Philosophical Foundations of a Personal Worldview

Nancy McCulloch Grand Canyon University PHI-103 Intro to Philosophy and Ethics (O101) August 19, 2011 Philosophical Foundations of a Personal Worldview The term “worldview“is a recent addition to my vocabulary and as such is somewhat confusing. The definition provided by Ken Funk in his essay, “What is a Worldview “(2001) states that: “A worldview is a set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all one’s perceiving, thinking, knowing and doing”. He further expanded this definition to include philosophy of life, ideology, and faith or religion.

According to Nash (1999), there are at least five clusters of worldview beliefs, namely, God, metaphysics (ultimate reality), epistemology (knowledge), ethics and philosophical anthropology (human nature). The first question you ask yourself when you think about theology is whether or not there is a God. The next question might be what is the nature of God ?. If you believe there is a God you most likely believe that God exists outside of and above nature. The next logical question is what is his relationship to man? The answer is that Our God is not indifferent to man.

He desires an intimate relationship with each individual person. Some people believe that epistemology (knowledge) is simply information. What you believe about knowledge affects what you accept as evidence. Our personal knowledge is greater than we think but at the same time we realize there is much more to be learned. Each circumstance that we experience adds to our knowledge. Metaphysical belief is the belief you hold in relation to the ultimate nature of Reality. If you are a philosophical idealist, you believe that Reality is of the mind or spiritual in nature and that there is a supernatural something that created it.

If you believe that truth is within the realm of Reality, then there is a direct relationship between the knowledge in your mind and what actually exists outside yourself. The ultimate test for truth can be any method that you decide is valid. In an overall worldview, there is no standard for ethics. Therefore mankind is responsible for the redefinition in each generation. Christians believe that God revealed his commandments and guideline for our lives. All we have to do is follow them. When you delve into the human nature of man (philosophical anthropology) many questions arise.

Questions like: what is man? ; what is his place in the universe? ; does he have free will? ; is he basically good or evil? If we are mere elements of the universe and are free to think and act on impulse then we have no special significance or value. But if we are stewards of God’s creation, then we have a responsibility to take care of our part of the universe. .References Nash, Ronald H. , (© 1999) Life’s Ultimate Questions, An Introduction to Philosophy Funk, K. , (2001) What is a Worldview? from http://web. engr. oregonstate. edu/~funkk/Personal/worldview. html [pic][pic]