Descriptions of Some Popular Worldviews

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Descriptions of Some Popular Worldviews

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Christian Theism
God is personal (not just a force) and created all that exists out of nothing. God has revealed essential knowledge, otherwise unattainable, in the Old and New Testaments. God is working out His purpose for mankind through historical events. Man must rely on God to reach his potential.

Islamic Theism
God (Allah) is unknowable, but he has given laws through his prophet Muhammad (who wrote them in Islam's holy book, the Koran) that mankind must obey. Man is basically good but is corrupted by non-Islamic cultures. Hence, societies must enforce Islamic law. Everything happens by the will of Allah, but each person is responsible to improve his condition, leaving the outcome to Allah. Knowledge is to be sought, though not as an end in itself but rather to understand higher spiritual truths and ultimate reality. An afterlife in paradise is determined by a person's works in this life.

Only the natural world and forces exist. There are no supernatural beings; evolution accounts for the existence of the universe. Man is free and can reach his full potential by using his intellect and the scientific method.

New Age Pantheism
Everything that exists is either a manifestation of the one Unity or Being. Thus, each person is god, but one won't experience that happy state without the raising of his or her consciousness. By meditation and through cycles of birth, death and reincarnation, a person seeks to understand and relate properly to the Unity. Truth is often paradoxical; that is, opposing statements can both be true simultaneously. Ethics is concerned with a person's relation to all manifestations of the Unity.

God created the universe, but does not intervene. God has revealed Himself in nature, but there are no inspired holy books. Man can rely on science and reason to discover truth and determine morals.

There is no meaning to the world. The only order in the world is what we individually give it. There is no objective foundation for knowledge or purpose of life. Life is amoral. Therefore, any values or purpose the government tries to indoctrinate into or force on a person can justifiably be resisted.

Man is totally free. We were neither born nor created with a purpose in life. Each creates who he is (his essence) by the choices he makes in life. He alone is responsible for his actions, so to achieve his aims society's rules need not be obeyed.

Man cannot know anything absolutely. We have only limited knowledge. What we call "reality" or "truth" is only an individual's or community's interpretation of what exists. Each interpretation can be just as good as another, although conflicting because each interpretation satisfies the felt needs of that person or community. Thus, man constructs truth rather than discovers it, and there is no objective good or evil.

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