Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Consequence of Incorrect Worldviews

   This is part two of a four part series on beliefs. This post continues to cover why letting people believe what they want is a bad idea.

   A couple years ago I was essentially (ironically) accused by a Christian that I want to impose my worldview on everyone! At that time, I didn't know how to respond. If I had a chance to do it all over, here is what I would say:

   Yes and no. What I essentially want is for people to have worldviews that align as much as possible with how the world actually is! Some call this "reality." (I would also describe a worldview that aligns with reality as being "accurate.") So, yes, for any part of my worldview that aligns with reality, I would like others to also hold it as part of their worldview. Likewise, for any part of my worldview that does not align with reality, I would not want others to hold as part of their worldview. Additionally, I would like to know if any parts of my worldview are unrealistic so that I can update it.

   On that, I do have to note how we go about figuring out what is real. Unfortunately, this may require a larger discussion on epistemology. In short, people should not include things in their worldview that they do not have quality evidence for. There may actually be a Sasquatch creature. There may be a Loch Ness Monster. There may be unicorns in Ecuador. (See more in my post about things that are possible.) The problem is there is no quality evidence for any of these things.

   Now I have to add an exception (or maybe it is more of a qualifier) to what I said about wanting worldviews to align with reality. Let's assume that the things mentioned do exist. Someone who includes these in their worldview would have one that is aligned with reality, which is what I said I want in the first paragraph. But I only want this when there is sufficient, quality evidence! (It may be worth mentioning that not including Sasquatch, etc. in one's world view is not the same as holding a worldview that secludes Sasquatch, etc. Rather, it is possible to hold a worldview that is undecided on the matter.)

   Finally, I shouldn't have to, but I want to go over what could be the consequences of holding incorrect worldviews. (Credit goes to the Godless Bitches, specifically Tracie Harris, for these examples.)
  • You are the promoter of a new passenger vessel, called the Titanic. You promote your ship as "virtually unsinkable." What might be the consequences if people actually believe this? How about the possibility that the ship only carries 1/3 of the needed lifeboats?
  • You are a sexual education teacher. Your worldview is that teaching teenagers to abstain from sex is all the education that they need. How could this go wrong? What might happen if the students fail to abstain? Well, because they haven't learned safe-sex practices, maybe someone ends up pregnant and/or catches an STD.

   It is mostly because there are consequences for holding inaccurate worldviews that I want people to have accurate worldviews. So I must ask do you not want people to have accurate worldviews?

No comments:

Post a Comment