A Foundation Built

This is the final “From The Ground Up” post. The purpose of this series of posts was to build a philosophical foundation of truth from basic, universally accepted principals.

Why did I make this series? Every claim to truth contains certain necessary assumptions. A worldview is essentially a system of truth claims that describes how a person sees and experiences the world as a whole. Thus, explaining assumptions used by the Christian worldview leads to a deeper and better overall understanding of its truth claims, which I will discuss in future posts.

With that point in mind, let’s look at a summary of the “From the Ground Up” posts, in order.

1. I started by explaining that objective truth exists

2. I also talked about the idea that all systems of belief are exclusive

3. I then moved to show that other areas have objective qualities, such as morality and religion (in part 1 and part 2).

4. Using a fictional scenario as an example, I made the points that you can rarely have 100% confidence about a truth claim you hold, there is always a reason behind the truth claims someone makes, and there are different areas we can use to discover truth.

5. I then made a transition to discuss these various areas we can use to discover truth.

6. First, I discussed science, and explained the problems behind the view that science is the only area we can use to find truth.

7. I then talked about history in terms of what sorts of things historians look for to determine what actually happened in the past.

8. Philosophy was the topic of the next post, and in it I gave a brief introduction to this area of truth.

9. Finally, I described the nature of religion, and what kind of qualities we should look for in a religion if we want to follow one that is true.

These posts build off each other to establish a foundation of truth for the Christian worldview. Here is a visual that could help conceptualize this idea.

Truth pyramid

This visual is not meant to be an exact representation of reality. Instead, it is meant as an aid to understand how assumptions build off each other. The blue “building blocks” represent some basic assumptions used in the Christian worldview, and the red area represents possible opposing views of the assumptions.

The bottom layer fills the length of the picture because almost all worldviews use the certain “base” assumptions. These assumptions, such as the assumption that we can use logic to come to a conclusion, must be accepted to take the leap to the next assumption – that truth is objective. If we could not use logic to reach a conclusion, then we could not reach a conclusion about truth. However, if you accept that you can use logic, you can reject the assumption that objective truth exists, and instead reach the conclusion that all truth is subjective.

This patterns continue as you move up the “pyramid”. For the next step, for example, you must conclude that objective truth exists before saying that religious truth is objective. However, you can accept that there is objective truth, but deny that religious truth is objective. As you reach more specific conclusions, there are more potential views opposing those conclusions.

Note that many worldviews assume the bottom four blocks in the picture, including the Christian worldview. All four are basic, broad assumptions. In this sense, the Christian worldview has some common ground with, say, most atheistic views.

However, Christianity makes a few more assumptions and truth claims that other worldviews reject. These claims are what separates the Christian worldview from other worldviews. If you do not accept these essential claims, then you do not hold a Christian worldview.

What are these “essential claims”? In future Viewing Out posts, I hope to explain what they are, and give some reasons why I think they are reasonable to accept.

This summary of “From the Ground Up” concludes the series.

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