Although the physical world is good, evil does exist. It is interesting to note that all of these are stated or implied in the first three chapters of Genesis.
It is apparent that God wanted to establish right up front how he wants his people to view the world. My intention here is to analyze how "good" good being defined above the Christian world view is principally by comparing and contrasting it with other world views. In other words, the idea that the created physical world is good will be supported when I contrast it with the Hindu idea that the physical world is an illusion or the Greek idea that it is essentially evil, or the naturalist view that it is not created.
In the last section of the essay, I will come back to the Christian world view, explaining why I believe it is that Jesus Christ provided us with what is far and away the "best" view of the world which has even been presented to mankind. It is my hope that in the process some of my readers will have had their view of the world changed-that it will more perfectly reflect the perspective of Jesus of Nazareth. We have already looked at why people ought to think carefully about their view of the world, and at the importance of forming and holding to a consistent world view.
We have considered a reasonable set of criteria for what might make for a "good" view of the world. In addition, we have given a bare bones description of the Christian world view. The first alternative world view we will contrast with that of Christianity is Naturalism; also known as Scientific Materialism.
This is probably the simplest to understand of all the world views we will cover in this series. Let us consider several statements defining Naturalism:. The only reliable or valid instrument to deciding the truth or even the value of any proposition is the scientific method. The only reality is that which is observable by physical means. There is no spiritual reality, no moral truth, no God, no life after death, no soul, no spirit, no consciousness, except perhaps as an epiphenomenon.
In a word, the public needs to accept materialism, which means that they must put God in the trash can of history where such myths belong. The following are not definitions of Scientific Materialism, but represent obvious implications of this philosophy.
In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt and other people are going to get lucky: The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music. We are as much the product of blind forces as is the falling of a stone to earth, or the ebb and flow of the tides.
We have just happened, and man was made flesh by a long series of singularly beneficial accidents. Consider for a moment the implications of this rather depressing world view.
If it is true then my personal concept of "I" is a delusion. My perception of consciousness is simply the accidental result of neurons firing and chemicals moving around in my brain ie consciousness is an epiphenomenon.
When I say to my wife or my children "I love you," what this means in reality is that when I think about them my neural pathways light up in a particular way and certain neurotransmitters change their level of activity. Love is not a thing in itself and of course the biblical statement that God is love is sheer nonsense.
If the naturalist is correct then there is no purpose to life whatsoever, except perhaps the evolutionary "purpose" to procreate and create as many copies of my particular genetic material as possible. My personal experience tells me that virtually no one can accept this world view with all its implications. Despite this fact, in many intellectual circles it is the publically accepted world view and those who do not hold to it are laughed at.
Educated people who believe that there is a spiritual reality which supersedes the physical reality are treated derisively as holding to an immature, outmoded and silly idea about the world. In fact, materialists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens publicly declare religionists to be the enemy of human progress and directly or indirectly the cause of all evil in the world this despite the fact that they do not believe that evil exists. What is the genesis of this world view?
To discover the source of Naturalism, one must turn the clock back to the Scientific Revolution. The fact is that the creators of the Scientific Revolution-Roger Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo and others-were all believers in the Christian world view. In fact, their belief in science followed directly from the Christian world view.
Belief in the God of the Bible led Bacon and others to conclude that there must be a single, unchanging set of laws governing the physical universe.
These theologians also concluded from their biblical world view that a personal God of love must have made the physical universe to be intelligible to human reason and analyzable by mathematical analysis. All of these "Christian" assumptions turned out to be true as far as we can tell and thus science was invented.
However, in the process of discovering how nature worked, scientists such as Isaac Newton discovered that the universe works according to what seem to be entirely mechanical laws; laws which are so regular and predictable that it seemed God could be removed from the equation. Although Darwin himself was not a strict materialist, his work certainly provided fodder for scientism. Only in the twentieth century did we begin to see aggressive scientific materialists such as Bertrand Russel and Carl Sagan beginning to publicly attack all other world views as infantile and foolish.
Any claim that Scientific Materialism is a superior world view to that of Christianity ought to be analyzed according to specific criteria. Let me begin by quoting a comment on materialism as a world view. I apologize that I can no longer find the source of this quote. For him, science is no longer a sector of the cognitive enterprise, but an all-inclusive world view. This is the doctrine not of science but of scientism.
