Ontology (Greek meaning ontos, “being; that which is”; and logos meaning “discourse, study, ratio, calculation, reason”) Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

Epistemology (Greek episteme, meaning “knowledge, understanding”, and logos, meaning “discourse, study, ratio, calculation, reason”) it is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

Axiology (Greek meaning axia, “value, worth”; and logos meaning “discourse, study, ratio, calculation, reason”) it is the philosophical study of value as well as ethics and aesthetics. Formal Axiology is a specific branch of the science of Axiology. Axiology also studies of goodness, value or worth, in the widest sense of these terms. Its significance lies in the unification that it has provided for the study of a variety of questions—economic, moral, aesthetic, and even logical—that had often been considered in relative isolation.

“The Hammer of Truth” is the use of Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology questions to remove errors and add accuracy. It is also my folk name for Scientific Philosophy: Ontology, Epistemology, and Axiology”

Ontology, Epistemology, & Axiology OEA (The Hammer of Truth)

OEA “Hammer of Truth” Questions:

Ontology, Epistemology, & Axiology questioning tools in inquiry, disagreements, arguments, or debates.

*Ontology (thingness of things) questions to define or compare and contrast thingness.

*Epistemology (knowledge of things) questions to explode or establish and confirm knowledge.

*Axiology (value/worth/goodness of things) questions to valueize (value judge) or establish and confirm value or disvalue, worth or dis-worth, as well as goodness or un-good.

(OEA challenge protocol; is part of my, Methodological Rationalism approach)

Expressed in its simplest form, The Hammer of Truth: Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology. We and credible thinkers should adopt rationality assumptions, as necessary constraints on interpretation, as well as practical issues in addressing methodological problems faced by:

gatherers: “Ontology”, inquisitors: “Epistemology”, & judgers: “Axiology.”

 

“The Hammer of Truth: Ontology, Epistemology and Axiology”

 

Mock Debate court using the “Hammer of Truth”

  1. Ontology “Reality” questions/assertion: Witness gives evidence about the claim.
  1. Epistemology “Truth” questions/assertion: Lawyer searches for warrant or justification for the claim.
  1. Axiology “Goodness-for” questions/assertion: Judge assesses and value judges because of qualities in or lacking in the claim.

Always try to follow this attack order:

*Ontology, (understanding the thingness of things; like what is or can be real, like not god)

-What is your claim?

-What aspects must be there for your claim?

-What makes your claim different than other similar claims?

*Epistemology, (understanding what you know or can know; as in you do have and thing in this reality to know anything about this term you call god, and no way of knowing if there is anything non-naturalism beyond this universe and no way to state any about it if there where)

-How do know your claim?

-How reliable or valid must aspects be for your claim?

-How does the source of your claim make it different than other similar claims?

*Axiology (understanding what is good or valuable as well as what is evil or unvaluable like how the stories about theist theistic gods are often racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic intersexphobic, xenophobic, etc. Thus, they are directly against humanity and thus are evil and unvaluable. Unvaluable; as in the god concept you have is evil and demonstrably harmful and thus is highly unvaluable to humanity)

-Why are your objects of proposed value subjective psychological states or objective physiological external world states for your claim?

-Why do your purposed descriptive words fit qualities for valuation (such as “powerful”, “knowing”, and “present” in the Omnipotent: all-powerful, Omniscient: all-knowing, and Omnipresent: all-present god assertion) your claim?

-Why is your value-for, worth-for, and/or goodness-for claims different than other similar claims?

Take for instance how Religion supporters try the evaluation tactic of saying “there are peaceful Religions.”

I may respond, what do you mean by Religion and what do you mean by painful or good” (asking to find the truth or as usual expose the lack of a good Ontology)

Then, I may respond, “how do you know that, what is your sources and how reliable they are” (asking to find the truth or as usual expose the lack of a good Epistemology)

Then, I may respond, “what value do you think what you are saying has and to what level of proof do you feel truth needs as well as how do you insure Accuracy” (asking to find the truth or as usual expose the lack of a good Axiology)

Let’s look at the “gOD claim” with the Hammer of Truth

To me god is a the Presuppositional Error it assumes a unsupported oncology assumptions.First, truly what is a god and how can you claim to know about it? Guessing is not evidence, neither is wild, unfounded assertions that are written in reality devoid documents such as holy books. Atheists do not have to prove that gods do not exist, as gods have never been proven to exist. Nor is there any good reason to think they could exist! In the branch of linguistics known as pragmatics, a presupposition is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse.

