Why does the world exist?

Topics: Reality, Ontology, Scientific method Pages: 4 (1486 words) Published: December 18, 2013

All throughout our lives we are told to dream. We know that dreams don’t necessarily reflect reality, but they serve as a powerful source of inspiration which can sometimes allow us to change our realities. The reason why dreams are so important to us is because they allow us to experience situations that are beyond what could occur in real life. But how can we be sure that our thoughts and dreams don’t directly influence reality? Or that “reality”, as we commonly understand it, isn’t real? The answers to these questions are mind-bogglingly complex as they challenge us to imagine concepts that should be impossible to comprehend by entities inhabiting our combination of three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. The resultant ontological debate can be generally grouped into realist and anti-realist positions. Realism is the philosophical school of thought that suggests the existence of an objective reality with which we communally interact. Within realism there are different perspectives that can be argued that deal with varying degrees of correlation between our perception of reality and the true objective form of reality. These different branches of realism stem from different fundamental beliefs regarding the nature of this relationship. So-called “naïve realism” , also known as direct realism, is the belief that our senses accurately detect mind-independent reality therefore our perceptions of reality correlate directly with the form of the objective reality. Another form of realism known as “scientific realism” takes a different approach by assuming that the universe exists in a way that can be described by science (the ability to describe an object through science verifies its existence) and that scientific objects and knowledge exist independently of the mind. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have “anti-realism” which challenges the existence of an objective existence or reality. Anti-realists with respect to objective...
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