The Foundation Dictates the Outcome

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Jesus mentioned the importance of a solid foundation. You need something firm if you're going to withstand storms. A foundation is also important in determining what you can build. You can only go so high if your foundation is small and shallow (don't believe me? You haven't seen the World of Goo leaderboards have you?).

I've had a post about "why we should teach the best arguments" drafted for a while now. The idea was that without knowing the best arguments against your position, you aren't prepared. But the longer I've thought about it, the less inclined I am to compare arguments to a foundation.

They're more of a wall.

The foundation of a discussion is, I believe, presupposition. What assumptions do we make, why, and how do they affect what arguments/proofs/evidences we accept? If I am convinced that Bob is secretly an alien, the best arguments in the world against that idea won't matter at all. My foundational belief in Bob's extraterrestrial nature will skew all data to further convince me of my conclusion.


So while knowing the best arguments for and against your position is great, we should also seek to get to the presuppositions of each side. Ultimately, knowing the arguments won't help much if the person you are talking with rejects your foundation. And if you disagree on the basics, the rest of the discussion becomes moot and you can move on.

A benefit of homeschooling is that we can consider the various presuppositions behind an idea or controversial subject.

A danger of homeschooling--all forms of learning, actually--is that we can ignore our presuppositions behind an idea or controversial subject.

Throughout your years of homeschooling with Sonlight, you will have opportunities to consider the arguments and the assumptions behind hot topics. May the foundation you lay prepare your children to articulate well what they believe and why.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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