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drizabone
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« on: Aug 17, 2017, 05:18PM »

Anyone want to talk about WorldViews?

I was thinking that they might be a safe boring topic that wouldn't raise any acrimony and maybe have a higher light/heat ratio. 

Am I being naive and optimistic?  Probably.

So what's a WorldView?  (German Weltanschauung)

In simple terms a WorldView is a personal view of reality, what you believe to be true.  I'm pretty sure that everyone has one, and we use them to understand the world, work out what's true and false, right and wrong, and what's likely to happen in the future and why and what should happen.

From my reading you can understand a WorldView by answering a set of questions.

The set of questions from Sire: The Universe Next Door is:
 1. What is reality made of? What's the unltimate reality? 
 2. What is the nature of the world around us
 3. What is a human being?
 4. What happens to a person at death?
 5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?
 6. How do we know what is right and wrong?
 7. What is the meaning of human history?

Another set of questions. According to Apostel,[21] a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:
 1. An explanation of the world
 2. A futurology, answering the question "Where are we heading?"
 3. Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
 4. A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
 5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: "What is true and false?"
 6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks", its origins and construction.
Pasted from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_view>

The answers to these questions are going to be different to each WorldView and only need to be consistent with that world view and not others.

Anyone interested?

Because WorldViews are self contained I think that it would be sensible to have a different thread for each one.

Some WorldViews that I have heard of are:
- Christian Theism
- Christian Deism
- non-Christian versions of the above
- Optimistic naturalism (secular humanism)
- Pessimistic naturalism (nihilism)
- Atheistic existentialism
- Theistic existentialism
- Eastern pantheistic monism
- New Age

I know that some of these are held by friends here.  I'd like to find out more of what you think about the world. I've read of defintions of those WorldViews but don't know if you would agree to them.  Maybe you agree with the defintion but not the name.  I'm not going to be precious about it.

What do you reckon?


PS.  I'm hoping that this is going to get booted out of the Religion board into Chit Chat
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 17, 2017, 08:21PM »

Another set of categories that could be used to define a persons WorldView are proposed by Funk at http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview.html :

 - epistemology: beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge;
 - metaphysics: beliefs about the ultimate nature of Reality;
 - cosmology: beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe, life, and especially Man;
 - teleology: beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe, its inanimate elements, and its inhabitants;
 - theology: beliefs about the existence and nature of God;
 - anthropology: beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man in general and, oneself in particular;
 - axiology: beliefs about the nature of value, what is good and bad, what is right and wrong.

These are similar to the others but expressed in a style that suits me.  YMMV of course.  Funk is an engineer/psychologist as well as a christian which affects his style and content.

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« Reply #2 on: Aug 18, 2017, 09:31AM »

For a very restricted vision, how about math vs nonmath?
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 18, 2017, 03:35PM »

It's been a long time since I have truly addressed my worldview.  Perhaps it;s time for that again.

Let me give it some thought.

Heady stuff this.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 18, 2017, 04:20PM »

Yes, this is an important post and is where the real dividing line is at because it deals with presuppositions and assumptions.  :)
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 18, 2017, 04:31PM »

The set of questions from Sire: The Universe Next Door is ...
Loaded!
 
Heh.
 
Many books have been written on each of these.
 
The first principle I have to cover before even starting in on the questions is that we exist in a world of uncertainty. We've only recently learned how our own biases prevent us from learning about reality if we're not very careful about them, and if we can't subordinate them to evidence and sound epistemic processes, and even then we don't eliminate uncertainty by a long shot, we just chip away at it like pulling droplets of water out of an ocean.
 
So ... I'll see what I can do with these ... I'm just gonna start shooting and we'll see what kind of ammo I have on hand.
 
1. What is reality made of? What's the unltimate reality?
Known reality is made up of matter and energy. Math is very helpful for tentatively suggesting how gaps might be filled, and a lot of math and physics regarding what reality is made of are highly speculative. We can really only know what we can verify outside of our own heads. If we ca only "verify" something from inside our own heads we can't overcome the probability of psychological and sociological biases being behind what we think we see/hear/feel/smell/taste.
 
I'm not sure the idea of "ultimate reality" makes any sense--it's a rather presumptuous question. Is there such a thing? would have to be nailed down first. I'm not even sure what this question might actually even mean, so I certainly can't answer it.
 
2. What is the nature of the world around us?
I'm going to take this to mean: What is the nature of how we live? Otherwise it seems redundant to the first question (i.e. the nature of the world around is the nature of reality--can't imagine why or how there might be any difference).
 
The world around us is natural, physical, psychological, and social ... and uncertain.
 
