Are You Addressing A Worldview or Its Adherents?
by Luke Nix
The other day I posted a challenge to the atheistic worldview. I basically proposed that a few things were inconsistent within the worldview. In the comments, a person challenged me about how I was approaching the issue- saying that no atheist he knew held the beliefs that I was proposing. This brings up an important distinction that I think needs to be brought to the forefront: a worldview vs. an adherent.
A worldview is basically a series of propositions that may accurately reflect reality. An adherent is one who holds those beliefs. In conversations about reality, a worldview may be addressed; the adherent to a worldview may be addressed, or both may be addressed. When addressing a worldview, one takes its propositions and tests them against reality. There are multiple levels of worldviews that get more specific. Within the theistic worldview, you have Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others. Within the Christian worldview, there exists Calvinists, Arminians, Compatiblists, etc. And there are more divisions at the same level of that with other distinctions. The general worldview or the specific worldviews may be tested. I expand on this more in my post "Can Religion Be Tested For Truth?".
However, here we are only addressing the worldview, not the adherent or person who claims it. Addressing a person tends to be more on the difficult side. A person may not be completely committed to a single worldview in profession or in practice. Some try to take propositions and practices from multiple worldviews. A worldview, itself, can be addressed dispassionately- you demonstrate an inconsistency either internally or externally (with reality), and its done. However, those who hold the worldview that was just shown inconsistent, may not abide by the conditions of the inconsistency. Ultimately, a person is not required to maintain consistent beliefs and practices. They may hold inconsistent beliefs and act inconsistently with their worldview…
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