The concept of worldview in contemporary philosophy of religion
The concept of worldview has again become popular in recent years, particularly among philosophers of religion associated with Christian theism. Indeed, one might say that the resurgence of the concept's popularity is largely a product of Christian theistic philosophical literature. These contemporary philosophers of religion associated with Christian theism who rely heavily upon the concept—or “Worldview Advocates,” as I refer to them—employ the concept of worldview in an attempt to compare and contrast various worldviews with their own, viz. Christian theism. The end in mind is to provide objective justification for the Christian theistic worldview.
According to Worldview Advocates, the concept of worldview is needed if one is to understand: (1) oneself, (2) others, and (3) one's experience. In addition to this, I submit that Worldview Advocates need the concept of worldview in order to serve as a nexus term between their religious regulative beliefs and the non-religious regulative beliefs of science. This allows them to take on scientific theories and results without having to do so directly.
However, with their employment of the concept of worldview, Worldview Advocates inadvertently generate a problem for themselves. As presented , their descriptions and analyses of the concept of worldview entail incompatible positions: absolutism (the view that there are beliefs which hold and that there are entities which exist independently of the conceptual scheme held to and employed by any particular person or society) and conceptual relativism (the negation of absolutism). Thus, their employment of the concept of worldview is motivated by their desire to compare and contrast various worldviews in an attempt to provide objective justification for the Christian theistic worldview; yet, their descriptions and analyses of the concept of worldview entail the incompatible positions of absolutism and conceptual relativism, thereby undermining their original project. I argue, then, that Worldview Advocates must either: (1) embrace absolutism, thereby granting that there are worldview-independent standards in terms of which the comparing and contrasting of worldviews can be carried out, or (2) embrace conceptual relativism, thereby discarding the project of comparing and contrasting worldviews and, with it, their original project of attempting to provide objective justification for the Christian worldview.