definition: par•a•digm (pār'ə-dīm', -dĭm')

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this blog is four-fold:
to recognize that every person functions within a basic paradigm, which affects how all information is processed;
(2) to understand the paradigms of others;
(3) to discuss, in particular, paradigms which are related to science, religion, and philosophy.

(4) to reveal the paradigm shifts in my own life, a process that has completely changed the direction and purpose of my existence.

The purpose of this blog is NOT to convince anyone that their paradigms or beliefs are correct or incorrect. I am hoping for an honest dialog, but the discussions must remain respectful of others, even if there is profound disagreement. If any comments are not respectful, they will be removed.
(Revised 1/13/09)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Key Paradigm: the viewpoint of God-as-myth.

Before I bring up the God-as-myth concept, I want to give another example of the incredible power of any sort of paradigm. Back in the 1400's, Europeans thought the earth was flat. All of their scientific evidence, in addition to their day-to-day experience, supported this notion. When real, scientific evidence was presented that disproved this notion and explained quite clearly how the earth was round and orbited around the sun, the entire culture was thrown into upheaval. The people who continued to live in the paradigm of a flat earth simply could not take in the new evidence, although we now know it to be true. In modern times, we are so convinced of the truth of the solar system's structure that when we hear about groups like the "Flat Earth Society" (see, we tend to think they are nuts.

The only reason I bring this up, is that, when a person is totally ensconced in a paradigm, it takes a lot more than the usual evidence to convince him to step into a new paradigm. There are several paradigms that have been discussed, to date, on this blog. The one that Wala just explained is that God (or any divine being) is nothing more than a myth that helps people psychologically--to explain mysterious events and to give them comfort. (Wala, if I stated your position incorrectly, please forgive me, and tell me what it was that you meant.) The paradigm at the other end of the religious spectrum is that God is real and that He is all-knowing, all-powerful, sees the end from the beginning, and is present everywhere at once. To someone living in this paradigm, it would not seem at all unusual for God to intervene in anyone's life. Obiously there is no way to prove, scientifically, that the "believers" are correct. On the other hand, there is no way to disprove them. Neither is there any way to prove, scientifically, thet the "non-believers" are either correct or incorrect. It is an interesting dilemma.

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