Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Quote: Francis Schaeffer on Presuppositions

“People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By presuppositions we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic world-view, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions.”1

– Francis Schaeffer

1. Schaeffer, Francis. How Then Should We Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1976).


  1. Davitor July 3, 2011

    All presupposition or world views are manmade and learned by a process of human domestication. And through this domestication we are thought or programmed to view the world with these grids. And this is where all the judging embarks on.
    But does a child or new born have presuppositions?
    Hence the only solution to this "people presupposition" is to see life from the perspective of a new born.

  2. Nick Potts July 3, 2011

    I would say most presuppositions/worldviews are man made, everyone except the Christian revelation of who God is (Romans 1). I believe Schaeffer would agree with me on this, which he derived his thought (though nuanced) from Cornelius Van Til.

  3. pds July 4, 2011

    Davitor, your statement applies to itself; it is also a man-made world-view and thereby refutes itself.

    Why should we believe your man-made presupposition "to see life from the perspective of a new born"?



  4. Davitor July 4, 2011

    Paul my response to your question would be the same response you would get from a new born child… 🙂

  5. pds July 5, 2011

    Hi Davitor,

    Your statement still refutes itself. So my point remains.

    A new born baby only thinks of its own needs and wants. If baby had a world-view, it would be one of complete selfishness. Is that your response?



  6. Davitor July 5, 2011

    Then please continue to fill the child with all your beliefs.