Re:virus: "other reality"

Bill Godby (
Fri, 03 May 1996 23:16:35 -0400

My comments on this are purely philosophical but hopefully contribute
something to this issue. Philosophically this "other reality" issue
involves both ontology (the branch of philosophy that deals with
reality) and it involves epistemology (the branch of philosophy that
deals with theories of knowledge). To put it in laymens terms, ontology
is the issue of being or existence. Is there anything to support the
existence of another reality? The most famous ontological arguments in
philosophy regard the existence of God. Anselm's (c.1033-1109) logical
proof of God's existence is worth checking out. Descartes also has an
ontological argument for the existence of God. These arguments appeal to
the same type of thinking that Steve Atkin is applying. Ultimately we
are dealing with a metaphysical issue. Epistemology enters in to this
because, as Steve points out, we only get a limited amount of
information about the physical world, we don't get it all. Therefore our
knowledge, the espistemological foundation for our beliefs, is not
altogether accurate which of course leads to questions such as that

The point I'm trying to make is that the question really is an
ontological question, one of reality. If anyone remembers I brought up
Hume awhile ago in reference to knowledge and reality. Hume illustrates
just how much we can never know about the world and that what we end up
"knowing" are things we can basically demonstrate, and rely upon through
induction, this is the foundation of scientific knowledge. Other
realities can be theorized no one has demonstrated their existence,
just as no one has demonstrated the existence of God. The fact that this
reality can be demonstrated through logical statements is not to say
that they are, as Hume would say, matters of fact, rather they are
philosophical propositions, logical truths. This is big stuff to say the
least. I would refer anyone who has a decent library to check out
Ontolgical Arguments for the Existence of God in the Encylopedia of
Philosophy. Hope this contributes something.

Bill Godby