Pillars of Belief
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 physical universe came into being in one blinding flash that we refer to as the Big Bang. There is no way for us, as human beings, to tell how or why the physical universe came into being by means of this Big Bang, or what was going on before the physical universe came into its physical being, since all we have at our disposal to determine these things are personal experiences of our five physical senses and our common sense, which only experience things that have a physical manifestation.
The physical universe in which we find ourselves embedded appears, to our five senses and common sense, to be nothing more than a chaotic collection of a finite number of ultimately irreducible integers of physical matter. Each such ultimately irreducible integer of physical matter within this random collection of irreducible units of matter is moving out and away from every other unit of matter.
Thus, each and every one of these single units of matter that is bonded together with one or more units of matter to form a combination of matter that is larger than a single quantum field (units such as a muon, neutron, proton, atom, rock, tree, animal, human being, planet, star, galaxy, galaxy cluster, or any other combination of matter) is in the active process of disintegrating into a finite number of ultimately irreducible, individuated quantum fields of physical matter.
The Big Bang was not a simple explosion that erupted from a physical point at the center of a physical sphere that was later to constitute our physical universe. Rather, this Big Bang was the instantaneous manifestation of a physical force that caused every single ultimately irreducible integer of physical matter in the entire physical universe (i.e., every single such quantum field) to emit an instantaneous force of repulsion out and away from every other such quantum field at the exact same instant, thus constituting a universal and center-less explosion.
The momentum or impetus imparted upon every single ultimately irreducible integer of matter in the physical universe by this initial Big Bang continues to manifest itself at this very instant in the expansion of every single quantum field within our physical universe moving out and away from every other quantum field.
A second force continues to manifest itself at this very instant in the constant atomic breakdown of each and every element of physical matter in our physical universe into its ultimately irreducible sub-particles of matter (i.e., into its sub-component constituent quantum fields) to exponentially multiply the rate of expansion of our universe. When the impetus or momentum that was imparted upon each of these ultimately irreducible integers of matter at the moment the Big Bang occurred is spent, every single ultimately irreducible integer of matter in the entire physical universe will stand separate and apart from every other one.
There will become a point at which each ultimately-irreducible integer of a physical matter’s quantum field is far enough away from each other quantum field in the universe that they no longer affect each other in any meaningful way. These ultimately-irreducible integers will then continue to move out and away from each other so much so that the universe returns to being empty, void, and in a state of complete nothingness.
That is, there will be nothing in the entire physical universe except each separate, individual, and ultimately-irreducible quantum field of physical matter standing apart from each other and continuing to move out and away from each other into infinity.
Therefore, the only reality that exists is material reality, and all reality exists only within the confines of our physical universe. Outside of our physical universe can only be conceptualized as an infinite and eternal abyss with nothing in it, not even a single quantum field of physical matter. Such nothingness spreads out and away from the physical confines of our universe infinitely and eternally.
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?
Our physical universe is heading inevitably and inextricably toward a state of nothingness. There is, therefore, no point, no objective, and no ultimate referent for meaning in our physical universe—there is no meaning, in any ultimate sense, to the physical existence of our universe.
The universe simply is and, one day, it simply will not be, at least in the form of anything other than an infinitely-expanding number of effectively unconnected individuated quantum fields of physical matter, each one having no being other than an entirely unconscious, rock-like, physical being.
We human beings are merely one of the many, completely arbitrary and random physical confluences of mass and energy. In turn, mass and energy are nothing more than two differing compositions and densities of randomly-occurring quantum fields that we arbitrarily and artificially distinguish along a straight-line continuum, ranging from one single quantum field to the total collective that we call the physical universe.
Like all inanimate and animate material things that occur in our universe completely randomly, our creation was nothing more than a purely random event (as has been described accurately by Charles Darwin and Daniel Dennett in On the Origin of Species and Consciousness Explained respectively).
There is no internally-driven or externally-driven phenomenon within our material universe that constitutes a rational referent in relationship to the progression of the human species in any specific teleological direction (e.g., from good to better). Any such postulate is nothing more than wishful thinking, a mere projection of our own myopic self-centered wish for self-importance among the billions of non-life forms and other life forms that exist randomly within our physical universe.
Human beings, like all other life forms observed on our planet, have always been and always will be self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, untrustworthy, and entitled to no special consideration by the universe. Since our coming down out of the trees in our earlier form, we, as a species, have been and will inevitably remain territorial, predatory, carnivorous, murderous, and selfish. As a result, life, including human life, is meaningless, barbarous, cruel, and short.
The Ontological Question:
How did sentient consciousness come into being (especially human consciousness)?
