Craig Vick's Scattered Thoughts

Adventures in Virtual Community

Worldview Moratorium




I’m advocating a two year moratorium on all worldview talk. This is not because such talk is meaningless or even unhelpful. It’s because such talk is overly used in a way that shuts down conversation. My moratorium will cover talk of presuppositions as well.

The value of worldview talk is that it can open or give direction to a conversation that appears to be stuck. Suppose a mom and a daughter have an argument about chores. Mom states that her daughter didn’t do her chores. Daughter insists that she did.The normal way to solve such a dispute is to look and see whether or not the chores were done. Mom will see, when she looks, that the chores were done or Daughter will discover that contrary to her intentions and what she thought she did, she in fact left a chore undone.
So far so good. What happens, however, if both mom and daughter look at the evidence and still disagree? Perhaps one of the chores goes by the name ‘clean your room’. Mother and daughter both look at the room. Daughter says, “See, I cleaned it!” Mom says, “It’s a mess. You haven’t cleaned it at all.” Here’s where looking at presuppositions and examining worldviews can be helpful. In terms of presuppositions, Mom and Daughter can talk about what constitutes a clean room. In terms of worldviews, Mom might point out that she’s not a tyrant, trying to ruin her daughter’s life with meaningless chores. Daughter might show that she’s not just being rebellious and has made efforts to please Mom. So worldview talk and looking at presuppositions deepens the conversation. The conversation becomes more difficult, however. Mom and Daughter are called to a form of self examination, but the fruit promised is worth the effort.

How then can it all go wrong? Why would I push for my moratorium? It all goes horribly wrong when Mom or Daughter or both get locked into their worldview and presuppositions. There’s no self examination. The conflict quickly devolves into a shouting match. Worldviews and presuppositions become iron clad defenses against any presumed attacks. Daughter says, “You hate me.” Mom says, “You’re lazy and rebellious.” At this point the conversation can’t move forward unless both Mom and Daughter show a genuine willingness to unlock themselves from their views.
In some of the Christian circles that I call home, this is what has taken place. Worldview talk is being used to build an unassailable defense against questions and doubts. It doesn’t open conversations, it ends them. There’s no place for self examination, just worldview assertion. We need to live without this tool for awhile. After a couple of years we will hopefully find ways to use it more wisely.

2 thoughts on “Worldview Moratorium

  1. I think you are onto something. “Worldview” is a distant second to our immediate, personal situation.


  2. Thanks for dropping by Theoldadam and for your comment.

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