As of late, I’ve been trying to re-visit the concept of a worldview. That is, I’ve been trying to look at approaches to life as a series of answers to the questions presented all of us, wondering which set is most satisfactory.
This seems to be my point of departure from nearly all of the discussion on religious matters to be found online. It seems to me that the conversation seems to lend itself to religious individuals citing their own scripture as evidence for its truth, to atheists claiming that their position is somehow the default set of answers until others can be so proved, and agnostics claiming that the whole subject is so thoroughly outside the reach of human understanding that we should simply abandon the search for answers.
There are, of course, thoughtful people within all these groups. Still, I don’t think it is too much to say that the general tone is one of circular reasoning. Yes, if we believed a particular set of scriptures were inspired, we’d accept the religion it describes. If we believed that materialism is the position to take until some other one can be proved, we would be atheists. If I believed it were possible to live life without answering questions of ultimate origin, meaning, ethics, and so forth, we would be agnostics.
However, it seems that very little is being done to show that any of these three basic claims are true. As such, people mostly talk past one another in an increasingly angry fashion. Though I am a strong opponent of scientism, we’d do well to take a cue from science. That is, we should ask the big questions of life, then ask ourselves which “theory” gives the most satisfactory answers to those questions.
If the debate begins here, I expect that there will be much more potential for progress. It would end this process of comparing apples to oranges and encourage each of us to, at the very least, take a look at the potential weaknesses of our view.