Let me explain why as an axiological atheist (value theory atheist) even the belief in the concept of god is ethically vile to me. God belief is inherently immoral to me it is the belief that supports an all powerful being who willfully allows suffering, something that no ethical person would tolerate if they had the ability to do otherwise. Moreover, a common attribute of god belief is support of this claimed greater being of high intelligence and self will forcing its will and standards on other beings of high intelligence and self will. This force is unethical and abusive to the rights of humanity. Furthermore, many who subscribe to this force abusive relationship god claim an even more revolting ethical atrocity called hell where eternal horror and suffering is dished out by direct will of the claimed stronger immoral god being against the defenseless undeserving subjugated humanity. Thus, being one, who values rights and ethics, it sickens me to even speak of such willful misconduct of justice. Your god concept is vile… (axiology value judgment).

The god claim is like a clown car rolling in from out of nowhere and it seems like it is only one or possibly a few bad ideas, but no. No, it is a dark festival that masquerades as truth but it is only an evil funhouse of mirrors that distorts reality. The term god is an empty meaningless term and if it was not for man-made myths or wild speculations which are usually the misinterpretations of nature, no one would claim to know what a god is or could be. Unless one falls back to the circus of fallacies in the magic big top of fideism and the faith fallacy that you do not need anything but faith to validate, justify, or prove any mystical belief you so desire.

The God Fallacy is that there is no epistemically warranted or justifiably reliable evidence for god(s) existence; most ideas offered are stretches of unreason promoting seemingly implausible knowledge or reality claims. Moreover, beyond this is the self-evident realization that there is no reliable and /or verifiable evidence that could be used to define what god term actually is or could be assured to involve. Because it is never good to just randomly conceptualize or fabricate from bias trying to force connections into existence. epistemically warranted or justifiably reliable evidence or even a preset of proofs that do not hold gaps a believer want to fill with an arbitrary beliefs things need a god explanation and yet again what does god even mean. One his furthered nothing with god talk until they offer clear links to understand what could rightly make up the empty term g. o. d. (Group Originated Delusion).

Any reasonable thinker should conclude that clear links to any knowledge are required to comprehend what to ask, where to look, or what to state is involved. This would seem especially important since what is on the line is the actual truth or falsehood of the great believed “IT” of somethingism. Do you wish to just assemble or make up your god thinking as you go, greedily forcing anything that seems slow enough to not get away or is the actual truth in reality you seek even if godless as finding the true is the main pursuit, as your aim is what true right, taken with the deepest integrity? One should desire such intellectual rigor in order to even distinguish if we need to inquire or have a way to question a possibility of existence, as this empty termed “it” god of nothingism is unknown in every way even in its “it” status outside of faith superstitions, Dogmatic–Propaganda, delusion, myths and lies.

Religion is just Dogmatic–Propaganda, such as how it is wrong to start with full belief built only upon faith: then search and anything unknown, claiming it somehow justifies or is evidence for their specific God Fallacy.

Another attribute of the God Fallacy is that believers seem to insinuate, if they can in anyway demonstrate (even the possibility of a thing that could seem to be a something attributed to a god) then they have proved that the god they believe in is true. And yet is it not true that man will always fail to prove a specific god? Religion is big on claims but small on reasoning. Take the Abrahamic faiths; they propose a very specific, well-defined god, but in reality, they advocate a very unspecified god; a naturalistic, inferred-theistic-creationism or the god of intelligent design. In other words, when pressed to demonstrate god in the world, or as the reason for the big bang, they can at best only try to surmise a magical power or unknown and unknowable possible something as the “creator.” But the question needs to asked, how does that prove any specific god? So even if we were to concede, for the sake of argument, that some god, phantom-menace started things, they still have to show that this god is the very same as the god in which they believe.

The truth is, for all the appeals they make to nature in order to justify their god, not one appeal is valid in any way to confirm that their god (and only their god) is true, they must always leave the facts and return to faith. Thus, these haughty theists always fail to show any naturalistic reasons for believing in their special-needs god. What they show instead is a belief, not in the god of some myth or scriptures, but belief in a projected somethingism-god attributed to nature, which is indistinguishable from a nothingism, godless reality attributed by nature.However, the issues don’t stop there, as they also would have to prove, or give warrant, as well as justification for every attribute and claimed character trait attached to their specific god using only natural arguments, not some Holy Book or otherworldly revelation.

Coherent Definition of god?