3. What is a human being?
We're very smart (relatively speaking) social animals who can imagine and manipulate our environment to incredible extent.
 
4. What happens to a person at death?
We end. But this one is so ultimate and personal and absolute that we almost can't help but move into the uncertainty zone and insert palliative notions. Sadly ... deeply sadly, we don't have any basis upon which to think anything else other than the personal consequences (personal having individual and species-wide implications here).
 
5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?
Perceptions, minds, a cosmos that operates in consistent ways.
 
6. How do we know what is right and wrong?
We can establish a context and then apply science and critical thinking for empirical matters.
 
7. What is the meaning of human history?
It's how we came to arrive where we are now.
 
Another set of questions. According to Apostel,[21] a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:
1. An explanation of the world
Here we are!
 
Heh.
 
2. A futurology, answering the question "Where are we heading?"
Depends upon if we're taken out by a large asteroid or a pulsar jet or a rogue planet or star ... etc.
 
Other than that ... we'll see.
 
3. Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
We should get a long, help each other, and learn about the cosmos ... for starters.
 
4. A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
In light of the previous answer.
 
5. An epistemology, or theory of knowledge: "What is true and false?"
True and false is a lot tougher question than what we can and can't know, but we have to be able to know before we can know what's true and false, and we can only know in terms of probability and uncertainty--meaning there will always at least be some margin of error, even if it's functionally only theoretical.
 
6. An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks", its origins and construction.
I think all of the above is probably the answer to this one ... ?
 
The answers to these questions are going to be different to each WorldView and only need to be consistent with that world view and not others.
 
Anyone interested?

Because WorldViews are self contained I think that it would be sensible to have a different thread for each one.

Some WorldViews that I have heard of are:
- Christian Theism
- Christian Deism
- non-Christian versions of the above
- Optimistic naturalism (secular humanism)
- Pessimistic naturalism (nihilism)
- Atheistic existentialism
- Theistic existentialism
- Eastern pantheistic monism
- New Age

I know that some of these are held by friends here.  I'd like to find out more of what you think about the world. I've read of defintions of those WorldViews but don't know if you would agree to them.  Maybe you agree with the defintion but not the name.  I'm not going to be precious about it.
 
What do you reckon?
How about just naturalism ... unmodified?
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 18, 2017, 04:33PM »

Yes, this is an important post and is where the real dividing line is at because it deals with presuppositions and assumptions.  :)

More whether or not you allow your presuppositions and assumptions to be modified by what reality tells us about them.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 18, 2017, 06:25PM »

Yes, this is an important post and is where the real dividing line is at because it deals with presuppositions and assumptions.  :)

shhh
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 18, 2017, 06:58PM »

The first principle I have to cover before even starting in on the questions is that we exist in a world of uncertainty. We've only recently learned how our own biases prevent us from learning about reality if we're not very careful about them, and if we can't subordinate them to evidence and sound epistemic processes, and even then we don't eliminate uncertainty by a long shot, we just chip away at it like pulling droplets of water out of an ocean. 

as I understand it epistemology is one of the characteristics of a worldview.  So what is 'sound' in one worldview eg naturalism would not be sound in another eg  Eastern pantheistic monism.

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How about just naturalism ... unmodified?

because existential naturalism seems to be quite different to optimistic naturalism which is where I'd guess you would be.
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 18, 2017, 07:29PM »

shhh
Yes, we wouldn't want the non-theists to get wind...they are generally not too bright though. Yeah, RIGHT.

Only kidding boys.  Let's play...
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 18, 2017, 07:33PM »

because existential naturalism seems to be quite different to optimistic naturalism which is where I'd guess you would be.
Does this actually answer his question though?

Quote
Atheistic existentialism
Just this?

How about atheistic spirituality?  Too much of a stretch for this discussion?
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 18, 2017, 08:27PM »

as I understand it epistemology is one of the characteristics of a worldview.  So what is 'sound' in one worldview eg naturalism would not be sound in another eg  Eastern pantheistic monism.
Mostly I'd say that's what I described before using the term "sound".
 
Rephrase:
Mostly I'd say what's sound is what I described prior to using the term "sound" (has a lot to do with what we know about how human brains function and what we need to do in order to mitigate the problems, and the obvious fact that if we don't do that we're really just rehearsing and validating our prejudices).
 
because existential naturalism seems to be quite different to optimistic naturalism which is where I'd guess you would be.
I'm not sure any modifiers fit all that well. Methodological naturalism seems pretty close, but aspects of materialism and empiricism also seem to fit fairly well. I'm not ready to claim any though. I'm certainly not interested in trying to adhere to any.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 18, 2017, 08:57PM »

Does this actually answer his question though?