To take this stance is not to celebrate science but to distort it. A superior world view will be one which:. I reject Naturalism because it is patently false, it does not answer any of the problems and questions human beings as a whole care about and it does not tend to help its believers to be better people than they would have been if holding to alternative world views.
It is based on circular reasoning and for many reasons it produces assumptions which are simply not in agreement with common human experience. Therefore it is not "true" criterion 1 above.
The scientific world-view presupposes that the universe is ordered and essentially unchanging. It assumes that the laws which govern the universe are inviolable and that the universe is observable and understandable to human beings; that the human mind has a one-to-one correspondence with the way reality is.
The naturalist then proceeds to apply these assumptions to rule out all other world views. The spiritual or supernatural are, by definition, not real.
This is circular reasoning. None of the assumptions made as the foundation of science can be proved by experiment or by observation. In this sense, at its most foundational level, science itself is not scientific. It is not that the discoveries of science are wrong. Clearly science has given us access to reliable knowledge about how the physical world works.
If limited to its proper sphere, science works. It is the belief that science is the only valid view of the world and the only legitimate means to acquire knowledge about reality which is based on circular reasoning. After being re-asked a number of times and attempting to get around the question, in the end, this naturalist was forced to confess; to quote "I simply believe it is true. This is a very slim basis on which to build a world view. There are a number of reasons I simply have to reject naturalism as patently false.
I will supply a brief list here without taking the time to provide my evidence for such reasons. I will leave to reader to decide the truth of these claims-each of which, if true, make naturalism patently and demonstrably false.
This list can be made much longer. In the final analysis the concepts of right and wrong are not just a human invention.
I have found that even those who claim that there is no right or wrong-no evil or good-are not consistent with their own belief. It is ironic to me that I have witnessed atheists expressing moral outrage over the things done by "religionists.
I am not just a sack of chemicals moving around, with nerve synapses firing off according to patterns guided by my genetic makeup; determined by my environment. I am a person with a reality apart from my chemicals.
I have a brain. I am not merely a brain. Naturalism is just plain not true. Point number two of the argument for why naturalism is not a "good" world view: It does not answer any of the questions or solve any of the problems human beings really care about.
Science is good at answering questions such as When? Science provides an answer to the question What happens when I die? The "scientific" answer is that life simply ends and entropy takes over.
It says that these are nonsense questions. My experience tells me that ignoring important questions and pretending that difficult problems do not exist is a bad way of dealing with such questions and problems.
I do not mean to imply that Naturalists do not ask these questions or that they do not on an individual basis try to help solve some of the important human problems. It is just that their world view is not at all helpful for these things. The third criterion from my personal list of qualities which make for a "good" world view is that holding to this view of the world must cause a person to be "better" than he or she would otherwise have been if not holding to this world view or if holding to alternative world views.
Admittedly, this criterion is fairly subjective, but there are a number of measurements of goodness to which virtually all humans would subscribe. I believe that Naturalism is not a good world view if judged by this criterion. Let me state before entering this area that I have a number of friends who are naturalists. This is only "natural" because I am a scientist by profession. Some of my scientific materialist acquaintances are rather arrogant and hold to ethical and moral ideas with which I cannot agree.
However, others have strong ethics and are some of the nicest people I know. No world view has a corner on the goodness market, including the one I hold to. With this qualification in mind and please do not forget it! In theory, the Naturalist believes that there is no purpose to life and no inherently correct morality. Even ethics is extremely difficult or impossible to derive from this world view.
Like I already said, some materialists do good deeds. If so, it is probably not because they are motivated out of their world view. Something else must be operating here. As my good friend Robert Kurka has said the materialists "hijacks" his or her morality and ethics from the Christian world view. At the risk of offending some, I will make a bold statement here. I believe that scientific materialism is potentially a dangerous world view.
According to this view, human beings have no definable value, except as a source of genetic material for subsequent generations. Of course, the vast majority of atheists are not violent people and value human life, but there is no moral imperative against murder or rape or robbery or any other of activities that the Christian and other world views hold to be morally wrong.
