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L&FP 41: George Barna helps us to understand the worldviews chaos we must address

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Barna has issued new survey results that paint a stunning picture of the bellwether United States, as an utterly confused, conflicted nation, with 88 percent defaulting to incongruous worldview components, with the single largest bloc being 39% inclined to “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” Of course, actual full adherence is at the 1% level. Biblical theism comes first on full adherence, at 6% but that is itself a radical shift of worldviews, probably reflecting the impact of generations of cultural elites hostile to the Gospel and Gospel ethics (most often articulated in terms of its being anti-Science, outdated and intellectually indefensible . . . the standard media and “education” narratives). Such elites have long since sought to overthrow the influence of the Christian Faith on our Civilisation, viewing it as a threat to their imagined ideal future.

Barna tabulates actual adherence:

Also, “leans to”:

We can clearly detect the breakdown of the impact of the Christian faith on the leading nation in our civilisation and the worldviews chaos that stems from it. The predominance of incongruous syncretistic, smorgasbord blends of beliefs shows how deeply conflicted people have become and it is for sure that the ability of such a people to think straight and act soundly is severely compromised. This is the crooked yardstick effect on steroids:

In political thinking, it clearly will lead to vulnerability to cynical, ruthless manipulators, thus to confused policy balances. This opens the door to the new Jacobinism on the rampage, thus the next door — the one to lawless oligarchy:

Doubtless, there are some who would be only too eager to see such happen, as it would open the door to terrible opportunities — and yes, that’s five years ago now:

What is to be done?

First, let us hear the ghost of Isaiah, speaking to hell-bent oligarchic elites c 700 BC, setting out on marches of folly that led to defeat, ruin and exile:

Isa 5:18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19 who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”

20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [ESV]

Severe but necessary.

A key step in fixing the rot is to learn to think worldviewishly, in a coherent, sound, prudent, responsible fashion.

Vocab:

worldview

Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

world·view

(wûrld′vyo͞o′)n.1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. In both senses also called Weltanschauung.


[Translation of German Weltanschauung.]American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Welt•an•schau•ung

(ˈvɛltˌɑnˌʃaʊ ʊŋ)

n. German. a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it. [literally, world-view] Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

To start with, ponder why we frame worldviews pivoting on first plausibles:

A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way}

In the now notorious “turtles” metaphor:

So, the pivotal question is sound worldviews choice, meeting the comparative difficulties challenge: factual adequacy, coherence, balanced explanatory power. Hasker [Metaphysics. IVP, 1983. Ch. 1] summarises how such comparative difficulties testing properly focuses:

  1. Factual adequacy: Does a worldview’s scope of explanations/insights (and predictions) account across time for and comfortably agree with the material “facts”– those that make a difference to our conclusions and decisions?  Are there key gaps, and/or contradictions to such “facts”? Are these claimed “facts” warranted to an appropriate degree? Relative to competing worldviews, are there fewer gaps and/or contradictions to such credible, well-warranted “facts”? But also, sometimes, quite diverse views are empirically equivalent, so “facts” generally under-determine the truth. That means that the two further tests are vital:
  2. Logical Coherence: Do the claims within a worldview (and their implications) support or deny one another?  For, if two such claims/implications contradict, at most one can be true.  (NB: Both may be false, or may refer to empty sets and so are vacuous. If a contradiction is important and cannot be excised without utterly changing the worldview into something else, this issue can be decisive. That is why the problem of evil is so important, and why the question of the evident incoherence of naturalism is also important, as has been ably discussed by Alvin Plantinga.) On the other hand, is the worldview’s key warranting argument merely circular; i.e. is it self-consistent, but at the cost of assuming what should be proved? However, on pain of absurd infinite regress, it is also manifest that the chain of proofs, explanations and evidence has to stop somewhere. So, is the resulting faith-/ presuppositions- point at least comparably credible to that of “live option” alternatives? Now, too, as systems rub up against alternatives and more and more credible facts, they are often “patched,” over and over, to keep them “viable,” i.e. matching facts and avoiding circularity or self-contradiction. But, too often that is at the expense of becoming a patchwork of ad hoc assumptions. Thus, the third test arises:
  3. Explanatory Power — i.e. simplicity vs ad hocness: Credible worldviews UNIFY the facts/entities of reality as we discover them across time, showing how they relate, interact and/or work together; thus, giving us powerful insights, clear vision and solid, sustainable guidelines/principles for thought, decisions and life. [Cf. Prov. 1:1 – 7.] This helps equip us to know, love and live by, wisdom — the ultimate goal of philosophy. In turn, wisdom allows us to understand, predict and influence/shape the world, to the good. To do that unifying task well — as William of Occam argues, in his famous “Razor”: hypotheses should not be multiplied without necessity — worldviews should use a relatively few, plausible but powerful core beliefs that are consistent, tie together the material facts, bring out the dynamics that drive how the world “works,” and give us “handles” by which we can influence the course of events towards the good. Thus, such a worldview should avoid the continual need to patch newly discovered gaps by repeatedly tacking on yet another assumption or assertion. For, if that happens, the resulting view soon becomes an ad hoc patchwork of after-the-fact claims, “justified” by the argument that these additions patch holes in the system. (Ignoring or suppressing such gaps and/or censoring discussion of them is even worse — and, too often resorted to by those whose credibility and interests are invested in a socially powerful but failing system. Cf. Plato’s Parable of the Cave, and also Matt. 6:22.) But equally, Einstein aptly observed that every theory should be as simple as possible — but not simpler than that. That is, there is a difference between being simple (or, “elegant”) and being simplistic: failing to come to grips with the credibly established complexities — and sometimes just plain strangeness and mystery — of the world. So, relative to the live options, is the view more or less elegant or an ad hoc patchwork; or, is it simplistic?

That is where we can begin. Just maybe, it is not already too late. END

PS: I adapt Francis Schaeffer’s “line of Despair” analysis:

Extending (and correcting) Schaeffer’s vision of the course of western thought, worldviews and culture, C1 – 21

U/D Apr 24: An illustration on factors and influences in worldview formation:

Here, we can observe how our perceptions stimulate our thinking, which is also influenced by available knowledge, opinions and views including on key themes tied to core ideas on the world and oneself in it. As we work through our interior lives, we have perceptions, expectations, emotions, focus of attention, reasoning/logic, valuing informed by sense of duty/morals, solution strategies for challenges, discernment, decisions and judgements, actions and influences. As embodied agents in a world and community, we orient ourselves, move, manipulate objects, communicate.

Knowledge and its warrant are key issues, raising questions of reliability, credible truth, degree of certainty, possibility of error, opinion vs soundness and more. Such is a gateway to characteristic themes of philosophy:

  • the nature of knowledge and its credibility [epistemology]
  • the nature of reality — what exists, whence, what is the world, what are we etc [metaphysics embracing ontology, logic of being],
  • the accepted “world story” that uses these elements to build a narrative on how the world came to be or always was, how we came to be in it, how we are where we are now, why we are as we are
  • similarly, where are we headed individually and collectively
  • what death is and signifies
  • what is ultimate or source reality, or does such exist
  • what is duty, what of right and wrong, what of beauty [axiology, ethics and aesthetics]
  • what, then, is valuable and to be prized
  • thus, religions, philosophies, ideologies, mindsets etc and associated “plausibility structures”:

“In sociology and especially the sociological study of religion, plausibility structures are the sociocultural contexts for systems of meaning within which these meanings make sense, or are made plausible. Beliefs and meanings held by individuals and groups are supported by, and embedded in, sociocultural institutions and processes.” [Semantic Scholar, using Wikipedia]

  • what is seemingly or actually sensible, reasonable or logical [logic, plausibility, epistemology, ethics etc]
  • what is knowledge, what is known, why, who or what hold credibility, authority and wisdom, why should we trust such sources [epistemology, logic, language, decision-making, governance, policy, law and justice, politics, ponder Plato’s parables of the Cave and of the Ship of State (cf. Ac 27 as a real-life microcosm)]
  • Hence, we may see the significance of the following progression of equations:

1: WORLDVIEW + POLICY/CULTURAL AGENDA = IDEOLOGY

2: IDEOLOGY + POWER/STRONG INFLUENCE = REGIME

3: REGIME (AKA, BALANCE OF POWER-FACTIONS) + DECISION-MAKING INFLUENCES = BUSINESS AS USUAL (BAU)
_______________________________________________

4: BAU + INSISTENT VOYAGE OF SINFUL FOLLY = SHIPWRECK

  • what makes for a good and successful life
  • is there direct awareness of knowledge, i.e. intuition
  • is there knowledge communicated from God, revelation
  • etc

These help us to understand how we come to have a worldview. And, of how and why, in Francis Schaeffer’s phrase, “ideas have consequences.”

It is worth adding, that once a certain pattern of worldviews, associated patterns of attitudes, expectations, values, life goals etc is established, this model can help us identify the likely reaction to situations, trends, shocks, messages, communication etc.

So, worldviews mapping as Barna did has highly practical use.

90 Replies to “L&FP 41: George Barna helps us to understand the worldviews chaos we must address

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    George Barna helps us to understand the worldviews chaos we must address

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Looks pretty healthy to me. A lot of people are figuring out that isms are the problem, not the solution. A lot of people are trying to think and behave for themselves, not blindly following cult leaders.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Barna has issued new survey results that paint a stunning picture of the bellwether United States, as an utterly confused, conflicted nation, with 88 percent defaulting to incongruous worldview components, with the single largest bloc being 39% inclined to “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”

    My initial response would be when has the world, let alone the United States not been in an “utterly confused, conflicted” state?

    As a species, I think we are facing an unprecedented problem of governance. How do you govern a world population north of 7 billion when it’s becoming clear that central governments of much smaller populations are already viewed as remote, uncaring and corrupt?

    I also doubt that analysis of something as amorphous as worldviews is going to be of much help. Australian philosopher of science John S Wilkins wrote the following about them after participating in a debate at an evangelical students society:

    Worldviews.

    Both pro speakers made mention of the fact that “atheism/agnosticism is a worldview of naturalism”. Now this is a theme that is repeated so often one might start to believe it if not for the fact that it licenses the following argument:

    Christianity is a worldview that rests on a set of presuppositions.

    Atheism and agnosticism is a worldview that rests on a set of presuppositions.

    One’s choice of presuppositions makes one’s worldview reasonable.

    ===

    Ergo, Christianity is a reasonable belief (at least as rational as agnosticism/atheism)

    Similar arguments are put that “belief” in science is on a par with belief in Jesus or the Bible, and so this is really about duelling worldviews. That is, about which religion is correct.

    But there’s a couple of deep flaws here. Agnosticism is the absence of knowledge about a god-claim. Atheism is the absence of a god-claim. Absences, although they may make the heart grow fonder, have no other implications. They cannot, for they are not-things, not things, and for something to have a property or implication it has to be a thing.

    In simpler terms, as the old saying has it, bald is not a hair colour. Not believing in some religion is not a religion. It may be that those who are either agnostic about Christianity, or atheist about it, have some other set of commitments that might qualify as a religion, but they do not need to, just in virtue of being a not-theist or a not-knower. So the choice is between believing in Christianity or not-believing in Christianity. It is not a case of commensurable religions, but a religion and no religion. This is the privative fallacy, from the old term for a lack of something.

