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My Philosophy Tautology
October 3, 2016
by William P. Meyers

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There is really a knowable reality. Get to know it.

Tautology: Needless repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence; redundancy [Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition]

I believe that reality is real. In other words, I do not believe reality is an illusion. I reject illusionist philosophies, and I reject religions because they are based on illusionist philosophy or theology.

This statement sounds almost like a tautology, like repetitive wordplay. It proves nothing. But it is distilled from much proof.

Most people, as children, take the realness of the world we all live in for granted. We were designed that way, to know local reality through our senses, over about 3 billion years of evolution. But many children are taught religious ideas early, and so come to believe in illusions like heaven and hell.

Even western, non-religious philosophy, following the challenging questioning of the ancient Greek Cynics, has questioned whether we can really know anything from our senses. But even those who subscribe to such illusionist fare seem to be able to find the refrigerator well enough to keep from starving their cynical brains to death. In my experience philosophy professors of this type have a really good nose for beer.

Quantum physics, or rather bad quantum physics, has added to the confusion (in fairness, hard-headed, experiment-based quantum physics has clarified a lot about reality).

Illusions are part of reality, but reality is not an illusion. Sometimes we can know reality in a simple, direct way, as when we pull an apple from a tree and savor its complexly flavored pulp. Often, though, we must sort things out. "The play is the thing." People in a play, on stage, are real, but they might be portraying something that is anywhere from an almsot exact depiction of reality at a particular time and place, to something almost entirely imaginary.

Books, the virtual reality standard fair until the dawn of radio, can help us know reality, or can sow illusions. Often a single book does both.

Reality is what is there even when some or all human minds are mistaken.

Parts of reality are hard on humans, like pain, sickness and death. So people rightly try to avoid them, and even to pretend they are illusions. I believe we are better off accepting their reality. Other unpleasant truths, like that people lie to us, and that having more than one child contributes to the destruction of nature on earth, should not be denied either. In the long run finding out the truth, as best we can, serves us best.

As to god, the only way that concept fits in my realist system is if God is synonymous with Reality. In other words God only works as a tautology. But God is almost never defined as being a synonym for Reality, so I avoid using the word except when trying to show a religious person that they are mistaken about gods and reality both. [See: God is a Confusing Concept]

Of course those who suffer from illusionist infections, like Bible thumpers, will insist that their illusions are real, and that my ideas, like the evolution of species through natural selection, are the illusions. And so the argument can go on forever. Craziness, unfortunately, does not cause a person to pop out of existence. But it does occasionally win a Darwin Award.

So while my beginning statement has the appearance of a tautology, in fact it is needed. It often serves to start a healthy discussion.

Written on a real keyboard and computer system built on principles not mentioned in the Bible, Koran, or Vedas, including electro-magnetics, chemistry, and quantum physics.

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