History of Ideas
“Some posit that the world was made, or born, or dreamed into being;
Some posit that nothing came before;
Some posit that this is a young world, only a few thousand years in the making;
Some posit a world that had always been this way, or at least similar;
Some posit that man is as old as the world itself, that he is the world’s awareness;
One thing is known for certain. As the present is what people believe it to be, so the future is what people believe it will be, and so the past is what people believe it was, for past, present and future are but layers of reality, which must be subject to the fundament of faith.
There is no objective truth in the world of faith. There are many beliefs about the past, none entirely true nor entirely false, for the past is poorly defined. Beliefs about the past determine the past, and the belief in consequence means that past determines the present, wherein we hold these beliefs. But a belief of the past that can be proven wrong based on what we know of the present, is a belief that holds no power, in either past or present. Hence the past that matters is the past that cannot be changed, and the past that no longer matters is the past that may be rewritten. Yet that alone is not enough to tell us whether those beliefs of the distant past, are true or not. For the past that does not matter, the truth cannot be known. And as new beliefs about the past displace the old, that past ripples and changes.
The following is not the history of the world. But it is a history.“
The below is the position of the ‘naturalistic’ school of thought, of the history of the faiths of the world.