The Universe Next Door.
Purpose of book 1. outline basic worldviews underlying way we in west think about selves. 2. trace historically how worldviews have developed from breakdown in theistic worldview, moving in turn into deism, naturalism, nihilism, existentialism, eastern mysticism, new consciousness of New age and Islam recent infusion from Middle East. 3. show how postmodernism puts a twist on worldviews 4. encourage us all to think in terms of worldviews with consciousness of not only our own way of thought but also that of other people, so we can first understand and genuinely communicate with others in pluralistic society. Chapter 1
Worldview or vision of life is framework or set of fundamental beliefs thru which we view world and our calling and future in it. Vision need not be fully articulated, may be so internalized that it goes largely unquestioned. May not be explicitly developed into a systematic conception of life. May not be theoretically deepened into a philosophy. may not even be codified into creedal form. May be greatly refined thru cultural historical development. Vision is a channel for ultimate beliefs which give direction and meaning to life. Integrative and interpretative framework by which order and disorder are judged.
Standard by which reality is managed and pursued. Set of hinges on which all our everyday thinking and doing turns. Worldview is commitment of heart expressed as story in set of assumptions true, partially true, or false that we hold consciously and subconsciously and consistently or inconsistently about basic constitution of reality and provides foundation on which we live, move, and have our being. Commitment – Worldview involves mind and soul and heart. Bible sees as wisdom, emotion, desire, and will, and intellect. Presuppositions expression – expressed as a story of your life. Assumptions T, PT, F, etc. eality is everyone’s own perception of world. Foundation on which we lived expressed by words and actions. We all take some position whether we realize it or not, Chapter 2 Clockwork Universe: Natualism How did theism get replaced with deism? Deism came about to replace chaos with unity of theological and philosophical explanations. Shift from scriptures to reason or human intuition (inner light). Started studying world form based on matter and how things were put together. Orderly, mechanized, clockwork timing with perfect mechanical precision. Science was born. Middle ages directed toward God and studying Him to become good and holy.
Theology was born. Some deists Christians some not. To deist God is distant, foreign, alien, and unavailable. 1. Wv? 1 – a transcendent God as a first cause created universe then left it to run on its own. God is not immanent not triune, not fully personal, not sovereign over human affairs not providential. 2. Wf? 2 – cosmos God created is determined, because it is created as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system so no miracle is possible. Any tampering or interference by God would be considered as saying His creation is flawed. Locked up in cause and effect clockwork world. Humans cannot change. 3. Wv ? human beings though personal are part of clockwork of universe. Deism says we are just puppets and no free will. No one has special relationship with God. 4. Wv? 4human being may or may not have a life beyond their physical existence. Destroyed triune and led to naturalism and nihilism. Warm still believed in afterlife cold did not. 5. Wv? 5 – thru innate and autonomous human reason and the methods of science, we can not only known universe but can infer at least something of what God is like. Cosmos, this world, is understood to be in its normal state; it is not fallen or abnormal. Deism human reason is autonomous and not from God.
Learn about God from universe. Theists believe God revealed Himself in nature but also with His word. Deists God no communicate with man/architect and designer only. 6. Wv? 6ethics is intuitive or limited to general revelation because universe is normal it reveals what is right. Weather disaster is natural events. Deists do not consider human reason or universe itself to be fallen. Normal state. 7. Wv? 7 history is linear for course of the cosmos was determined at creation. Still meaning of the events of history remains to be understood by the application of human reason other data unearthed and made available to historians. . Cold deists use their own autonomous reason to determine their goal in life, warm deists may reflect on their commitment to a somewhat person God and determine their goal in accordance with what they believe their God would be pleased with. MODERN DEISM Sophisticated scientific deism – cold deism God is embodiment of laws of physics. Sophisticated philosophic deism – there is something out there but is it God? Popular deism – belief in a being, force, or intelligence. Cold deism God is simply abstract force bringing world into existence. Warm deism God is clearly personal and even friendly. Monotheistic therapeutic deism – . God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth. 2. God want people to be good nice, and fair to each other, as taught in bible and by most religions, 3. Central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. 4. God does not ;need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve problem 5. Good people go to heaven when they die. UNSTABLE COMPOUND 1. Autonomous human reason replaced Bible and tradition as authority for way reality was understood. 2. Autonomous human reason replaced bib and tradition as authority for morality. . Deists rejected biblical notion of Fall and think universe is a s it should be. 4. Universe cannot be reordered, human action is determined. 5. Today find more aspects of deism to question. Chapter 4 Naturalism Deism (God is reduced) connects theism (God exalted) and naturalism (no God at all). BASIC NATURALISM 1. WV ? 1 Prime reality is matter. Matter exists eternally and is all there is. Cosmos rules. God does not exist. Nothing comes from nothing. Something always was and was matter of cosmos itself. 2. Wv ? 2 cosmos exists as a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system. 3. Wv ? human beings are complex machines personality is an interrelation of chemical and physical properties we do not yet fully understand. 4. Wv ? 4 death is extinction of personality and individuality. 5. Wv ? 5 thru our innate and autonomous human reason, including the methods of science, we can know the universe. The cosmos, including this world is understood to be in its normal state. 6. WV ? 6 ethics is related only to human beings. Theist God foundation of values. Naturalist human beings foundation of values. For ethics to matter has to be personality along with consciousness and self-determination.
Naturalists say ethics is autonomous and situational and came from human experience, need, and interest. Also say all humans have a sense of moral values that come from culture and growing up in environment. 7. Wv ? 7 history is linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without an overarching purpose. Natural history begins with origin of universe. 8. Wv ? 8 naturalism itself implies no particular core commitment on the part of any given naturalist. Rather core commitments are adopted unwittingly or chosen by individuals. NATURALISM IN PRACTICE: SECULAR HUMANISM Humanism says overall attitude human beings are of special value.
Emphasis on value of individual person. Term used since Renaissance. NATURALISM IN PRACTICE: MARXISM Scientific socialism. Marx believed human history began with people living in family like tribes. No private property. Individuals identified with community as a whole. Technology developed and division of labor develops and controllers of tools and resources society depends on enables them to exploit others. Class struggle since primitive tribes with classes dominated by those controlling means of production. Classless society will result with less competitive individuals working for good of all.