What is prime reality

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If a worldview can be expressed in propositions, what might they be? Essentially, they are our basic, rock-bottom answers to the following eight questions:
1. What is prime reality—the really real? To this, we might answer: God, or the gods, or the material cosmos Our answer here is the most fundamental 10 It sets the boundaries for the answers that can consistently be given to the other six questions This will become clear as we move from worldview to worldview in the chapters that follow
2. What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us? Here are answers point to whether we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit; or whether we emphasize our subjective, personal relationship to the world or its objectivity apart from us
3. What is a human being? To this, we might answer: a highly complex machine, a sleeping god, a person made in the image of God, a naked ape
4. What happens to a person at death? Here we might reply: personal extinction, or transformation to a higher state, or reincarnation, or departure to a shadowy existence on “the other side ”
5. Why is it possible to know anything at all? Sample answers include the idea that we are made in the image of an all-knowing God or that consciousness and rationality developed under the contingencies of survival in a long process of evolution
6. How do we know what is right and wrong? Again, perhaps we are made in the image of a God whose character is good, or right and wrong are determined by human choice alone or what feels good, or the notions simply developed under an impetus toward cultural or physical survival
7. What is the meaning of human history? To this, we might answer: to realize the purposes of God or the gods, to make a paradise on earth, to prepare a people for a life in community with a loving and holy God, and so forth
8. What personal, life-orienting core commitments are consistent with this worldview? Within any given worldview, core commitments may vary widely For example, a Christian might say, to fulfill the will of God, or to seek first the kingdom of God, or to obey God and enjoy him forever, or to be devoted to knowing God or loving God Each will lead to a somewhat different specific grasp of the Christian worldview A naturalist might say to realize their personal potential for experiencing life, or to do as much good as they can for others, or to live in a world of inner peace in a world of social diversity and conflict The question and its answers reveal the variety of ways the intellectual commitments are worked out in individual lives They recognize the importance of seeing one’s own worldview not only within the context of vastly different worldviews but within the community of one’s own worldview Each person, in other words, ends up having his or her own take on reality And though it is extremely useful to
identify the nature of a few (say, five to ten) generic worldviews, it is necessary in identifying and assessing one’s own worldview to pay attention to its unique features, the most important of which is one’s own answer to this eighth question.

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