    The other error is more widespread. I was in effect accused of having a worldview that precluded the existence of God, and the audience was invited to compare that with my opponents, who had one that permitted God. But the simple fact is, I don’t have a worldview. In fact, neither do they. I don’t think worldviews exist. They are a gross oversimplification of what is actually going on inside people’s heads, and are mere abstractions. If one believes in God, one might still believe things that are inconsistent with a belief in God. Intellectual schemes are not whole cloth, and you can entertain incompatible ideas, and in fact I think you must, because nobody gets a simple set of coherent ideas handed to them at birth, free of all confounding beliefs.

    Christians, who have an extensive body of traditional dogma which they like to reassure themselves is true and consistent, like to think also that everybody has something like this. Religions are “rationally reconstructed” as sets of dogma by the Christian tradition (e.g., when doing anthropology by missionary) when in fact there is no dogma at all, just stories, rituals, and ways of life. The idea that one has a worldview by necessity is one that is made by analogy with a false view of themselves. The worldview tradition comes out of the propositional view of beliefs that ultimately found its best expression in Wittgenstein:

    When two Principles really do meet which cannot be reconciled, then each man calls the other a fool and a heretic. On Certainty, §611

    If a Lion could talk, we could not understand him. Philosophical Investigations, p190

    The lion comment is understood as being based on meaning as a “form of life” (Lebensform): lions have a form of life that is different to us and so the meaning of their utterances would be opaque. Likewise, the principles (Prinzipe) are basic, fundamental, giving meaning to the belief system of their holders in ways that are ultimately equivalent and between which one cannot decide – you either hold the Prinzipe or not.

    I think this is a fundamental error, on Wittgenstein’s part as much as that of anyone else who holds to this Weltanschauung mythology. If a lion could talk we’d understand quite a lot – because we share a form of life (we have an evolutionarily related biology, for a start), and two principles of human intellect also share forms of life – that of being human biologically and that of a shared history if there is one. And that shared nature means we can evaluate one or both for coherence, sense and reliability. Some views are just not amenable to a good life. I think Christianity is one, and not because I have some well-worked alternative I’d like to sell you, but because I can learn from the past and make inferences, and so can you.

    Beliefs are not abstract sets of propositions. Or rather, some are, but not all of them. We have malformed, half formed and underinterpreted ideas all the time, but that doesn’t give us a conceptual scheme. In this regard I am with Donald Davidson’s attack on the very idea.

    So to my Christian audience I say, do not commit either the privative fallacy or the Weltanschauung mistake. If you think you can evade my and others criticisms by assigning some faux ideology to us in virtue of us not adopting your own preferred set of absolutes, you are greatly mistaken, and building a nice strawman to knock over.

  4. 4

    The solution is to teach the difference between fact and opinion in school, the creationist conceptual scheme.

    Somehow it doesn’t click with people, that subjective opinion is something you need to learn the basics about.

    Literally everyone is a fact obsessed moron, clueless about subjectivity, including the religious people.

    But then religion accommodates subjectivity very well, despite the adherents being fact obsessed morons.

  5. 5
    EDTA says:

    I’d say Wilkins in the one who is confused:
    >”But the simple fact is, I don’t have a worldview.”

    A worldview is just a person’s set of core beliefs about the big/basic things in life. Is there an external reality (please don’t start that one again)? Is life just an accident? Is there any global meaning to human life?

    Just because he’s not a member of a group who claims to have a common worldview doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. Anybody who lives their life and makes decisions on some set of bases has a worldview.

    This brings us back to what I was saying a few weeks ago: We in the West anyway no longer have an even somewhat common worldview that can unite us. We are indeed scattering into tiny, extremely individualized worldviews, such that we won’t be able to get along with each other much longer.

  6. 6
    EDTA says:

    Although I will add that, having gone through a Barna survey with a fine-toothed comb once, his methodologies are somewhat suspect. He tends to frame questions such that they make things look worse than they actually are (for Christianity, that is).

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how this OP gets hijacked. It’s all over the lot so I’m not sure if there is a consistent message other than despair.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Barna, more details:

    “Worldview seems to be caught more than it is taught in the United States,” he shared . . . It takes years of holistic teaching, integration of thought and behavior, and reinforcement of appropriate choices before someone is likely to develop a biblical worldview.”

    Barna continued, “Knowing a few Bible verses, attending church services, and praying won’t get the job done. Attending a Christian school that offers a chapel service and a Bible class won’t accomplish the task. Going to church services that feature sermons drawn from biblical content is not sufficient to build a biblical worldview. Parents expecting their children to follow the Ten Commandments is not enough to developing a full-scale biblical worldview. All of those are token efforts that have proven inadequate toward developing an integrated body of beliefs and behaviors that enable someone to think like Jesus so they can then live like Jesus.”

    Barna suggested that the recent concern about worldview as the foundation of people’s decision-making process is a hopeful sign that Americans—and especially conservative Christians—may be waking up to the importance of worldview development, especially among our youngest people. He cautioned, however, that it will be an uphill battle to get Americans to take worldview development seriously.

    Worldviews are all embracing, a worldview leads to life, family, community and cultural agenda.

    The news is that there is a breakdown at a critical time, and this leads to very bad consequences. Global consequences, that can easily be of geostrategic character.

    No, that is not empty negativity. We need to realise that how the people of the lead nation in our civilisation think in general and how they address core issues has become seriously incoherent.

    That points straight to Plato’s ship of state and to the microcosm in Ac 27.

    The issue onward is to put up a counterculture strategy and demonstration. If things go seriously south, those are who may well have to pick up pieces.

    KF

    PS: Having spent a fair bit of time with a data loss, esp over the past several hours, I can recommend C Cleaner’s Recuva.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, Democracies are historically prone to fail if they are not stabilised through cultural buttresses. Those buttresses trace to worldviews and their influences on life and community. Where, modern liberty and constitutional democracy grew out of Judaeo-Christian soil, with strong natural law influences, which can for example be seen pretty directly by comparing the US DoI 1776 to the Dutch one, 1581 and the Bill of Rights 1689. The disintegration of cultural buttresses and of coherent thinking in the US is therefore a sobering leading indicator of likely onward trends and shocks. That is well worth noting and setting in governance, policy and geostrategic context — which is where the coherence of the concerns in the OP articulates out from the worldviews issues. Last, Barna, of course has a serious track record and this latest bit of research should be examined soberly. KF

  10. 10
    Karen McMannus says:

    Polistra: A lot of people are trying to think and behave for themselves, not blindly following cult leaders.

    The majority of the people are now blindly following propaganda outlets masquerading as “news” sources.

  11. 11
    EDTA says:

    I know it seems as if the only extremes available are 1) being unified around a cult leader of some sort, or 2) being completely independent. Is there not a middle ground that avoids cult leaders, and avoids disunifying individualism?

  12. 12
    Viola Lee says:

    Tolerance for diverse views?

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    I’ve read the report, but can anyone point to a description of the methodology? How was the survey carried out? What questions were asked? How was the data analysed to get the results presented? etc. etc.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, tolerance, proper, is for people and their right to responsible opinion. By responsible, I am highlighting that slander, hate and the like as well as civil society expressions as defamation or manipulation are not conducive to the civil peace of justice. As to views, narratives, issues of accessible fact, knowledge more broadly [~ warranted, credibly true (and so reliable) belief], sound ethics, policy prudence etc we have duties of care that mandate us to be willing to correct our errors, build up soundness and wisdom, live by sound moral principle, have regard for neighbour, community, learn and prize sound lessons of history [ no, history should not be victory propaganda or empty unwarranted indoctrination in a partyline], act prudently, support sound governance and general policy etc. Those require us to recognise and live by the inescapable duties of reason, to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, so fairness and justice etc. In particular, the radical relativism, subjectivism and emotivism exploited by weaponised, one-sided “tolerance” as commonly seen are not responsible views. The predominance of such confused thinking is a driving force in the pattern as surveyed. This is part of why the US is in deep trouble, precipitating an extremely dangerous geostrategic situation that can have devastating, massively destructive consequences globally. Bad ideas can have ruinous consequences. KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, a summary report to the general public, this seems to be a bog standard survey as part of a long series of surveys by Barna, a noted pollster. There is a summary of method indicating second year of action in an intended tracking series, based on:

    The American Worldview Inventory 2021 (AWVI) is an annual survey that evaluates the worldview of the adults U.S. population. Begun as an annual tracking study in 2020, the assessment is based on several dozen worldview-related questions drawn from eight categories of worldview application, measuring both beliefs and behavior.

    AWVI 2021 was undertaken in February 2021 among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults, providing an estimated maximum sampling error of approximately plus or minus 2 percentage points, based on the 95% confidence interval. Additional levels of indeterminable error may occur in surveys based upon non-sampling activity. [p. 5]

    That’s a reasonable scale, about double the longstanding 1,000 participant 3% error bar survey that is a yardstick. Worldviews can be evaluated through opinion and multiple point Rasch intensity scales, quite similar to political opinion surveys. The numbers make sense also, a small strong core with a penumbra of weaker adherence for main options, which are revealing about trends in themselves.

    It is noteworthy that hard line Marxism is back, with its typical pattern of a hard core and a “sea” of sympathy for the fish to swim in. Of course, this is likely to be in the cultural form mostly, with Critical Race Theory as the flagship manifestation.

    The US is in serious trouble, and failure of sound, coherent, responsible thinking and especially of education and the major media, is at the heart of the problem. Unfortunately, trouble for the US is trouble for the world.

    KF

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    EDTA, responsible worldview choice rooted in sound history and understanding of our civilisation, with generous helpings of solid civics, Geography and culture appreciation [including basics of aesthetics]. Precisely, what has been systematically undermined through irresponsible agenda driven academic movements over several generations now, popularised through dumbed down and manipulative schooling and utterly irresponsible agenda driven media. For example, basic understanding of the structure of worldviews and how they can be evaluated through comparative difficulties is not especially hard to summarise, nor is the core of sound logic and warrant for knowledge. Simply teaching people the inductive logic framework for science and the strengths and limitations of scientific, mathematical and statistical methods of investigation would be helpful. Basics of ethics including correcting popular ethical fallacies would help. And the like. KF

    PS: Things ARE pretty bad with the US. You are in the process of addressing a Culture form marxist, black themed colour revolution complete with red guards running riot that clearly manipulated an election as part of an escalating 4th generation, so far fairly low kinetic civil war, in turn a theatre of operations in a global 4th gen war now threatening to go hot at either end of Asia. A missile attack on Dimona coming from Syria is a huge red flag, as is the push of China against Taiwan and the Philippines. A confused state of mind for the public reflected in an incongruous collage form worldviews pattern, is not a mindset conducive to sound geostrategic choice.

  17. 17
    vividbleau says:

    Karen at 10
    “The majority of the people are now blindly following propaganda outlets masquerading as “news” sources.”

    People are like sheep and want to be led. Everybody keeps on saying stupid stuff like “Americans are to smart to fall for this or that” False!! Americans are stupid ,how stupid? They slurp down the big gulps of lies, deception, deceit and propaganda . They slurp down lies, damaging lies in giant size gulps.
    People bemoan the outright bald face lies the media puts out but the media is responding to their audience, the audience wants them to lie to them as long as the lie validates their beliefs. Americans are stupid silly people, the European Elites in the late 1700s mocked the idea that the common man could self govern themself, sadly they were right.

