In a departure from my usual long-windedness, I offer just a quick question for today, and an example to flesh it out:
Do we humans believe in things because those things are real…or do things become real because we humans believe in them? Or is it more a case of that kind of miraculous realization in which the belief and the thing believed in somehow both become real at exactly the same time…?
Example: what if we posit that the Olympian Pantheon of Deities did actually exist in some form during the height of the Ancient Greek civilization (which I’d personally take up as a rather excellent stance…)…so would that mean that the Olympians and their associated fantastical and fabulous roster of fellow Deities, Titans, and assorted Monsters and Mythical Beings existed first, then happened upon Greece, and subsequently became objects of worship and love and lore there…or did the Greeks as a collective whole begin to spin tales about this amazing cast of Characters, hone their attributes, and believe in them in unison, only to find that whatever ambient energies existed in that part of the world began to coalesce into exactly the Beings that the Greeks were envisioning…??? Or did the Olympians and the Greeks’ belief in the Olympians all somehow magically just appear simultaneously…?
[NOTE: you’re also allowed to go off the board here entirely, and believe that the Olympians never existed at all in any “real” form if that’s how your worldview has to have it…that will make me sad, but it is your worldview…]
Which comes first: the thing itself, or our belief in the thing? Both? Neither…?