I am an Ignostic atheist and not only do not believe in the term gods I reject that even the term or concept of god has any real thing or true reality connected definition. To me there is no one coherent definition of god even if they think articulation proves real meaning, this proves little more that me saying someone believes in a “Triangle-Square-Circle”. To the term god I thus regards it as empty of real meaning and or real definition constancy, so I see it as something that is not really know or knowable or coherently define able as a real object even if it can add arbitrary words to articulate it is still not something outside man-made arbitration.

One may say no the god definition is real one cannot say it is not, as most people generally known what the term god means thus that cannot be rejected. Really?? I could be misunderstanding this reasoning put against Ignostic Atheist thinking but to me it seems to hold the opinion, saying I must accept the god concept as something definable in reality because ad populum? In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for “appeal to the people”) is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because many or most people believe it: “If many believe so, it is so.”

Bigfoot’s, Unicorns, and Gods the rational conclusion using Axiology

So how do we form rational conclusions? More importantly how do we differentiate between the levels involved to establish a conclusions rational viability.

It takes axiology or the value judgment the worthiness or lack thereof in relation to the available reason and evidence.

So let’s start with the axiological viability of Bigfoots

There is no available evidence for Bigfoots.

But is their proposition outside of reason?

Always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as a primate/nonhuman hominid close to that of both humans and other nonhuman primates is not entirely outside all possibility of reason even though lacking all evidence. Therefore, belief is not warrant and the axiological worthiness of possibility is low enough to motivate disbelief.

Next The axiological viability of Unicorns (ie. a horse with a single horn on its head)

There is no evidence for Unicorns.

But is their proposition outside of reason?

As always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as by looking at the evolution of the horse not once was there a horn on any of the several stages of animals to the horse we know today. So it is relatively outside of possibility though as it is still only claiming non fantastic attributes it is only somewhat ridiculous. Therefore, belief is not in any way warranted and the axiological worthiness is so low to highly support disbelief.

Now the axiological validity of Gods

There is no evidence for Gods.

But is their proposition outside of reason?

As always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as never in the history of scientific research or investigation has any supernatural claims shown to be true. So it is completely outside of possibility and is utterly ridiculous. Therefore, belief should be rejected as there are no warrants at all and it is axiologically unworthy to such a preponderance to demand disbelief.

The following are some evidence against a caring god working in the world. A recent study of the current living conditions throughout Africa shows that more than one billion people do not have enough clean water to provide for their basic human needs. As a result, more than 2,500 children are dying each day. I guess it is that god gives us free will by keeping children from clean water in an unproportioned amount to the civilized science filled world. I ask you, does your god not hear their prayers? According to Missionaries of Africa (2008), there is a water crisis and diseases that are living in dirty water are wiping out entire villages and communities. Does god exist? Does the magic chanting of prayer seem to work? Suppose for a minute with the understanding of religious believe, if there was a loving god and it answered even some prayers, would not the most deserving be the non-sinning? Moreover, what living human could be said to be less sinning than a baby and thus the most deserving. In addition, babies or children are likely the ones religionists/fideists pray most often, for when they are in trouble. Belief changes nothing. Whatever circumstances you are in or not, has nothing to do with belief. If you are poor, belief does not make you not poor. If you are rich, you do not stay rich because of belief. You would think that poor people would have the benefit of the heavenly means and have god on their side, if anyone would, right? Overall, in 186 countries, first-day child death rates for babies are 6.9%. Where was god? In Angola, 8% of the babies die and 95% of the population is christian. In Congo, 7.5% of the babies die and 95.8 % of the population is christian. Whereas in Guinea-Bissau, 9% of the babies die and 10 % of the population is christian and in Niger 8.7% of the babies die and 5% of the population is christian. Therefore, being a christian and begging for an all-powerful all loving god myth to do something that any half-decent human being would hardly even need to be asked to help an innocent child, shows that belief seems to make no difference in the world because the world is godless and sadly babies die. Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I god do all these things.” Ref

Just think, the bible god “could” have banned slavery or shellfish and he chose to ban shellfish (Leviticus 11:12) and actually support slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46) even in the new testament (Ephesians 6:5; 1 Timothy 6:1-2) and Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong (Luke 12:47-48) how crazy and immoral is that for a man-made fairy tales. I will openly say faith is foolish lacking credibility and it is stupid to hold on to beliefs that are disproved by science fact. However, I don’t usually call people names even ones saying things I believe are ridiculous nor do I belittle them instead I strive to and support attacking the thinking and not the person.

