Openness

Philosophical realism is the belief that our reality is completely independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs and intellectual constructs. Those who profess philosophical realism also typically believe that truth consists of a belief’s correspondence to reality.

Philosophical realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality and that every new observation brings us closer to understanding reality. It functions as an opposite to idealism and anti-realism.

This type of realism may be thought of with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities, moral categories, the material world, or even thought.

The philosophy is often relative to a specific area. One might, for example, be a realist about physical matter but an idealist about ethics. The high necessity of specifying the area in which a realist debate is made has been increasingly acknowledged.

Inaccuracy

A double-barreled question is an informal fallacy. It is committed when someone asks a question that touches upon more than one issue, yet allows for only one answer. This may result in inaccuracies in the attitudes being measured for the question, as the respondent can answer only one of the two questions, and cannot indicate which one is being answered.

Many double-barreled questions can be detected by the existence of the word “and” in them. This is not a foolproof test, as the word “and” can exist in properly constructed questions. A question asking about three items is known as triple-barreled question. In legal proceedings, double-barreled question are known as compound questions.

An example of some double-barreled questions would be the following:

“Please agree or disagree with the following statement: cars should be faster and safer.”

“Should the government spend less money on military and more on education?”

The same considerations apply to questions with fixed choice answers, as an answer can also be double-barreled. For example, if a question asks: “What motivates you to work?”, the answer “Pleasant work and nice co-workers” is double-barreled.

Some questions may not be double-barreled but confusingly similar enough to a double-barreled question to result in similar issues. For example, the question “Should the organization reduce paperwork required of employees by hiring more administrators?” can be interpreted as composed of two questions. Double-barreled questions have been asked by professionals, resulting in notable skewed media reports and research pieces.

Assessment

Perspectivism is the view that all ideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that may be made. This implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively true, but does not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid.

It claims that there are no objective evaluations which transcend cultural formations or subjective designations. This means that there are no objective facts, and that there can be no knowledge of a thing in itself. This separates truth from a single vantage point and means that there are no absolutes. This leads to a constant reassessment of rules according to the circumstances of individual perspectives. Truth is thus formalized as a whole that is created by integrating different vantage points together.

We always adopt perspectives by default, whether we are aware of it or not, and the individual concepts of existence are defined by the circumstances surrounding that individual. Truth is made by and for individuals and people. This view differs from many types of relativism which consider the truth of a particular proposition as something that cannot be evaluated with respect to an absolute truth without taking into consideration culture and context.

It is our needs that interpret the world, our drives and their for and against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule, and each has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm. This can be expanded into a revised form of objectivity in relation to subjectivity as an aggregate of singular viewpoints that illuminate a particular idea in seemingly self-contradictory ways, but upon closer inspection reveal a difference of contextuality by which such an idea can be validated.

Alliance

Sahasrara is positioned above the head or at the top of it, and has 1000 petals which are arranged in 20 layers, each of them with 50 petals. It is the seventh primary chakra according to Hindu tradition, and symbolizes detachment from illusion, an essential element in obtaining supramental higher consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one.

Often referred to as the thousand petaled lotus, it is said to be the most subtle chakra in the system, relating to pure consciousness, and it is from this chakra that all the other chakras emanate. When a yogi is able to raise his or her kundalini or energy of consciousness up to this point, the state of Samadhi, or union with God, is experienced. It is often related to the pineal gland and the violet color.

There are several systems, such as some Tantric and Tibetan ones, that describe chakras in or connected closely above Sahasrara, but that are still part of it as a system. One system commonly described to be in it, sharing some of its petals, is Sri chakra.

In the West, it has been noted by many that Sahasrara expresses a similar archetypal idea to that of Kether or “crown” in the kabbalistic tree of life, which also rests at the head of the tree and represents pure consciousness and union with God.

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Ideology

Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.

While there are a great many moral systems, honesty is considered moral and dishonesty is considered immoral. There are several exceptions, such as hedonism, which values honesty only insofar as it improves ones own sense of pleasure, and moral nihilism, which denies the existence of objective morality outright. Honesty may also be challenged in various social systems with ideological stakes in self-preservation. Many religious and national formations might be so characterized, along with many family structures and other small social collectives.

In these cases honesty is frequently encouraged publicly, but may be forbidden if those invested in preserving the system perceive it as a threat. Depending on the social system, these breaches might be characterized as heresy, treason, or impoliteness. Even in moral systems which approve in general of honesty over dishonesty, some people think there are situations in which dishonesty may be preferable.

