Every individual has a personal worldview that he or she uses both consciously and subconsciously to answer questions and make decisions. Spirituality also plays a significant role in one’s life as it guides people and offers them a set of rules and beliefs that construct a specific view of the world. According to Paloutzian and Park (2014), there is no singular definition of spirituality as it can have a different meaning for each individual. However, the authors suggest that spirituality is most often linked to one’s personal beliefs and the search for a greater sense of life and its aspects. Moreover, some people tie spirituality and religion, stating that the former is a method of connecting one’s existence to some religious views. In this case, spirituality is related to one’s closeness to and experience with sacred beings and concepts. However, some people do not see a direct connection between these two ideas, noting that a spiritual person may not be religious and vice versa. These beliefs often describe a relationship between spirituality and one’s emotions.
Different philosophies can influence one’s worldview. Such concepts as pluralism, scientism, and postmodernism offer different explanations to the fundamental notions of one’s worldview and attempt to look at the world from different perspectives. For example, pluralism presents the idea of various beliefs and concepts coexisting together in one world, implying that it is possible to have different opinions on all matters. Here, the ultimate truth of one particular worldview is seen as impossible because all views have their importance and weight (Baghramian & Ingram, 2014).
Therefore, this concept encompasses all other approaches and considers them valid. On the other hand, scientism places science above other ideas of living, such as philosophy and spirituality (Stenmark, 2017). It is important to note that while talking about scientism, most individuals imply the significance of natural sciences and suggest that other scientific approaches are not as critical. Moreover, scientism’s opinion about different concepts that could be used as a worldview is that they are inferior. Postmodernism is another philosophical movement that explores the vagueness of all notions of the world.
Seven Basic Worldview Questions
To understand one’s approach to life, a person can answer seven fundamental worldview questions. First of all, it is crucial to grasp the idea of prime reality or one’s actual place in the world. For example, scientism and postmodernism view reality as material and deny the existence of a god. Some worldviews that are based on religion imply that the prime reality is linked to the presence of a god or gods and the people’s relationship with these entities. In my opinion, the prime reality is everything that surrounds a person and his or her life. The next question deals with the nature of the world or the external reality. One can see the world as chaotic or orderly, material or spiritual, and subjective or objective (Lash, 2014). In my opinion, the world can appear to humans as both objective and subjective. It is a closed system where the laws of cause and effect are the main principles of the system’s operations.
The next two questions ask about human beings. While some opinions revolve around people being the creations of God, who made them as kind and intelligent as He is, others consider humans living machines with systems that support their existence. I think that humans make themselves into individuals throughout their lives. While people can be inherently good, each person lives in a complex environment that influences his or her decisions. At death, people stop existing as physical entities. Most philosophies agree about that part, frequently arguing about the spiritual aspect of one’s being. It is unclear to me whether human beings continue to exist in some form after they die. The concept of the afterlife has no real support apart from religious teachings. Thus, it is factually impossible to prove it right or wrong.
The fifth and sixth questions infer about one’s knowledge and morality. People’s ability to know something is a part of their inherent human reason (Paloutzian & Park, 2014). The science behind human bodies and minds allows them not only to gather knowledge about the entities they see but also to create new concepts and infer some information about various intangible aspects of the universe. The issue of knowing what is right and what wrong is complicated and cannot base itself on only one statement. While religious theories believe that people are inherently kind and loving, some scientific approaches argue that every behavior may be learned. In my opinion, it is possible to influence one’s morals in society. Therefore, people may learn to have different views about what is right or wrong.
The last question deals with the meaning of human history. History is usually seen as a linear stream of events by most approaches and philosophies (Paloutzian & Park, 2014). However, its importance and the possibility of a final destination become the main topics of debate. According to my worldview, the history of people is a chain of events that happen because of people’s actions and decisions. While its final purpose is unclear, one can conceptualize some parts of history to create a model for the future and use it as an example.
All in all, one’s worldview often combines different aspects of many philosophies and approaches. It is possible to connect spirituality and science as these concepts do not counter each other in every way. While people may share a religious or spiritual belief, they can also find themselves having different opinions on some aspects of morality, knowledge, or existence.
Baghramian, M., & Ingram, A. (Eds.). (2014). Pluralism: The philosophy and politics of diversity (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Lash, S. (2014). Sociology of postmodernism (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
Stenmark, M. (2017). Scientism: Science, ethics and religion (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.