Personal Worldview Inventory, Theory and Types

Table of Contents

Introduction

A worldview is a theory of how the world works. According to Sire (2015), “worldview is the fundamental perspective from which one addresses every issue of life” (p. 24). Although every individual has his worldview, there are some common views on the world within people in similar cultures.

Spirituality

Spirituality is a broad definition. People have different levels of spirituality. Spirituality does not always have religious meaning. Nevertheless, spirituality has a great impact on people’s worldview. There are a variety of possible meanings of the term spirituality. Javad, Lake, & Kress (2014) describe spirituality as “the practice of or the experience of reconnecting with something outside of and larger than the self; something that is social, natural or supernatural” (p. 101). It is worth mentioning that spirituality greatly influences patient care because there is often the possibility of dying.

Pluralism

One important characteristic of the worldview is pluralism. The concept of pluralism in philosophy signifies the idea of the reality that consists of many different things and views. Pluralism is the opposite of the term monism, which illustrates reality as one substance, and dualism, which means that reality is divided into two equal elements. The concept of pluralism indicates that there is no the only proper worldview that can explain the essence and meaning of life. No single worldview can be considered as absolutely true.

Scientism

Humanity lives in the time of rapid progress. That is why scientism is one of the most popular worldviews today. As it is defined by Kojonen (2016), scientism is an epistemological view that means the gathering of knowledge. The concept of scientism implies that only scientific statements are to be recognized as meaningful.

Postmodernism

Also, there is the worldview called postmodernism, which is more difficult to define. Postmodernism has become a very popular concept within the Western world in the 20th century. Postmodernism implies an approach to the definition of reality that has a significant impact on such spheres of life as art, education, literature, law, history, and religion. Lash (2014) claims “postmodernism is confined to the realm of culture” (p. 4). Postmodernism is a reaction to scientific efforts to interpret and describe the world to some extent. Although some theorists assure that postmodernism is dead, a lot of people still argue that postmodernism is the most relevant worldview nowadays. Postmodernism offers excellent ideas of current interest that influence the worldview of many people. There are seven basic worldview questions that must be answered to understand how the world works, and postmodernism answers them all very clearly.

Seven Basic Worldview Questions

According to postmodernism, the prime reality is a reality which people create themselves. In other words, thinking is a reality. The process of thinking is much more important than the context or ideas of this thinking. People tend to ignore God. God does not determine basic rules of what people have to believe and trust or how they have to act. Everything depends on an individual.

The nature of the world is simple: there is no absolute truth, and everything is subjective. Reality cannot be described objectively. Nevertheless, postmodernism does not ignore religion as modernism does. There are some religions, and an individual can choose whatever he wants. The most necessary quality of religion is to make a person feel good. And it is definitely valuable especially considering the fact that the main purpose of any religion is to inspire people.

Postmodernists claim that the essence of the human is influenced by culture and language. Also, it underlines the importance of individualism. Every person has to determine the meaning of existence, the universe, and human life independently of other people. A person creates himself by learning things about himself.

Postmodernism is closely connected with Darwin’s naturalism. It supports Darwin’s approach to the definition of death. According to postmodernism, death results in physical extinction. Postmodernism does not encourage the idea of immortality and afterlife. Many people agree with that because there is still no scientific evidence of the afterlife.

There is no the only truth in the world; there are truths. Consequently, it is impossible to know everything. As well as truth, moral values are relative too. Every individual or every group of people develops their own moral values. The question of how people know what is right or wrong depends on the culture of a particular society.

History cannot be objective too because it can be rewritten. What is more, no one can know for sure what happened in reality. This approach is confirmed by the fact that a lot of people often do not trust the history that they learn at schools.

Conclusion

To sum up, spirituality is an essential human characteristic, which underlines the importance of having a worldview. Every person has his own beliefs about life. However, there are some popular approaches to the definition of the essence and meaning of life. There are some common worldviews such as scientism, postmodernism, Christianity, new age thinking, atheistic materialism and others. The diversity of worldviews is known as pluralism. Although some people say that the time of postmodernism has already gone, postmodernism still has a great impact on people’s worldviews all across the globe nowadays due to its clear ideas and the emphasis that the whole world is relative.

References

Javad, M. S., Lake, R., & Kress, T. M. (Eds.). (2014). Reclaiming the sane society: Essays on Erich Fromm’s thought. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Kojonen, E. V. R. (2016). Intelligent design and the temptation of Scientism: Theological and philosophical analysis. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lash, S. (2014). Sociology of postmodernism. New York, NY: Routledge.

Sire, J. W. (2015). Naming the elephant: Worldview as a concept. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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