In questioning the universe, we essentially question the purpose of our existence. To answer, we shall rely on the metaphysics field of ontology (Solomon and Kathleen p.7). This essay explains that the universe has a direction and goal only when we view it as the same entity in the past, now and in our future imagination.
There exists a general division on the nature of reality. One side of the division proclaims that reality exists independent of us while the other who do not believe so or are not sure. Realists say that there is a planetary system and a force of gravity among other features that make up the universe. Furthermore, they state that the existence of these systems and gravity does not cease after we stop noticing. Much of realist theories do not factor in our epistemology of the things and events that are examined. The realists rely on a theory of meaning that is characterised by statements about the universe that get real things. Those who use the theory of meaning in ways that we get to know a meaning of a sentence only as much as we can have evidence for it are in fact anti-realists.
The things that make up reality possess attributes that we use to define and describe the things. So if we propose that someone is ignorant, then we are using the attribute of ignorance to describe the person. If we describe someone else as ignorant, then we are faced with the dilemma explaining how the two persons, which in our case are real objects, though having the same attribute are different people. To solve the dilemma in order to effectively discern single objects we have to look deeper than their attributes. To aid us, we rely on Aristotelians who have demarcated kinds from properties, holding as facts that kinds are what the particulars or attributes belong to. So in our example above, the individuals belong to or are humans. While ignorance is what the individuals have or possess. We are therefore able to understand that the individuals are two members of humans that share the same properties (Newall para14-30).
Now that we know of a reality and the aspects of that reality, we may then ask the question of whether the universe, as it currently forms our reality, will be there in the future. In answering the question we look at the theories of time. There is the presentism theory that views the past as already gone and the future as yet to come. Proponents of this theory view that only the present exists. And the externalism theory that denies the presence of now, instead explaining that now is a mere reference point to differentiate events as they happened, such that Plato exists as we do only that the existence is within a separate context (Newall para. 30-35). The above theories of time do not offer us much explanation that we can use in our example above. Let us examine the time theories of endurantism and perdurantism.
The endurantists believe that the individual in our above example is the same in the past as well as now. The same individual belonged to the humans group before and even now, therefore is persisting or enduring over time. On the contrary, perdurantists believe that the individual we refer to now is different from that of the past and has either moved to another stage or has changed as part of a temporal development. This explanation shows that endurantists believe that only the now exists and the past and future are only possibilities, while the perdurantists see no particular significance in time implying that the past, now and the future and our imaginations are all equally real (Newall para.37-42).
From the explanations above we conclude that the universe may have a direction if we view it from the endurantists perspective. On the other hand if we are realists and hold the perdurantists’ view, and then we can make the universe as it suits us. As observed by Voltaire, we believe that without individual purpose (Solomon & Kathleen p. 68 & 72), the universe and its attributes are meaningless and only assume the meaning we give.
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