Today I want to start a series which deals with comparing different world-views and discussing how to conclude which one(s) are true, or most probable to be true. In this primary post I want to first explain why such a venture would be important to someone and discuss what a world-view actually is – along with a simple way to define the core essentials of a world-view.
Why in the world would someone want to do such a thing? What are we even talking about here? Everybody holds a particular view of the world – of reality. In other words, everybody has a system of belief. A world-view is just another name for a system of belief.
Let me ask you a question: do you think it’s important to have a way in which to establish whether a particular world-view is at the very least possibly true – or not? Truth is really the issue here – truth is on the line. If you think that it’s important to know whether the beliefs you have are true or false – then this is for you!
The word I used to describe this series (in the title) is adjudicate. Adjudicate is a legal term which means to compare options or suspects in relation to evidence, and then to make a decision as to which option or suspect fits the evidence best. For instance, when trying to decide between murder suspects detectives have to adjudicate between the suspects. If there is evidence which determines that a very tall man was the murderer, then you would check to see which suspects fit that evidence. In doing so, you would then narrow down the amount of possible suspects. You would do this until only one person fits all the evidence as a whole. This is the same type of process we will be using in comparing world-views.
So, just to reword that concept, how do detectives decide whether someone was the murder or was not the murderer? The detectives need to first find evidence of the murder, and then they need to see which suspects match the evidence. Eventually, after repeating the process, you hopefully will get to a point where only one suspect will match all of the evidence.
Part of what we will be doing is the same in that we will gather some evidence and then see which world-views match the evidence – just like a murder suspect.
Finally, I want to take a look at a simple way to describe what a particular world-view actually looks like. Most world-views seek to give answers to a very large variety of different questions. I am choosing 4 categories which I think allow us a simple way to describe each world-view, but are specific enough to give us the core essentials of each world-view.
Here are the 4 categories, or questions, we will be looking at:
Origin – What is the ultimate origin of reality?
Meaning/Purpose – Is there ultimate meaning and purpose in our reality?
Morality – Does morality exist and where does it come from?
Destiny – What happens and where am I going when I die?
Do you think these are important questions to ask ourselves? I hope so.
So to wrap this up – we will be adjudicating between world-views in the same way detectives adjudicate between crime suspects. The 4 areas, or questions, we will be addressing are Origin, Meaning/Purpose, Morality, and Destiny.
We won’t be looking at what the answers to those questions could be – yet. In the next post I want to first provide a method in which to test whether a given answer is viable or true. For instance, if I say that the ultimate origin of reality is cheese, and someone else says that it is some type of God, we need a way in which to determine whether those answers are true or false.