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Culture of Worldview – Postmodernism Characteristic

The concept of world view is often tightly connected with the notion of spirituality. Basically, one’s worldview is initially founded on the fact of their spirituality or non-spirituality. This characteristic is often self-assigned and is a matter of an individual choice of a person and refers to something that provides meaning to one’s perception of life (Greenberg, 2008). The concept of spirituality may refer to one’s religious beliefs, but at the same time many people characterize themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, in most cases, the supporters of this idea mean that they accept the existence of a higher power, but choose not to put names or faces on it. Besides, one may accept the existence or even follow more than one religion (Anderson, 2008). This is called religious pluralism, a popular today point of view that borders with religious ecumenism – the belief in the collaboration of several religions. There is a point of view opposing pluralism, it is called scientism. This worldview excludes the existence of any kinds of forces and powers whose presence has not been proved scientifically. One more important worldview today is postmodernism; it argues that each individual has their own reality which is based on their own perceptions and beliefs (Anderson, 2008).

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When it comes to the nature of the world around us and the prime reality, pluralists and followers of various religions believe that our world was created by an intelligent higher power and works based on certain order, whereas scientism sticks to the opinion that the world came to existence spontaneously and the only order in it is based on the laws of sciences. As for postmodernist point of view on the structure of reality, it would deny the idea of its fixed nature. In postmodernism how we see the world is how it is, and since everyone sees it differently, the reality is not more than a flowing ever-changing sequence of ideas which is individual for everyone (Postmodern Worldview — How Postmodernism Changes the Rules, 2015). The notion of a human being also differs for each set of beliefs. For example, in scientism a human being is an extremely complex combination mechanism, it is viewed as a machine in the context of its functions. In pluralism, the perception of a human being depends on the points of view of different religions, but most of them agree that a human being is a creature made according to the image of God and contains a divine spark referred to as a soul. The soul is an extremely important part of a human being for religious people but is a non-existent object for scientists. In postmodernism, a human being is a combination of perceptions and views that shape the way they think and form their own reality.

Death is probably the most popular focus of philosophical discussions apart from the existence of the divine. Various worldviews perceive it differently: for religious people death may be viewed as the beginning of the afterlife in hell or paradise, or reincarnation, and from the scientific point of view death is the absolute and irreversible extinction of an individual.

Knowing things is also a subjective concept for different worldviews. The followers of different religions may believe that knowledge comes from the fact that humans were created based on the image of God who is the absolute knowledge. This way knowing is an essential feature of a human being. At the same time, science and scientism explain knowledge as an ability that appeared due to the lengthy process of evolution of the human brain and its capacities such as memory, analysis, and judgment. According to postmodern point of view, knowing is basically impossible, as the reality is incomprehensible and unknowable due to its flowing and unstable nature, so what one knows is very subjective and cannot be taken as a general truth.

The same principle applies to the idea of knowing right from wrong. Religions have their own explanation concerning this. For example, in Christianity the knowledge of good and evil came to Adam and Eve once they tasted the forbidden fruit. In scientism, the concepts of right and wrong were recognized as notions necessary for human survival. They are perceived as rules and judgments that were worked out over time due to the need for people to coexist and form societies. In postmodernism, the concepts of right and wrong are viewed as individual perceptions which are based on the choices of the persons.

Finally, the meaning of human history is another frequent subject of philosophic discussions. In scientism, there is no particular supreme purpose or meaning of history and life apart from cognition of the world around through the application of sciences. At the same time, different religions have their own ideas concerning the meaning of life and the purpose of existence of human beings. Generally, most religions encourage people to devote themselves to God, seek for God within themselves, or prepare for the coming kingdom of God on earth. In postmodern point of view, the purpose of living is individual and self-defined for each human being as there is no prime reality.

References

Anderson, K. (2008). Postmodernism and Pluralism. Web.

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Greenberg, N. (2008). Can spirituality be defined? Web.

Postmodern Worldview – How Postmodernism Changes the Rules. (2008). Worldview. Web.

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