Everyone has presuppositions, a general set of beliefs, a grid through which we perceive everything that happens – a general belief about what is true, and every person will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize.
A world view is the cherished premises or assumptions you hold about ultimate reality, human beings, and the relationship between the two.
James Sire defines world view as, “a set of presuppositions or assumptions which we hold (consciously or unconsciously) about the basic make up of our world.”
Our presuppositions form the basis for our values, and these values determine what we believe and how we live our lives. A person that believes in a Creator God, for example, will see quite differently right and wrong, good and evil, and the value of human life, than the atheist that believes there is no God.
An individual is not just the product of the forces around him as liberals would like you to believe. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who “lives in the mind” and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action.
“As a man thinketh, so is he.”
Christians have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public schools, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion. But they have not seen this as a totality – each thing being a part, a symptom of a much larger problem. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in the world view – that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole. This shift has been away from a world view that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory (even if they were not individually Christian) toward something completely different – toward a world view based upon the idea that the final reality is impersonal matter or energy shaped into its present form by impersonal chance. [Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, 1981]
As we consider a person’s actions, it is helpful to have an understanding of their world view. The beliefs a person holds and the actions they take will make more sense when considered within the boundaries of their world view. Their beliefs and actions will generally be consistent with their world view.
The Major World Views
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. – Acts 17:22-23
Holds that truth is “unknowable.”
There is no God.
Sees all of nature as rational and the making of proper deductions is essential to achieving knowledge.
Is more concerned with what ‘works’ than with what’s true.
Everything is an undifferentiated oneness or unity.
One supreme god, not necessarily to the exclusion of other lesser gods.
We must rethink and adapt our concept of God and truth to fit with modern culture and modes of thinking.
Faith in god is an aberrant belief arising out of the pressures of the class struggle.
Everything is god.
There are many gods.
There is only one God.