Teens live in a complicated world. They are constantly bombarded by messages from their friends, parents, teachers, the internet, and their churches, and not all of these messages agree or line up with each other. How do students figure out who to listen to? How do they figure out what is true?Inklings on Philosophy and Worldview will show teens practical ways to filter out the wrong messages and focus on what is real. Using teachings from highly respected, loved, and well-known writers, teacher Matthew Dominguez will show teens the power of story as he guides them through a study of world religions, philosophies, and worldview, and gives them a firm foundation to stand on as they prepare to face the world.
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Created to Trust
Everyone trusts. The only way humans live, eat, sleep, move, communicate, and eke out an existence is to make decisions based on whatever we consider trustworthy. This has been the case throughout all of history. Even through seismic cultural shifts, the defining and redefining of races and religions, and the rising and falling of empires, people have made decisions based on whom or what they trust as really real, as worthy of trust. But also all through history, humans have differed on the object of this trust. They have not agreed on where to put their confidence. Both of these are still true today. We still operate on trust, and we humans do not agree on whom or what is worthy of that trust.
We give authority to whom and what we trust, and the more we trust something or someone, the more authority we give.
Who do you turn to when you have a complex decision to navigate? Many people turn to their parents, teachers, coaches, or mentors. Some people would never turn to a teacher or parent and do not have coaches or mentors. Many teachers are transformative; some are unfit. Many coaches are inspiring; some are simply abusive. Many mentors are true leaders; some are blind guides. We take medicine from doctors we trust; we steer clear of those who have poor reputations. I would not let a surgeon cut me open or an anesthesiologist put me under if I did not trust him or her with my life. We do not take our cars to mechanics we do not trust. I only rock climb with trusted friends. Friends we trust sway what we wear, eat, say, and watch. Pastors positively and negatively shape our lives and habits. The books you read and the movies you watch shape your daily activities and verbiage. The list goes on and on.
Consciously and subconsciously, whatever we give authority to or have given authority to in the past directly and indirectly influences our current thoughts and behaviors. Ultimately, and without being fully consciously aware of it, we each develop personal "lists" of what we deem to be worthy of our trust. These personal trust lists become the primary influence on how we view and interact with the world.
Unfortunately, not everything to which we give authority is worthy of our trust. Moreover, we often find ourselves in situations in which others assert their authority over us even though we do not trust them. This type of authority often uses fear, inflicts pain, devises external motivators, and exploits ignorance to influence behavior. It often takes great courage to address the issues of trust and trustworthiness, particularly when it involves changing what we put our trust in or finding freedom from unhealthy, unwanted situations of imposed authority. Many of these negative untrustworthy situations can be redemptively helpful in guiding us toward that which is truly trustworthy and life-giving. Additionally, these people and institutions can help us learn what not to do and who not to emulate — and why!
This is a great place to start our story. My hope is that this book leads you into a story of courage and freedom. Facing the truth about trust and authority, and potentially changing the motivation or object of our trust, could be the most courageous thing any of us will ever do. For some of us, standing firm in what we trust to be the truth in the face of opposition will take similar courage. This is where the adventure begins and, ironically, ends: in trust and courage.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Inklings on Philosophy and Worldview"
Copyright © 2020 Matthew Dominguez.
Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
PART ONE Trust and the Nature of Reality,
1: Created to Trust, 11,
2: Faith and Faith Island, 15,
3: Trust Lists: The Concept and the Tool, 25,
4: The Suicide of Thought, 33,
5: What Is Really Real?, 43,
PART TWO Philosophy and the Four Views of Reality,
6: Philosophy: A Practical Tool, 53,
7: The Power of a Question, 59,
8: A Closer Look at Pure Idealism, 77,
9: A Closer Look at Authentic Materialism, 83,
10: A Closer Look at Complete Monism, 91,
11: A Closer Look at Religious Theism, 99,
12: My Trust List, Revisited, 107,
PART THREE Christ: The Fullness of Reality,
13: Open Our Eyes So We Can See, 115,
14: Connecting Truth, 121,
15: The Light of the World, 125,
16: Idealism: Lights On and Off, 131,
17: Materialism: Lights On and Off, 143,
18: Monism: Lights On and Off, 155,
19: Religious Theism: Lights On and Off, 161,
20: The Power of Paradox, 167,
21: The Treachery of Images, 189,
22: The Road Goes Ever On and On, 197,
HONOR AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, 201,