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Posted by Paul R. Martin on January 30, 2002 00:02:30 UTC

Hi Richard,

These labels are still a mystery to me and I am no expert on what they mean. But, since you asked, here is my opinion.

I think the terms 'dualist', 'realist', and 'idealist' are meant to describe how many of what kind of things the person thinks ultimately exist.

Dualists would say that there exist two fundamentally different kinds of things (traditionally these are "mind" and "body" but to me they are "mind" and "ideas".)

Realists would say that there is only one kind of thing and that is the stuff of our universe: energy.

Idealists would say that there is only one kind of thing and that is ideas.

Since I don't think you can have ideas without a mind, I rule out idealism. Since I think energy and matter are simply ideas in the mind of god, I rule out realism. That leaves me as a dualist admitting the existence of exactly one mind and the ideas of that mind.

Now, if I had to classify you, Richard, I would say that you are a realist. You seem to try to explain everything via forms of energy that we observe or speculate to be present in our universe. But, I would strongly urge you to get a second opinion.

Warm regards,

Paul

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