Spirituality and Understanding of Concepts
Discussing one’s personal worldview has always been a complicated task since many people rarely think about their spirituality, the nature of the world around them, or the meaning of human history. In my opinion, spirituality is the central point that characterizes how a person views the world. It is quite a broad concept and has many meanings; however, I prefer to think about spirituality as a sense of being connected to something valuable and bigger than us.
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In some sense, spirituality is the search for the meaning of life, and each person approaches it differently. While some may find spiritual awakening by going to a church or temple, others seek the meaning of life through connecting to the nature around them or experiencing art. Before giving answers to the basic worldview questions, I will discuss concepts of pluralism, scientism, and postmodernism because they can explain my personal worldview in more detail. While there is an array of definitions that explain pluralism, to me, this concept implies the acceptance of different views on specific issues as all valid and necessary to exist.
Postmodernism is a movement that is the closest to my personal perception of the world because it is characterized by “broad skepticism, subjectivism […] a general suspicion of reason and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology” (Duignan, 2017, para. 1). Scientism is an approach that suggests that science should be applied to all situations that require some consensus. However, I think that this approach is used science in excess and leaves no place for other methods of inquiry.
Basic Worldview Questions
For me, prime reality aligns with the naturalistic view on this topic and is associated with the matter that surrounds us. Matter used to be before humans appeared on the Earth and will be after we become extinct. The nature of external reality, for me, is associated with the cosmos manifesting itself through the visible dimensions that the ordinary consciousness can perceive and the invisible dimension that one can only access through altered states of consciousness.
While there is a ‘sea’ of opinions regarding the definition of human beings and who they are, I personally ascribe to the view that we are animals who have evolved further and are now able to experience a full range of emotions and critical thinking to guide our lives. As Seneca once said, a human being is “a reasoning animal” (as cited in Okrent, 2013, para. 2). When it comes to the question of what happens to a human being after death, I feel very torn when answering. On the one hand, I would like to believe that death is a way to transform one’s spirit and go on to live in other dimensions, for example, heaven.
On the other hand, my logical thinking suggests that death is the end of a person’s existence and there is no proof to suggest that something more than darkness and non-existence can occur. Considering the nature of death and the knowledge surrounding it arises the question of how is it possible to know anything at all. In my opinion, scientific exploration, independent human reason, and everyday experiences can allow humans to know the universe in which we live. However, I do also agree with the postmodernists view on this topic and think that the truth about the world in which we live is hidden and will never be revealed, which leads us as humans to just tell stories and play games of power that never lead to anything truly beneficial to the humankind.
Differentiating between right and wrong has long been a subject of exploration for philosophers. From the Christian theism perspective, ethics should be based on the holy and loving nature of God who guides the interactions between people and therefore differentiates between right and wrong. While believers use the Bible or other holy scriptures to determine what is considered right, I think that the postmodernist approach to ethics is much more viable in our society. Social good should be taken as something that society makes it to be because ethics is a linguistic construct that can change depending on how society changes.
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The long history of humankind showed that with time people changed their views on right and wrong and reached a new level of human interactions (Emmott, 2013). For example, in the Middle Ages, it was considered right to sentence a criminal to death by hanging because at that time the society did not have the tools for a more ethical punishment. While death sentences still exist to this day, they are now being reevaluated and phased out despite the availability of more ethical ways than hanging.
This leads to the question about the value and the meaning of human history. In my opinion, history is a linear set of events connected with each other through cause and effect. While the theistic worldview suggests that the meaning of history is to fulfill God’s purposes for humanity, I think that it is people who have the most influence on how they shape their history and how the world develops.
Duignan, B. (2017). Postmodernism. Web.
Emmott, S. (2013). Humans: The real threat to life on Earth. The Guardian. Web.
Okrent, A. (2013). 29 answers to the question “what is a human being?” Web.