Rhetoric | What is Reality?

When we are children, the definition of “reality” is clear cut. It’s the opposite of “fantasy.” When we grow older, we realize that one person’s reality is not necessarily another’s and that the schizophrenic’s bizarre, sometime hallucinatory reality, manifested by socially unacceptable and often tragic behavior patterns, is as real to them as our own mundane existence is to us.
Even the sane among us can be motivated by realities that inspire actions that appear insane to the rest of us. The reality seen by the 911 conspirators included a God who delighted in the gruesome, grinding murder of more than 3,000 non-combatant men, women and children because they were, simply “unbelievers.” People of yet other religious persuasions embrace a reality where God is extremely concerned, and ever-focused, on the type of clothing they wear or the type of food they eat.
At the other end of religious realities is the one seen by the the absolute atheists, whose certainty of a universe emanating from an intellectual void is rock-solid, though they can view such an infinitesimal part of it, physically or temporally.
Judging by the worldwide profusion of web sites, the sales of books and seminar tickets and the profundity of internet traffic, there are millions on Earth today whose reality includes a sky full of exotic space craft coming and going from other star systems, whose navigators are observing and even interacting with human beings. That same reality includes a belief in a world of governments who are in collusion to keep this knowledge from the general public and who wage a counter-intelligence war of “disinformation” and ridicule against those in the know.
One hundred-eighty degrees out from the holders of that reality are the masses whose reality is an Earth-centric universe where life, after 15 billion years has only just now sprung up, over the course of a few hundred million, on one little planet, orbiting one of trillions of stars in one of trillions of swirling galaxies. Although the mind naturally recoils from a scenario with this kind of unlikely randomness, I guess the Earth-centrists can say “truth is often stranger than fiction.” I suppose so, and one man’s fiction can always be another’s very real reality, often with unfortunate consequences, really.

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