As far as we can observe, we live in a 3-dimensional Universe. Consequently, we have no other choice but to trust our 5 senses, and trust empirical evidence and logic in our everyday life.
Well, most of us, most of the time.
Most of us presuppose that we are not brains in a vat; nor are we led to believe that we live in a Matrix. We believe rather reasonably that our choices in life lead to observable and socially shared results, good and bad.
One of the reasons for this is that we count on the realities we perceive and share with others: our interactions with reality and others present daily evidence that trusting our senses provide demonstrable and practical results, albeit imperfect.
—Also, on the matrix idea, we know that so far artificial intelligence is a program that cannot account for subjective tastes in art, music, food, etc… nor “subjective” anything else for that matter.
A good example of this is our driving experience.
—We make split-second subjective decisions all the time, based on the reactions of the many other drivers, often intuitively, from experience.
We know that we can physically harm ourselves and others with a single bad decision. So we count on technology, but more importantly on physical, natural, and even legal Laws to make quick decisions.
All of this interaction within the confines of our perceivable reality did not come into existence from a perfect prefabricated program, but thru hit and misses that physically mean something. It will always be a work in progress. We are evolving every day.
*(in fact, the empirical evidence for evolution is good evidence that we are physical beings in a messy, unprogrammed process.)
It can be said that much of our everyday confidence depends on physical realities and the scientific method used as a tool to explain a lot of it. Most of us “presuppose” that our material and conscious world is all we have (consciousness being a biological phenomenon; no biological brain, no consciousness. A biologically altered brain produces a faulty and confused consciousness).
All of this makes sense, except for the fundamentalist believers in the supernatural.
Things can get tricky there…
For example, Christians believe that their cultural God exists because they presuppose that the Bible is inspired by the very God its human writers made extraordinary claims about. They do not question the writers as they do for all other religious books. They skip that part and directly presuppose that the God the writers wrote about is real.
—it’s the oddest form of trust in my opinion. Especially since one religion will deny the divinity of all the other cultural scriptures!
I personally do not question the God idea, because his ontology is secondary.
I first question the intent and knowledge of the writers who claimed his existence to be true.
It is no secret that the Bible is actually a “collection” of books, most of which do not claim inspiration. They were compiled and recompiled thru subjective choice by the not so early Church.
The official biblical canon (66 books) was finally presented in the mid-1500s.
It is interesting to note that the translation and printing of the biblical canon were considered heresy, and conveniently hidden from the flock. In the dark ages (AD 500 to 1500+) the Roman Catholic Church burned both Bibles and those daring to own even only a part of it.
—It is also true that every Christian faction has its own canon, to this day. And there is still no consensus on the Roman Catholic standard.
It is also demonstrable that the claims on nature and the cosmos were in tune with what the neighboring beliefs were, for lack of scientific tools and proper methods of observation.
In other words, there are no extraordinary pre-scientific revelations from an alleged Creator that should have been expected to inspire extraordinary evidence of foreknowledge, unavailable at the time.
All of this is an epistemological issue: how do we know what we know?
The issue is related to the sources we trust. Do we trust them unquestionably as definitive conclusions? Or are we open to correct our views upon better, newer, and more complete information?
As I said and will continue to say, I’m in a process of knowledge and self-correction, not in a biased conclusion that cannot be challenged. I have proven this to myself, and continue to do so—and I’m corrected a lot!
My last words will probably end with a question mark. I cannot fathom saying “That’s it! I now KNOW what I believe to be true and unquestionable!”
It’s a question of humility.
We are Humans that trust the sources we feel most honest—but our sources are always from imperfect and biased humans, often with an agenda. This is true of both science and religion. But only science has a method that we can understand empirically, and self-corrects itself constantly.
Our presuppositions ought to be rooted in what we know to be real; they should have a logical base.
Otherwise, we are just blowing air on what we simply cannot know and just pretend to know.
My favorite quote comes from Bertrand Russell:
“Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.”