If it is true that worldviews have consequences, then we should be able to find case studies of times when a change of worldview led to societal change. If worldviews do not have consequences, then there really should not be very much of a difference.
Let’s consider worldviews that led to positive changes.
William Wilberforce was a natural politician, and he dedicated his life to the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. However, he had very specific reasons for opposing this practice, and they were motivated by his commitment to Methodism.
He understood that his worldview led him to certain actions. In his diary, he outlined the connection clearly:
He saw that the two were inevitably connected. The only way to eliminate the slave trade was to change the worldview of society. Only in a world where slavery was seen as morally abhorrent would there be motivation to eliminate the profitable abomination.
However, this also was not something that was simply a personal preference. Wilberforce felt a divine calling. He did not embrace subjective morality; the slave trade was objectively wrong, and he felt that God was calling him to end that horrendous practice.
His worldview informed his actions and affected the lives of thousands of people. Along with a close network of like-minded people, he worked to follow the call that God placed in his life. If Wilberforce did not have a Christian worldview, his actions may have been different.
Without that core commitment, he might not have believed in the sanctity of human life. Without believing that human life is sacred and reflects the image of God in creation, he might not have had such a strong desire to protect all people.
He might not have understood that England needed a moral revolution in order to even begin to build support for the abolition of the slave trade. He might have felt that England’s worldview was just fine if he did not come from a Christian worldview.
William Wilberforce made the world a better place because of his worldview. Living consistently as a Christian has consequences, and he was compelled to act against the injustice of the slave trade because of his worldview. That action radically changed England and the lives of thousands of people who would have suffered otherwise.
All worldviews are not created equal though, and as much as worldviews can bring about good, they can bring about evil. We will see that clearly in the next post.