The Different World Views

by John Eberhard
03/05/05

George Wythe College in Utah has put on an excellent series of seminars on the subject of home-schooling, with several being held in the Los Angeles area. My wife has attended several of these, and I have attended one. This college has as its motto, "Building Statesmen," and they have an excellent program.

At one of these seminars we picked up a CD of a lecture by George Wythe College Founder Oliver DeMille, entitled "World Views and the Emerging State," which discusses the different world-views.

A world-view is a whole way of looking at the world, based on a person’s beliefs and values. While it is rare to find people that have all beliefs in common, there are belief systems that tend to fall into group of similar beliefs. Those groups we call world-views.

I’m going to give a little synopsis of the DeMille lecture here because I think it is vital to understand these world-views. People that have some of these world-views bring about constructive effects in society, and some bring about destructive effects in society, and that – you need to know about. Plus I find that just knowing about these world-views tends to make the whole political scene make more sense.

DeMille broke down each world-view according to how the belief system dealt with certain major issues, like ethics, economics, philosophy, law and so on. He covered five of the most prevalent world-views today.

Biblical Christianity

Source: The Bible, Understanding the Times by David Noble

Philosophy: Supernaturalism, meaning that God controls the universe through supernatural means. Numerous things that can’t be explained naturally.

Theology: Monotheism, meaning the belief in one god.

Ethics: ethical absolutes, absolute right and wrong, good and bad

Science: special creation, not some ongoing creation, but a special creation.

Psychology: Dualism, the idea that human beings have a dual nature, body and spirit, every time you have psychology you have to treat both sides. A counselor in this world-view will deal with issues of sin or other spiritual issues.

Sociology: Home, church and state, in that order. If society is ailing, first fix home, then the church and then the state.

Law: Biblical and natural law ("natural law" is defined by Merriam-Webster Online as "a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law." "Positive law" is defined as "law established or recognized by governmental authority."). Natural law is revealed through the biblical source and is natural, meaning it is above mankind. We have no ability to change natural laws.

Politics: Justice, freedom, and order. The purpose of the state is to establish justice, freedom, and order.

Economics: a stewardship of property. God owns everything, but we have a sub-ownership.

Secular Humanism

Secular Humanism starts with the concept of materialism. It showed up in the renaissance, with followers calling themselves Christian Humanists. They loved the Bible, especially New Testament. They wanted to help their neighbor, the poor, etc. But they didn’t like the church structure. They said "We’ll go out and help people because Christ said to do that."

The secular aspect came in when people later said, "We really like this humanism thing. We want to help people, but we don’t think you do it because of God. We don’t think there is a God. We do it because we feel like we’ve evolved to a higher level as humans. The motivation is to be a better person, not because God said so."

The philosophers of this movement were Spencer, Darwin, Dewey, and Kinsey.

Philosophy: Naturalism. Everything is natural. There is one level, the material world (no spiritual aspect). All ideas, feelings, visions, and inspiration come from the physical workings of the brain. Everything in the world can be understood by understandable physical laws.

Theology: Atheism, i.e. there is no God

Ethics: Ethical relativism. Right and wrong is relative to the situation, to what’s happening. There is no absolute right and wrong.

Psychology: monistic self-actualization. You will become whatever you decide to become. You have to be in touch with what’s right for you at the given moment.

Material Humanism / Marxism

Source: Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Engels

Philosophy: Dialectical Materialism, which preaches that you have a Thesis (some idea), then an antithesis (an opposing idea), then a synthesis. In other words, there is one idea, then another opposing it, and from the opposition of the two ideas, another idea is born. The materialism aspect means that the world is all material. There is no spiritual aspect to man or the world.

Theology: Atheism

Ethics: Proletariat (the working class) Morality; anything is moral if it helps the Proletariat. Anything that hurts the Proletariat is wrong. Stealing, killing, are great and fine if they help the Proletariat.

Science: Punctuated evolution, meaning every once in a while there is a huge quantum leap. There are long normal periods and then a spurt, and we just happen to be at the end of a long normal period so of course we can’t find evidence of macro-evolution ("evolution that results in relatively large and complex changes (as in species formation)").