Others would not define preferable behaviors as dishonest by reasoning that they are not intended to deceive others for personal gain, but the intent is noble in character, for example sparing people of opinions that will upset them. Rather than dishonesty, the behavior is often viewed as self sacrifice or giving up one’s voice for the happiness of others. In many circumstances, withholding one’s opinions can legitimately be viewed as cowardly, dishonest and a betrayal to those who will be hurt. For this reason, many people insist that an objective approach to the truth is a necessary component of honesty as opposed to an ideological or idealistic approach.

Extension

The mind-body dichotomy is the view that mental phenomena are, in some respects, distinct from the body. In a religious sense, it refers to the separation of body and soul. The mind-body dichotomy is the starting point of Dualism, and became conceptualized in the form known to the modern Western world in René Descartes’ philosophy, though it also surfaced in pre-Aristotelian concepts and in Avicennian philosophy.

Plato argued that, as the body is from the material world, the soul is from the world of ideas and thus immortal. He believed the soul was temporarily united with the body and would only be separated at death where it would then go back to the world of forms. As the soul does not exist in time and space like the body, it can access universal truths from the world of ideas.For Plato, ideas are the true reality, (in terms of the Platonic forms) and are experienced by the soul. Experience is not relevant to this, so the body is given no real part in reality. The body is for Plato empty in that it can not access the abstract reality of the world; it can only experience shadows. This is determined by Plato’s essentially rationalistic epistemology.

This view of reality leads one to consider the corporeal as little valued and trivial. The rejection of the mind-body dichotomy is found in French Structuralism, and is a position that generally characterized post-war French philosophy. The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism and many modern philosophers of mind maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences.

Essence

Mind refers to the aspects of intellect and consciousness manifested as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will and imagination, including all of the brain’s conscious and unconscious cognitive processes. Mind is often used to refer especially to the thought processes of reason. Subjectively, mind manifests itself as a stream of consciousness.

There are many theories of the mind and its function. The earliest recorded works on the mind are by Zarathushtra, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle and other ancient Greek, Indian and Islamic philosophers. Pre-scientific theories, based in theology, concentrated on the relationship between the mind and the soul, the supernatural, divine or god given essence of the person. Modern theories, based on scientific understanding of the brain, theorize that the mind is a product of the brain and has both conscious and unconscious aspects.

The question of which attributes make up the mind is also much debated. Some argue that only the “higher” intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions love, hate, fear and joy, are more “primitive” or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind. Others argue that the rational and the emotional sides of the human person cannot be separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and that they should all be considered as part of the individual mind.

In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought. It is that private conversation with ourselves that we carry on inside our heads. Thus we “make up our minds,” “change our minds” or are “of two minds” about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can know our mind. They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.

Multiplicity

Anekantavada is one of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.

This is to contrast attempts to proclaim absolute truth with the parable of the “blind men and an elephant”. In this story, each blind man felt a different part of an elephant (trunk, leg, ear, etc.). All the men claimed to understand and explain the true appearance of the elephant, but could only partly succeed, due to their limited perspectives. This principle is more formally stated by observing that objects are infinite in their qualities and modes of existence, so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Consequently, no single, specific, human view can claim to represent absolute truth.

Anekantavada encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekantavada apply this principle to religion and philosophy, reminding themselves that any religion or philosophy, even Jainism, which clings too dogmatically to its own tenets, is committing an error based on its limited point of view. The principle of anekantavada also influenced Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to adopt principles of religious tolerance and satyagraha.

Some modern authors believe that Jain philosophy in general and anekantavada in particular can provide a solution to many problems facing the world. They claim that even the mounting ecological crisis is linked to adversarialism, because it arises from a false division between humanity and the rest of nature. Modern judicial systems, democracy, freedom of speech, and secularism all implicitly reflect an attitude of anekantavada.

It is believed that the Jain tradition with its emphasis on anekantavada is capable of solving religious intolerance, terrorism, wars, the depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation and many other problems. Referring to the 9/11 tragedy, John Koller believes that violence in society mainly exists due to faulty epistemology and metaphysics as well as faulty ethics. A failure to respect the life and views of others, rooted in dogmatic and mistaken knowledge and refusal to acknowledge the legitimate claims of different perspectives, leads to violent and destructive behavior.

Koller suggests that anekantavada has a larger role to play in the world peace. According to Koller, because anekantavada is designed to avoid one-sided errors, reconcile contradictory viewpoints, and accept the multiplicity and relativity of truth, the Jain philosophy is in a unique position to support dialogue and negotiations amongst various nations and peoples.