    Vivid

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, you are right. I clip from OP, what would be a counter-weight:

    Credible worldviews UNIFY the facts/entities of reality as we discover them across time, showing how they relate, interact and/or work together; thus, giving us powerful insights, clear vision and solid, sustainable guidelines/principles for thought, decisions and life. [Cf. Prov. 1:1 – 7.] This helps equip us to know, love and live by, wisdom — the ultimate goal of philosophy. In turn, wisdom allows us to understand, predict and influence/shape the world, to the good. To do that unifying task well — as William of Occam argues, in his famous “Razor”: hypotheses should not be multiplied without necessity — worldviews should use a relatively few, plausible but powerful core beliefs that are consistent, tie together the material facts, bring out the dynamics that drive how the world “works,” and give us “handles” by which we can influence the course of events towards the good. Thus, such a worldview should avoid the continual need to patch newly discovered gaps by repeatedly tacking on yet another assumption or assertion. For, if that happens, the resulting view soon becomes an ad hoc patchwork of after-the-fact claims, “justified” by the argument that these additions patch holes in the system . . .

    That’s where we are failing. I am now going to add a summary that builds on the late Francis Schaeffer as to how we got to this sad pass.

    KF

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, you raise sobering thoughts. I suggest, the issue was to soundly educate and build the cultural buttresses that stabilise constitutional democracy. As my PS to OP substantiates, the civilisational point of failure, was not the common man or woman. S/he has been bombarded with ideological agendas for generations emanating from educated elites with minds that have become increasingly warped, even debased and reprobate. The crooked yardstick effect in action, once a certain cookedness usurps the role of what is straight, accurate and upright, what is genuinely such cannot ever pass the false test of conformity to crookedness, leading to imbalance, polarisation, a toxic intellectual and cultural atmosphere, chaos and civilisational failure. We are seeing failure of thought leadership that promoted hyperskeptical critiques of the shaping worldview of a Christian Civilisation that synthesised the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome, with the river valleys of the Fertile Crescent behind them. I am finding the Biblical summary account of the first strong man, Nimrod MacCush, quite insightful on the dynamics of domineering power and destructive warping of the potential of civilisation. The echo of Nimrod in the Herods and Nero is not coincidental. Nor is the warning that the Lawless One to come is effectively a Nero reborn. Idolatrous, reprobate political messianism has been with us from the dawn of civilisation and sound governance has always been challenged to escape the vortex drawing us down into lawless oligarchy. Those of us who stand up to shape minds and provide leadership face a stricter eternal audit, KF

  20. 20
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    “PS: Things ARE pretty bad with the US. You are in the process of addressing a Culture form marxist, black themed colour revolution complete with red guards running riot that clearly manipulated an election as part of an escalating 4th generation, so far fairly low kinetic civil war, in turn a theatre of operations in a global 4th gen war now threatening to go hot at either end of Asia. A missile attack on Dimona coming from Syria is a huge red flag, as is the push of China against Taiwan and the Philippines. A confused state of mind for the public reflected in an incongruous collage form worldviews pattern, is not a mindset conducive to sound geostrategic choice.”

    I think the outbreak of the super lethal killer virus known as Critical Race Theory has infected the US to such an extent that there is no coming back for America. The tide is rolling out and must obey the forces of nature, no stopping it now.

    We are a weak silly people with weak political leadership. China looks at the US and what does it see? It sees that while we are arguing over allowing a man who thinks he is a woman going into a woman’s locker room with woman that are woman !l while we are dealing with the big stuff like locker rooms.they are planning and working everyday to bury us Economically. How stupid does one have to be to not know that there we are either XX or XY.

    Do you think China Russia and Iran think because our political appointees were selected by their sex, race, sexual proclivities, those with the right pronouns to coincide with the infinite number of genders, that we are a weak and for sure a silly people? These three countries along with N Korea are smelling blood. The whale has been weakened and now it’s time to finish him off. The Harris Biden Administration is going to be extremely tested over the next few years. Weakness invites aggression, the US has become a much more dangerous place

    Vivid

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid,

    you have a point and for sure, the geostrategic sharks smell blood in the water.

    I have a slightly more positive take, using the yardstick of the US Pacific phase of WW2, I think you took a Pearl Harbour strike and follow up running the board by Kido Butai. But KB, inherently, was a brittle raiding force, lacking long term slogging power and ability to take severe attrition and recover in good time.

    As a comparison, I think you are now entering a sort of blended Midway-Guadalcanal phase. The colour revolutionists are beginning to face stand up, gruelling, battle of attrition fights brought by people willing to take heavy casualties and to expend resources like water. They made the error of poking and wounding a bear. A bear that is now increasingly enraged and willing to stand and slog it out.

    Unfortunately, that local fight dangerously distracts and marginalises the US on the geostrategic board. I expect a blue ocean breakout attempt by China as I pointed to five years ago. Iran and its cats paws are still trying to rebuild their version of a Persian Empire, under radical islamist leadership.

    That means, over the next year heading into the 2022 mid term elections cycle, a terrible, dirty, bloody slogging match in the US, with heightened kinetic aspects. Frank is only the first new media platform and on opening this week, it seems to have hit 130 mn visitors in a day or two, with a billion plus page view attempts. I think, that’s after filtering out of a targetted denial of service attack at moment of launch, with help from Cloudflare. Such an attack says, heavy flak, over the target. I don’t like aspects of what was done, but the surge of interest speaks for itself, people are seriously unhappy and are angry with the elites trying to domineer over and manipulate them.

    The challenge is going to be, to avoid falling into the clutches of another would be political messiah.

    The other side is, the folly of the past several years, just bought you a ticket to World War 4. (WW3 was the previous cold war.)

    All of us will pay the price for that.

    KF

  22. 22

    More of your do gooddery Kairosfocus.

    You realize that it is a matter of judgment whether you are prudent, responsible etc. don’t you? No matter how many times you say it, it is still a matter of chosen judgement whether you are responsible etc.

    And I can name loads of activities where prudence and the like is a hindrance, rather than a benefit, like salsa dancing.

    The main thing is the freedom of speech, not the responsible speech.

    And intellectually the freedom of speech is supported by establishing the concept of personal opinion, as distinct from the concept of fact.

    The entire concept of personal opinion is undermined by evolution theory, atheism, materialism, scientism, naturalism.

    Only creationism supports the concept of personal opinion.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    And intelligent design is obviously a subset of creationism, and not the other way round.

    So my complaint to you is that with your do gooddery you undermine the idea of constitutional free speech, and undermine creationism.

    Ofcourse, it is not sufficient to just learn the creationist conceptual scheme in order to be a moral person. One also needs a comprehensive bona fide religion to go with it. Which is where your do gooddery becomes useful. But the creationist conceptual scheme provides the constitution in the mind for that bona fide religion to be accommodated.

    I can see the modern muslims on facebook asserting that emotions can be measured in the brain. Just by flipping emotions from the subjective category to the objective category, they make their Islam largely meaningless. That is where the main issue is, and not with endless do gooddery of being responsible, prudent, etc.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY: In Heb, there is a key comment on “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.” Prudence is a lifelong virtuous habit and capability built up cumulatively, first of the cardinal virtues. It shows itself in the ability to discern and act consistently to the good. KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    i will take up the strawman caricature laced hatchet job you cited later. I just note that evolutionary materialistic scientism — promoted as Science — is indeed a worldview and a fundamentally incoherent one. As placeholder, Wiki:

    A worldview or world-view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the whole of the individual’s or society’s knowledge and point of view.[1][2][3][4] A worldview can include natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics.[5]

    Worldviews are often taken to operate at a conscious level, directly accessible to articulation and discussion, as opposed to existing at a deeper, pre-conscious level, such as the idea of “ground” in Gestalt psychology and media analysis . . . . The term worldview is a calque of the German word Weltanschauung [?v?lt?an??a?.??] (About this soundlisten), composed of Welt (‘world’) and Anschauung (‘perception’ or ‘view’).[6] The German word is also used in English. It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy, especially epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs forming a global description through which an individual, group or culture watches and interprets the world and interacts with it . . . .

    There are a number of main classes of worldviews that group similar types of worldviews together. These relate to various aspects of society and individuals’ relationships with the world. Note that these distinctions are not always unequivocal: a religion may include economic aspects, a school of philosophy may embody a particular attitude, etc.
    Attitudinal
    See also: Attitude (psychology)

    An attitude is an approach to life, a disposition towards certain types of thinking, a way of viewing the world.[7] The attitudinal worldview is typically what tends to govern an individual’s approach, understanding, thinking, and feelings about something. For instance, people with an optimistic worldview will tend to approach things with a positive attitude, and assume the best.[8] In a metaphor referring to a thirsty person looking at half a glass of water, the attitude is elicited by asking “Is the glass half empty or half full?”.
    Ideological

    See also: Ideology

    Ideologies are sets of beliefs and values that a person or group has for normative reasons,[9] the term is especially used to describe systems of ideas and ideals which form the basis of economic or political theories and resultant policies.[10][11] An ideological worldview arises out of these political and economic beliefs about the world. So capitalists believe that a system that emphasizes private ownership, competition, and the pursuit of profit ends up with the best outcomes.
    Philosophical
    See also: Philosophy and List of philosophies

    A school of philosophy is a collection of answers to fundamental questions of the universe, based around common concepts, normally grounded in reason, and often arising from the teachings of an influential thinker.[12][13] The term “philosophy” originates with the Greek, but all world civilizations have been found to have philosophical worldviews within them.[14] A modern example is postmodernists who argue against the grand narratives of earlier schools in favor of pluralism, and epistemological and moral relativism.[15]
    Religious
    See also: Religion
    Some religious symbols in clock-wise order from top: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bahá?í Faith, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Slavic neopaganism, Celtic polytheism, Heathenism (Germanic paganism), Semitic neopaganism, Wicca, Kemetism (Egyptian paganism), Hellenism (Greek paganism), Italo-Roman neopaganism.

    A religion is a system of behaviors and practices, that relate to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements,[16] but the precise definition is debated.[17][18] A religious worldview is one grounded in a religion, either an organized religion or something less codified. So followers of an Abrahamic religion (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.) [–> neologism], will tend to have a set of beliefs and practices from their scriptures that they believe is given to their prophets from God, and their interpretation of those scriptures will define their worldview.

    That’s a start-point.

    KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The same Wiki article has a somewhat useful framing of key considerations common for worldviews:

    While Leo Apostel and his followers clearly hold that individuals can construct worldviews, other writers regard worldviews as operating at a community level, or in an unconscious way. For instance, if one’s worldview is fixed by one’s language, as according to a strong version of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, one would have to learn or invent a new language in order to construct a new worldview.

    According to Apostel,[33] a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:

    An explanation of the world
    A futurology, answering the question “Where are we heading?”
    Values, answers to ethical questions: “What should we do?”
    A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: “How should we attain our goals?”
    An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: “What is true and false?”
    An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own “building blocks”, its origins and construction.

