Friday, September 27, 2019

Guidelines For Establishing A Solid Worldview

1. A good worldview will have a strong foundation in correspondence; it will have factual support. Conversely, it will refuse that which is known to be false. It must harness all areas of reality and not retain a selective sovereignty. To refuse to include facts that challenge the thesis or to arbitrarily make some subservient to others because they better fit a predetermined conclusion betrays a prejudice that distorts the worldview.

2. A good worldview should have a high degree of coherence or internal consistency. A logically contradictory system cannot be true. To be internally consistent it cannot have contradicting deductions, regardless of what “experiential needs” are met in the process. [...]

3. A good worldview has explanatory power. The collation of facts leads to initial postulations, by which we devise our theories, our hypotheses, and then finally delineate our “laws.” United facts and integrated deductions lead to systems. Facts ultimately do not just speak for themselves; they help build a theory, or provide the prescriptive elements, the eyeglasses, through which we view the world.

4. A good worldview will avoid two extremes. This means, said Hoover,that a good worldview will be neither too simple nor too complex. He uses the famous “Occam’s razor test.” William of Occam (1300–1349) supposedly said, "Do not multiply entities without necessity,” which basically means that we are to resist the temptation to make our explanations too complex. If an explanation becomes too complex, Occam's razor will cut it off. On the other hand, an explanation should not become so simplistic that it commits the reductive fallacy. To make man an incomprehensible entity is to go to one extreme. To consider a man a mere brute is to reduce him to the other extreme. A good worldview, therefore, is neither too simple nor too complex in its explanatory power.

5. A good worldview has more than one line of evidence, not just one knockout argument. Cumulative evidence converges from several sources of data. Hoover’s illustration of the metaphysician being like a good stage manager is excellent. One by one the manager clicks on a series of lights,placed at different angles around the stage. The full illumination from all the lights falls on the center of the stage. When all the lights are on, you should be able to see the manager's assertion in the center of the stage.

6. A worldview is not complete in itself until it is able to refute, implicitly or explicitly, contrary worldviews....The law of non contradiction (that a statement and its opposite cannot both be true) applies not only within a worldview but also between worldviews. Thus, it is more reasonable to say that all religions we know of are wrong than to assert that all are right. Any system that opens its arms wide enough to incorporate everything will end up strangling itself when the arms close in.

Ravi Zacharias, The Real Face of Atheism, p. 174-175

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