Essay: The Foundations of Personal Philosophy…

What is our worldview made of?

Pre-suppositions.

What are presuppositions?

pre·sup·po·si·tion

/ˌprēˌsəpəˈziSHən/

 
Noun
  1. A thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.
  2. The action or state of presupposing or being presupposed.
 
Synonyms
presumption – supposition – assumption – premise

They are understood propositions that have to be made in order to reach a specific conclusion. They can also be the Logic behind a proposition that has been repackaged in to a political or apologetic quip or catch-phrase, but one has to understand the Logic or they may misrepresent or misinterpret the quip by use of their own filter with dissimilar logic.

  • They are the answers to the questions we are asking, they are the Brave Paladins who will slay the evil Paper-Leviathans, or straw-men.
  • They are the answers to life’s questions that satisfy our conscience and mind at this point in our life.
  • It is the base of every argument that we make and the filler/foundation for every talking point or sarcastic quip we retort.

For Example: “Creationist are as logical as Flat Earthers.”–This is a oversimplification or overgeneralization riddled with darwinian and atheistic presuppositions.*

The real question, is how are they formed and why?

As we live we gain knowledge. Each of us at different speeds and depths, but we all increase in knowledge (experiential at least). We take this knowledge and begin to assimilate it into our personal philosophy. Those things that don’t fit we either modify or reject all together.

We began as children learning language and object permanence, math and problem solving skills, and behavior and consequence. These give us the foundation from which all learning and assimilation will be filtered. The assimilation and knowledge bring to fruition understanding. Understanding brings perception, then deduction, and then Reason.

But before we get there we must stop off at Morality. In our assimilation our morals and value of morality will give us insight in to our base psyche and presuppositional foundation.

Our morals are tempered under the tutelage  of parental oversight. If there is an excess of gray areas then our morals may tend to stretch to fill out those empty spaces. I do not believe that morals are a social convention, but I do believe that they can be modified by consistent and rebellious models. I believe that we are born with a conscience, or God’s law, written on our hearts. That is why children know it is wrong to lie and steal.

Hebrews 10:16 (NIV 1984(C))

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

Morals are a huge foundation in our worldview, but not the only part of it. They are the only part of your worldview that is not entirely left up to you to answer for yourself. It is innate in us. The other answers to the foundational questions we answer for ourselves, influenced by everything around us: Family, Friends, Educators, Books, Government, Media (Radio, TV, Movies, Magazines, etc), and your own personal identity.

It is not simply relegated to children. If you watch “Friends” all the time you will subtle begin to become comfortable with casual, sexual relationships, lying, porn, objectifying women, homosexuality, dysfunctional families, and etc. Then the News stations who give a liberal/progressive edge to the news. Also Music that glorifies violence and sex. All of this affects our morality and can influence anyone, given exposure to a certain period of time.

All of this “stuff” is wrapped up in our worldview and is regurgitated in our thoughts, words, and actions. What people groups we associated with, what schools we attend, what friends we have, who we date (have sex with, or marry), etc. You never make a single utterance (intelligible) that is an orphan thought or expression. Every word we speak or action that we perform is born from our worldview–they are our personal presuppositions. It is not a bad thing…unless your presuppositions are incorrect, or you are afraid to have them challenged.

So I ask you, how firm is your morality? Do you listen to your conscience or have you stretched it too thin? Has it lost its ability to reign you in? 1 Timothy 4 suggests that maybe your morals have been seared by a hot iron, voluntarily or involuntarily. Romans 1:28 says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;” This is why I hold or retain God in my knowledge and I value my conscience greatly. I reinforce it with prayer, church, and the Bible. I can’t let one of my main foundations of my worldview be whittled away by some confused Post-Modern comedian, just because he can read his lines well.

So the next time a friend or co-worker rattles off a politically laden catch phrase, try and find the presuppositions behind it. Catch-phrases like, “Democrats are socialist!” or “Republicans are bigots!”, these all have heavy connotations are presuppositions. I would refrain from using them unless you have the foundation laid out and can defend such a proposition. We shouldn’t make propositions or declarations that we cannot logically or with Reason explain. If two people are engaged in an argument using the phrases above, then they will get know where but mad. They are both arguing from the middle or near the end of their presuppositions and there is no common ground among them.

Next time– Essay: The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself…

 

*If someone accuses you of being a creationist, or an intelligent design theorist, do not engage them here. It is like trying to win a race and the other racer is half way to the finish line; you have a ton of ground to make up. You’ll have to discredit a line of reasoning that you actually agreed to; you engage a defense of the creationist and the Flat Earther.

What you have to do is begin on the same level and establish the ground rules.

  1. The Burden of Proof is on the Speaker. They make the proclamation, ask them for the proof.
  2. Ask them about their philosophical label–“So are you an atheist, or agnostic?”–This will narrow down your arsenal. If their are atheist you know that you are going to have to get to the God Question. If they are agnostic, they back down on the God Question; they may be spouting something they read and wanted to sound important by trying to discredit a logic and reasonable belief with one has been proven incorrect.
  3. Ask them if they are innately good or evil?
  4. Regardless of their response take them through the good person test.
  5. If they are still there, let them explain why they became an atheist–because we sure aren’t born atheist, that is something that one has to learn.
  6. Engage in a apologetics, pray with them, pray for them, enter into a relationship (if they agree to it) and begin to minister to that person.

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