Nighted scented stalk

(Photo credit: Scott Murray)

The conversation continues between Simple Faith and Hard Going. This time they discuss what Dooyeweerd / Troost mean by ‘worldview.’

HG: We spoke about the aspects, the last time I saw you. Do they make any sense?
SF: You make me laugh, ‘do they make sense?’ I have no idea.
HG: But you said you had a thousand questions.
SF: I do, I haven’t slept a wink thinking about them!
HG: Ha, ha, now you make me laugh. I know you’re not interested in philosophy.
SF: Hm, you’re probably right, only as it relates to faith.

Philosophy and worldview
HG: Actually faith and philosophy, or rather worldview, are always related.
SF: You’re joking, I know plenty people of faith who aren’t the least bit interested in philosophy.
HG: Of course, you don’t need philosophy to have faith but everyone has a worldview.
SF: I’ve heard that word before, you keep on using it. What does it mean?
HG: It’s the basic starting point you have, your attitude to life, what you believe life is all about. Remember ‘naive experience’ or ordinary experience. Everything emerges from naive experience.
SF: Oh, yes, it comes before ‘theoretical thought.’
HG: Exactly, it come before philosophy. Can I read you a paragraph from Troost.
SF: Okay, go ahead.

Minature tulips
(Photo: Scott Murray)

Worldview not philosophy
HG: He says: ‘Once we set out to formulate the various attitudes to life in our daily existence, we speak of view of life or worldview. This is not yet philosophy as such, but it does form the basis for philosophy. The view of life or worldview itself, however, is practical in nature and is qualified by faith, whereas philosophy is theoretical in nature and is therefore qualified by logic.’
SF: So is that why most people don’t bother with philosophy, it doesn’t apply to practical life?
HG: Yes, I suppose you could say that, except that most people don’t see the difference between philosophy and worldview. So that causes all kinds of problems. They confuse the two.
SF: I’m not sure what you’re getting at …

HG: Well, ever since the time of the Greeks, certain people assume that theoretical thought or philosophy can tell them what life is all about. The Greek intellectuals rubbished ‘faith’, or belief in gods, as being childish, and so it remains to this day. People don’t realise there are boundaries …
SF: What do mean, boundaries?
HG: You know how Dooyeweerd spoke about Origin, our reality in time, and our final Destination …?
SF: Yes.
HG: Well, when it comes to theoretical knowledge of any kind, including philosophy, it cannot tell us anything about the Origin or our final Destination, it can only deal with what is in time, with the temporal aspects, although reality does point to Origin and Destination. Time has boundaries. That is why a worldview always entails faith, even if it is a misplaced faith. Whether a person realises it or not, their temporal life is religious through and through.
Aquilegia (Columbine)
(Photo: Scott Murray)

SF: You mean the atheist has faith?
HG: Yes, but not faith like yours. You have a Christian faith, that the Origin is of the Creator and that the final Destination is Christ. The atheist denies a Creator so his religious attitude will be different. He might rely on any number of the modal aspects, for example, logic or language or aesthetics. But it will always be a partial view and quite often a dualism such as nature and freedom.

SF: Do you mean that he sees man as law into himself?
HG: Yes, he claims to be autonomous in his will, individual freedom is all-important. Remember Rousseau. By contrast, Dooyeweerd sees man as being subjected through the laws of the aspects, to the structures initiated by the Creator.
SF: So man is not free at all!
HG: He’s not free to be not human! But he is free to act within the human constraints. And action is a condition of the heart. He thinks, and then he acts. He can worship idols or he can turn to God, but only through faith.

Faith and evidence
SF: But I thought you said everyone had faith?
HG: Not the faith of surrender to the Creator. Faith can be in idols.
SF: Some people will say that faith in a Creator doesn’t have any evidence … that it’s like believing in the tooth fairy …
HG: A Creator can’t be proved philosophically, but everything points to a creator God; look at the aspects and their coherence in diversity. The Christian also believes that the Creator revealed Himself through Christ, and reveals Himself to the heart. The supra-temporal heart confirms that we are not merely temporal. So there is plenty evidence … but only for the one who seeks and then trusts.
SF: We both agree there.
white hyacinth
(Photo: Scott Murray)