Friday, January 05, 2007

Worldview continued...

We've now looked at the easy part - the four questions that a worldview needs to answer: the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Obviously, anyone can throw out an answer to these questions, so we need more than the four questions in and of themselves. Ravi Zacharias uses three tests to verify any statement's claim to truth. I think you'll find them helpful.
The first of these tests is the test of logical consistency. Is what is being claimed logically consistent or are there obvious contradictions? Many people's worldviews fall apart at this first question - they simply contradict themselves.
The second test is the test of empirical adequacy. In other words, is there any evidence to support what is being claimed? Anyone can make a claim, but that doesn't make it true. What facts or datum back up those claims? This test separates mythology from the historical claims of Christianity.
The third test is experiential relevance. The question here is does it work in real life? For example, atheism would have to make the claim that there is no real basis for values - and therefore they don't exist in reality. But this leads to some ridiculous claims. Ravi Zacharias recounts a speaking engagement at a university. One young man wanted to argue that there was no such thing as evil. Ravi asked the following question: "If I were to place a live baby on this table; take a sword and proceed to cut that baby in pieces, would that be evil?" The student was obviously pushed into a corner and stated, "I would not like it, but I could not call it evil." Yet, instinctively, none of us can live with that conclusion. We know that evil exists. So, in this case, atheism fails the experiential relevance test.
So, in review. The three tests are: the test of logical consistency, the test of empirical adequacy and the test of experiential relevance. I hope that you will find these tests helpful in your search for truth.
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