Knowledge and Truth 1



Knowledge and Truth From the Christian Worldview Paper 1

Darlyn J. Newman ID #21953957 Liberty University

COUN503_D04 Summer 2010 Sub-term D04 Instructor¶s Name ± David Tetrault Date of Submission: 07/18/2010

Knowledge and Truth 1 2 Abstract .

.....................................................16 .......................................................................................................................................................................................15 References...................................................................................................5 Others Way of Seeking Knowledge and Truth................................................................4 Scientific Method Used as a Way Seeking Knowledge and Truth.....................................7 Influence of Human Nature in Seeking Knowledge and Truth«««««««««««...................2 Introduction.............................................................................................8 Conclusion««......4 Steps involved in Scientific Inquiry.........................................................................................................................Knowledge and Truth 1 3 Table of Contents Abstract...................

The . the variations in another item can be predicted. Two things must be kept in mind while stating a hypothesis: it must be possible to measure the terms in the hypothesis and the hypothesis must answer the original question. It is made possible by making observations and performing experiments. The scientific method is used to detect the cause and effect relations in nature. while keeping all other remain constant. constructing a hypothesis. This method is comprised of asking and satisfying scientific questions. The hypothesis must be worded as follows: "If __ this is done __ . The answer to the question must be something that can be measured and preferably a number. analyzing the data of the experiment to deduce a conclusion. A hypothesis means an educated surmise of how processes occur. and communicating the results. The six steps of the scientific method are: asking a question. performing background research. The experiment that is performed proves the authenticity of the hypothesis. A test is said to be fair only if one variable is changed. The experiments executed must be a "fair" test. then __ this __ will take place". The scientific method begins when a question is asked using the words why or when or how or where or which or who or what regarding something that has been observed. Care must be taken that the experiment is a fair test.Knowledge and Truth 1 4 Knowledge and Truth From the Christian Worldview Paper 1 Introduction Discussion of steps involved in scientific inquiry was clear and comprehensive Engaged with materials presented in this course (students can incorporate materials from outside of this course as well) The scientific method is an organized way of helping us better understand the world around us. testing the hypothesis by conducting an experiment. Experiments are devised in such a way that if one item is varied.

When others perform the same experiment and get same results. Other attempts to solve this problem have failed just as badly. If the conditions being tested in a particular experiment were constantly changing. The non-Christian cannot justify these two basic concerns. For example. . then the non-Christian cannot know that the world will operate uniformly from moment to moment. the alternative is to formulate a new hypothesis and begin the steps of the scientific method all over again. (Shuttleworth. How can the scientific method be used as a way of seeking knowledge and truth? Clarified how scientific method can be used as a way of seeking knowledge and truth Discussed from a biblical Christian worldview Discussed how A biblical Christian worldview and Scientific Method are compatible or not compatible and why y Science requires certain conditions. How does the non-Christian justify the claim that the future will even probably resemble the past? Or how does he know that any unexamined cases will resemble those which have been examined? One cannot logically deduce that nature is uniform on the basis of past experience. all the measured values are collected together. After the experiment is complete. the hypothesis becomes rock solid. 2009). Moreover. An analysis is done to check whether the hypothesis is proved true. then it becomes necessary to check it again by using a new approach. since one would be assuming uniformity in order to prove it begging the question. Then.Knowledge and Truth 1 experiment must be repeated for the same and different set of values to ensure that the initial results were not a fluke. the way the world operates must remain generally the same (uniformity of nature) or else scientific prediction is futile. The results of 5 the experiment and the hypothesis must be conveyed to others by publishing a final report. If everything is the product of chance. If the hypothesis turns out to be true. then the scientific method would be inane. our minds must be able to perceive accurately and analyze the data in question. It frequently happens that the hypothesis turns out to be false.

The God of biblical Christianity explicitly promises to maintain the uniformity of nature so that He can accomplish His purposes. Hence. What are other ways of seeking knowledge and truth that go beyond the scientific method? Identified several ways of seeking knowledge and truth Each way was clearly explained Discussed how a biblical Christian worldview and different methods of knowing are compatible or not compatible and why Discussed from a biblical Christian worldview y Charles Sanders Peirce was competent in logic. Peirces's writings provide many insightful applications to psychologists and educational researchers. and meteorology. In a non-Christian universe. chemistry. geology. mathematics and different branches of science. He was versed in most of the ancient and contemporary schools of thought in logic (Brent. humans are made to reflect their Creator. which is the foundation of our rational capacities and moral responsibility. and meteorology. including astronomy. 1993). Charles Sanders Peirce was competent in logic. Secondly. why should we expect that the mind accurately analyzes the world? They believe all conclusions are only the results of electro-chemical processes. He was versed in most of the ancient and contemporary schools of thought in logic (Brent. they would have to give up their scientific endeavors. physics. The thesis of this paper includes the application of the Peircean notion of truth and reality. If they consistently followed their worldview. chemistry. . Peirces's writings provide many insightful applications to psychologists and educational researchers. including astronomy. non-Christian scientists must blindly 6 assume that the universe is predictable.Knowledge and Truth 1 Non-Christians cannot rationally account for the uniformity of nature though it is an essential aspect of science (and everyday life). physics. Secondly. 1993). on the non-Christian view. why are these results more "rational" or "true" than the results of the physical processes that occur when two marbles strike each other? The Christian worldview provides the necessary basis for science. mathematics and different branches of science. geology. The thesis of this paper is that by applying Peircean notion of truth and reality.

