In our world there are many different viewpoints and perspectives. Yet though opinions differ from person to person, there remains at human consciousness’s core 7 worldviews that everyone carries. These worldviews are the lenses that we examine and live life through. I want to go through these 7 worldviews and define each one of these in no particular order. The first one I want to approach is the world view called “Nihilism”. Nihilism at its core is simply put as the belief that everything means nothing. It can also be termed as the basis for Anarchist ideology. It is the anti-philosophy that goes completely against Christian Worldviews, Morals, and Principles. One of the Nihilist thought movement founders was a man named Friedrich Nietzsche. In relation to Nihilism versus Christianity he was quoted as saying, “God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him.” Nihilism is pessimistic in many respects. There are also 4 subtypes of Nihilism that offer and even more in-depth perspective of the entirety of this worldview.
- Moral Nihilism which denies moral obligations, principles, and viewpoints.
- Epistemological Nihilism which denies that there can be any absolute truth.
- Cosmic Nihilism denies any value in nature.
- Existential Nihilism which negates the meaning of life in general.
Nihilism gives no hope, no future, and meaning to anything. To classify what the term meaning means simply to signify or to intend to have purpose.
Next I want to branch off of Nihilism and speak on Existentialism. I use the Nike motto of, “Just Do It” as the ideological thinking for this particular worldview. Existentialism has three primary focuses.
Existentialism is very hedonistic. It follows along the lines of Nihilism in that nothing truly has meaning, and there is no moral consequence. Do what you feel, when you want to do so, and answer to no one but yourself. This in actuality creates a distorted singular reality that only is exceptional to the person who possesses this reality. Robert Solomon wrote that, “Existentialism is an attitude that recognizes the unresolved confusion of the human world, yet resists the all- too- human temptation to resolve the confusion by grasping toward whatever appears or can be made to appear firm or familiar. The existential attitude begins with a disoriented individual facing a confused world that he cannot accept.”
Next we should look at another enemy to the philosophy of Nihilism and Existentialism. This is Naturalism. I want to start off with a quote in regards to naturalism by Tao Te Ching. “If people do not revere the law of Nature, It will inexorably and adversely affect them. If they accept it with knowledge and reverence, it will accommodate them with balance and harmony.”
Naturalism holds that our universe and everything in it is best understood through the scientific method. According to Wikipedia the scientific method is defined as: “an ongoing process, which usually begins with observations about the natural world. Human beings are naturally inquisitive, so they often come up with questions about things they see or hear and often develop ideas (hypothesis) about why things are the way they are.”
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is one naturalist theory that answers the meaning of human creation and existence. It has been widely held by society as the clear scientific truth of the origins of man. In later years Stephen Hawking’s believed he had solidified the Theory of Evolution by using mathematical formulas to validate Darwin’s claims. The problem with naturalism is that the theories that have been proposed cannot truly be classified as truth. Truth to be absolute must be able to weigh itself against an absolute which is part of the control method, and thus without being able to do so these theories remain just that; theories.
We should now look at the worldview of Deism. This particular worldview was accepted by many of our American founding fathers. Many that believed and adhered to this particular view were the like of: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. There are some that believe George Washington was more of an atheist than a deist.
Deism is a belief that an intelligent creator created the world and everything in it, and then left the world to operate on its own without divine intervention. I would use the analogy of a kid with an ant farm. Except that the child created the ant and the world it lives in.
I have heard often the phrase if God is a carrying God how could he let bad things happen to good people. A deist would answer in that God created everything but does not intervene. This belief creates the personae of an uncaring and disconnected God. This goes completely against the biblical teachings of the Bible.
I want to briefly address another worldview called New Consciousness. This became very popular in the 1960’s and 70’s hippie culture. It is the belief that we must enlighten our minds by altering our minds. Many conclude that this can only be achieved through drugs and chemical means. Yet this particular belief has been around for thousands of years. Individuals would smoke or ingest peyote such as Native American shamans, or the use of marijuana. Shamanism could be classified under this New Consciousness. The Shaman would use various means and substances to create a meditated transcendental state that he would use to speak with spirits or god like creatures.
With regards to New Consciousness we can follow into the worldview of pantheism. Pantheism is the belief that everything that exists is a god or spirit. In its simplicity it is the belief in multiple gods’ or god like creatures and spirits. Hinduism is the most recognizable pantheistic religion. Yet it was not the only one. Native Americans have a form of pantheistic perspectives as well as ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Nordics, Mayans, and etc. Pre-Christian and Pre-Hebraic Cultures adhered to this worldview.
Finally I wish to conclude with the most widely accepted of all worldviews and that is Monotheism. Monotheism is the belief in one God exists. He is separate from us humans and nature, but is actively involved within the universe. Judeo-Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all major monotheistic religions. This belief causes us to adhere to a moral standard. The belief that there is someone greater than ourselves it puts things into motion and keeps them in motion.