    Cross that with comparative difficulties considerations and you will see a lot.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Since there seems to be a vocabulary fight gambit here at UD, let me toss in a second key term again using Wiki testifying against general ideological bent:

    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality.[1] The word “metaphysics” comes from two Greek words that, together, literally mean “after or behind or among [the study of] the natural”. It has been suggested that the term might have been coined by a first century CE editor who assembled various small selections of Aristotle’s works into the treatise we now know by the name Metaphysics (???? ?? ??????, meta ta physika, lit. ‘after the Physics?’, another of Aristotle’s works).[2]

    Metaphysics studies questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are. Metaphysics seeks to answer, in an abstract and fully general manner, the questions:[3]

    What is there?
    What is it like?

    Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. Metaphysics is considered one of the four main branches of philosophy, along with epistemology, logic, and ethics [–> I would broaden, as axiology embracing ethics and aesthetics, would add political philosophy and would point to phil of domains, phil of-X as extending phil to cover fields of interest].[4]

    Thus, we can see why I have suggested that a good definition of metaphysics is the critical study of worldviews.

    KF

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    Whatever worldview in the US that existed previously was due to two things, a nearly 100% acceptance of the Christian based morality and a knowledge that things were worse everywhere else and the US system was better than anywhere else. This led to a constant attempt to improve it even more as things got better and better and an unshakable loyalty to the US.

    The problem today is that 90+ percent of the people in the middle class on up in the US don’t think religion is necessary for anything and aren’t really aware of why things are so good. Nothing bad is going to happen to them. The stock market is astronomical. Technological wonders are everywhere. Poverty has essentially disappeared for nearly everyone. But a concerted minority wants to change this quasi utopian world to a supposed even better one.

    But most are oblivious to these proposed changes. Their world is great. America is incredibly rich and that hasn’t changed in the 3 months since Biden has been elected. So they are unaware of the potential outcomes of the changes being proposed., if in fact anything will really change.

    But the basic human being hasn’t changed. Ibn Khaldun wrote about this over 700 years ago. He was one of the smartest persons to ever live. He described what he called Asabiyyah or

    social cohesion, concept of social solidarity with an emphasis on unity, group consciousness, and a sense of shared purpose and social cohesion, originally used in the context of tribalism and clanism.

    Asabiyya is neither necessarily nomadic nor based on blood relations; rather, it resembles a philosophy of classical republicanism. In the modern period, it is generally analogous to solidarity. However, it is often negatively associated because it can sometimes suggest nationalism or partisanship, i.e., loyalty to one’s group regardless of circumstances.

    The concept was familiar in the pre-Islamic era, but became popularized in Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah, in which it is described as the fundamental bond of human society and the basic motive force of history, pure only in its nomadic form. Ibn Khaldun argued that asabiyya is cyclical and directly related to the rise and fall of civilizations: it is strongest at the start of a civilization, declines as the civilization advances, and then another more compelling asabiyyah eventually takes its place to help establish a different civilization.

    Sound familiar.

    We are in a period of little solidarity and social decline is usually the consequence as Khaldun observed so long ago. Until that actual decline happens little if anything will move the majority. Hopefully, it will not be too late.

    But in the meantime so called more compelling worldviews are being proposed and being accepted by the elites without examination. For example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DH4v6FnbvM

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: A useful worldviews comparison chart, here. It’s not comprehensive and is rather broad brush but it makes for food for thought. As to relevance, kindly consider the following progression of equations:

    1 WORLDVIEW + POLICY/CULTURAL AGENDA = IDEOLOGY

    2 IDEOLOGY + POWER/STRONG INFLUENCE = REGIME

    3 REGIME (AKA, BALANCE OF POWER-FACTIONS) + DECISION-MAKING INFLUENCES = BUSINESS AS USUAL (BAU)

    4 BAU + INSISTENT VOYAGE OF SINFUL FOLLY = SHIPWRECK

    Ac 27 is of course a case study in microcosm

    The USA is manifestly in transition to stage 4.

  29. 29
    Viola Lee says:

    Good quote from John Wilkins via Sev back at 3:

    Intellectual schemes are not whole cloth, and you can entertain incompatible ideas, and in fact I think you must, because nobody gets a simple set of coherent ideas handed to them at birth, free of all confounding beliefs.

    Christians, who have an extensive body of traditional dogma which they like to reassure themselves is true and consistent, like to think also that everybody has something like this.

    Religions are “rationally reconstructed” as sets of dogma by the Christian tradition (e.g., when doing anthropology by missionary) when in fact there is no dogma at all, just stories, rituals, and ways of life.

    The traditional Western religious tradition places a lot of emphasis on the abstract reality of concepts expressed in words, but other worldviews less so. A common fault in worldview analysis is judging others’ worldviews as inferior because they don’t meet the standards of your own worldview.

    FWIW, Wilkins is well respected in one of the online worlds I hang out in.

    And P.S., I have studied religion from an anthropological point-of-view off-and-on for many years, so I know some about what Wilkins is referring to about the ways in which early Christian missionaries misinterpreted the nature of native religions, and thus created a clash of worldviews beyond what they anticipated or understood.

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Anyone can have an opinion and believe that opinion in various strengths. The question then becomes for the justification of that opinion as true. For example,

    1) I have an opinion that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. Is this true? Justification – It has risen every day in the recorded history of mankind and will likely do so again. The justification is so strong, we call it knowledge.

    But then

    2) I have an opinion that there are intelligent entities in our galaxy. Is this true? Justification – it seems logical we wouldn’t be the only intelligent life in our galaxy. Some may believe this strongly based on emotions while others claim there is zero information of this. The latter are currently correct.

    So not all opinions have equal justification for belief.

    Different worldviews have different meanings and each person can hold to different ones. But why do they hold to a certain worldview? One reason is because that is how the world is. It explains how and why we got here. Another is because this interpretation of the world has implications for how best the world can progress (requires a definition of what progress means.)

    Here we are dealing with opinions far less certain than the appearance of the sun tomorrow morning. But some may have greater justification than the presence of alien intelligences elsewhere in the galaxy or universe.

    However, all will need justification, not just an emotional attachment to it because it sounds good.

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    Wilkins is well respected in one of the online worlds I hang out in.

    I believe Wilkins believes in naturalized evolution. If so that would make his thoughts on other things suspect since they may be based on erroneous opinions he holds about the world.

    It may not be so since several scientists also believe in naturalized evolution but their thinking is sound on other areas of science. Just as YEC’s can make excellent doctors.

  32. 32
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry asks, “But why do they hold to a certain worldview? ”

    A major reason is that people are brought up to believe in certain metaphysical propositions which are part of the conceptual glue that helps hold the society together. They don’t believe because of empirical evidence but because of the emotional bonds engendered among common believers.

    This is human nature: I’m not denigrating it, but I’m pointed out the difference between matters of empirical evidence, which can be consensually confirmed, and matters lacking empirical evidence but which are created and strengthened by mutual affirmation. Since a great deal of what is important to us can’t in fact be empirically confirmed, being about such things as values, emotions, aesthetic judgments, etc., as well as unascertainable metaphysical questions, such communal affirmations are a critical part of both an individual’s psychology and their communities structure.

    Note: I got the message. Notice that I didn’t use the word “inf%*#&te” once in this post.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    I now clip and comment on your text-chunk from a certain philosopher of science:

    >> Worldviews.>>

    1: Sufficiently defined and noted as to history that it should be clear the term is general, rooted in German work on Philosophy over the past several centuries, and is generally useful, It is not a term of insult or a dubious rhetorical assertion.

    >>Both pro speakers made mention of the fact that “atheism/agnosticism is a worldview of naturalism”.>>

    2: Relevant forms of atheism and/or agnosticism as commonly found across Western Civilisation are in fact evolutionary materialistic and are further characterised in a great many cases by scientism. Taken together, such can properly be termed naturalism.

    >> Now this is a theme that is repeated so often one might start to believe it>>

    3: The facts are readily shown to support 2 just above.

    >> if not for the fact that it licenses the following argument:
    Christianity is a worldview that rests on a set of presuppositions.
    Atheism and agnosticism is a worldview that rests on a set of presuppositions.
    One’s choice of presuppositions makes one’s worldview reasonable.
    ===
    Ergo, Christianity is a reasonable belief (at least as rational as agnosticism/atheism)>>

    4: This argument fails to recognise that the reasonableness or otherwise of a worldview has to do with its factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power under comparative difficulties.

    5: The subtext invites the view that the Christian faith is being held as a poster-child for being unreasonable coming out the starting box, i.e. irresponsible for a reasonably informed person.

    >> Similar arguments are put that “belief” in science is on a par with belief in Jesus or the Bible,>>

    6: The world of difference between science and scientism, case by case strengths and limitations of warrant for various scientific claims, inability of science to establish truth beyond correction etc are being glided over. Such seems to reflect scientism [the idea that science monopolises credible knowledge, which as an epistemological i.e. philosophical claim, self-contradicts and self-falsifies], not science.

    7: Evolutionary materialistic scientism is indeed a worldview, one that often likes to term itself Science.

    >> and so this is really about duelling worldviews.>>

    8: Evolutionary materialistic scientism already fails on the scientism. The reduction of mind to computational substrate or the like leads to self-referential discredit, as say Haldane pointed out:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    >> That is, about which religion is correct.>>

    9: Worldview is not a synonym for religion, and worldviews in general are too big and too bristling with difficulties and controversies, points of faith commitments, variations between individuals, schools of thought and traditions, etc to be simply as a blanket whole endorsed or dismissed. Save, when absolutely core commitments are manifestly, irretrievably in self contradiction or when such are in contradiction to manifest facts [not opinions or fashionable views wearing the guise of fact]. And even so, many parts will still have substantial truth in them.

    >> But there’s a couple of deep flaws here. Agnosticism is the absence of knowledge about a god-claim.>>

    10: Where refusal to acknowledge warrant for knowledge of God on a personal basis of living encounter or on general argument may have more to do with hyperskepticism and a priori commitments than to actual warrant on the merits. Where, further, such belief in want of warrant or rather disbelief, is as a rule a component of commitment to another system of thought, evolutionary materialistic scientism or its fellow travellers.

    11: So, whether or no the presenters aptly described the worldviews context, it is there and someone with professional standing as a philosopher is duty-bound to acknowledge this.

    >> Atheism is the absence of a god-claim. Absences, although they may make the heart grow fonder, have no other implications.>>

    12: This clever redefinition of atheism is at least as old as prof Buchner’s discussion with Darwin before he died, i.e. the a is privative etc. It was then and is now fundamentally misleading and manipulative. For, atheists specifically reject, object to and deny the existence of God, they are not merely without knowledge of or belief in him.

    13: Ignorance can be due to want of information or awareness, active rejection is not mere absence that can neatly pretend to the default that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, a fallacy.

    14: For in truth, all that epistemology can rightly say is that claims require adequate, appropriate warrant. Which cannot demand an infinite regress nor is it equivalent to deductive chains of proof from undeniable axioms. Where, the active disbelief in God is just as much a worldview claim as is belief.

    >> They cannot, for they are not-things, not things, and for something to have a property or implication it has to be a thing.>>

    15: Fallacies carried forward.

    >> In simpler terms, as the old saying has it, bald is not a hair colour. Not believing in some religion is not a religion.>>

    16: Strawman tactic, irresponsible redefinition of worldview as “religion” here leads to a further fallacy of distraction. Disbelief in God or in the tenets of a religion may not be a part of one’s own religion but they certainly can be and typically are part of one’s own commitment to another worldview.