there is one reality. there is more than one approach and one source of knowledge. knowledge does not emerge out of pure logic. 1926/1961. however. or a paradigm shift. In regard to methodology and epistemology. For Dewey "the problem of philosophy is not how we can come to know an external world. knowledge is a human and social construct and it can be known without a transcendental standard. Rescher (1978) used the geographical-exploration model as a metaphor to illustrate Peirce's idea: The replacement of a flat-world view with a globe-world view is a change in qualitative understanding. 1994). 1993). truth is not just a social construct (Parker. Although Kuhn's theory looks glamorous. Unlike Thomas Kuhn's (1962) emphasis on paradigm shift. To some extent we have to fix our beliefs on those positions that are widely accepted by the intellectual community (1877). Peirce made a distinction between truth and reality. First. Kuhn proposed that the pattern of inquiry is a process of new frameworks overthrow outdated frameworks. 1969). In contrast.523)." One of the differences between pragmatism and pragmaticism can be viewed as orientation to truth and reality. this statement should not be interpreted as a position that there is no objective reality.Knowledge and Truth 1 7 The issues of truth and reality regarding foundations are essentially ontological: What is the nature of reality? On what ultimate grounds can knowledge be built? Sometimes Peirce's position seems to be inconsistent in this regard. (Staat. Peirce disregarded the Cartesian attitude of doubting everything. Truth is the understanding of reality through a self-corrective inquiry process by the whole intellectual community across time. On the other hand. 1993). in contrast. Reality is "what is" while truth is "what would be. What Peirce implied was that knowledge is a social construct. considered knowledge to be continuous and cumulative. As mentioned before. Peirce. After we have discovered all the continents and oceans. Instead. it is a historical and social product.e. The majority of scholars are just adding details to existing frameworks. In terms of ontology. measuring the height of Mount Everest and the depth of the Nile river is adding quantitative details to the qualitative understanding. Peirce introduced a metaphysical dimension into pragmaticism and implied a universal and transcendental standard (Apel. reality is the existence independent of human inquiry (Wiener. or the Hegelian "Absolute Spirit" (Margolis. Knowledge is self-corrective insofar as we inherit the findings from previous scholars and refine them. 1981). Peirce stressed the continuity of knowledge. and for what goals" (Durant. paradigm shifts might occur only once in a century or a few centuries. but how we can learn to control it and remake it. 1993). Dewey and James adopted a subjective and humanistic view to truth i. However. Peirce stated that hardness is not an attribute of an object until we measure it (1878a). as a matter of fact. The concept of hardness is a result of our test and measurement. For Peirce the inquiry of knowledge is a form of free association or creative thinking that resemble the Divine mind (Oakes. How can human nature influence the ways a person seeks knowledge and truth? Clearly identified what aspects of human nature influence in seeking knowledge and truth Critically evaluated how human nature influence in seeking truth and knowledge in scientific method y . p.

and that benevolent actions benefited the interests of the individual in various ways. moral philosopher and the author of Fifteen Sermons (1726) and The Analogy of Religion. He separated human nature into three elements: passions and affections.e. he showed that benevolence is as much a part of human nature as self-love. i. The first of Butler¶s Fifteen Sermons analyzed human nature by dividing it into three elements: passions and affections. is adapted to measure time. In his famous refutation of Hobbes. To dismiss morality is absurd. including feelings of self-satisfaction and increased cooperation with society as a whole. and that the instinct to serve one¶s own interests was compatible with the instinct to seek the well-being of others. He regarded the conscience as a secular faculty that reviewed and passed judgment on the motives and tendencies of the other aspects of human nature. i. theologian. self-love and benevolence. Butler set out to naturalize morality and religion by arguing that morality is an essential aspect of human nature. 1692 ± June 16. and conscience. and that human nature is particularly suited to virtue. selflove and benevolence. since it would amount to dismissing part of our own humanity. «it will as fully appear that this our nature. 1752) was an English bishop. 2006) . apologist. constitution. and conscience. (White. He placed these elements in a hierarchy. This was supported with evidence that tendencies towards benevolence existed in man. but for religious people conscience was also the voice of God. Natural and Revealed.e. with conscience as the highest authority. He asserted that morality was an essential and undeniable aspect of human nature and that benevolence was as much a natural tendency as self-interest. with conscience as the highest authority. constitution or system. as from the idea of a watch it appears that its nature. to the Constitution and Course of Nature (1737).Knowledge and Truth 1 Critically evaluated how human nature influence in other ways of seeking knowledge and truth Discussed from a biblical Christian worldview 8 Joseph Butler (May 18. is adapted to virtue. and placed these elements in a hierarchy.

