Big Questions

This is the second talk in a series given by Os Guinness at Cambridge University. Following the first talk's consideration of "a time for questions", Os continues with "a time for answers", thinking through how to distinguish between the variety of belief systems that surround us.

Os presents three possible objections to even considering worlviews:

1. "All the religions are true in their way and probably all equally good."
2. "They're all equally false and all extremely bad."
3. "They're all reactionary and they're disappearing as the world progresses and gets more modern."

and explains why these are inadequate. He then suggests how to decide on an adequate worldview or belief system.

A few further quotes from the talk:

Concerning critics who do not apply their criticisms to their own views, Os quotes a conversation he had with A.J. Ayer on his (in)famous principle of verification as a criterion for meaningfulness (see Ayer's Language, Truth and Logic): "He said to me, with a rueful smile, 'Every great sceptic should be forced to wield his debunking sword over his own theories in public' and he admitted his couldn't be."

"When you commit yourself … you don't any longer just see it, you see by it."

"In fact in most people's lives there's one driving question, one burning issue and that's what they want the answer to and that narrows things enormously."

"… for all practical purposes in our world today there are three big families of faith … the eastern religions, secularist faiths and the Abrahamic faiths."

© 2013 Os Guinness
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