    >> It may be that those who are either agnostic about Christianity, or atheist about it, have some other set of commitments that might qualify as a religion,>>

    17: Again, we see the fallacy of substituting “religion” used in a loaded way for worldview. Where, there is more than enough scholarship on worldviews for a philosopher of science to know and do better.

    >> but they do not need to, just in virtue of being a not-theist or a not-knower.>>

    18: Fallacies carried forward.

    >> So the choice is between believing in Christianity or not-believing in Christianity. It is not a case of commensurable religions, but a religion and no religion.>>

    19: The issue of choice between worldviews, on comparative difficulties is again suppressed by injecting the term “religion” as a loaded substitute for worldview.

    >> This is the privative fallacy, from the old term for a lack of something.>>

    19: Yup, the old tactic resurfaces, it was manipulative in Darwin’s day and remains so today.

    >>The other error is more widespread. I was in effect accused of having a worldview that precluded the existence of God,>>

    20: I do not know the specific circumstances of this individual, but in fact there are many cases, especially connected to a priori commitment to evolutionary materialistic scientism. Here is for example, the famed Scientist Monod in his 1971 Chance and Necessity:

    [T]he basic premise of the scienti?c method, . . . [is] that nature is objective and not projective [= a project of an agent]. Hence it is through reference to our own activity, con-scious and projective, intentional and purposive-it is as | makers of artifacts-that we judge of a given object’s “naturalness” or “arti?cialness.” [pp. 3 – 4] . . . . [T]he postulate of objectivity is consubstantial with science: it has guided the whole of its prodigious develop-ment for three centuries. There is no way to be rid of it, even tentatively or in a limited area, without departing from the domain of science itself. [p. 21]

    21: Further to such, in a 1971 television interview, Monod asserted — tellingly — as follows:

    [T]he scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity—that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe. Now, this is basically incompatible with virtually all the religious or metaphysical systems whatever, all of which try to show that there is some sort of harmony between man and the universe and that man is a product—predictable if not indispensable—of the evolution of the universe.— Jacques Monod [Quoted in John C. Hess, ‘French Nobel Biologist Says World Based On Chance’, New York Times (15 Mar 1971), p. 6. Cited in Herbert Marcuse, Counter-Revolution and Revolt (1972), p. 66.]

    22: Fair comment, that is an a priori that expresses scientism and locks in the view that the cosmos — effectively reality for such a person — has no design, i.e. God is ruled out as part of defining Science which monopolises knowledge for such a person.

    23: Therefore the philosopher has set up and knocked over a strawman.

    >>and the audience was invited to compare that with my opponents, who had one that permitted God.>>

    24: If he was acting like Monod, that was entirely appropriate.

    >> But the simple fact is, I don’t have a worldview. >>

    25: This is patently false and the philosopher should know that. Every person, much less every educated person has a view on what is real, what isn’t, what the world is, what and who he or she is, how or why s/he came to be and should proceed with life in society etc.

    >>In fact, neither do they. I don’t think worldviews exist. They are a gross oversimplification of what is actually going on inside people’s heads, and are mere abstractions.>>

    26: Strawman. Worldviews are complex indeed, are abstract indeed as they are conceptual. But they therefore exist as conceptual systems and structures, with all the issues and challenges entailed.

    >> If one believes in God, one might still believe things that are inconsistent with a belief in God. >>

    27: Which means there is a degree of incoherence involved in one’s worldview, not that one does not have a worldview.

    >>Intellectual schemes are not whole cloth, and you can entertain incompatible ideas,>>

    28: He here substitutes a rough synonym for what he wants to deride, refusing to acknowledge the validity he has thereby implied.

    29: No one has seriously claimed that all or most worldviews are coherent, so inconsistencies and linked difficulties are part of comparative difficulties analysis. Again, a strawman.

    >> and in fact I think you must, because nobody gets a simple set of coherent ideas handed to them at birth, free of all confounding beliefs.>>

    30: Another strawman caricature.

    >> Christians, who have an extensive body of traditional dogma>>

    31: Loaded language, and a prejudicial inference that Christians are irrational, ahead of actually seriously engaging issues on merits.

    >> which they like to reassure themselves is true and consistent, like to think also that everybody has something like this.>>

    32: Further strawman.

    >> Religions are “rationally reconstructed” as sets of dogma by the Christian tradition (e.g., when doing anthropology by missionary) when in fact there is no dogma at all, just stories, rituals, and ways of life.>>

    33: The conflation of religion and worldview is again resorted to. In likely context, animist worldviews are expressed in “stories, rituals, and ways of life” and can profitably be analysed in worldviews terms by scholars, even those who happen to be Christian Linguists, Anthropologists and even — shudder — missinaries. He is impugning serious scholarship without fairly assessing it, starting with playing games with the worldview concept.

    >> The idea that one has a worldview by necessity is one that is made by analogy with a false view of themselves.>>

    34: Hyperskeptical dismissiveness while failing to fairly address what a worldview is and why we have such.

    >> The worldview tradition comes out of the propositional view of beliefs that ultimately found its best expression in Wittgenstein:

    When two Principles really do meet which cannot be reconciled, then each man calls the other a fool and a heretic. On Certainty, §611

    If a Lion could talk, we could not understand him. Philosophical Investigations, p190>>

    35: What is a proposition? A truth claim often expressed as a sentence. So, if one believes things about reality s/he asserts truth claims or implies such. A fair summary can be made and a summary of a worldview can be developed.

    36: We are actually beginning to see here an emergent post-/ultra- modernist irrationalism.

    >> The lion comment is understood as being based on meaning as a “form of life” (Lebensform): lions have a form of life that is different to us and so the meaning of their utterances would be opaque. Likewise, the principles (Prinzipe) are basic, fundamental, giving meaning to the belief system of their holders in ways that are ultimately equivalent and between which one cannot decide – you either hold the Prinzipe or not.>>

    37: He has some background, so he has no excuse for behaving like this.

    >> I think this is a fundamental error, on Wittgenstein’s part as much as that of anyone else who holds to this Weltanschauung mythology.>>

    38: He switches to German, then dismisses worldviews in general by his chosen chief exemplar, as mythology. Neat way to evade substance.

    >> If a lion could talk we’d understand quite a lot – because we share a form of life (we have an evolutionarily related biology, for a start), and two principles of human intellect also share forms of life – that of being human biologically and that of a shared history if there is one. And that shared nature means we can evaluate one or both for coherence, sense and reliability.>>

    39: He here shows that he understands there is enough in common to do cross cultural worldviews analysis.

    >> Some views are just not amenable to a good life. I think Christianity is one,>>

    40: His bigotry surfaces explicitly.

    >> and not because I have some well-worked alternative I’d like to sell you, but because I can learn from the past and make inferences, and so can you.>>

    41: He hides his alternative.

    >> Beliefs are not abstract sets of propositions. Or rather, some are, but not all of them. We have malformed, half formed and underinterpreted ideas all the time, but that doesn’t give us a conceptual scheme. In this regard I am with Donald Davidson’s attack on the very idea.>>

    42: More strawmen. No one has seriously held that we have full understanding or articulation of individual beliefs much less our personal or cultural collection.

    >> So to my Christian audience I say, do not commit either the privative fallacy or the Weltanschauung mistake.>>

    43: A strawman fallacy-laced dismissal

    >>If you think you can evade my and others criticisms by assigning some faux ideology to us in virtue of us not adopting your own preferred set of absolutes, you are greatly mistaken,>>

    43: Ducking admission of his own worldview

    >> and building a nice strawman to knock over. >>

    44: Confession by projection. He knows what he just did.

    KF

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly note from just above how flawed the text chunk is. KF

  35. 35
    Sandy says:

    A maths teacher eats from maths invented by God and says that there is no God. Imagine that.

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    No one is going to read a comment that is disjointed, has 44 separate points and is over 2500 words long. So why make it?

    Take a couple of the most egregious points and refute them as simply as possible. If you want to pile on do it in another short comment.

  37. 37
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    Kf,

    No one is going to read a comment that is disjointed, has 44 separate points and is over 2500 words long. So why make it?

    True.

  38. 38
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “VL, kindly note from just above how flawed the text chunk is.”

    I note exactly what Jerry said: “No one is going to read a comment that is disjointed, has 44 separate points and is over 2500 words long.” That is the flaw that I noted.

    I’ll also point out to KF and Sandy that quoting favorably a portion of longer quoted material, which I did, is not a blanket endorsement of every statement in the longer quoted material.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, there is a need to answer an argument in detail, as shown by ill advised endorsements. Perhaps you won’t look at it but the record is important. It has not prevailed by default. KF

  40. 40

    I don’t think we’d be having the worldview discussion, if it weren’t for atheists and the like, being bad people, with bad judgements.

    The nazi’s objectified personal character of people, as a matter of biological fact. That was the basis of their worldview.

    The creationist worldview says that personal character is a subjective issue, because personal character is on the side of what makes a choice.

    So two diametrically opposed worldviews, personal character is a matter of fact forced by evidence, or personal character is a matter of chosen judgement.

    The nazi tries to be emotionless, measuring and calculating, in producing a conclusion on what someone’s personal charater is. While the creationist, they can be charitable, merciful, or even mean, in producing a judgement on what someone’s character is.

    The nazi is really the exponent of all of why we complain about evolution theory, atheism, materialism, scientism etc. People who just don’t accept the validity of the concept of personal opinion, as distinct from the concept of fact. People who have thrown out the entire subjective category from reality, the creator category.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, your refusal to consider that there may be deep flaws in what you endorsed speaks for itself. KF

  42. 42
    Viola Lee says:

    I tried to read what you wrote about the part I quoted, and it’s hard to see anything other your standard railing in your standard, disjointed style. You seem to think your writing style of continual interjections is effective, but it isn’t.

    If you want me to consider the “deep flaws”, maybe you could address them more clearly and succinctly, with less over-the top rhetoric. And, perhaps you can point to specific things I wrote in response, and show some evidence that you actually considered what I wrote, instead of having some knee-jerk reaction to themes that you are, perhaps mistakenly, assuming are being referenced.

    Try some of that, and maybe I’ll pay attention to you.

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    I have gone to Wilkin’s blog to see what he is saying in general.

    https://evolvingthoughts.net/

    About 7 years ago he reviewed and highly recommended a book on the teaching of evolution. It is

    Understanding Evolution by Kostas Kampourakis

    I’ve since gotten a copy online and will read parts to see what it says.

  44. 44
    EDTA says:

    >Is there not a middle ground that avoids cult leaders, and avoids disunifying individualism?

    That was a rhetorical question. In slightly shorter form, we’d better find that middle way soon.