Consciousness is nothing more than an arbitrary and meaningless physical epiphenomenon or function of the specific random interplay of mass and energy of which we and other life forms are made up. It is merely a kind of physical energy field that just happens to be self-referential. This specific physical phenomenon is no more unique or important than phototropism, gravity, light, or the development of chlorophyll—to which we, as human beings, attach no great cosmic import. We attach special importance to this phenomenon of consciousness merely because we believe that we have more of it than other sentient beings, thus making us as a species unique in the universe. This, however, is nothing more than self-centered solipsism—starting out by positing the ultimate premise of the superiority of consciousness in us, and then, purportedly discovering its uniqueness and importance within nature.
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?
As human beings, we have nothing more than our five physical senses, to perceive reality, and our physical intellect, to physically organize this sensorial data intake into physical patterns. This epistemological conclusion is reality. All else is, once again, wishful thinking on our part as human beings.
Therefore, reality looks or feels different to each one of us, depending entirely upon what individuals physically perceive through their five physical senses. Some people have superior physical senses, superior physical strength, or a superior intellectual faculty.
The best manner one can use to determine the facts (or “reality”) is recognizing the physical and mental superiority of those that are most fit and placing that individual person who possesses the most superior physical strength and the highest degree of intellectual acuity in a position of authority. One then only needs adopt whatever that superior individual says as one’s own reality.
In a more modern setting, in order to determine what the facts are or what ultimate reality is, one need only to go to the authority in the field and adopt what they assert to be fact. This authority is the leader, the chief, or the head of state.
Pursuant to this mode of ethical reasoning, there is a hierarchy of authority, from the lowest to the highest, ideally with one supreme individual at the apex of authority capable of resolving all confusion. Those individuals who demonstrate the power to impose their will over all others will conquer, govern others, and become the leaders, who, in turn, will exercise the authority to declare what is fact.
Mode of Ethical Reasoning:
Since each individual has nothing more than his or her own five physical senses to physically perceive reality and only his or her own personal degree of intellectual acuity to organize these otherwise disparate pieces of physical data into some strictly relative pattern of meaning, each individual will perceive reality in accordance with his or her best, selfish interests.
Ultimately, the only meaningful, comparable ethical referent is the degree to which each individual person is able to maximize his or her own personal pleasure and minimize his or her own physical pain.
There is no absolute or objective truth. There is no right. There is no wrong. There is simply the exercise of raw power to declare what ought to be considered to be the facts in any given situation. And, it is perfectly understandable—indeed right—that each individual attempt to physically or intellectually compel every other individual to recognize his or her reality, the reality that identifies his or her maximum physical pleasure and his or her minimum physical pain, as the paramount value in the entire universe.
Therefore, when faced with a given public policy or community problem, it is predictable—and, indeed, right—that each individual would and should attempt to exploit that particular public problem to maximize his or her own physical pleasure and minimize his or her own physical pain.
Therefore, when confronted with a range of alternative choices that might be made as to what one ought do to respond to a given public policy problem, one merely selects that specific choice (based upon one’s best physical data processed through one’s intelligence) that one believes generates the greatest degree of short-term physical pleasure to one’s self and that generates the least degree of short-term physical pain to one’s self or, by simple physical extension, the choice that generates the greatest degree of physical pleasure and the least possible degree of physical pain to one’s immediate biological family members.
The adoption of this specific mode of ethical reasoning is the straightforward, rational product, which lacks another referent for right or wrong that we, as rational human beings, are capable of physically experiencing through our five physical senses.
And, of course, one’s experience is expressly limited to one’s physical experiences that places an absolute limit on the efficacy of the attempts to rally individual human beings to some more abstract, nonphysical ethical referent. There simply is no other such physically-experiencable referent. There is certainly no cosmic referent by means of which any individual human being is capable of directly physically experiencing the cosmos.
Since nothing holds reality together in any predictable, reliable system in accordance with which one can reliably say that any act is either right or wrong, I will get mine and I will seek to generate an immediate sense of physical security around me and around my immediate biological extensions. This is the only true referent for right and wrong that I can directly experience through my five senses.
Thus, only “might makes right.” Indeed, might makes reality itself, for there is no other reality upon which we can depend.
Adherents to The First Paradigm Worldview believe that our physical universe began, in a single moment, with a single Big Bang, that all physical matter was created during this Big Bang and that the sum total of the matter that was then created is spreading out in an expanding spatial framework.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that this Big Bang occurred approximately 14 billion years ago, and that our physical universe is made up of a fixed and finite number of ultimately-irreducible integers of matter, each one of which was created at the moment of the Big Bang event.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that every single complex combination of matter is disintegrating into its smaller constituent, ultimately-indivisible, units of matter.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe, further, that each and every ultimately-irreducible integer of matter in our entire physical universe is, at the same time, repelling itself out and away from every other such ultimately-irreducible integer of matter in our entire physical universe.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that this contemporaneously-occurring expansion and disintegration of all matter within our physical universe has been going on since the very earliest stage of our physical universe, and that this contemporaneously-occurring expansion and disintegration will continue to go on up to the point in time at which every single ultimately-irreducible integer of such matter that exists in the entire physical universe will stand separate and apart from each and every other such ultimately-irreducible integer of matter in the entire physical universe.
