Archives For worldview

For those who would like to be familiar with the worldviews and messages in the books, films, and TV shows effecting a primarily Young Adult audience, I offer the following excerpts from some recent reviews. Keep in mind that my main goal is to look at how the story reflects and shapes the readers’ worldview. Click on the links for the full review. Your feedback is welcome!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

“In places like Northern Ireland and the Middle East, we see this allegory unfold in the real world. People on both sides have stories to tell that explain their fear and hatred. Peace seems like the obvious answer, but if the other side sees overtures of peace as a weakness that lets them wage war, those who seek peace bring destruction on themselves and everyone they love.”

True Detective

 “I’ve heard it said that the reason we can portray evil with such depth and nuance is that we understand it. We don’t know how to portray goodness with the same clarity because we don’t understand it. We know what it’s like to give in to the worst angels of our nature; the better angels seem to hover just off our shoulder. True Detective understands evil both horrific and ordinary. What True Detective fails to provide is an equally compelling look at the goodness needed to counter it.” Continue Reading…

“Your worldview has to have the same shape that reality does.”  – J. Budziszewski

As noted in the opening post in this series,  I believe Christianity offers compelling reasons to believe that truth is found most Continue Reading…

The Shape of Reality

Anthony Weber —  April 19, 2013 — 3 Comments
“Any benefit that people get from religion – any power it has to fulfill them emotionally or motivate them morally – comes from the conviction that it is first of all true.”  Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo

The Christian worldview claims to provide a rational, compelling presentation and defense of the Christian faith. Through reason, revelation (of the natural and supernatural world) and experience, we search for knowledge about God and His creation. This accumulation of knowledge is not simply a process of absorbing dull facts; it’s the way in which we access foundational, transformative truth.

Christian theologians and philosophers claim to say something profoundly true about human experience. The message is both explained and confirmed in numerous ways: archaeology; historical documents; eyewitness testimony; deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments; philosophy and transcendent personal experiences. But if the truth claims of the Christian faith don’t actually explain our existence truthfully and meaningfully, none of these things matter.

“Your worldview has to have the same shape that reality does.” – J. Budziszewski

There are many significant questions that all belief systems have to address in their attempt to fully engage with the reality of our existence:

  • Why is there something rather than nothing?
  • How did the universe start?
  • How did life begin?
  • Why does there appear to be design in the universe?
  • Does free will exist?
  • Do moral truths exist?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How do we explain pain, evil and injustice?
  • Why is there beauty?

All worldviews have something to say about these issues, and they all claim to speak truth. The question is whether or not their claims actually match our experience and knowledge of the world, giving fulfilling answers to the deepest questions in life. Those who embrace false views of reality will live and believe in a way that simply does not match the shape of reality. Continue Reading…

The second half of Season Three of The Walking Dead is about to begin. I have been blogging  my way through The Walking Dead and Philosophy, an interesting book which uses the show to address some serious questions about life. The conclusions often leave much to be desired, but the book (and the show) provide a great opportunity to become part of the discussion.

Here is an excerpt from my final post based on the book:

The basic idea behind natural law is that unnatural actions will be self-destructive. Something is bad when it “isn’t functioning according to its general design plan, whereas an evil thing is, strictly speaking, something willful which chooses to act against what is natural or just.” Natural actions (that which participates in the good, as Aristotle would say) will be beneficial.

Elizabeth Rard (“Dead Ends”) notes the implications that follow from these contrasting ethical position: “Do these moral values exist objectively, or are they something invented by man? If they’re objective, the apocalypse… will not change the fact that doing X is wrong. If they’re invented… perhaps there really is no reason to be moral people at all.”

Tauriq Moosa (“Babes in Zombie Land”) forsees an apocaplypse in which our invented moral “X’s” will no longer necessarily be wrong: “We can’t assume that any action is by definition wrong. Our focus therefore is on an action that appears obviously good or beneficial: surviving. To be consistent, we must ask: if killing can be good and justified, perhaps surviving can be bad and unjustified?”

To explain his affirmative response to his own question, he examines the case of Maggie and Glenn’s desire to have a child. He writes: “It’s hard to conceive of anything worse for survivors to do than to make children suffer along with them…What reasons could there be for making another mouth to feed and another body to protect… [they] have a moral obligation not to have children.” Continue Reading…

For those of you interested in the intersection between religion and pop culture, I have been posting a series of worldview analysis based on The Walking Dead and Philosophy, a book that looks at the deeper questions in AMC’s wildly popular series.

From “How Do You Solve A Problem Like A Zombie?”

“Even before The Walking Dead and Jersey Shore became popular, the world had been introduced to the notion of philosophical zombies, theoretical creatures identical to human beings with one tiny distinction – they have no consciousness, qualia, or sentience. Imagine a twin who is identical to you in every possible material way but lacks any type of inner subjective experience.  Clearly something is different between the two of you, but how and why?”

From “Much Undead Ado About Nothing”:

“Daniel Dennett says that ‘…mechanistic theories of consciousness…do, in fact, explain everything about consciousness that needs explanation.’   We may think we are conscious people with subjective experiences of rationality, self-awareness, thoughts, ideas, and emotions, but we aren’t. If Dennett is correct, then at some level ‘machines,’ ‘conscious beings,’ and ‘humans’ must have at least compatible, if not interchangeable, natures.  But do we have compelling reason to believe that our subjective experiences can be reduced to emergent qualities of complex biological and chemical machinery?”

From “Leviathans and Zombies: Social Contracts and the Walking Dead”:

“Beneath this story line lurk several serious questions:  Do people have rights?  If so, where do we get them?  Are they innate or contrived? And even if they exist and are codified, how are they best enforced?”

From “Absurd Heroism: Camus and the Real Walking Dead”:

“If Camus and his disciples are correct, we have always lived in a post-apocalyptic world. Which is worse, I wonder – a world in which human are wiped out, or one in which human have always roamed an earth devoid of meaning, hope, morality and truth?”

From “Deconstructing Humans”:

“The subhuman zombies of AMC’s The Walking Dead have reanimated a hot philosophical topic: What does it mean to be human?  It’s one thing to identify deviations from the norm. Clarifying the standard from which we are deviating is a bit more difficult.”