Do you believe in absolutes? Do you remember the True or False questions in school tests? Is there really good or bad? Either it is good, right, and pure or it is bad, wrong, and corrupted. So, here is the test. There are only two worldview foundations. They cannot both be true. How can we decide which is true?
One worldview foundation is built on believing that human nature is good at heart. The other worldview foundation believes that human nature is corrupted from birth. These are the only two foundations for worldview. Which is really true? Is the human heart basically good or corrupted from birth?
The worldview choice of humanism, atheism, New Age, psychology, and the many varying religious philosophies consists of believing that human nature is basically good. Our environment is corrupted and not yet perfected. So, we need to find the good inside ourselves and do good works (secular or religious methods) to improve and save ourselves. We all start as good hearted infants and just need good environment and training. It is bad environment that teaches people to do wrong. This sounds like good news! We are all good inside! Good people working together can create utopia and peace!
But, this worldview is based in “self”. First, we all need to find our inner good “self”. Before I can contribute this good to the world, I need to find out who I am and what I think and what I feel and what I want (self-worth, self-actualization, self-empathy, self-fulfillment, etc.). This foundational belief and conviction validates and tolerates every unique person to follow their own unique “self”. Therefore, what is true is individual based and relative.
Is this true in reality…are truth and goodness relative or absolute? If truth is relative, who decides what is good? If I think something is good, but my neighbor thinks it is bad…then which “self” is really true? If I think Allah is Supreme God and you think Buddha is Supreme God, can both be Supreme God? Is this logical? So, here comes the bad news for this worldview foundation…it does not work in reality. For example, what character trait is most obvious in infants and children? Selfishness. Do good parents have to teach their children to have temper tantrums? If intrinsic human nature is good, why do we need to teach children to share and care for others? Do good parents teach their children to lie or manipulate? Do all “bad” characteristics come from our environment?
On a larger scale…have organized man-made systems (governmental or religious) been able to bring peace to people? We can see this worldview ending badly in revolution against man-made systems; violent and rebellious selfishness to get what I want – my way; depression, anxiety, guilt, and hopelessness over lack of success or fulfillment; repeated failures; confusion about how to “find myself” and tap into “my inner talents”; etc. It sounds good, but in reality only causes confusion, chaos, and abuse from the “self-actualized” or “enlightened”. This worldview foundation sounds good in the beginning, but ends badly. So, what is the other foundational worldview? (Next time.)