Friday, December 15, 2017

Who Cares? The Benefits of Worldview Study

Who Cares? Why Study Worldview?


Worldview is the conceptual lens through which we see, understand, and interpret the world and our place within it. Everyone has a worldview, and your worldview exerts strong influence upon you via confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. Once in place, and particularly once they have been consciously examined, worldviews do not change with ease. Peripheral worldview beliefs might be adjusted, but core affirmations are only altered under great evidential or experiential duress.

All that said, who really cares? So worldview exists, and affects us. So what? Why should anyone bother learning about worldviews in general, their own worldview in particular? Are worldview thought and study simply intellectually stimulating and informative? Or do they add something to our intellectual and spiritual life? Briefly and tentatively, I suggest that there are seven potential areas of benefit to understanding and studying worldview.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can a Leopard Replace Its Spots? The Possibility of Worldview Conversion

Can a Leopard Replace Its Spots? Worldview Conservatism and Conversion


In my past few blog posts, I have noted the influence that worldview exerts on us through confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. A logical conclusion from the noted influences of worldview is simple and straightforward: once a worldview is in place within the individual’s heart, the individual tends (all other things being equal) to preserve that worldview. That is, worldviews are inherently conservative. Individuals spend their formative years developing their worldviews through a complex interaction of sociocultural influences—for example, family, education, religion, and economic situation. A worldview may develop with some intentionality and choice, or it might arise and grow entirely unconsciously and unintentionally. Either way, once worldview is established, it is firmly entrenched and exerts tremendous influence on how a person thinks, wills, and acts.

In my last post, I explored internal worldview adjustments – how we can change some of our component beliefs without moving to an entirely new overarching worldview. That exploration raised the question, “Can worldviews change?” And if so, how? I’d like now to return to that issue.

Worldview conversion.

Worldviews represent our understanding of the world around us. The questions involved at the core of our worldview are foundational. Such beliefs, once developed, are not easily altered. There is, however, an important distinction to be drawn. A worldview that is held unconsciously is altered and even converted in a different fashion from one that is held consciously and intentionally.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Can a Leopard Change its Spots? Worldview Conservatism & Adjustment

Can a Leopard Change Its Spots? Worldview Conservatism and Conversion


In my past few blog posts, I have noted the influence that worldview exerts on us through confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. A logical conclusion from the noted influences of worldview is simple and straightforward: once a worldview is in place within the individual’s heart, the individual tends (all other things being equal) to preserve that worldview. That is, worldviews are inherently conservative. Individuals spend their formative years developing their worldviews through a complex interaction of sociocultural influences—for example, family, education, religion, and economic situation. A worldview may develop with some intentionality and choice, or it might arise and grow entirely unconsciously and unintentionally. Either way, once worldview is established, it is firmly entrenched and exerts tremendous influence on how a person thinks, wills, and acts.

Core worldview presuppositions tend to be stubbornly held. A small amount of contrary evidence does not convince someone to abandon one worldview and adopt a different one. In other words, worldviews are not changed unless they have to be. In the 2009 movie Race to Witch Mountain, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Jack Bruno, a taxi driver who unwittingly drives two alien “teenagers” around Las Vegas. Weird things start happening right after Bruno picks them up—the teenage boy stops a pursuing car by letting it smash itself on his body—but Bruno does not immediately conclude that the teens are alien beings. After all, Bruno is convinced that aliens do not exist. Such beliefs do not change easily.

Nonetheless, worldviews (and components of worldviews) are not unalterable. If they were, then without exception individuals would adhere to their parents’ religious worldviews. There are simply too many counterexamples of individuals who have moved from one worldview to another to believe that worldviews are cemented in place. [E.g., C. S. Lewis (from atheism to Christian theism), Antony Flew (from atheism to deism), Bart Ehrman (from Christian theism to agnosticism), and Michael Shermer (from Christian theism to robust atheism).] Worldviews change in two ways: adjustment and conversion. Today, I want to look at worldview adjustment. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Worldview Matters V - Race to Witch Mountain

Why Does Worldview Matter? The Impact of Worldview V – Race to Witch Mountain


Worldview is the conceptual lens through which we see, understand, and interpret the world and our place within it. Worldview develops in and flows through the heart, the center of the human person, and necessarily involves answers (propositional or narrative) to four questions: What is our nature? What is our world? What is our problem? What is our end? Every person possesses a worldview that provides an answer or set of answers to these core worldview questions, but these individual worldviews can be compiled under broad categories.

