For every particular field of study, prime reality is the concept to explain on the basis of one’s personal feelings, beliefs, and comprehension. For Christian theism representatives, it appears to be a personal God, whose nature is unveiled in the Holy Scriptures. Supporters of postmodernism, however, take a naturalistic approach to the concept explanation and deny the essence of God. Different views give birth to different opinions and, thus, form a background for a whole variety of controversies. Whether one backs the theories of theism, scientism, pluralism, or postmodernism, it is the matter of his or her personal worldview, which cannot be regarded as wrong. Nevertheless, getting familiar with the foundations of all of the studies is the key to developing an objective thinking. Thus, considering all available information can assist with the problem resolving and finding the answers one seeks.
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The nature of the world around us has been discussed by scientists, philosophers, and theologists since the times of the ancient civilizations. Religious teachings state that the world we live in is the creation of God and that none of the existing live processes could appear due to evolution, self-organization or any other theoretical concept expressed by scientism. Naturally, spiritual element turns out to be a predominant factor to determine the main theism foundations. Meanwhile, scientism, which Sorell (2013) defines as “a matter of putting too high a value on science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture” claims that all the processes and occurrences can be explained scientifically (p. 10).It is known that the study’s older teachings insisted on the need for the whole culture to be led by science. The same approach was, in fact, chosen by adherents of postmodernism expressing the attitude of skepticism and irony to earlier concepts. With the social, cultural, and economic trends being set forward, postmodernism arrives as “a very idiosyncratic regime of signification” (Lash, 2014, p. 5). The study is known to transform the initial ideas of spirituality and giving them an entirely different meaning.
By analogy with prime reality, spirituality carries a different meaning to every particular person. For some, it presupposes going to church and participating in organized religion. For others, it is a more personal notion touching a spiritual side of the very concept of human being. The latter believe that connection of a person with his or her spiritual element can be achieved through specialized training, such as yoga, meditation, etc.
Speaking of a human being, theologists would probably define it as a creation of God meant to serve Him and execute His will. In accordance with the Bible teaching, all humans are equal. The scientists’ opinion regarding this matter is totally naturalistic. They tend to consider that human being is a biological species that is defined by intellect, consciousness, and premises for social interactions. The ideas of pluralism stating that diverse social groups represent different cultures are set forward as the principles to follow (Baghramian & Ingram, 2014). The religious aspects, however, are being rejected bringing forth the scientific theories and practices.
Continuing the discussion of the two antipodal views on the human nature (religious and scientific), those differ not only in opinions about life but about death as well. Both Christian and Muslim teachings point out that human soul is immortal and death is treated as a ‘portal’ for a soul to enter the spirit world. Again, scientific tractates deny this opinion stating that death is simply the end of existence. Many scientists bring the absence of proofs as the major evidence to the fact that there is no such notion as the afterlife and it only exists in the minds of religious people. Nevertheless, religious teachings are based on beliefs and, thus, none of Christians of Muslims seem to agree with scientific conclusions. Faith is what makes these people live on.
Another important criterion characterizing humanity is the desire to expand knowledge. Sorell (2013) states that through a human autonomous and innate reason supported by the methods of science people can not only know themselves but learn about universe too. Whenever a human being comes to full consciousness, it starts seeking answers for numerous questions as to what secrets lie in the occurrence of the mankind, what is the purpose of living, etc. These questions serve as the major motivation to start gathering knowledge. Naturally, this process cannot be limited or slowed down and, thus, a person is allowed to learn as much as he/she wants, meaning that it is truly possible to know anything at all.
As to what knowledge gives a person understanding of what is right or wrong, there are such concepts as laws and social norms helping one to better orientate in the matter. People are taught basic norms since childhood by their parents, teachers, and surroundings. Eventually, by the time an individual becomes an adult, he or she acquires a full picture of what is allowed and what is regarded forbidden. Also, such factors as human instincts and religion shed light on some aspects of a day-to-day life. All these concepts put together form a background for an individual to make the right evaluation of things.
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In closing, one needs to draw attention to such a relevant part of human existence as history. History is the collection of experiences of the previous generations, which one cannot neglect in order not to repeat the predecessors’ mistakes. Knowing the past is the way to building a brighter future. Human history is full of examples of how a developed civilization such as the Roman Empire happened to lose its glory due to irrational changes in both external and internal policies. Learning them is the matter of well-being of future generations.
Baghramian, M., & Ingram, A. (2014). Pluralism: The philosophy and politics of diversity. New York, NY: Routledge.
Lash, S. (2014). Sociology of postmodernism. New York, NY: Routledge.
Sorell, T. (2013). Scientism: Philosophy and the infatuation with science. New York, NY: Routledge.