After considering the main worldviews held by most all of mankind, how does one go about deciding which one is best, which must be false, and which one, if any, has a high probably of being true? (Truth is that which matches up with reality.)
To begin with, we must assume that something exists. Every full-orbed worldview recognizes this. Next, we must assume that we can actually know something, and that we can think true thoughts. A reasonable starting-point for this might well be that of Descartes' reasoning: "I think, therefore I am." This demonstrates that we do exist, and that we know something which is self-evidently true ...a reasonable starting point.
Along with assuming that we can know something, come the three laws of logical thought, which are: the law of identity, the law of opposites, and the law of non-contradiction.
- The "Law of Identity" states: In a certain specific context (set of facts and circumstances), a proposition (thing or situation) has only one single meaning.
- The "Law of Opposites" (or the "excluded middle") states: That one specific meaning is either true or false, but cannot be both.
- And the "Law of Non-Contradiction" states: Two such propositions cannot both be true, if one affirms while the other denies the same thing at the same time and in the same respect.
If these laws of thought are denied, then all meaningful thought and communication is destroyed, and our existence proceeds into nonsense and nihilism.
The Three Truth-Tests
Logical thinking allows us to list three distinctive qualities which test the truthfulness of any worldview:
FIRST, an adequate worldview must be consistent within itself, and non-contradictory. Any contradiction is a definite indication that the worldview contains at least some untruth; And if the contradiction involves an essential element of the worldview, then the worldview must be false, having failed the first truth-test.
SECOND, an adequate worldview must fit basically all the relevant facts and data of reality and human experience. The worldview which accounts for the greatest number of facts, with the fewest difficulties, has the highest probability of being a worldview which is true. A worldview which is inconsistent with human experience and with the empirical facts of history, nature and the universe, fails the second truth-test.
THIRD, an adequate worldview must be subjectively satisfactory and livable on an every-day basis. We must ask: When a man is done talking and "philosophizing" about the nature of his worldview, can he consistently live it out, and does he actually practice it in his daily life? ...If not, then the actions of his life reveal his true inner conviction of the untruth of his professed worldview ...that it is not livable, and therefore, by his actions he rejects his own worldview --so that it fails the third truth-test.
Study any worldview, such as those addressed on this web-site, and evaluate it with these truth-tests in mind.