I would think that if the two have substantially different definitions then they are different.  But that may only be in my worldview.

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How about atheistic spirituality?  Too much of a stretch for this discussion?

If you can define its characteristics then I'll discuss it with you.

I was thinking of having a separate thread for each WV to keep the discussions manageable.  So go for it.

I'm working on some starting definitions for a few of them but if anyone wants to start then take the initiative.
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 19, 2017, 02:22PM »

Does this topic belong in Religion?

Anyway, I have been giving this some thought.  I think each us have a composite worldview and the answers to Martin's questions may very well be quite different from the perspective of each component.  Just like the universe is made up of the 'real' and the 'imagined' our worldview is also, with the 'imagined' further broken down into two domains.  The words 'real' and 'imagined' carry some extra baggage that makes their interpretation different to different people, so let's leave them out of the definition of the worldview.  Instead lets call the 'real' or physical component of our worldview the objective and break the 'imagined' into the subjective and the inter-subjective.

The objective worldview is our reality of things that exist whether we believe in them or not.  In fact the test for them we can call the belief test.  For instance, you can assert that from this moment on, "I no longer believe in gravity."  Then to prove your point climb up on top of your house and fling yourself off.  Gravity will, quite painfully, remind you that it has little respect for your beliefs.

The subjective worldview is of those things you personally believe in and that will cease to exist if you stop believing in them for one reason or another.  An example might be the little cottage you dream of building by the lake for your retirement.  Or you personal ethics.  Or, if you are a child (or...maybe not), your imaginary friend.  They are just as important a part of your reality as the objective things.  You might work extra hours whenever you can and put that money away to save for the cottage.  You may consult your ethics to help you make life changing decisions.

The inter-subjective worldview concerns things that are collectively imagined by many people.  They exist as long as the right combination of people believe in them either directly or indirectly.  Examples might be our religion, our country, our legal system, a corporation, etc...  Again, separate and different from the two already mentioned, but a huge part of our reality nonetheless.

Would you look at that, our worldview is a trinity!

Anywhooo..., I'm pretty sure I've co-opted someone elses idea here.  I don't want anyone thinking I conjured this up all by myself, I'm not that smart, but I honestly cannot think right now who I should be giving the credit to.

I think in analyzing Martin's questions we'd get a different set of answers from each of these worldviews and it then gets complicated in deciding which is more correct for our reality.  It could be circumstances would help us decide, or context, or some combination of the two.  I am open to suggestions.

When I have more time I'll take a shot at answering some of Martin's questions with this hypothesis in mind, and we'll see what happens.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 19, 2017, 04:08PM »

Interesting idea.  I'm interested in seeing where this goes.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 21, 2017, 07:37PM »

I've got some initial characteristics of a few different WorldViews and I'm going to start a thread for each.  These are meant as discussion starters and not meant to impose my views on them.

I've used the categories from James Sires "The Universe Next Door" but I don't feel precious about those or about the names of the WorldViews.  So feel free to talk about the WorldView characteristics you think are important about your WorldView.

I consider the answers to these questions to be the axioms, presuppositions or whatever you would like to call them of each WorldView (WV).

I think that it is fair to point out where these are inconsistent with each other within a WV and where they are inconsistent with reality.  I think that there is liable to be some disagreement here, but in the end one WorldView doesn't have to conform to the dictates of another.  It would be great if these disagreements could be kept civil.  "Love your neighbour" and "be excellent to one another".

And here are the "Questions" that Sires uses to build his frameworks.

