Thursday, March 7, 2013

What Is A Worldview? - Worldviews Part 1

      Some of you may remember that I (the Comma Queen) switched to an Administrative position at the beginning of the school year because of my school load. Well, I’m back for a little while at least to share some of the stuff I’ve been learning through a really big Worldview class I’ve been taking this year. I’ve been learning about different worldviews – what they are, how they affect people, the different types of worldviews that exist and what they believe, and much more. To start off with, I’ll be sharing what a worldview is and how it functions.
     First things first, as my history teacher has drilled into me, define your terms. So, how do you define, “worldview”? One definition I found on an online dictionary was, “A worldview is an overall way of looking at the world.” According to Norman Geisler and William Watkins, respected Christian authors and speakers, a worldview is “...a way of viewing or interpreting all of reality. It is an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life and the world.” Personally, I would define it similarly to the dictionary and say that a worldview is the way we view the world.
     I also learned some comparisons to help illustrate how a worldview works. One is that of a pair of glasses. You use them to help you see the world around you. Depending on the prescription, they will either give you a clear view of things, or they will distort everything. Another example is a tree’s roots. When you look at a tree, you don’t often see its roots. Instead, you see the trunk, the branches, the leaves, etc. Even though you can’t see them, though, the roots are very essential to the survival of the rest of the tree. They go deep into the ground to produce nourishment and they anchor the tree to keep it from falling over.
     Like the glasses, you use a worldview to help you view the world and while one worldview will make things clearer, others will just confuse you and make it difficult to understand the world around you. Like a tree’s roots, it’s essential to life and stability, though you can’t see it. All you can see are the exposed parts–the actions that are made as a result. It’s like meeting a new person; you can’t tell right away what type of worldview they have, but if you watch their actions, you’ll get an idea of what they believe. For example, you might see someone praying over a meal. This would indicate that they believe in some sort of a higher being (a god) and are very likely a Theist—a Pantheist believes that everything is god and ultimately, that they are their own god, so they wouldn’t likely take the time to pray to themselves; an Atheist doesn’t even believe in any sort of god to be prayed to in the first place.
     Hopefully this helps better understand what a worldview is. I know that before I took any type of worldview class, I had no clue what it even was! In my next few articles, I’ll be going into specifics on the six different worldviews I’ve been studying in-depth, including Christianity, Islam, Secular Humanism, Marxist-Leninism, Cosmic Humanism, and Postmodernism. In the final section, I’ll be looking at similarities between the different worldviews and then analyzing their flaws from a Biblical perspective.

Comma Queen

“Understanding the Times: A Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Revised 2nd Edition)” by David A. Noebel
“Loving God With Your Mind” with J.P. Moreland


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