The study of philosophy seems like a big waste of time to me. But everyone has some kind of philosophy. It gives a person a context to interface with the world. I think it is safe to assume that there is an objective reality and that we can understand it to some extent, but our understanding of objective reality is almost immediately translated, as it were, into our own subjective interpretations.
For all we know there are multiple universes, multiple dimensions. The reality that is perceived through our evolutionarily evolved senses often deceive us. But it is the recognition of human fallibility where the split occurs. Some reject the notion of reality and existence, others work with what we have and try to make the best of it using the best tools we have created, while others still stick with ancient mythology and religious texts to align their perceptions to.
There are pros and cons to each of these crudely outlined philosophies. On the one hand are the anti-realists, which may in fact be the most accurate when all things are considered but from that point of view, I see little difference between the illusion of reality and non-reality, the illusion of existence and non-existence etc. We are trapped in the illusion that our minds have created and our illusions can only have so much effect on reality, or our illusion of reality. On the other hand, to stick our heads in the sand, or the past, as it were, is to disallow ourselves the pleasures of the use of our best tools for understanding the world around us and the freedom to interpret freely conclusions that may come from them, all to the best of our abilities.
And so we are left with taking certain practical metaphysical assumptions. I think that they should be kept to a minimum and that they should be in line with our best tools for understanding reality. What these assumptions are, I currently don’t have the capability to elaborate on. I’m exploring some philosophical thought, to give meaning to what I assume and perhaps shine a little light to enable me to polish some of them and shed others, and to allow me the freedom of communicating with others at this level. Right now, it seems that some form of objectivism will fit the bill.
Whatever your particular philosophy maybe, what is most important is that we govern our relations to each other on a common ground. This is where I feel that a little secular pragmatism will do us well. In order to maintain cohesive relations, we have to put our differences, our personal beliefs aside and work together to find out what works. Exclusive religious claims or any other intolerant ideology will never allow for it. We must try to allow for as much individualism, or if desired collectivism, as possible. Recognizing our distinct humanness and our unique role in this vast universe, we should be able to make our state of consciousness happy and worthwhile.
Debating the issues and coming to a certain level of clarity can be enjoyable and very useful. But at the end of the day… it is tolerance that allows individuals to interact.