1. What is prime reality—the really real?
   - This question seeks to get at the heart of how we view reality by asking what it is that we think of as being ultimate reality. “To this [question],” writes Sire, “We might answer God, or the gods, or the material cosmos [the universe]” (The Universe Next Door, p.20).
   - This may well be the most important of the worldview questions, because it pertains directly to the question of whether or not we believe in God. As A.W. Tozer  observes in The Knowledge of the Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Sire, too, feels that “Our answer here is the most fundamental.” He also writes that the answer to the first question “sets the boundaries for the answers that can consistently be given to the other six questions.”
2. What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?
   “Here,” writes Sire, “our answers point to whether we see the world as created or autonomous, as chaotic or orderly, as matter or spirit; or whether we emphasize our subjective, personal relationship to the world or its objectivity apart from us.” The question is fairly self-explanatory, and answers to it stem from our answer to the first question. If we believe in the Bible’s description of God, for example, then we are far more likely to view the world around us as created, orderly, made of matter (i.e., there is no pantheistic spirit that indwells all things), and objective.
3. What is a human being?
   This is a question that asks us how we view ourselves and our own nature. Sire explains, “To this [question] we might answer: a highly complex machine, a sleeping god, a person made in the image of God, a naked ape.”
4. What happens to a person at death?
   This question is also self-explanatory. “Here,” writes Sire, “we might reply: personal extinction, or transformation to a higher state, or reincarnation, or departure to a shadowy existence on ‘the other side.’”
5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?
   This is a question about epistemology, which is a long word meaning “the study of knowledge” (i.e. how we know that we know anything, and how we know what we can actually know, rather than just believe, etc.). Most people believe that it is possible to have knowledge, but many disagree about the source of knowledge. Again, the answer to this question falls out from the answer to the first one. Do we believe that we know things because God has given us the ability to know? Or, if we do not believe in God, where do we get our ability to know “anything at all”? Sire writes, “Sample answers include the idea that we are made in the image of an all-knowing God or that consciousness and rationality developed under the contingencies of survival in a long process of evolution.”
6. How do we know what is right and wrong?
   Question 6 is a question about morality, about how we view right and wrong. Sire gives some possible answers: “Again, perhaps we are made in the image of a God whose character is good, or right and wrong are determined by human choice alone or what feels good, or the notions simply developed under an impetus towards cultural or physical survival.”
7. What is the meaning of human history?
   The answer to this question is related to the answers given to Questions 1 and 3. Once we have some view of what is most really real, and what a human being is, then we will begin to have some idea of what meaning human history has. Is the whole story of the human race meaningless? Do we just wander around in circles? Or are we going some where? These are important questions in a person’s worldview. Sire writes, “To this we might answer: to realize the purposes of God or the gods, to make a paradise on earth, to prepare a people for a life in community with a loving and holy God, and so forth.”
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 21, 2017, 08:43PM »

Not trying to be contrary at all, but just trying to understand your distinctions, because they aren't clear to me.  Presuppositions are always 1st principles. They may or may not be preferences.  Are you using premises that way?
My use of a premise is that it should have no unspoken assumptions.

From my previous example, the bushel of tomatoes was never introduced as being, lets say, ripe.  Therefore my following arguments cannot hinge on the ripeness of the tomatoes without giving a verifiable argument as to why that is so.  If my argument somehow hinges on the ripeness of the tomatoes and it was not spelled out in the statement of my premises or introduced through verifiable argument, then it's a presupposition.  So, a premise must be free from such things.  If my premise is a bushel of tomatoes, that is it.  Every conclusion from that point must be made by verifiable argument from the fact that I have a bushel of tomatoes.  Not that they are ripe, and not that tomatoes are the best fruit - unless I can lead there from the basic premise with an argument that you can, at any time, test to your satisfaction.  Further, any premise must also be provable/verifiable by any addressee.
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 22, 2017, 09:39AM »

Martin, it seems to only WorldView summary that received no assertions with negative connotations was the Christian Theism one.  Was this done intentionally?
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 22, 2017, 04:24PM »

Martin, it seems to only WorldView summary that received no assertions with negative connotations was the Christian Theism one.  Was this done intentionally?

That's just because my WorldView is perfect. Yeah, RIGHT.  But more likely because I have a subconscious bias and know more about it.  To be honest I don't think I could or should write too much positive about the existential views.  Do you?

I think the summaries should be an accurate representation of what the holders of the WorldViews think about it.  So let me know what changes you want me to make to yours and I'll do it.
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 22, 2017, 05:24PM »

To be honest I don't think I could or should write too much positive about the existential views.  Do you?
I would advocate neutrality as far as the descriptions go, but yes, I think one can put a positive spin on anything.  A guy I know about managed to put a positive spin on slaughtering 6 Million people and invading most of Europe some decades ago.

Quote
I think the summaries should be an accurate representation of what the holders of the WorldViews think about it
Fair enough, but do they have to be 'sold' as something? 

Quote
So let me know what changes you want me to make to yours and I'll do it.
While atheism brings with it a load of existentialist baggage, I'd be reluctant to call it by the name 'Atheist Existentialism' which is more to do with the existentialism and less to do the with the atheism.  I was never a great fan of Sartre.  When I read your summary it seems you were leaning toward his philosophy, so I'll just say my view is not one of your summaries (just plain atheism with the tripartite worldview).  I did make comments and pose questions for the Christian Theism version, and I had intended to the same for all, so in that process I can add my thoughts to yours on each.  If you feel my input is valuable, you can make alterations as you see fit.

I've promised to present my own at some point, but I was thinking of a different format.  I can be flexible though.

Unfortunately, my time this year is being limited by us remodeling our abode.  I have to think about this stuff - it's not trivial to me - so my participation is 'as time permits'.
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