Crucially, adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that our entire physical universe will ultimately disintegrate into nothingness, and that our physical universe will continue to expand out and away for all of eternity thereafter.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that this continued expansion will occur because there is not enough physical matter in the physical universe to cause the eventual collapse of the universe into a singularity—a reverse Big Bang. The direct physical attraction that every ultimately-irreducible integer of matter has for each and every other ultimately-irreducible integer of is not strong enough to overcome the expansion of the universe. Current data and analysis tells us the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
Because of the belief that there does not exist enough physical matter in our universe to generate an adequate amount of physical internal attraction to overcome the force that has been placed upon each integer of matter by the 14 billion years of expansion and disintegration that each such unit of matter will have undergone, adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that our physical universe is absolutely irretrievably destined to its ultimate physical disintegration into absolute nothingness.
Adherents to this First Paradigm Worldview adhere to an ontological belief that human consciousness is nothing more than a randomly-occurring, accidental physical epiphenomenon of the interplay of physical matter and energy.
This ontological belief of adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview is articulated most eloquently and most persuasively by Daniel Dennett in his popular work entitled Consciousness Explained and again in his work entitled Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.
The epistemology and theory of human psychology that adherents of the First Paradigm Worldview believe in is strictly sensory and materialist. That is, adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview hold the epistemological belief that we, as human beings, have access to no greater truth than that which we can experientially see, touch, taste, hear, or smell through our five physical senses, which together, communicate the total composite of raw materialist data that we can directly personally physically experience.
Adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview believe that our human mind functions as nothing more than the mechanical, random interplay of physical material interacting within our human brain, generating physical forces that are totally determined by the random interaction of physical atoms. This specific theory of epistemology and human psychology has been thoroughly and thoughtfully articulated by Thomas Hobbes.
In its lower manifestation, the First Paradigm Worldview generates the mode of ethical reasoning of simple “dog-eat-dog” individualistic self-striving and domination that was championed by Machiavelli’s The Prince in 1513.
In its higher manifestation, the First Paradigm Worldview generates the mode of ethical reasoning of Epicurus from 310 B.C., being the mode of ethical reasoning pursuant to advocating for one to engage in moderation (insonomia), through the voluntary suppression of the desire for excess pleasure by observing the traditional virtues of justice, temperance, courage, beauty, friendship, knowledge, etc., each of which was to be undertaken in moderation for the purpose of assuring to oneself the “good life.” Whereas, the “good life” is one’s personal life experience that is “sure and secure in a world of uncertainty,” thus being the only rational course of life.
Because of these combined cosmological, teleological, ontological, and epistemological beliefs on the part of adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview, adherents, in its lower manifestation, espouse an essentially pessimistic philosophy, exemplified by Thomas Hobbes. In its higher manifestation, the First Paradigm Worldview manifests itself in Epicureanism.
The mode of spiritual expression for adherents to the First Paradigm Worldview is strictly materialist. It only allows for the physical manipulation of the raw physical forces of our world and universe as a direct function of the chaotic universe by certain shamanically-skilled and trained individuals.
In its lower manifestation, this First Paradigm mode of spiritual expression manifests itself in the form of shamanism and magic (sometimes in a bad way, for example, as Voodoo, and sometimes in a good way, for example, in the form of the white magic” performed by animists and practitioners of Wicca). In its higher manifestation, the First Paradigm mode of spiritual expression manifests itself in the form of panpsychism, espoused by many of the most preeminent thinkers in western civilization, including Giordano Bruno, G.W. Liebniz, Arthur Schopenhauer, W.K. Clifford, F.C.S. Schiller, and Alfred North Whitehead. The higher manifestation of this First Paradigm Worldview is sometimes expressed in the form of a belief in Gaia, the panpsychic conscious being that is our planet Earth.
In its political philosophy, the First Paradigm Worldview manifests itself in its lower manifestation in the form of authoritarian autocracy, such as that practiced by barbarian autocrats, such as Attila The Hun and Genghis Khan in Ancient Asia. In its higher manifestation, the First Paradigm Worldview expresses itself in the political philosophy of authoritative monarchy or benevolent despotism, such as the mythical medieval Saxon kingdom of Camelot by King Arthur and the Knights of his famous Roundtable, in the indigenous regimes of the Iroquois Confederacy, of King Quetzalcoatl of the Incas in Teotihuacan, and by King Huitzilopochtli of the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan.
The Paradigmatic Exemplification of The Lower Manifestation of The First Paradigm Worldview
Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan
The Paradigmatic Exemplification of The Higher Manifestation of The First Paradigm Worldview
The Great White Roots of Peace (The Iriquois Confederacy), Camelot of King Arthur
 For a full explication of this purely materialist explanation of consciousness, see Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett. See also Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett.