There is no worldview without its problems

I am writing this as a result of a lengthy Twitter discussion. It is difficult to convey all that we understand in short snippets. A couple of people said they had been Christians for years and finally rejected God and declared they were atheists. I love to have my faith challenged because I believe it is too important not to know what I believe. This article is a result of that discussion.

Everybody has a worldview.

Everybody has a worldview because everybody has a concept of their existence. A worldview gives us an understanding of space and time. A worldview can be described in many ways, but it essentially contains four ideas.

  1. Where did reality come from?
  2. What is the purpose of reality?
  3. How do I interact with my reality?
  4. What is the future of my reality?

Even if you do not consciously think about a worldview, you have one. Your feeling of purpose or lack thereof is a result of your worldview; understanding why you exist is your worldview. The choices you make in life are a direct result of a worldview. You determine your morality or what you believe to be right or wrong based upon a worldview.

We all understand consequences, and therefore we make decisions based upon them, or at least we should. Number four is the consequences of life. If reality just ends without any consequences, then we are free to do what we want. If there is some sort of judgment for the life we live, we will consider it. 

We all have preconceived concepts.

We need to realize that the first thing we are told about something is what we believe to be true. This is because we have nothing to judge the information by. As we accumulate information, we can make judgments to reject previously understood concepts.

Because of that, we walk on thin ice. What I mean is we can reject the right information by someone persuading us with new information that is not correct. Since it is new information, we have trouble determining it is wrong. I will give you a scenario. You come to believe that people who are professionals in their field with letters like Ph.D. next to their names are authorities. Therefore the information they give has greater weight than information that your mother or father has given. But how do we know that the Ph. D. does not have their own biases? You see, we start to find ourselves in a web of confusion about what we can really trust.

What I have learned is most people give up and don’t even try to understand life—their worldview. They just become satisfied with what they know as long as it does not seemingly affect them in the moments they are living. This approach will catch up with people just as it will without budgeting one’s finances.

Overcoming biases

The best way to discover what is right is, to be honest with oneself. Have a humble attitude about your own knowledge. Be willing to listen to views that contradict your own. You should first try to believe what the person is telling you is accurate. Then walk through the concepts to their logical conclusion and see if they make sense.

We are emotional creatures, and we mostly live by emotions. Much of our habits are based on emotions. If something is upsetting us, we display anger or frustration. We often eat foods based upon our emotional state. Emotions are the greatest enemy of truth. We most often accept or reject information based upon our emotions. Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t want to hear this!” Or have you ever thought this? If so, emotions are getting the best of you.

To make sure emotions are not working against you is to be alone and reflect upon what you have been faced with. Make yourself face what you are feeling and use knowledge to determine if the emotion matches reality. Sometimes, often, we have to wait things out because we simply do not have all the facts.

An example is someone may feel their job is in jeopardy, and that feeling causes them to make rash decisions. They may feel the need to step on others to ensure their job is secure. Another example is someone feels they are a failure because they have always been told that. Those feelings hold people back from achieving what they are really capable of.

Our culture has helped to form our worldview.

One of the people I had this discussion with pointed to a video discussing the Ames illusion (https://youtu.be/dBap_Lp-0oc). The illusion illustrates how our mind perceives things based on predetermined information. A study was done using people from different cultures, and as a result, the environment affected how they perceived the illusion.

I have observed that people who generally have difficulty with the Bible, especially the Old Testament, perceive God as a malicious character and do so from a Western cultural perspective. What they fail to realize is western cultures have been heavily influenced by Christianity. To deny this is merely doing the “I don’t want to hear this“ position. 

By all accounts, ancient cultures were very cruel. In past cultures, slavery, misogyny, violence was prevalent. How did the west move from seeing these as usual to reject them? From the atheist humanist, I have heard it is because people learned a better way. But how? The past teaches us we, as people, did not previously come to those conclusions. The arrogant mind says I am superior to people of the past; therefore, I can be a better person. I reject this because individuals still do horrible things to each other.

I have to acknowledge that it is the influence of Christianity on the western culture that made us see that each of us has rights. The signers of the American declaration of independance were heavily influenced by Christianity, and they agreed to these words;

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I am convinced that the progress humans have made in liberating the oppressed is a direct result of Christian influence on our culture. To deny this is to deny reality. The Bible is a recorded history of humanity and how God has brought us to a better place through His Son Jesus Christ and the hope of a perfect future. It is therefor ironic that those who have been under this inflence stand on its foundation and critize it.

No worldview is without its problems.

It appears to me that the most significant stumbling block that people face with Christianity is the Bible. Many who claim to be atheists do so by rejecting the Bible as an old book full of myths and a God who promotes evil. I will not take the time to discuss this here, but I will acknowledge that I do have my questions about the Bible. Do I have enough questions or doubts that makes it less viable than other views of my world? No I do not!

I have listened to many atheists, and their concept of reality has significant problems for me. Problems that are far larger than what the Bible problems. The most fundamental of them is I don’t believe we live in a pointless reality. Atheists make defenses against the view of having a pointless reality, but they are incoherent to me. After many years of listening to atheists as the host of the program Unbelievable, Justin Brierly made a video of why he is still a Christian. I am of the same persuasion (https://youtu.be/kQyikukTLm8).

Conclusion

I am approaching my sixtieth birthday, and all the years I have lived convinced me Christianity is the best thing. I have met many people who claim to be Christian but display little if any Christ-like characters. It is these people who most characterize Christianity, which is unfortunate. I have met those who actually try to be Christ-like, and they are the most caring, loving people I know. I would trust them with all I have. These types of people have started our hospitals, orphanages, charities, universities, etc. While they disagree with some people’s lifestyles, they care deeply about their well-being.

I love what Christianity has done for my family. Others could find fault, but my three daughters and wife love me. They respect others. I have not had to deal with my daughters having unwanted pregnancies, drug problems, or very stressful relationships. Am I lucky? No way, I am blessed not by living a religious life, but a life in a deep relationship with the creator of the universe—Jesus Christ my LORD. I am not alone, many other families, and individuals have experienced the same thing.

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