and they get worse. A Christian worldview can be defined as a single worldview that all Christians share and can be deemed as ³core theology´ or the theology that most all Christians agree upon.Knowledge and Truth 1 Conclusion 9 A worldview is the particular bias in our presuppositions that influences how you look at the world and what we see or expect to see. We got it from our family. wouldn't He? Nothing happens.Your answers to these questions is largely influenced (maybe even determined) by your worldview. a slant. For instance. One might explain the event as a coincidence while the other labels the same event a miracle. They are facing a life experience that their worldview didn¶t accommodate. This bias reveals itself in answering both the major and the minor questions of life. He would intervene and heal their disease. Concerning God .Christians say God does exists and natural explanations fall short of explaining our world.Christians believe humans are created in the . often we may seek answers from elsewhere. Concerning Humanity . Their worldview shifted based on their experience and the evidence of life. a bias in how we see things. What does this person do? They pray -. Our worldviews change the same way they are acquired: through experience and relationships. Surely. If we continually have experiences that cannot be explained. 2. For instance. a person who has had a miraculous worldview will expect God to intervene on their behalf and will even credit God with providing their parking space when one is needed. if God cares enough about providing them with a parking space.pray for healing. which is a short list. friends. It is a predisposition. the media and the experiences of life. Most of us inherited our worldview. but our worldviews can and do shift through life. A person's worldview influences what they expect to see and how they explain things. 1. two people can observe the identical event and explain it differently based on the bias of their worldview. Then they get bad news: an incapacitating disease that ³has no cure´.

while a North American brother might expect such things only rarely. and that God¶s kingdom is something like a mustard seed. God seldom intervenes in a miraculous way. Concerning Metaphysics . leaning the other way²toward being an optimistic? The . For example a Christian from another country might expect God to perform miracles or cast out demons regularly in life. We accept the scientific method is a useful way of knowing. God frequently intervenes in the world with miracles. which is also a short list. or (when it comes to demons) maybe even not at all.Christians respond in one accord: there can be supernatural 10 explanations for things we see and experiences we have that move beyond scientific evidence. most all Christians would agree that there are supernatural explanations for things. 3. are they basically optimistic or pessimistic? Do you think the world is getting worse and when it gets bad enough the ³time of Jesus¶ return´ will be near? When approached with the question of the state of the world. 3. God occasionally intervenes with miracles. Our worldview actually includes numerous elements beyond the core elements of the Christian Worldview. Which of these do you believe? 1. 4.Christians say there is an external standard of right and wrong and God is that standard as revealed in Jesus Christ and recorded in the Bible. but is not the exclusive way of knowing truth. Christians believe the Bible is a source of truth along with the tools of science. for some truth is found outside the realm of our natural senses. Concerning Ethics .Christians say there are others ways of perceiving reality besides our senses. but we still may disagree on how often to expect such things in our daily life. Concerning Epistemology . All three views are within the scope of the Christian worldview When one looks at the world around them. 5. 2. For instance. do you lean toward being a pessimistic? Do you believe that there is hope in the future. or yeast²it started small but it is steadily growing and spreading? Therefore.Knowledge and Truth 1 image of God and has a soul or spirit that is eternal and have a destiny in the afterlife.

³he who does not work should not eat. and an outer circle including many other elements of our worldview that are secondary. This . 2004). because God values responsibility and individual effort .´ It cannot be assumed that Christians have all the answers on every issue (Drury.´ 2 Thess.Knowledge and Truth 1 pessimism/optimism worldview is just one of many issues that make up our ³comprehensive 11 worldview´ of which Christians often disagree. 3:10 ³We ought to actually picture two concentric circles: an inner circle of the Christian worldview. For example. should we withdraw welfare from those who are poor.

" The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Martyn (2009).com/john/ 12 Shuttleworth. "Joseph Butler. Staat.drurywriting. What is the Scientific Method? Retrieved [July 17. 29. 2010] from Experiment Resources: http://www.html. W. . Fieser & B.Knowledge and Truth 1 References http://www.experiment-resources. Peirce Society. J. 225-237. Dowden ( (1993). (2006). David E. induction and the categories. deduction. White.). Transactions of the Charles S. On abduction.

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