Some have cautioned against giving undue importance to non-violence as the basis of anekantavada. It is pointed out that Jain monks have used anekantavada as a debating weapon to silence critics and prove the validity of the Jain doctrine over others. This method of analysis becomes a fearsome weapon of philosophical polemic with which the doctrines of Hinduism and Buddhism can be pared down to their ideological bases of simple permanence and impermanence, respectively, and thus can be shown to be one-pointed and inadequate as the overall interpretations of reality which they purport to be. On the other hand, the many-sided approach is claimed by the Jains to be immune from criticism since it does not present itself as a philosophical or dogmatic view.

Trend

Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contrary beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term may refer to attempts to merge and analogise several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.

It also occurs commonly in literature, music, the representational arts and other expressions of culture. Syncretism may occur in architecture as well. There also exist syncretic politics, although in political classification the term has a somewhat different meaning.

Overt syncretism in folk belief may show cultural acceptance of an alien or previous tradition, but the other cult may survive or infiltrate without authorized syncresis nevertheless. For example, some Conversos developed a sort of cult for martyr victims of the Spanish Inquisition, thus incorporating elements of Catholicism while resisting it.

Some religious movements have embraced overt syncretism, such as the case of the adoption of Shintō elements into Buddhism as well as the adoption of Germanic and Celtic pagan elements into Catholicism during Christianity’s spread into Gaul, the British Isles and Germany. Others have strongly rejected it as devaluing precious and genuine distinctions; examples of this include post-Exile Judaism and Islam.

Syncretism tends to facilitate coexistence and constructive interaction between different cultures, a factor that has recommended it to rulers of multi-ethnic realms. Conversely the rejection of syncretism, usually in the name of piety and orthodoxy, may help to generate, bolster or authorize a sense of cultural unity in a well-defined minority or majority.

Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. This can occur for many reasons, and the latter scenario happens quite commonly in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function actively in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices.

Religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs or history, but adherents of so-labeled systems often frown on applying the label, especially adherents who belong to revealed religious systems, such as the Abrahamic religions, or any system that exhibits an exclusivist approach. Such adherents sometimes see syncretism as a betrayal of their pure truth. By this reasoning, adding an incompatible belief corrupts the original religion, rendering it no longer true. Indeed, critics of a specific syncretistic trend may sometimes use the word syncretism as a disparaging epithet, as a charge implying that those who seek to incorporate a new view, belief, or practice into a religious system actually distort the original faith. Non-exclusivist systems of belief, on the other hand, may feel quite free to incorporate other traditions into their own.

In modern secular society, religious innovators sometimes create new religions syncretically as a mechanism to reduce inter-religious tension and enmity, often with the effect of offending the original religions in question. Such religions, however, do maintain some appeal to a less exclusivist audience.

Strength

Courage, also known as bravery and fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Its accompanying animal is the lion. Often, Fortitude is depicted as having tamed the ferocious lion, as in the Tarot trump called Strength. It also is a symbol in some cultures as a savior of the people who live in a community with sin and a corrupt church or religious body.

The Tao Te Ching states that courage is derived from love and explains: “One of courage, with audacity, will kill. One of courage, but gentle, spares life. From these two kinds of courage arise harm and benefit.” In Roman Catholicism, courage is referred to as Fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues along with prudence, justice, and temperance. In both Catholicism and Anglicanism, courage is also one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

As a virtue, courage is discussed extensively in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, where its vice of deficiency is cowardice and its vice of excess is recklessness. Soren Kierkegaard opposed courage to angst, while Paul Tillich opposed an existential courage to be to non-being, fundamentally equating it with religion.

Courage is the self-affirmation of being in spite of the fact of non-being. It is the act of the individual self in taking the anxiety of non-being upon itself by affirming itself in the anxiety of guilt and condemnation. Every courage to be has openly or covertly a religious root, for religion is the state of being grasped by the power of being itself.

Courage appears as the first of ten characteristics of religion the Hindu scripture, with the remaining characteristics being forgiveness, tolerance, not to steal, control of senses, cleanliness, intelligence, knowledge, truth, and not to get angry. In Islam, courage is seen as an important attribute to combat evil like the Prophet and to make the sacrifice required, to stand up to evil like the Prophet said and defend the brothers and sisters.

Civil courage, sometimes also referred to as social courage, is defined by many different standards. In general, the term is usually referred to when civilians stand up against something that is deemed unjust and evil, knowing that the consequences of their action might lead to injury or some other form of significant harm.

In some countries civil courage is enforced by law. This means that if a crime is committed in public, the public is obliged to act either by alerting the authorities or by intervening in the conflict. If the crime is committed in a private environment, those who witness the crime must either report it to the authorities or attempt to stop it.