From a Christian worldview, the possibility of knowing anything at all or how one possesses the knowledge on different views on this earth is solely through the Almighty God who created heaven and earth. The Christian idea of reality and knowledge began strictly because of the existence of the “one and only creator God” (Isenhoff, 2015). How one knows anything at all is how one makes and bases decisions on topics. Sire says “I did not find this class of question listed by any worldview analyst, but surely it is a vital one. The answer links epistemology to ontology” (Sire, 2015, p. 15).
Epistemology is about the way one knows things while ontology is about what things are. For some other people, understanding the world around them can either come from experience or scientific fact and hypothesis testing where the scientists believe that the basic knowledge possessed is based on self-evident assumptions that allow almost certain knowledge of material reality. Science can explain how God made our bodies to function and the science behind how we can retain information. “Different people, cultures, and faiths arrive at vastly different and irreconcilable conclusions about what truth is, which makes no logical sense if truth is truth” (Isenhoff, 2015).
Everyone has different approaches of truth based on cultures, religious affiliations and upbringings but that does not necessarily mean that what is believed is the truth, something else is needed to base the knowledge from. It is important to know that the information we are basing our lives on is correct information. Experiences and resources are used to justify one’s knowledge as also references as to how and why something is known. One could argue that the reason why anything at all is known can purely be science or that lots of references and facts backing up what is perceived to be true, which I personally do not agree with.
It is possible to know things because Almighty God created the body we are in and made us capable of learning and retaining information. God finished His work of creation on the last day with a personal touch by forming Adam from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath, thus creating us in His image and likeness. Through this knowledge, the early humans learned to survive. Everyone has the ability of knowledge because of Almighty God who created us into beings that can learn, read and comprehend new ideas. We do not need many facts to know something is true, sometimes we simply know that something is true because we experienced it firsthand and God’s innate moral is in us. God gave us the gift of knowledge, wisdom and the ability to interpret information and that is why it is possible to know anything at all. God creating us in His own image and likeness, He knows and understands all things therefore it is possible to know things because God has created us to know them.
How do we know what is right and wrong?
How one personally knows what is right and wrong is dependent on each individual, one’s judgments and the decisions made revolve around one’s worldview controlled by a background phenomenon. Everyone has an inborn moral sense that lies deeply in the souls, thus helping in guiding on decision making and how to go about daily live activities, one tend to make judgments that enables one to distinguish between what is morally right and wrong. Morals are developed with guidance and assistance from parents, family members, environment through parenting and upbringing as also from one’s own personal experiences in life.
From a Christian worldview, people know what is right or wrong because they want to conform themselves to the image of Christ (Davis, 2009). Christian worldview is based on the basic constitution of reality where Almighty God, being the best researchable point of view is perceived as the mastermind of the occurrence of moral sense. Knowing right and wrong from this worldview can be based on one’s spirituality, morality, culture and religious indoctrination. Studying the scripture and the Ten Commandments are the laws that guide one to do right, teaching one right from wrong. There is no positive way to know if it is absolutely right and wrong but we make out our final decisions from all of these factors. Sire states “Is the constitution of things good or evil? By what ultimate principles ought human beings to be guided in the framing and ordering of their life? What rational justification does the nature of things afford for the higher sentiments of duty and religion?” (Sire, 2015) For the most part we get our idea of right and wrong from the Bible. It is our “go to” guide and has many stories and verses that can assist us in deciding. Even for those that are not Christians or that do not believe in the Bible, there is an inner voice or feeling that acts as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s own behavior, which is the conscience. “Morality is also absolute, because it is based on that same unchanging nature. “Right” is right because it matches up with God’s character. “Wrong” is wrong because it does not. God gave us a concise summary in the form of the Ten Commandments, but he also gave mankind an innate understanding of good and evil.” (Isenhoff, 2015)
Many people can argue that they know right and wrong without God, which is understandable, but I personally don’t think that the foundation of morals without God is very stable. “Atheists who are moral realists attempt to show how this appearance is not deceptive and that such a universe is possible without God.” (Isenhoff, 2015) Even with this statement it would be safe to say some atheists believe there is something metaphysical out there because they are stating there is some kind of substance out in space. The scientific principles in naturalism is a claim everything that is seen on earth exists only in the matter of motion, implying that only what is, is. Naturalists basing their arguments on matter in motion indicate that they have a moral sense but find it difficult to explain how they got their moral sense.
Right or wrong differs between backgrounds and culture. We all have our own free will and can make our own decisions. We can choose to disregard our culture and upbringing and make our own morals and decide our own rights and wrongs, or we can continue to follow our family’s footsteps and keep on with our beliefs. “We suppose that without moral principles there could be no such thing as the difference between right and wrong” (Dancy, 2017). Being exposed to a religion such as Christianity is important because it influences good decisions, teaching us how to live and the understanding of good moral standards.
Dancy, J. (2017). Moral particularism. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral- particularism/
Davis, F. (2009). How do we know right and wrong? Retrieved from http://www.marketfaith.org/how-do-we-know-right-and-wrong/
Isenhoff, M. (2015). Worldview question #5: Why is it possible to know anything at all? Retrieved from https://shellsstory.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/worldview-question-5-why-is-it-possible-to-know-anything-at-all-2/
Isenhoff, M. (2015). Worldview question #6: How do we know what is right and wrong? Retrieved from https://shellsstory.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/worldview-question-6-how-do-we-know-what-is-right-and-wrong/
Sire, J. W. (2015). Naming the elephant: worldview as a concept. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
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