cannot prove anything that we generally know to be “true”. The only thing we can prove is that we exist and anything beyond that is basically just our best guess at the truth. Science and religion, while quite different are both just belief systems that we live by. We choose to believe, knowing that we cannot necessarily prove these beliefs, but why? As a group we arrived at the conclusion that people simply crave answers. To live in a state of unknown is to live in discomfort (plus the attitude that science isn’t real is not exactly productive in terms of practical things like medical advancements so maybe sometimes it’s better just to roll with it). These belief systems give us a sense of purpose as well as discoveries to work towards. We can choose to accept that we know nothing but sometimes it’s easier to pretend that we haven’t arrived at that realization. It just feels more comfortable to know what’s going on- or at least to allow ourselves to think we do.
As for topics/questions for further explanation, I hope to continue to explore the relationships between various belief systems through my phil’s day off excursion and possibly some more reading. I’m interested to know how they can coexist, why they came to be and what society might look like without them.