Where does one find the moral compass? Any category of sexual behavior is acceptable as long as no one is hurt. Lying may be advantageous to survival and therefore "good. A lot of evil has been done in the name of religion. Anyone who denies this is not looking at history or is altogether denying the existence of evil. The difference with the Christian world view compared to that of Naturalism, however, is that a Christian who is prejudiced or who lies or who wages war on another for reasons of greed or power is violating his or her world view and is subject to being shown to be doing wrong.
There is accountability and justice under the Christian world view. To the Christian there is an imperative to help our fellow mankind. Jesus commanded that those who follow him must "Do to others what you would want them to do to you. In the Christian world view, as exemplified by its creator Jesus Christ and as taught by its scriptures, there is a strong imperative to love others, to be honest, to serve others, to shun violence, greed, arrogance and so forth.
Many Naturalists follow a strong and admirable personal ethic, but what is the imperative toward these "good" behaviors under the Scientific Materialist world view? If there is one, I have not yet seen one, although some materialists have made the attempt. Having admitted that much evil has been done by believers, let us consider the small but significant number of societies which have publicly avowed an atheist or an anti-God world view.
In each of these societies individual souls were treated as if they had little value, with tragic results. The empirical fact that a societal commitment to belief in no God has such a poor record in producing human good is not proof that it will never do so.
However, the track record is something we should not ignore. What about justice and human rights? In the United States, many subscribe to the idea that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal. Based on their DNA, some are more fit than others. The Christian ought to believe that all humans are infinitely valuable as they are created in the image of God.
I am happy to report that almost none of the Naturalists I have met are racially prejudiced. Hopefully the scientifically-inspired Eugenics movement in the early twentieth century will remain an anomaly, but what is the inherent source of human dignity and value if, as Huxley said, "man was made flesh by a long series of singularly beneficial accidents.
To summarize, the committed Naturalist believes that the only truth in the universe is that which can be discovered by the scientific method, through experiment and rational analysis of the information derived from empirical evidence.
This world view fails miserably at the three criteria proposed in this paper for deciding what world view is best. Its support is circular and its conclusions are patently false. It cannot answer the most important questions or solve the fundamental problems that human beings care about. It does not, in and of itself, tend to cause those who hold to it to be "good. We have already considered the definition of world view and why the consideration of world view is important for the believer, and for the non-believer for that matter.
We also considered the world view of Naturalism or Scientific Materialism, the implications for humanity and whether it is a "good" world view. In this section we will look at the view of the world which is held more or less in common by peoples in the East generally cultures in Asia and their close cousin, the New Age Movement. If we include the population of India and China alone, this accounts for about 2. To include the modern-day New Age movement in this group is to make the brush stroke even broader.
Yet, the world view held by the followers of these religious ideas is so radically different from that of the Christian, that even such a broad description will tell us a lot about how people from the East think about the world. The Eastern world view is essentially pantheistic.
This is a gross simplification and the nuances will be discussed below. Nevertheless, this description will be very helpful. The pantheist sees God as being coextensive with the universe.
Pan means all and pantheists believe that God is all and everywhere. This is not a personal god at all. If the pantheist is right, then we human beings are part of God. We cannot have a relationship with God because we are God. The goal of the pantheist is to be swallowed up into the ineffable, all-pervading god-essence of the universe.
The pantheist believes that the physical world around us is an illusion. The word used for this concept in both Hinduism and Buddhism is maya. The physical reality is a shell to contain the cosmic oneness.
Buddhists, Jaina, Sikks and Hindus have a rather complicated cosmology. They believe that reality exists on many levels or planes, and we are on one of the lower of these planes.
This is the common Eastern cosmology. Our goal is to get to a higher level of reality where the spiritual is more real and the physical reality is less pervasive. Ultimately, the goal is to lose self and to be swallowed up into the all-pervading goodness.
If the Eastern idea is right, then our goal is not to know and have a personal relationship with God outside of us, but to discover the God-nature inside of us. The search for God is essentially a search within ourselves.
It is literally a selfish journey. We find Brahman, the ineffable expression of God, and a state of bliss known to the Hindu as nirvana by finding atman soul within ourselves. I have been using the Hindu way of describing things as this is the most common of the Eastern religions, and because it is the essence of New Age religion.
The Buddhist idea has much in common with Hinduism, but of course much is different as well. The Buddha gave his followers a philosophy; the eight fold path for right living. The four "noble truths" of Buddha are 1. Suffering is not getting what one wants. The cause of suffering is desire which leads to rebirth. The way to end suffering is to end desire, and 4. The way to the end of desire and of suffering is the eight-fold path.
