Thursday, August 4

Unintended Worldview Consequences

Unexamined ideas can have unintended consequences. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That may be overstating the case, but one thing is certain, the unexamined life will invariably produced unintended results. The fact is that our ideas and principles produce results. If we have never thought through the implications of those ideas and principles, they are going to surprise us with unintended consequences, undesired consequences, or second and third order consequences. If our ideas and principles are never articulated or scrutinized we will continually be caught off guard by the natural effects of our worldview. Follow a particular line of thought by adhering to a particular form of behavior for any length of time and there will be a whole string of effects. There will be a kind of worldview domino effect. One effect will lead to another and another and another and another.

This is worldview thinking at its most practical level. Let your mind dwell on forbidden and destructive fantasies and before you know it your thought life will be marked by unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness will inevitably creates restlessness and discontent. That may lead directly to adultery. That may in turn result in separation or even divorce. The ripple effect of consequences may not end there: children are affected. Neighbors and friends are affected. On and on and on it goes. Worldviews matter. Ideas have consequences. Often, they have unintended consequences.

1 comment:

Dave said...

FYI, I think that was Socrates, not Emerson. Love your blog.