  45. 45
    Viola Lee says:

    It seems to me the place to start is one person at a time, both articulating the need and modelling good behavior. My earlier response was to have tolerance for diversity. We are not likely to go back to being as homogenous a society as we once were, so we need to find some unity in respecting and living with different ways of seeing and being in the world. Of course, some differences will seem more significant than others to not be tolerant about, but then we need to take the attitude that we are human beings and common citizens into our problem solving.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you know better than that. Indeed, so much so that it is clear that the rhetoric of dismissiveness is a way to evade addressing the substantial issues on the table. It saddens me to have to say such, but that is clear. This prof set up and knocked over a strawman, in part turning on improperly conflating worldviews and religion, i.e. appeal to prejudice. He tried a tired out dodge on agnosticism and refused to acknowledge what a proposition asserted and believed is, a truth claim. Worldviews are not dubious exercises of dogma, they are — as even Wikipedia concedes against interest — a significant innovation of German philosophy [the second Euro tongue to make philosophy at home by hammering out a whole new vocab]. One, that identifies that our reasoning and believing sets out our view of the world, recognising major frames of thought. Of which, ethical monotheism is one family, with the Judaeo-Christian tradition and the Christian form being particularly historically and currently important in our neck of the woods. Where, worldviews can turn on other approaches such as evolutionary materialistic scientism or Marxism in its many forms such as the currently active critical race theory. The gambit of trying a vice between having to fight hyperskeptical dismissiveness on basic vocabulary and playing games on oh we TLDR what we want etc, fails. This summary needs the substantial response to work with, especially after brief remarks and summaries or even what should have been obvious from readily accessible dictionaries were brushed aside. The record stands. KF

    PS: Relevant vocabulary:

    fisk (f?sk)
    v. fisked, fisk·ing, fisks
    v.tr.
    To criticize and refute (a published article or argument), especially in point-by-point or line-by-line fashion on a blog.
    v.intr.
    To fisk an article or argument.
    [After Robert Fisk (born 1946), British journalist, some of whose controversial reports on the Middle East were criticized on blogs.]
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    This becomes particularly relevant when there are multiple layers of fallacies or errors involved in what needs correcting.

  47. 47
    Viola Lee says:

    Know better than what? That was a cryptic post???

  48. 48
    Viola Lee says:

    I was not, and am not, interested in dissecting Wilkins post. I picked a part that I liked, and commented on it. If you would like to comment on my comment than I’ll probably be glad to respond.

    But as I said above, quoting part of something is not a blanket endorsement of the whole thing. (In fact, I don’t even agree with every single aspect of the part I quoted: I just found it interesting enough to stimulate a post of my own.)

    So, to repeat, I’m not interested in all the things you find wrong with Wilkins’ quote. I’m willing to discuss specific parts of my posts 29 and 32.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I have said enough for record. There is no need for me to get into a crocodile death roll of successive toxic tangents that invite personalities rather than focussing on the merits and issues of actually crucial significance for our civilisation. Particularly, there is nothing exceptional or dubious or dogmatically imposing — as opposed to doing 101 analysis — in my literally dictionary based framing of what a worldview is. Worldviews are highly significant and key trends are highlighted by Mr Barna with sobering import for the US and therefore the world. We would do well to ponder where we are, where we are heading and whether that is a safe path. KF

    PS: You endorsed something that is demonstrably deeply flawed.

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    That’s fine. My original posts were not directed to you, and I didn’t invite you to respond to me.

    And just in case you missed it the first two times I posted it, I wrote at 48,

    “Quoting part of something is not a blanket endorsement of the whole thing. (In fact, I don’t even agree with every single aspect of the part I quoted: I just found it interesting enough to stimulate a post of my own.)”

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly observe who is the poster of the OP. Consider the context of that OP and Sev’s comment, thus why I took up his challenge and addressed it point by point. You entered late and endorsed a seriously flawed argument, which is why I pointed out that there were corrections to flaws on the table — including specifically in the chunk you used, and in what it depends on. On your just now exclusionary remark, sorry, this is a forum not a place for private exchanges or for side debates on UD’s dime. Would you have preferred if I had simply clicked the box that prevents comments, an option that is there? KF

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: I have added an illustration on formation of a worldview. KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: In his analysis, Barna went on to profile the core adherents to key worldviews and the lean-towards penumbra. Such a mapping is not without significance:

    Which people groups are most likely to lean toward specific worldviews, even if they do not fully embrace those beliefs and behaviors?

    Biblical Worldview:
    SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservative Christians), theological evangelicals, born-again Christians, political conservatives, and registered Republicans are the most likely to possess a Biblical Theism perspective.

    Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:
    Spiritual skeptics, LGBTQ adults, those not registered to vote, political liberals, and individuals who attend a predominantly black, or Catholic church are the most common adherents of this worldview.

    Secular Humanism:
    Spiritual skeptics, residents of the Western region of the United States, people 75 or older, and political liberals dominate those who support this life perspective.

    Postmodernism:
    Spiritual skeptics, residents of the northeastern and western states, people with a Bachelor’s degree, and political liberals are the most common adopters of Postmodern beliefs and behaviors.

    Why the Numbers Are Not Bigger
    These outcomes beg the question as to why more Americans do not have a more dynamic and cohesive worldview. According to George Barna, who directed the research for the Cultural Research Center, one important reason is that Americans are not directly taught about worldview as part of their education. “Worldview in America develops by default,” he explained . . .

    The pattern is clear, the breakdown of the Christian consensus driven by skepticism and associated with a messianistic political ideology of “liberalism” has alienated many from the past consensus and has led to a politics that caters to that. The dominance of belief in God still prevails, but many have been alienated from specifics of Bible based, gospel theology and its integral ethics which in key part endorse Ciceronian core natural law premises and first duties. Such has been heavily embedded in schooling and the media.

    The consequences play out in new plausibility structures that are imagined superior to dogmatic, outdated, right wing, would be theocratic “fundamentalism” and as a result “the religious/white nationalist [= “nazi” in more direct terms]” right is perceived as a main threat to “democracy [or should that be, rule by the manipulated or even perceived crowd — who validates and counts the votes, with what transparency?]” and to novel “rights.”

    Deeply missing, first, recognition of self-evident first duties of reason, pivot of the built in law of our inescapably morally governed nature:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable first duties of reason. “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to them; i.e. they are self-evident. Namely, duties, to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour; so also, to fairness and justice etc. Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow the first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies. Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless. Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature. Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right. Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc. Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law. The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    In that light, second, failure to understand and acknowledge that justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. So, for instance, no one may justly claim a right that compels another to lie about manifest truths [starting with the significance of XX and XY chromosomes], or to do wrong or to uphold oneself in doing wrong.

    This is increasingly the flash-point of American culture, politics, policy, law, education and media and it will compound with the culture form marxist critical race theory and other intentionally subversive agendas to ramp up the ongoing 4th generation civil war, part of a wider global war in the shadows. Already, the black theme colour, colour revolution push and red guards baying in the streets and media pose a warning i/l/o Isaiah’s indictment of the Judaean elites c 700 BC.

    The predictable consequences on current line of drift are stark and destructive. The issue is, can we veer the ship of state off from the line of wind in our cultural storm, to shipwreck at a Malta, a haven [such is the meaning of the name]?

    That is very much an open question.

    KF

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the famous ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI — and this is a story, there is no excuse not to take it in and ponder its significance:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    You have written over 5000 words of which I guess no one but you have read. For what purpose?

    Certainly not to convince anyone else of anything. If it is for one’s own edification a lot less would do since from a cursory glance a large amount appears to be repeats of things posted many times before.

    Are there worldview? Do people have them? Wilkin’s claims to not have one and says they do not exist. So have you written 5000+ words for nothing. He says

    But the simple fact is, I don’t have a worldview. In fact, neither do they. I don’t think worldviews exist.

    If you kept to that one point and in 300 words or less, we might all be better off including yourself.

    Now, I happen to disagree with Wilkins because I have a worldview and it’s simple

    Christianity plus individual freedom leads to all the worthy objectives man can have

    I am willing to defend it against all comers but in simple exchanges.

    Aside: Wilkins describes ID incorrectly and seems to take the view it is essentially creationism implying it is a variant of Young Earth Creationism. For that alone he is deficient and should be ignored as a reliable source.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, what makes you imagine you are right? Do you think that oh I don’t like this or that and I TLDR will shift the balance on merits now and onwards? Do you have any idea why for example I took time to Fisk a certain philosopher of science? Apart from TLDR, do you have any substantial response to the range of fallacies involved? Why do you think so many find such a layer cake of fallacies appealing? KF

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    why for example I took time to Fisk a certain philosopher of science

    It would take only one or two sentences to do so. For example,

    No atheist or agnostic has any justification for their belief based on science.

    No one who believes the ideas of Darwin has any justification for their belief in how evolution occurred

    If Wilkins endorsed Darwin’s ideas then he’s a failure as a philosopher of science. And thus probably discredited on most everything else in terms of science. So why pay attention to him?

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you apparently failed to note that I made brief responses then was challenged to deal with the whole. I did so, highlighting a network of mutually reinforcing fallacies that make a redundant plausibility framework that is highly misleading and obviously persuasive to many. I took time to correct it and will use that as a point of reference onward. KF

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    deal with the whole.

    It could have been done in 300-500 words tops. You essentially did not deal with whatever challenge you perceived because no one will read what you wrote. So you did not deal with anything.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you are wrong on that subject. There are cases for one liners, for one paragraphers, for clips fromj references and there are cases for an essay or a fisking. I have said enough so we can return to focus on a pivotal issue, worldviews. KF

  61. 61
    Viola Lee says:

    FYI: Jerry asked upwards why do people hold to certain worldviews. I made a few comments on that question at 32.

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    you are wrong on that subject.

    No, I am right. Wilkins can be discredited in one or two sentences.

    As a philosopher of science writer/expert, he holds false information to be true on science. Consequently, why would one trust such a person on anything on science or other things such as worldviews.

    Done!

  63. 63
    jerry says:

    why do people hold to certain worldviews. I made a few comments on that question

    Yes, I read it. I understand where they come from. The question is do such beliefs/opinions have any justification let alone sufficient justification?

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    Not quite sure what you’re asking Jerry. Does the phrase “such beliefs” refer to what I said, or the beliefs of a particular worldview? I think you mean the latter.

  65. 65
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    Jerry asks, “But why do they hold to a certain worldview? ”

    A major reason is that people are brought up to believe in certain metaphysical propositions which are part of the conceptual glue that helps hold the society together. They don’t believe because of empirical evidence but because of the emotional bonds engendered among common believers.

    This is a non-explanation.
    PS: What is the difference between lets say The Bible and the commentary of Viola Lee? What makes your message more to be trusted ? What is the sign of truth?

  66. 66
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, it’s part of an explanation why people hold certain worldviews: they are raised to believe as the community around them believes. This helps provide social stability, which is good for everyone.

    For instance, in some societies older people are revered as the source of institutional knowledge (a practical good) and as being closest to those ancestors which have died (a religious or metaphysical good.) Both of these reasons can be undermined as time goes by (in fact has, in many societies). The first, preservation of institutional knowledge, can be demonstrably justified if one considers the stability and continuation of that culture as a good. The second can’t be empirically verified, but believe in it also contributes to stability of the culture. I’m not sure what other criteria of truth one might apply to this particular example.

  67. 67
    jerry says:

    Does the phrase “such beliefs” refer to what I said, or the beliefs of a particular worldview? I think you mean the latter.

    Any belief. Some beliefs have zero effect on every day life or worldview. I mentioned belief in alien civilizations in the galaxy above. That is such a belief that will affect next to nothing about life today or in the foreseeable future. Others have extremely relevant effects on every day life and worldviews.

    Have to go explore the Maine coast with my wife as it is a beautiful day in New Hampshire.

  68. 68
    Viola Lee says:

    A better use of your time, Jerry. Enjoy.

