Aquinas supported the idea that faith and philosophy could both be applied harmoniously into one’s life. Faith, or religion, often shapes one’s perception. How one views the world and reasons for which it exists often is dependent on one’s faith. One could believe that life on earth is simply a determining test for if one receives or is denied eternal salvation, thus, this perception shapes their reality. Others could believe that life on earth is all there is and therefore they should live a fulfilling, indulgent life. This perception creates their reality. These examples can illustrate our group’s theme that perception creates one’s reality. However, it is necessary to evaluate a theme which contradicts our group’s idea; that there is only reality, perception does not create it. Reality just “is”. From this point of view, reality is not dependent on what people perceive it to be; it is an independent, constant variable which never changes, and adheres completely with its dictionary definition as “something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive”*.
So how does Aquinas try to resolve these two clashing ideals? He states that frankly, it doesn’t matter. What each individual perceives reality to be should not influence how a state is run or the amount of respect we treat others with. Individual theologies are subject to a secular state’s laws, and those laws should be liberal enough for people to practice their individual beliefs.