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"In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods." − Arthur Schopenhauer
8 Major Issues
Issue 1 - the major or ultimate issue. Do I get what I want and need or don't I. Is the Universe (the cosmos or system of all of reality) set up or structured for me to win by MY definition of winning, that is, is it set up for me to get what I really−naturally, legitimately−want and need, or do I have to change my deepest desires and needs to match what is offered?
Commentary - If it is not set up for us to win by our definition, then we are stuck ultimately trying to swallow its reality or get out of it one way or another. Or, since we are defined as humans by our potential, our needs and desires, a humane purpose and culturally transcendent set of values, we are stuck changing ourselves fundamentally to being something that we are not.
Issue 2. Does the physical universe have its ground of being in intelligence and will, or does intelligence and will have their ground of being in the material universe? Which is the greater or primary realm of reality? Spiritual reality, which includes the non-material: intelligence, will, attitude, the humane qualities of love, compassion, romance, kindness, mercy and grace, anger, frustration, knowledge, etc.? Or physical reality consisting of the material universe, matter and motion−that which we can measure with physical equipment?
Commentary - Since every belief system must start with something, for this issue there are only 3 options: 1) Physical material is primary, existed first and the spiritual realities arose through a series of "happy accidents" as adjuncts and/or emergent properties of material structure, or 2) Physical material and the spiritual (intelligence) are somehow inseparable and both existed first, or 3) Intelligence and will existed first and designed and created (projected?) the physical material universe.
Issue 3. Given options 2 or 3 above, does the creative agency care enough about us (its/his creation) and our unhappy condition to at least communicate with us in a special way (theism in contrast to deism) that can be meaningful and effective for an imminent resolution of the human condition?
Commentary - A creator that doesn't care about imminently helping us out and doesn't offer us a way of resolving the human condition is not worthy of the term "God". Theism posits that the Creator care to give us a "special" objective revelation other than or beyond what nature, including human nature and self revelation, implies. Atheism means "without theism", and deism posits a creator that is not involved. Deists and agnostics are technically atheists.
Issue 4. Does ultimate worth and value lie in the individual, or does it lie in something other, such as in organizations, institutions, sets of codes, physical and ethical laws, etc.? Should individuals primarily serve the cosmos, the organization or the agencies, OR should these entities primarily serve individuals? Do organizations derive their value from serving individuals or do individuals derive their value from serving organizations?
Commentary - If the ultimate value does not lie in the individual, then there is no foundation for value in anything else. How can an organization or any other structure−physical or spiritual−have any value outside of serving to sustain and enhance the lives of individuals?
Issue 5. CAN the creator offer to us equality and peership, or is the creator stuck in the box of being superior and relating to us as inferiors? DOES the creator offer to us equality and peership, or is the creator too egocentric, too afraid, or too alien to completely share with us those aspects and qualities that would enable us to choose to be equal and accept and receive equality?
Commentary - Equality and peership mean that our worth and value, our needs and desires, our potential and abilities, our rights and privileges would be the equal to any life in the universe, including the creator. It would mean equality through supremacy, not through inferiority or superiority.
Issue 6. Is the nature of reality such that love is always a win/win situation, or does love sometimes demand sacrifice?
Commentary - Love should not be giving, sacrificing, taking or trading, but should be based around sharing, and should always be a win-win.
Issue 7. Are morality and ethics the same thing? Are ethics and morality related to a "code" or set of laws, or is morality determined by that which ultimately increases morale without violating ethics?
Commentary - Morality and ethics are NOT the same thing, but are related. Ethics deals with what is loving, right or proper behavior, and morality relates to that which will ultimately increase our morale. What if Man was made to live by inspiration from purpose and values, instead of trying to behave according to a set of rules or law?
Issue 8. Is evil a necessary part of reality, i.e, created by the originator, or was evil introduced into experiential reality by some other way? By Mankind or some other agency? A breakdown of unity? Doing something wrong, or a FAILURE to do something?
Commentary - If "evil" is necessary to make or contrast with "good", then "evil" is just as good and valid as "good". Evil must not have been designed or intended, but somehow introduced into an otherwise perfect universe! What is the rather obvious answer to the "mystery of iniquity"?