From where does our worldview come ? If we are worried about the philosophical errors of modernity it would be helpful to be able to answer this question.
If all right philosophy is derived from the adoption of right premises, the question then reduces to: how do we choose the axioms, the foundational truths, upon which the whole edifice is built?
The simple answer, it seems to me, is that most people just choose what looks good to them. It is a somewhat arbitrary process, an act of faith of sorts. Discursive reason does have a part to play in this but in my experience it is used most commonly to validate the intuitive choices already made, rather than to investigate their validity with a truly open mind.
Consequently, however rational and well worked out we think we present the case for the Christian worldview, unless people are ready to listen we are unlikely to get anywhere.
If we wish to change people’s minds then there are two approaches. One is to examine their worldview rationally and point out any contradictions. As mentioned, this is least likely to convince, simply because on the whole people don’t want to listen. If people do want to listen it might be because they are facing a crisis by which, in some way, the contradictions or inadequacies of their current worldview are slapping them in the face.
But even then I suggest that most will still only be prepared to listen if the second approach is taken as well. That is, people must be presented with a set of premises that are better – more attractive – than the ones they already have.
How can we do this?
I would say that this is what the method of the New Evangelization, as described by Benedict XVI, is aiming to do. (I have written an article about this, here).
For Catholics, the strongest presentation of these premises is encountered in the person of Christ in the liturgy. Through this encounter, because we are in relation with Truth, we are more likely to respond with an acceptance of the basic assumptions of, for example, the nature of existence in regard to all that we perceive around us. We say: I am – You are – it is. If this were to happen, in one stroke, the radical skepticism of much of modern philosophy would be banished; and by this we can accept the (Read More)