What is a god? Just a Empty Label.

Doubt god(s)? No, I stopped believing Fairytales.

“Damien, the truth is subjective.”

My response, Interesting that you say that, as you seem to think “that claim of all truth is subjective is being offered as a truth itself, and I am guessing you think it is objectively true? Why I am guessing that is you seem to believe it is so “true” you think I must surrender to its truth and fully agree without question that it is in fact true. You seem to want to offer it, as indeed, a universal truth. See the problem is you only can validate that you believe, that what you said was true but if it is true universally, that “truth is subjective”, then, so is the “claim” you made; meaning it’s not really objectively true or if you think what you said was always true then you are contradicting your own claim, with your own claim. If you say it’s still true and not self-contradictory, prove it. Furthermore, how do you know that “The truth is subjective”. And, can you please explain as well as give evidence that corroborates your claim please?

Banned in a Philosophy Group, For Philosophy?

What is axiology and how does it relate to ontology and epistemology?
 
From CES PHD Support Group (Ref)
 
According to Encyclopaedia Britannica
Axiology, (from Greek axios, “worthy”; logos, “science”), also called Theory Of Value, the philosophical study of goodness, or value, in the widest sense of these terms. Its significance lies (1) in the considerable expansion that it has given to the meaning of the term value and (2) in the unification that it has provided for the study of a variety of questions—economic, moral, aesthetic, and even logical—that had often been considered in relative isolation.
 
But how does axiology sit within other elements of the research paradigm? namely ontology and epistemology
In order for us to be able to understand the different meanings of each of these lovely terms, we need a historical prospective.
 
I was able to find references to four major eras of human understanding of reality and knowledge generation. We will call these eras of realism.
 
The first era of realism is called the idealism period. This era existed at the time of Socrates. According to idealism, reality or ontology is spiritual, epistemology is about rethinking tried and true ideas, and axiology is about the absolute and the eternal. Socrates believed that man is a temporal being.
 
The second era of realism was popularized by Aristotle. Here reality is both objective and measurable and not spiritual, epistemology is through the use of senses, while axiology is based on nature’s laws and thus could be acquired. The Aristotelian teachings of realism are referred to as essentialism.
 
The third era was the first of two radical ages; pragmatism. Pragmatists were very strict about what they accepted and they rejected. Any factors of ontology, epistemology and axiology that were to be included in their work (or even considered) have to be found useful; otherwise, they were instantaneously dropped. A philosophy stemming from the pragmatism stance was
Progressivism. Progressivism was proposed by our much beloved hero John Dewey. Dewey instructed public schools to teach only what is of interested to students. Everything that is not regarded as useful was thrown away.
 
Finally, the fourth era and the second radical age is Existentialism, which was born after WW2. According to Existentialism, reality is subjective (very daring indeed!), epistemology is only a personal pursuit or quest loaded with choice and axiology was the expression of freedom.
 
So in short, ontology, epistemology and axiology used to mean different things in different times of history according to how people generally perceived the world and regarded knowledge as being created. Not very helpful? Here’s somthing
 
Dr. Marcia Hills and Dr. Jennifer Mullett (from the University of Victoria, Canada) wrote a very useful account defining Paradigm, Ontology, Epistemology And Axiology. Here is what they had to say about these concepts and how they relate to research (these were directly copied from their article):
 
Defininitions of Paradigm, Ontology, Epistemology, Axiology and Methodology in research context
 
*Participatory Paradigm
 
A paradigm is “a set of basic beliefs (or metaphysics) that deals with ultimates or first principles. It represents a worldview that defines, for its holder, the nature of the world, the individual’s place in it, and the range of possible relationships to that world and its parts, as , for example, cosmologies and theologies do” (Guba & Lincoln, 1994, p. 105). Guba & Lincoln made a significant contribution in articulating four differing worldviews of research – positivist, post positivist, critical, and constructivist- based on their ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions. Heron and Reason (1997) argue for a fifth worldview – a participatory paradigm. Community-based research is situated within this paradigm and also embraces the ideology and methodology of co-operative inquiry created by Heron & Reason (1988; 1994; 1996; 1997).
 
