Professors discuss worldview at forum

Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

philosophy-forum-by-alena
Alena Blakley / The Bison

“Why is a worldview important?”

Dr. Tawa Anderson opened the second philosophy forum of the semester with this question.

The forum took place on Friday, October 7, from 4-5:15 p.m.

The panelists present at the forum were Dr. John McWilliams, a professor of natural science, Dr Jonathan Callis, an assistant professor of English, Dr. Louima Lilite, an associate professor of music and Dr. Mary Dickey, an assistant professor of nursing.

“When we have this discussion of world view, what is worldview?” Anderson asked the panelists.

OBU has had a course on worldview studies since 2010, taught by Dr. Louima Lilite, who also wrote the textbook.

“Worldview means a lot to me, and worldview means a lot to you, whether you know it or not,” Lilite said to the audience.

“Every person has a worldview and every person lives by their worldview, whether you know it or not.”

Dr. McWilliams compared worldview to a puzzle, where different pieces sometimes mix together to make an incoherent picture.

“I think that’s the good of a course at OBU, because it forces you to take those pictures and see,” McWilliams said.

Dickey compared worldview to a skeleton framework on which to hang ideas and beliefs.

Callis agreed, and said that worldview can be thought of as a pilgrimage where one has that framework as a guide.

“Life’s events, our experiences, makes us evaluate all the time what our purpose is,” he said.

Anderson also asked why a worldview study is important.

“To me, worldview analysis is going through and trying to find those unconscious beliefs that would be wrong and could lead us off that path to Christ,” Callis said.

He said that our job as believers is to understand how all of truth is God’s truth, and try to bring it back together as best as we can.

Lilite said that for people to grow and change in their world view they have to understand what has worked or not worked in the past.

“Life is about growth, and you cannot grow without discarding things that are not helpful,” Lilite said.

Dickey said that people have a core world view, and other, changeable beliefs centered around it. For Christians, that core worldview would be Christ.

“In our worldview, it’s important to learn how to have a relationship with God,” she said.

McWilliams said that there are five questions that a coherent worldview should be able to answer:

How did I get here as I am? Who am I? Why am I? Who are you? What’s wrong with the world?

All the panelists agreed that a worldview can unconsciously effect people and their actions.

The panelists took questions from the audience during the last 20 minutes of the forum.

One of the questions asked was whether or not there is a difference between worldview and religion.

Lilite said that in the sense that religion is a set of principles, religion and worldview are compatible.

When also asked how worldview effected his style as a creator of music, Lilite replied that as part of the imago dei, he wanted to create.

Callis agreed, and said that as Christians are called to represent both the beauty and the ugly of the world, and that gives people a taste of the Transcendence of God.

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