Philip Graham Ryken (2013) claimed as a fact that “everybody has a worldview”. I agree with that observation because the diversity of mankind can be easily inferred from the diversity in their worldview. Even those who subscribe in a central worldview tend to vary in the peripheral aspect of that worldview. Persons who believe in God, for instance, differ in the way they look at the world when they look at God differently, either as the “punishing” God of the Old Testament or the compassionate and forgiving God of the New Testament. People also may believe in the worldview of freedom, but differ in their expression of such freedom through their defense for the right to life or to abort. Moreover, the manner in which people interact with each other reveal their respective worldviews. I will be exploring my own worldview in the following section in relation to commitment and comprehension in the manner it withstands the tests for integrity and can be used as an analytical tool and a test for understanding others.
II. MY WORLDVIEW AS A COMMITMENT
A worldview is the fundamental perspective I hold of the world, shaping the way I live in the world as I see it. In effect, it shapes my thoughts, forms my values, guides my words, and motivates my actions. For this to happen, there must be a full commitment of my will into this specific worldview before it can shape the way I live. Mere thoughts may be of interest to conversation, but they are less likely to shape lives and manners of living. This means that, in line with Kant’s perspective of a worldview, I am convinced that a worldview consists of a combination of fundamental presuppositions, which are innate and unconscious (rather than outcomes of deliberate constructs or thoughts) and can be learned and adapted.
Integrity (or coherence) test for worldview attempts to determine whether or not a particular worldview is logically consistent or possesses logical integrity. It utilizes the fundamental principle of logic, which asserts that two contradictory statements cannot be simultaneously true; that is, either one or the other is correct or wrong. My worldview is being tested for integrity when I am being challenged to justify what I fundamentally believed or, when my fundamental presuppositions are known, challenged over the errors of these presuppositions. If an atheist, for instance, asks me to prove that God exists because logically everything that exists can be seen, I am being tested logically for integrity of my worldview that God exists. Or my worldview that God is good will be questioned for proof amidst so much evil seen and experienced in the world on the logical basis that good and evil cannot coexist.
A worldview can be used as a tool for analysis through comparative analysis. A person’s worldview can be analyzed using a predominant worldview or even my personal worldview as the point of reference. Moreover, a worldview can be used to test for understanding the differences in other people’s worldviews. It instructs me to recognize that people have “fundamentally different worldviews”, which makes each person’s view of all things in the world or really fundamentally diverse and often completely irreconcilable.
Commitment into fundamental presuppositions is a necessary condition for a worldview to be defined and confirmed. Even the test for integrity or coherence cannot fully account for the deeper dimensions of a worldview, something that a test for commitment can easily do. In a sense, a worldview that a person is not fundamentally committed to is no worldview at all.
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