Buddha taught dispassion rather than compassion. Gautama refused to address the God question with his believers because he felt this was not particularly relevant. One gets the sense that the Buddha was not an atheist and that his concept of God was pantheistic. His religion included the concepts of maya and reincarnation. The Jain and Sikh religions can be thought of as flavors of Hinduism. In fact, Sikhs tended to consider themselves a sect of Hinduism until fairly recent persecution and British tendency to define things from a Western perspective defined them as a separate religion.
Both religions retain the multiple level cosmology, but reject the highly structured priestly caste system. Jainism is thoroughly pantheistic. Sikhism and Jaina include the belief that physical reality is an illusion maya , reincarnation and a karmic thinking about "sin. As for Taoism, this Chinese-born Eastern religion, founded by Lao Tzu, retains a strong pantheistic view of the world.
Enlightenment is gained by contemplating self and nature. Like Buddhism, we come into contact with our cosmic nature through non-involvement in the world. Dispassion rather than compassion is the key to enlightenment. So, what is New Age religion? Is it palm reading? Yes, all the above, but in its essence, it is Western pantheism.
God is everything and we are God. To quote a well-known New Age author, "Once we begin to see that we are all God, then I think the whole purpose of life is to re-own the God-likeness within us. Let us analyze this world view. Is it a "good" world view? Let us apply our three-criteria. It will be very hard to give a fully satisfactory answer to this question in a short essay.
Put it this way, the cosmology of the Eastern religions, with its endless repeating cycle of creations and destructions, and with its multiple levels of reality is not true. Material evidence for the big bang seems to preclude this cosmology. The second law of thermodynamics does not allow for a cyclical repeat of cosmic history. The eastern mind believes that this universe is not real.
Some have tried to tie the twentieth century discovery of quantum mechanics, with its probabilistic view of physical reality and its discovery of the uncertainty principle as evidence that the Buddhist cosmology is valid.
Owning your own business requires you to be honest within your company, employees and customers. Being honest and truthful is very important when owning your own business. Doing so lowers your standards and your character. Creating a friendly and loving environment within your business is a good way to let your customers and employees know that you are a welcoming person and you have good intentions.
On the other hand, you cannot be fooled by others that will want to use your good intentions against you. God wants ois flesh and blood to treat others how oe would treat them.
As a Christian, we should try our best to teach others good values and show them the correct way to conduct a business. Therefore, as Christians we should always improve our relationship with God to grow closer to him. S3 Conclusion Furthermore, I believe my degree of choice and Christianity are closely related. My family has been the primary force in the development of my worldviews because of the massive influence that they have had in my life.
I was given the opportunity to foster the beliefs of an open mind, a questioning nature and the ability to express myself without fear. These elements all directly influence my education, how I learn and what I can learn. I was raised within a family unit that spanned many different cultures, geopolitical boundaries and theological beliefs. Having two foster brothers from Asia, family from Europe and the Middle East and Catholic, Jewish, Islamic and a good dose of atheists from different areas within the family, I was raised to respect and view everything in life with an open and non-judgemental mind.
For if I judged someone based on ethnicity, faith or culture I could or would be judging my own family.
Christian Worldview Paper 2 The Old Testament of the Holy Bible gives many examples which provide modern man with guidelines for the use of scientific method. Millam () explains that there is an underlying order in nature demonstrated by the patterns and regularities of God’s creations.
A Christian Worldview uses the Bible as its filter for understanding the world around us and how we should act. Paul addresses a lot of perspectives of the Christian Worldview in his letter to the Romans.
Mar 10, · A worldview is the way you look at the world, your perception of how the world works, why things happen the way they do and what is your purpose in the world.5/5(1). Running Head: CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW PAPER 11 Christian Worldview Paper 1 Phillip Fentress Mobley Liberty University COUN D17
Read this essay on Christian/Biblical Worldview. Come browse our large digital warehouse of free sample essays. Get the knowledge you need in order to pass your classes and more. Only at sportwallpaper.tk". Christian Worldview Paper Words | 8 Pages Millam () explains that there is an underlying order in nature demonstrated by the patterns and regularities of .