But why does worldview matter? How does worldview affect us? Why bother learning about it as a concept, and one’s own worldview specifically? What does it have to do with life? Simply put, worldview matters because one’s worldview affects everything that one thinks and does, through confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. We can see the impact of worldview displayed clearly even in popular culture: for example, consider the 2009 film Race to Witch Mountain.

Contemporary Cultural Worldview Meditation.


Race to Witch Mountain—How About Them Aliens?


In the 2009 action flick Race to Witch Mountain, Las Vegas cabbie Jack Bruno (played by Dwayne Johnson) is an alien skeptic in a town of gullible people. The movie opens with Bruno driving alien-believer Dr. Alex Friedman to a UFO convention. His next fare happens to be two normal-looking teenagers, Sara and Seth—but these are no ordinary teenagers. Instead, they claim to be alien visitors returning to Earth to collect scientific data that might just save their home planet and thereby prevent the impending invasion of Earth by their people.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Worldview Matters IV: Life Motivation

Why Does Worldview Matter? The Impact of Worldview IV – Life Motivation


Worldview is the conceptual lens through which we see, understand, and interpret the world and our place within it. Worldview develops in and flows through the heart, the center of the human person, and necessarily involves answers (propositional or narrative) to four questions: What is our nature? What is our world? What is our problem? What is our end? Every person possesses a worldview that provides an answer or set of answers to these core worldview questions, but these individual worldviews can be compiled under broad categories.

But why does worldview matter? How does worldview affect us? Why bother learning about it as a concept, and one’s own worldview specifically? What does it have to do with life? Simply put, worldview matters because one’s worldview affects everything that one thinks and does, through confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. What about that last notion, of life motivation? How does worldview affect the way we live and move and have our being?

Worldview and Life Motivation.

Worldview impacts the way that we live. A worldview not only describes the world for us but also directs our life in the world. It not only gives us a perspective on how the world is (worldview’s descriptive function) but also acts as a guide for how the world ought to be and how we ought to live in the world (worldview’s normative function).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Worldview Matters III - The Pool of Live Options

Why Does Worldview Matter? The Impact of Worldview III – Pool of Live Options


Worldview is the conceptual lens through which we see, understand, and interpret the world and our place within it. Worldview develops in and flows through the heart, the center of the human person, and necessarily involves answers (propositional or narrative) to four questions: What is our nature? What is our world? What is our problem? What is our end? Every person possesses a worldview that provides an answer or set of answers to these core worldview questions, but these individual worldviews can be compiled under broad categories.

But why does worldview matter? How does worldview affect us? Why bother learning about it as a concept, and one’s own worldview specifically? What does it have to do with life? Simply put, worldview matters because one’s worldview affects everything that one thinks and does, through confirmation bias, experiential accommodation, the pool of live options, and life motivation. Previously, I’ve talked about confirmation bias and experiential accommodation. Today, I’d like to examine my favorite aspect of worldview impact – how worldview affects our PoLO, or Pool of Live Options.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Janet Mefferd Today Interview

My interview with Janet Mefferd was broadcast today on "Janet Mefferd Today."  I've done a handful of radio and video interviews on our recently-released An Introduction to Christian Worldview (IVP Academic) - Janet's was (thus far) the best-informed and most productive.  I encourage you to check it out - link is here, the November 20 listing (you should see my name).  My sincere thanks to Janet for a very stimulating and rewarding conversation!

Also, please check out (i.e., purchase!) An Introduction to Christian Worldview, co-authored by myself (Tawa J. Anderson), David K. Naugle, and W. Michael Clark - Amazon link.