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the issue is to correct not merely to discredit. Rhetoric does not answer to all things, as well you know as you read essays, papers and books etc. Enough of your side track. KF

  70. 70

    My idea about what’s going wrong with society should have priority because

    1. My explanation is more simple. It is simply fact obsessed people who are clueless about subjectivity, who consequently produce bad personal opinions.

    2. My explanation is directly rooted in creationism, because I explain that subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept. And because this is an intelligent design blog, therefore the creationist explanation must have priority.

    Also, how can anybody be so “stupid” to not “appreciate” the “importance” of the concept of personal opinion?

    All these words between quotation marks are subjective. Which shows subjectivity is a big deal, used all over the place. It is very obvious that if people throw out subjectivity, as materialists, atheists, evolutionists do, that the consequences will be catastrophic.

    And this is obviously not about tolerance for diversity of opinion. You only get diversity of opinion when first you accept the concept of opinion. But this is about people who undermine the concept of personal opinion. Everyone must accept the concept of personal opinion, must accept creationism.

  71. 71
    paige says:

    I agree with Viola Lee with respect to worldviews. The worldview that we hold is the result of cultural inertia modified by experience. For example, the vast majority of us equate to the same religion as our parents but as we experience life the extent to which we practice this religion may change.

    What has happened over the last century or so is that the ease of travel and immigration has resulted in a diversification of our society. In my mind this is a great improvement, but it definitely comes with significant challenges.

  72. 72
    Sandy says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu
    My idea about what’s going wrong with society should have priority because

    1. My explanation is more simple. It is simply fact obsessed people who are clueless about subjectivity, who consequently produce bad personal opinions.

    Your opinion is subjective or objective?

    Viola Lee
    Well, it’s part of an explanation why people hold certain worldviews: they are raised to believe as the community around them believes. This helps provide social stability, which is good for everyone.

    For instance, in some societies older people are revered as the source of institutional knowledge (a practical good) and as being closest to those ancestors which have died (a religious or metaphysical good.) Both of these reasons can be undermined as time goes by (in fact has, in many societies). The first, preservation of institutional knowledge, can be demonstrably justified if one considers the stability and continuation of that culture as a good. The second can’t be empirically verified, but believe in it also contributes to stability of the culture. I’m not sure what other criteria of truth one might apply to this particular example.

    🙂 This is just an opinion you have chosen to believe that is true(among many other opinions that flow around). The big problem you have is if you think an opinion(yours in this case )is closer to truth, or true then this is a law of objectivity and of unique,exclusive truth .You think from all opinions from this Earth there is only one that is true or closer to truth but in the same time you don’t actually believe that .Because you think that all religions are the same ,none is superior to other,which is absurd but is your opinion and you value it as the truth. :)) Why this “objectivity” in irelevant opinions and why this laxity in relevant opinions like true religion? Don’t you fell the disonance from your reason?

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Sandy says:

    Viola Lee
    Food for thought

    1.There are no strangers from Christian’s point of view :because all people are brothers and have a single root Adam and Eve.
    2. If indeed God(Christ) died for you and you ignore Him ,who are you , what are you?

  75. 75
    Seversky says:

    Sandy/73

    1.There are no strangers from Christian’s point of view :because all people are brothers and have a single root Adam and Eve.

    Tell that to the Jewish population of Europe.

    Tell that to the native populations of the Americas – those that are left.

    2. If indeed God(Christ) died for you and you ignore Him ,who are you , what are you?

    By Christian belief, Jesus is immortal like His Father. He cannot be killed, certainly not by us. So how was his supposed death on the cross anything other than a gesture?

  76. 76

    Obviously it is my opinion that their judgements are bad, but it is a fact that they don’t know what the logic of opinion is.

    I explained the distinction between opinion and fact on creationwiki.

    http://www.creationwiki.org/Creationist_Philosophy

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky in response to Sandy’s comment,

    There are no strangers from Christian’s point of view :because all people are brothers and have a single root Adam and Eve.

    in response to that, Seversky states,

    Tell that to the Jewish population of Europe.

    Tell that to the native populations of the Americas – those that are left.

    What’s that got to do with whether or not all humanity shares a single unique origin in Adam and Eve?

    Exactly what is your argument Seversky? All people are not brothers because men have killed other men?

    That simply makes no sense from a Biblical point of view since the first murder recorded in the Bible is Cain killing his brother Abel.

    Should you not have instead presented some kind of scientific evidence to refute the Biblical Claim that all men are related via Adam and Eve? i.e. to refute the claim that all men are brothers?

    But then again, the supposed scientific evidence for human evolution is rather sparse nowadays.

    AN OVERVIEW OF THE INDEPENDENT HISTORIES OF THE HUMAN Y CHROMOSOME AND THE HUMAN MITOCHONDRIAL CHROMOSOME – Robert W. Carter, Stephen S. Lee, John C. Sanford, – 2018
    Excerpt: The existence of a literal Adam and Eve is hotly debated, even within the Christian body. Now that many full-length human Y (chrY) and mitochondrial (chrM) chromosome sequences have been sequenced and made publicly available, it may be possible to bring clarity to this question. We have used these data to comprehensively analyze the historical changes in these two chromosomes, starting with the sequences of people alive today, and working backwards to the ancestral sequence of the family groups to which they belong.
    The genetic evidence strongly suggests that Y Chromosome Adam/Noah and Mitochondrial Eve were not just real people, they were the progenitors of us all. In this light, there is every reason to believe that they were the Adam/Noah and Eve of the Bible.
    https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/icc_proceedings/vol8/iss1/7/

    No Known Hominin Is Common Ancestor of Neanderthals and Modern Humans, Study Suggests – Oct. 21, 2013?
    Excerpt: The article, “No known hominin species matches the expected dental morphology of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans,” relies on fossils of approximately 1,200 molars and premolars from 13 species or types of hominins — humans and human relatives and ancestors. Fossils from the well-known Atapuerca sites have a crucial role in this research, accounting for more than 15 percent of the complete studied fossil collection.,,,?They conclude with high statistical confidence that none of the hominins usually proposed as a common ancestor, such as Homo heidelbergensis, H. erectus and H. antecessor, is a satisfactory match.?”None of the species that have been previously suggested as the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans has a dental morphology that is fully compatible with the expected morphology of this ancestor,” Gómez-Robles said.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....153202.htm?

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Contested Bones: Is There Any Solid Fossil Evidence for Ape-to-Man Evolution? – Dr. John Sanford and Chris Rupe
    Excerpt: We have spent four years carefully examining the scientific literature on this subject. We have discovered that within this field (paleoanthropology), virtually all the famous hominin types have either been discredited or are still being hotly contested. Within this field, not one of the hominin types have been definitively established as being in the lineage from ape to man. This includes the famous fossils that have been nicknamed Lucy, Ardi, Sediba, Habilis, Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal. Well-respected people in the field openly admit that their field is in a state of disarray. It is very clear that the general public has been deceived regarding the credibility and significance of the reputed hominin fossils.
    We will show that the actual fossil evidence is actually most consistent with the following three points. 1) The hominin bones reveal only two basic types; ape bones (Ardi and Lucy), and human bones (Naledi, Hobbit, Erectus, and Neaderthal). 2) The ape bones and the human bones have been repeatedly found together in the same strata – therefore both lived at the same basic timeframe (the humans were apparently hunting and eating the apes). 3) Because the hominin bones were often found in mixed bone beds (with bones of many animal species in the same site), numerous hominin types represent chimeras (mixtures) of ape and human bones (i.e., Sediba, Habilis).
    We will also present evidence that the anomalous hominin bones that are of the human (Homo) type most likely represent isolated human populations that experienced severe inbreeding and subsequent genetic degeneration. This best explains why these Homo bones display aberrant morphologies, reduced body size, and reduced brain volume.
    We conclude that the hominin bones do not reveal a continuous upward progression from ape to man, but rather reveal a clear separation between the human type and the ape type. The best evidence for any type of intermediate “ape-men” derived from bones collected from mixed bone beds (containing bones of both apes and men), which led to the assembly of chimeric skeletons. Therefore, the hominin fossils do not prove human evolution at all.,,,
    We suggest that the field of paleoanthropology has been seriously distorted by a very strong ideological agenda and by very ambitious personalities.
    https://ses.edu/contested-bones-is-there-any-solid-fossil-evidence-for-ape-to-man-evolution/

    Seversky’s second response makes even less sense than his first one did.

    Sev: “Jesus is immortal like His Father. He cannot be killed, certainly not by us. So how was his supposed death on the cross anything other than a gesture?”

    HUH???

    So God becoming a man, living a sin-free life, dying on a cross to atone for our sins, and then rising from the dead, since it was, by your own admission, impossible for Him to die, is nothing more than a meaningless ‘gesture’ on your part?

    Really???

    God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth and all life in it, becoming a human is a meaningless ‘gesture’ to you?

    Really???

    I could see someone trying to deny that God became a man simply because of the sheer audacity of the claim, but I have never heard anyone say that they thought that God becoming man was just a meaningless gesture for God to do. A ‘big yawn’ if you will.

    Perhaps someone who is more Biblically literate would like to address Seversky response in a bit more detail than I have. I’m literally speechless that anyone could respond as Seversky has.

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, I took some time to seek the source of your clip. Someone who projects “Gish Gallops” is going to sink in my estimation, for cause. When that rhetorical gambit is matched with the layercake of dozens of errors and fallacies I corrected above, it even more regrettably confirms my concern on confession by projection. For cause, I will continue to use worldviews analysis as a responsible, useful and even powerful tool, one that bears but little resemblance to the strawman caricature knocked over in the clip. KF

  79. 79
    jerry says:

    For most Friday nights for the last couple years John Batchelor and Michael Vlahos have had a conversation on the possible civi war happening in the US. (Batchelor’s show is probably the most eclectic show on the planet and tends conservative).

    The premise is that you don’t know you are in a civil war while it’s happening. So they have been comparing the US to previous civil wars in history. Namely, Rome’s one or two civil wars, our Revolutionary War, and the 1961 Civl War.

    Last night the focus shifted to the Spanish Civil War with the analysis showing the war is still being fought today in Spain. As in the Revolutionary War and the 1861 Civil War the Spanish Civil War was split somewhat equally between sides. So is today’s US civil war. As in the previous civil wars one side wants the complete subjugation of the other.

    This cannot have a happy ending. The instigation for total subjugation of the other side in today’s world is coming from the left both in Spain today as it is in the US.

    Here are the two radio shows from last night of Batchelor and Vlahos. The actual show starts about a minute in as there are ads till then.

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7851926-2-civilwar-not-forgetting-the-deep-divisions-in-spain-and-america-michael-vlahos-johns-ho

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7851927-2-2-civilwar-not-forgetting-the-deep-divisions-in-spain-and-america-michael-vlahos-johns-h

    And an article written by Vlahos on this

    https://www.anewcivilwar.com/post/old-civil-wars-never-die-like-zombies-they-are-raised-by-history-to-devour-us

  80. 80
    jerry says:

    Food for thought

    I personally don’t come here to argue. I come here to learn.

    And I have learned a lot over the years especially about science. ID cannot afford to back bad science or it will get excoriated by those who hate it. Not like Wilkins or Kampourakis’s book on evolution that I mentioned above. They can espouse all the nonsense they want and feel secure no one will challenge them. They cannot justify the positions they take.

    Recently I learned some things about epistemology that are obvious but which I never put together before. There’s a lot to learn here from others.

