The pillar beliefs, or “ultimate facts” are answers to questions we cannot objectively answer given our five senses and the faculty of reason and logic. All reasonable people will come to conclusions on questions such as “how did the universe begin?” and “how did human consciousness arise?” However, as a whole, humanity comes up with a wide and colorful spectrum of answers to these questions that then inform our everyday decisions and actions. Defining and categorizing these questions and the spectrum of answers they produce can then give us great insight into the decisions of others and help communication between people with vastly different ways of looking at the world. We analyze the pillar beliefs by looking at the answers to four sets of existential questions:
The Cosmological Question:
How did our physical universe first come into being, and what are the physical laws that govern its past, present, and future functioning?
The Teleological Question:
Is there a specific direction in which our physical universe is unfolding, and if there is, what is the role of our human species, if any, in this unfolding?
The Ontological Question:
How did sentient consciousness come into being (especially human consciousness)?
The Epistemological Question:
What are the means by which we as human beings are capable of discerning the “facts” that constitute the answer to ultimate cosmic questions such as these?