Your Worldview Has Problems

Your worldview has problems. How do I know this? Because every worldview has problems. Our limited minds fail to grasp reality perfectly. This doesn’t mean that we can’t grasp some truths. And it doesn’t mean we can’t know any of the big things in life. But it does mean we shouldn’t be surprised to discover problems with our views.

What’s a Worldview?

A worldview is a web of beliefs, opinions, hopes, and commitments through which we see the world. Check out this 3-minute video for a short explanation.

In his book, The Story of Reality, Greg Koukl describes Christianity like this:

“All of us have a worldview picture— at least a rudimentary one— forming in our minds, even if we are not consciously aware of it. Every religion tells a story of reality. Every philosophy and every individual outlook on life is a take on the way someone thinks the world actually is. There is no escaping it. These stories are meant to bring order to our beliefs, to explain the “pieces” of reality we encounter in life, whether big things or little things, important or inconsequential” (p. 23, Kindle edition).

As rational beings, we also seek truth. We want a worldview that gets things right.

Koukl continues:

“All worldviews are not equal, though. Some have pieces that seem to fit together (internally) better than others, and some have pieces that seem to fit reality (externally) better than others. If they are good stories— that is, if they explain many things, especially the most important things, in a way consistent with our normal encounters with the world— then we have more confidence the stories are accurate, which is just another way of saying the worldview is true, at least those parts that fit well” (p. 24, Kindle Edition).

Worldview Consciousness

Every worldview has problems. You should be aware of them. For example, I am a Catholic Christian who accepts the truth of the Bible and the Authority of the Catholic Church. Many people argue those don’t fit together.

They say the Bible affirms things the Church denies, and the Church affirms things the Bible denies. That’s something Catholic Christians should consider when thinking through their worldview.

Often, acknowledging the problems with your worldview and seeking honest answers can lead you to a deeper understanding of the issues. 

Worldview Criticisms

It’s common today to hear criticisms of all religious worldviews. Sometimes atheists deliver slogans deliver semi-automatically. For example, you may hear the following criticism:

I believe we should only follow what can be scientifically proven or empirically verified. No one has scientifically demonstrated that God exists. So, I don’t believe in God and neither should you.

Catholic Christians hold that God exists, so this is an attack on the Catholic Christian worldview. If this is you in conversation, you may think of it like this:

But this is NOT the full picture of what’s occurring. A critic registered a complaint with your worldview. But this complaint didn’t just come out of the blue. It came from someone with his own worldview. A more accurate picture is this:

Before answering Phillip’s complaint, it is useful to ask questions (the #1 thing), so that you can detect his  worldview and highlight problems with it. You might ask, “You say we should follow what can be scientifically proven or empirically verified. Can that belief be scientifically proven or empirically verified?” Or you might point to ethical or philosophical considerations on which science is silent.

Watch Trent Horn question an atheist in just this manner.

Summary

  1. All worldviews have problems.
  2. Seek answers to problems with your worldview to gain a deeper understanding.
  3. Criticisms of your worldview come from other worldviews.
  4. Use targeted questions to point out problems with an objector’s worldview.

Stay tuned for the next post on the Catholic Christian worldview.

A Tactical Question to Ask: Is science the only path to truth? If so, what scientific experiment shows that claim is true?

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2 Responses

  1. Baxter says:

    In the video (comments disabled, I might add…) Sasha challenges Sam, saying that why would he think that nothing happens after you die, because all that you did dies with you. Really? What about the artifacts you leave behind as part of a good life?

    Rothbard (or insert the name of any dead person) is dead, and all of the good that he did went to the grave with him. Right? According to this video, yes.

    No. The work he did while he was alive is affecting the lives of many people and has created a better world for all of us. So, I guess you could say that his soul lives today in the form of his books and the relationships with people still living.

    So, in that sense, he has life everlasting. But this has nothing to do with a Magical Sky God, and everything to do with the human condition.

    “I’m an atheist and I approve this message.”

    • John DeRosa says:

      Baxter,

      Thanks for the comment and for stopping by. I completely agree that the work people do affects others (for better or worse) in the future. I cited the video simply to illustrate the idea of different worldviews. Citing a video (or essay or article) does not constitute an endorsement of everything in it. I do think in a Godless universe that ultimate meaning and purpose (in a cosmic sense) is unattainable. Sartre, Nietzsche, Rosenberg, and many atheists recognize this.

      Re: “But this has nothing to do with a Magical Sky God…”

      Not sure exactly what you mean by “Magical Sky God” but it has echoes of the “Flying spaghetti monster” and other analogies that Tom (and I) would completely disagree with. See episode 272 for his view of God.

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