Worldview Questions

Theology

  • Does God exist?
  • What is the nature of God?
  • Is there but one God?
  • Is God a personal being, that is, is he the kind of being who can know, love and act? Or is God an impersonal force or power?

Metaphysics

  • What is the relationship between God and the universe?
  • Is the existence of the universe a brute fact?
  • Is the universe eternal?
  • Did an eternal, personal, and omnipotent God create the world?
  • Are God and the world coeternal and interdependent beings?
  • Is the world best understood in a mechanistic (that is, a nonpurposeful) way? Or is there purpose in the universe?
  • What is the ultimate nature of the universe?
  • Is the cosmos ultimately material or spiritual or something else?
  • Is the universe a self-enclosed system in the sense that everything that happens is caused by (and thus explained by) other events within the system? Or can a supernatural reality (a being beyond nature) act causally within nature?
  • Are miracles possible?

Epistemology

  • Can we trust our senses?
  • What are the proper roles of reason and sense experience in knowledge?
  • Do we apprehend our own states of consciousness in some way other than reason and sense experience?
  • Are our intuitions of our own states of consciousness more dependable than our perceptions of the external world?
  • Is truth relative, or must truth be the same for all rational beings?
  • What is the relationship between religious faith and reason?
  • Is the scientific method the only (or perhaps the best) method of knowledge?
  • Is knowledge about God possible? If so, how?
  • Can God reveal himself to human beings?
  • Can God reveal information to human beings?
  • What is the relationship between the mind of God and the mind of human beings?

Ethics

  • Are there moral laws that govern human conduct? What are they?
  • Are these moral laws the same for all human beings?
  • Is morality totally subjective (like our taste for spinach), or is there an objective dimension to moral laws that means their truth is independent of our preferences or desires?
  • Are the moral laws discovered (in a way more or less similar to the way we discover that “seven times seven equal forty-nine”), or are they constructed by human beings (in a way more or less similar to what we call human mores)?
  • Is morality relative to individuals or to cultures or to historical periods?
  • Does it make sense to say that the same action may be right for people in one culture or historical epoch and wrong for others? Or does morality transcend cultural, historical, and individual boundaries.

Anthropology

  • Are human beings free, or are they merely pawns of deterministic forces?
  • Are human beings only bodies or material beings? Or were all the religious and philosophical thinkers who talked about the human soul or who distinguished the mind from the body correct?
  • If they were right in some sense, what is the human soul or mind, and how is it related to the body?
  • Does physical death end the existence of the human person? Or is there conscious, personal survival after death?
  • Are there rewards and punishment after death?
  • Are the Christian teachings about heaven and hell correct?

(Nash, Faith and Reason, 30-32)

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