Psychology: Pavlovian behavioralism. You can condition people to do what you want them to do.

Sociology: Abolition of home, church and state. People help others naturally, they don’t need the state to make them do it. Let’s get rid of this attachment to family because it is controlling – the husband controls things. Let’s center all control in one entity, the world dictatorship.

Law: Positive law. ("law established or recognized by governmental authority.").

Politics: New world order, global government, from the top down, an international global dictatorship. You don’t need freedom if someone is taking care of you and you’re happy. People fight for freedom instead for security and happiness, which is wrong. You should fight for security and happiness.

Economics: Socialism/communism.

Post Modernism

Source: Hobbes, Neitsche. Payne, Rand, Rothbard, and Rordie

Philosophy: Pragmatism; whatever works (not what’s right). Let’s get results.

Theology: Individualism, libertarianism, capitalism, non-religious self law. I’m God. I make the law. I’m in it for me. What I know for sure is that there are things I want, and I’m going to get them. What’s in it for me? Humanitarianism and philanthropy are completely out.

Ethics: Skepticism

Science: Quantum chaos indeterminacy. It’s all chaotic. You can’t know, it doesn’t really matter, don’t worry about it.

This world-view is more prevalent than the other three, especially in the workplace.

Psychology: Existentialism ("a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for his acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad.")

Sociology: Hegemony ("preponderant influence or authority over others") and counter hegemony. In other words, it’s good to try to dominate something. Society is made up of monopolies. If you want to be successful in an area, monopolize it. If someone else is being successful in it, topple their monopoly.

Law: Non-religious natural and self law. They believe in natural law as long as there’s no religion in it. Self law is: we govern ourselves. You have to agree with things you’ve submitted yourself to, but you don’t necessarily have to submit yourself to it.

Politics: Libertarianism and "superman." Libertarianism says let people be free, if they hurt someone, the hurt party has recourse. Let people choose as long as they don’t infringe on someone else.

German 19th century philosopher Nietsche said there is a God, the God is "superman." Everyone lives a miserable life, but once in a while a man steps up and becomes a God, like Caesar, Alexander, i.e. all conquerors. The Post-Modernists approve of that, i.e. it’s OK or good to be a "superman."

True libertarianism lets a guy rise as high as he wants to go, oppressing others.

Economics: Randian capitalism (based on Ayn Rand’s novels), whatever capitalism you can get away with. This school approves of the super-capitalist taking advantage of others.

Cosmic Humanism

Confucian, Hindu, Buddhist and new age counterparts

Theology: Pantheism, many gods, and panantheism (everything is god)

Philosophy: Connectivity, everything is connected, nothing is disconnected

Ethics: Inner relativism, there is a right and a wrong, and I have to get in touch and figure out what that is.

Science: Evolutionary consciousness, what evolves is levels of consciousness, over time humanity evolves to higher levels of consciousness.

Gene Roddenberry was coming from this in the Star Trek Next Generation TV series.

Psychology: Co-effective consciousness, this is the concept that we are all inter-connected. My psychology is impacted by yours.

Comments

DeMille had an interesting side comment about all these world-views, which was that every one of them comes down to a place where they just took an assumption. In other words, they decided something, which was based on an assumption and not on any proof or evidence. Sort of like religious faith. And then the rest of that whole world-view took off from there.

The rest of the comments are mine:

There are correlations between the world views and the liberal and conservative groups in America.

Conservatives tend to believe in many of the biblical Christian values, including a belief in God, an absolute right and wrong, that people have a physical and spiritual nature, the importance of the home, and the concept of "natural law," (which by the way is to be found everywhere in the writings of the Founding Fathers).

Liberals tend to believe in many of the views from the Material Humanism / Marxism and Secular Humanism world-views, such as atheism, materialism (there is no spiritual side to man), ethical relativism (no right and wrong, just your opinion), abolition or weakening of the influence of the church, and support for the idea of global government through the U.N. and the lessening of the sovereignty of the United States.

Understanding these world-views is vital in understanding the political dynamics today.

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