    Sometimes It’s good to be provocative to tease out if there is anything to learn about positions one might hold. If all the responses are trivial or bogus, then one knows the positions are probably close to being correct.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    Paige,

    First, you seem to be a new commenter, so welcome to the world of the un-lurked.

    Second, while worldviews are often culturally conditioned and may be passed down in families [BTW, secularist, marxist and atheistical views too], that is not the whole story. Once human rational responsible freedom is on the table, we are able to re-think, adjust and revise, never mind what our new massas in schools, media houses, fact check operations, new media censors and the like would want us to think. Indeed, if we are not significantly free, argument, reason and even knowledge fall apart.

    Where, one of the pernicious problems of a polarised indoctrinated age is that we tend to displace cognitive dissonance to the despised other. They are “religious,” “racist,” lackeys to the capitalists, pawns of the religious right etc, all expressing disdain and dismissal. Too often without examining significant issues of warrant and first plausibles. Which, is what worldviews analysis is about in key part.

    Above in the OP, Barna is tracking trends in US worldview thought, and has identified that the majority are caught up in a pattern of syncretism of incongruent, mismatched bits and pieces of views. That is already significant as it means people are not being informed in a balanced way and lack exposure to comparative difficulties analysis. Which operates at a higher level than the rhetoric involved in pro-con debates and deplatforming.

    That is, we need to be aware of enough and have skills for looking at factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power [as the OP raises]. That becomes all the more necessary in a day when manipulators abound in an increasingly polarised climate. For just one instance, how many know that critical race theory is an expression of culture form marxism, which comes with a raft of onward issues? How many know that trained community organisers tracing to the Chicago School associated with Saul Alinsky are in fact trained marxist agitators? That colour revolution is a strategy for taking state power? (One that was warned about when it was playing out in the Ukrainein the 00’s)?

    Then, more directly on UD’s line of focus, how many understand that Big S Science often means imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism as an ideology? Or, that such ideologies are flawed in many ways?

    For example, the notion that science monopolises knowledge is self-refuting, as this is a philosophical assertion claiming to be significant knowledge. This, means Scientism fails.

    Similarly, evolutionary materialism has no empirically warranted mechanism to create the huge quantities of functionally specific coded textual information in DNA to make cell based life and onwards to make dozens of body plans. For the former, 100 – 1,000+ k bits. For the latter, 10 – 100+ M bits, dozens of times over. Where the search capacity of the10^57 atoms of our solar system or the 10^80 of the observed cosmos for 10^17 s, max out at a generous 500 – 1,000 bits.

    Ask yourself, why that is not a commonplace, frankly and fairly discussed in textbooks and museums or on TV documentary channels.

    Then, there is the problem of accounting for the creation of a sophisticated computer, the human brain, by same mechanisms. As if that were bad, consider that computing substrates are not freely reasoning minds. As JBS Haldane, a co founder of the neo-darwinian synthesis that still largely rules the roost notes:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

    And so forth.

    Fresh thinking is needed and the worldviews concept is key to such.

    KF

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, having pondered overnight, I will DV come back to you later. KF

  83. 83
    Sandy says:

    Seversky
    Sandy/73

    1.There are no strangers from Christian’s point of view :because all people are brothers and have a single root Adam and Eve.

    Tell that to the Jewish population of Europe.

    Tell that to the native populations of the Americas – those that are left.

    2. If indeed God(Christ) died for you and you ignore Him ,who are you , what are you?

    By Christian belief, Jesus is immortal like His Father. He cannot be killed, certainly not by us. So how was his supposed death on the cross anything other than a gesture?

    If you want to find out about christianity you should read something written by christians not by atheists 😉
    You can start from here:
    http://patristica.net/latina/
    http://patristica.net/graeca/
    You say you don’t know latin and greek ? Ok ,you can search for John of Damascus
    https://archive.org/details/AnExactExpositionOfTheOrthodoxFaith

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77,

    I am struck by the issue of the crooked yardstick, which warps judgement and may sour the temper to the point where one is disinclined to heed the voice of a plumb line. The basic message is plain: one cannot soundly judge what is straight by demanding that it conform to crookedness.

    Like unto it, it is unfair and ill advised to tax the Christian faith with blame for struggles tied to the moral hazards of being human, leading to that individual and collective struggle that so mars and haunts history all over the world. We are finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often stubborn and ill-willed creatures.

    Let us acknowledge, then, our common failings and seek the paths of sound reformation. Which need to be paths that uphold rather than undermine the first canons of moral government. I suggest, as a start-point: it is inescapable that we are bound by duties to truth, to right reason, to prudence, to sound conscience, to neighbour, to fairness and justice, etc.

    Where, it can readily be seen that the Judaeo-Christian tradition that contributed the Jerusalem dimension to our civilisation and led in the synthesis of the heritage of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome, freely, whole heartedly endorses and articulates moral government turning on such canons. Indeed, it directly affirms that certain core principles of moral government are built in, coeval with our humanity. A good reflection on that happens to be pivotal to the teachings of Locke in his 2nd essay on civil govt, foundational to modern constitutional democracy. Note, how he calls on the judicious Richard Hooker, an Anglican Canon, writing on ecclesiastical polity:

    [2nd Treatise on Civil Gov’t, Ch 2 sec. 5:] . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [This directly echoes St. Paul in Rom 2: “14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . “ and 13: “9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law . . . “ Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [Eccl. Polity ,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.] [Augmented citation, Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government, Ch 2 Sect. 5. ]

    Now, obviously, UD is not a theology and biblical studies blog, but it is evident that a significant part of the driving force of some objections we see here is deep seated hostility to not only the Christian heritage and influences in our civilisation, but to the foundations of that faith.

    It is appropriate, from time to time, to give at least an outline answer.

    First, the general insinuation of racist prejudice and murderous hostility:

    Ac 17: 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,3 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth [–> universal brotherhood, sharing a common humanity], having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;4
    as even some of your own poets have said,
    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’5

    1 Jn 3: 11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,3 that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

    There is no foundation for hate, murder, racial prejudice or injustice in the Christian Faith’s foundations. Yes, Christianity-influenced civilisation has struggled with ugly moments when such have risen to the fore. That reflects how lawless we can be and how ill-willed, common human traits. Christianity is the friend of reformation, not of reprobate thought and deeds. A reasonable mind would acknowledge such.

    Jews, obviously, are implied in the above. There are specific texts on Jews, but instead of a further raft of references, the matter can be very simply resolved: Jesus of Nazareth was and is a Jew, as were his Apostles. Hatred of Jews . . . or Arabs, or Blacks, or Indians, or Amerindians, or Caucasians etc — is the moral equivalent of murder [and a motive to such] and is incompatible with eternal life.

    Punto final.

    As for deriding and sneering at the theology of redemption, I will simply clip the classic text on that subject:

    John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.7 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.8

    16 “For God so loved the world,9 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

    No contest, the Apostle has it on the merits of substance and tone.

    KF

  85. 85

    So go ahead and rewrite the constitution Kairosfocus.

    Amendment 1
    everyone must be truthful
    Amendment 2
    Everyone must be prudent
    Amendment 3
    Everyone must be just
    Amendment 4
    do gooddery etc.

    It is just naive thinking that such laws would make good people and good government.

    Free speech is number 1. The concept of personal opinion is number 1.

    What would be smart is to define the concepts of opinion and fact into law. Define personal opinion as a chosen expression, in reference to what makes a choice, and define a fact as a 1 to 1 corresponding model of a creation.

    Then basically materialism would be inconsistent with the definition of personal opinion, and outside the law.

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I spoke to built in moral government, which is different from civil law. We are duty bound to truth and deceit is a source of harm for example hence fraud and defamation law as well as perjury. KF

  87. 87

    The way you write, it seems to me you fundamentally conceive of making a choice in terms of figuring out the best option. And not in terms of expression of the spirit. The prudence, justice, etc. is in the spirit making the choice, not in the chosen option.

    Choice is the fundamental mechanism of intelligent design. It would be bad for someone supporting intelligent design to get the fundamental mechanism of intelligent design wrong.

    In Gertz vs Robert Welch, 418 U.S. 323 (1974), the supreme court of the USA mandated that a distinction be made between fact and opinion. Now only to define in legal terms what an opinion is, and what a fact is, with the creationist conceptual scheme, and materialism is gone.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I conceive of the responsible, rational individual, and I happen to believe we are embodied spirits and that the soul though often used in a different sense can be usefully seen as the interface betwixt the two, especially as regards mindedness, emotion, volition and self awareness. One may choose to advantage or to duty knowing that it is NOT advantageous but is right. The point is that advantage must be tempered by justice and humbled by the realities of our limitations and struggles, even bondage to habitual vices and sins etc, e g alcoholism. Prudence is a particular virtue at the heart of wisdom and turning on discernment built up through lifetime practice of virtue. Choice pivots on freedom, wisdom advises but we choose and may even find ourselves helplessly trapped in addiction etc such as alcohol. Which leads to the doctrine of redemptive, resurrection power fired transformation by the power of God accessed through living encounter through the gospel of the risen one. But that is far afield of design theory, opinion, uncertainty, limits and defeasibility of knowledge claims, recognition of facts and opinions, moral facts and truths etc. Even, truth. KF

    PS: Evolutionary materialism cannot credibly account for brains much less minds. It is irretrievably self referentially incoherent and a dead end. It is only of political significance.

  89. 89

    The DNA system is an information processing system. The human brain is an information processing system. Therefore it seems obvious, that the human brain is more of an extension of the DNA system, rather than a product of it. Which means Wallace was smart to exclude the human brain from evolution theory.

    The fundamental meaning of choice is to make one of alternative futures the present. That is the useful concept for intelligent design theory. To fundamentally conceive of making a choice in terms of what is best, then obviously, choice is just a cultural fantasy, because there is no physics of the best.

    And basically in science choice is denoted as (true) randomness. And then intelligent design theory speculates about sophisticated ways of decisionmaking.

    So it is crucial for intelligent design theory that the concept of choice is broken down into a subjective part, the agency of the choice, and an objective part, what’s chosen. So that intelligent design theory can deal with the objective part. Science can never deal with anything inherently subjective, because science is limited to objectivity.

  90. 90
    jerry says:

    Above I refer to Wilkins recommendation of a book on evolution which I have purchased. In this book, the author (Kampourakis) commits several logical errors on ID. For example, he uses the argument from evil as a reason for why ID is not correct. It is not the only fallacy he commits.

    So I assume that Wilkins commits the same errors. Based on this alone, there is no reason to take Wilkins as an unbiased author on anything relevant to ID especially for world-views which should either include the idea of ID or not.

    By the way, Kampourakis has also written philosophy of science books as has Wilkins.

    The reason that they can get away with committing such fallacies and not getting called on it is evolution has zero to do with everyday life. If it did then there would be more honest discussion on just what it is.

    Genetics which flowed from Darwin’s ideas and the discovery of the power of genes/DNA is extremely important but not for providing a mechanism for evolution. Nearly every example, a Darwinist gives to justify their beliefs is usually from genetics.

    By using this fallacy all the time to validate their theory of evolution is the best example that Darwinist’s ideas are bogus.

    Aside: the term Darwinist is not a pejorative here since this is a term that many who endorse Darwin’s ideas use to identify themselves.

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