A participatory paradigm rests on the belief that reality is an interplay between the given cosmos, a primordial reality, and the mind. The mind “creatively participates with [the cosmos] and can only know it in terms of its constructs, whether affective, imaginal, conceptual or practical” (Heron, p.10) “Mind and the given cosmos are engaged in a creative dance, so that what emerges as reality is the fruit of an interaction of the given cosmos and the way the mind engages with it” (Heron & Reason, 1997 p. 279). As Skolimowski (1992) states; “we always partake of what we describe so our reality is a product of the dance between our individual and collective mind and “what is there”, the amorphous primordial givenness of the universe. This participative worldview is at the heart of the inquiry methodologies that emphasize participation as a core strategy”, (p.20).
 
*Subjective–Objective Ontology
 
Ontology refers to the form and nature of reality and what can be known about it (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). In contrast to orthodox research that utilizes quantitative methods in its claim to be value free (but which is more accurately described as valuing objectivity), and many qualitative approaches that value subjectivity, community based research endorses a subjective-objective stance.
 
An subjective-objective ontology means that there is “underneath our literate abstraction, a deeply participatory relation to things and to the earth, a felt reciprocity” (Abram, 1996, p. 124). As Heron and Reason (1997) explain, this encounter is transactional and interactive. “To touch, see, or hear something or someone does not tell us either about our self all on its own or about a being out there all on its own. It tells us about a being in a state of interrelation and co-presence with us. Our subjectivity feels the participation of what is there and is illuminated by it”, (p.279). So community-based research is interested in investigating people’s understandings and meanings as they experience them in the world.
 
*Epistemology
 
Epistemology refers to the nature of the relationship between the knower and the what can be known. Guba & Lincoln (1994) claim that orthodox science, because of its belief in a “real” world that can be known, requires the knower to adopt a posture of objective detachment in order “to discover how things really are” (p.108). There is a presumption that the knower and the known are separate and independent entities that do not influence one another. There is a search for the “truth”; for the facts in objective and quantifiable terms which holds empirical data in the highest esteem.
 
In contrast, community-based research rests on an extended epistemology that endorses the primacy of practical knowing. In community-based research, the knower participates in the known and that evidence is generated in at least four interdependent ways – experiential, presentational, propositional, and practical (Heron & Reason, 1997; Heron, 1996).
 
*Axiology
 
In addition to considering the three defining characteristics of a research paradigm suggested by Guba and Lincoln –ontology, epistemology and methodology, – Heron and Reason argue that an inquiry paradigm also must consider a fourth factor –axiology.
 
Axiology deals with the nature of value and captures the value question of what is intrinsically worthwhile? The fourth defining characteristics of a research paradigm, axiology, puts in issue “values of being, about what human states are to be valued simply because of what they are” (Heron & Reason, 1997, p. 287). The participatory paradigm addresses this axiological question in terms of human flourishing. Human flourishing is viewed as a “process of social participation in which there is a mutually enabling balance, within and between people, of autonomy, co-operation and hierarchy. It is conceived as interdependent with the flourishing of the planet ecosystem” (Heron, 1996, p. 11). Human flourishing is valued as intrinsically worthwhile and participatory decision-making and is seen as a means to an end “which enables people to be involved in the making of decisions, in every social context, which affect their flourishing in any way” Heron, 1996, p. 11).
 
Methodology
One methodology that is particularly well suited to community-based research is co-operative inquiry (Heron, 1996; Reason, 1994). Co-operative inquiry is a participatory action methodology that does research with people not on to or about them. This methodology engages people in a transformative process of change by cycling through several iterations of action and reflection. Co-operative inquiry consists of a series of logical steps including; identifying the issues/questions to be researched, developing an explicit model/framework for practice, putting the model into practice and recording what happens and, reflecting on the experience and making sense out of the whole venture (Reason, 1988). Therefore, evidence about what constitutes “best practice” is generated by people examining their practices in practice and reflecting on these practices. Ref
 
