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World Views: What is True?-- Building a Foundation
  • World Views in Western Culture

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World Views: What is True?

Building a Foundation

Jerry Solomon


World Views in Western Culture

Christian Theism Deism Naturalism Nihilism (Denial) Existentialism Eastern Pantheism New Age
Prime Reality God and His Creation (Open universe) God and creation (clockwork, closed abandoned universe) Matter exists eternally. There is no God. Cosmos is primary. Same as naturalism (Therefore there is no value to reality). Matter=eternal. Reality is objective (natural and material law) and subjective (internal mind). Atman (soul of man is Brahman (soul of Universe). We are all moving toward the "one." The self (the soul, the integrated central essence of man) is the prime reality.
Who is Man? Created in God's Image, thus possessing personality, self-
transcendence,
intelligence, morality
Man is personal but subject to clockwork universe, a puppet Man is matter and only matter; a complex machine. Same as naturalism, therefore, man's existence is meaningless. Existence precedes essence-man makes himself who he is. To realize one's "oneness" with universe is to pass beyond personality. The unifying center of the cosmos.
What happens at Death? Either the gate to life with God or to eternal separation from Him. God is not concerned about man, man merely ceases to exist. Death= extinction of personality and individuality-
disorganization of matter
Same as naturalism Man is totally free as regards his nature and destiny (even at death) Reincarnation or realization of oneness. Physical death is not the end of the self
How Can we Know Truth? God has spoken! He communicates with man through both general and special revelation (the Word and Jesus Christ). Empiricism (observation of creation); general revelation Empiricism and man's reason (rationalism), but we can never grasp reality. Same as naturalism The objective world is absurd. We can know only by authenticating our existence We know by becoming, moving toward the one. Occult, psychedelic, conceptual, relativist approaches to cosmic consciousness
What kind of Ethics? Based on the character of God as good. He sets absolute standards of morality. Natural and general moral law All existence relational and so human action can be significant (relativism) There is none-
morality is neither necessary nor possible.
Morality is rooted in human choice (relativistic situational) we create our own values. To realize oneness is to pass beyond good/evil Cosmos= perfection. Rooted in the satisfaction of the Self (cf. below)
Meaning of History? Linear-
meaningful sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of God's purposes for man.
Basically determined -
man is part of mechanistic universe.
Linear stream of events linked by cause and effect but without purpose Same as naturalism
All life = absurdity
History is meaningless
Life= absurdity
History is cyclical Ordinary categories of time, space, morality tend to disappear.

1998 Probe Ministries
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