  1. The Main Branches of Philosophy are divided as to the nature of the questions asked in each area. The integrity of these divisions cannot be rigidly maintained, for one area overlaps into the others.
    1. Axiology: the study of value; the investigation of its nature, criteria, and metaphysical status. More often than not, the term “value theory” is used instead of “axiology” in contemporary discussions even though the term “theory of value” is used with respect to the value or price of goods and services in economics.
      1. Some significant questions in axiology include the following:
        1. Nature of value: is value a fulfillment of desire, a pleasure, a preference, a behavioral disposition, or simply a human interest of some kind?
        2. Criteria of value: de gustibus non (est) disputandum (i.e., (“there’s no accounting for tastes”) or do objective standards apply?
        3. Status of value: how are values related to (scientific) facts? What ultimate worth, if any, do human values have?
      2. Axiology is usually divided into two main parts.
        1. Ethics: the study of values in human behavior or the study of moral problems: e.g., (1) the rightness and wrongness of actions, (2) the kinds of things which are good or desirable, and (3) whether actions are blameworthy or praiseworthy.
          1. Consider this example analyzed by J. O. Urmson in his well-known essay, “Saints and Heroes”:”We may imagine a squad of soldiers to be practicing the throwing of live hand grenades; a grenade slips from the hand of one of them and rolls on the ground near the squad; one of them sacrifices his life by throwing himself on the grenade and protecting his comrades with his own body. It is quite unreasonable to suppose that such a man must be impelled by the sort of emotion that he might be impelled by if his best friend were in the squad.”
          2. Did the soldier who threw himself on the grenade do the right thing? If he did not cover the grenade, several soldiers might be injured or be killed. His action probably saved lives; certainly an action which saves lives is a morally correct action. One might even be inclined to conclude that saving lives is a duty. But if this were so, wouldn’t each of the soldiers have the moral obligation or duty to save his comrades? Would we thereby expect each of the soldiers to vie for the opportunity to cover the grenade?
        2. Æsthetics: the study of value in the arts or the inquiry into feelings, judgments, or standards of beauty and related concepts. Philosophy of art is concerned with judgments of sense, taste, and emotion.
          1. E.g., Is art an intellectual or representational activity? What would the realistic representations in pop art represent? Does art represent sensible objects or ideal objects?
          2. Is artistic value objective? Is it merely coincidental that many forms in architecture and painting seem to illustrate mathematical principles? Are there standards of taste?
          3. Is there a clear distinction between art and reality?
    2. Epistemology: the study of knowledge. In particular, epistemology is the study of the nature, scope, and limits of human knowledge.
      1. Epistemology investigates the origin, structure, methods, and integrity of knowledge.
      2. Consider the degree of truth of the statement, “The earth is round.” Does its truth depend upon the context in which the statement is uttered? For example, this statement can be successively more accurately translated as …
        • “The earth is spherical”
        • “The earth is an oblate spheroid” (i.e., flattened at the poles).
        • But what about the Himalayas and the Marianas Trench? Even if we surveyed exactly the shape of the earth, our process of surveying would alter the surface by the footprints left and the impressions of the survey stakes and instruments. Hence, the exact shape of the earth cannot be known. Every rain shower changes the shape.
        • (Note here as well the implications for skepticism and relativism: simply because we cannot exactly describe the exact shape of the earth, the conclusion does not logically follow that the earth does not have a shape.)
      3. Furthermore, consider two well-known problems in epistemology:
        1. Russell’s Five-Minute-World Hypothesis: Suppose the earth were created five minutes ago, complete with memory images, history books, records, etc., how could we ever know of it? As Russell wrote in The Analysis of Mind, “There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.” For example, an omnipotent God could create the world with all the memories, historical records, and so forth five minutes ago. Any evidence to the contrary would be evidence created by God five minutes ago. (Q.v.,the Omphalos hypothesis.)
        2. Suppose everything in the universe (including all spatial relations) were to expand uniformly a thousand times larger. How could we ever know it? A moment’s thought reveals that the mass of objects increases by the cube whereas the distance among them increases linearly. Hence, if such an expansion were possible, changes in the measurement of gravity and the speed of light would be evident, if, indeed, life would be possible.
        3. Russell’s Five-Minute-World Hypothesis is a philosophical problem; the impossibility of the objects in the universe expanding is a scientific problem since the latter problem can, in fact, be answered by principles of elementary physics.
    3. Ontology or Metaphysics: the study of what is really real. Metaphysics deals with the so-called first principles of the natural order and “the ultimate generalizations available to the human intellect.” Specifically, ontology seeks to indentify and establish the relationships between the categories, if any, of the types of existent things.
      1. What kinds of things exist? Do only particular things exist or do general things also exist? How is existence possible? Questions as to identity and change of objects—are you the same person you were as a baby? as of yesterday? as of a moment ago?
      2. How do ideas exist if they have no size, shape, or color? (My idea of the Empire State Building is quite as “small” or as “large” as my idea of a book. I.e., an idea is not extended in space.) What is space? What is time?
      3. E.g., Consider the truths of mathematics: in what manner do geometric figures exist? Are points, lines, or planes real or not? Of what are they made?
      4. What is spirit? or soul? or matter? space? Are they made up of the same sort of “stuff”?
      5. When, if ever, are events necessary? Under what conditions are they possible? Ref