Worldview - Is That All There Is?

"Wide Field Imager view of a Milky Way look-alike NGC 6744" by ESO - http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1118a/. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

I've been thinking more particularly about the subject of "Worldview" the last several weeks - prompted by viewing the Master’s Seminary Presuppositional Apologetics LecturesDr. Michael Vlach

What is Worldview? "A worldview is a theory of the world, used for living in the world. A world view is a mental model of reality — a framework of ideas & attitudes about the world, ourselves, and life, a comprehensive system of beliefs — with answers for a wide range of questions: What are humans, why we are here, and what is our purpose in life? What are your goals for life? When you make decisions about using time — it's the stuff life is made of — what are your values and priorities? What can we know, and how? and with how much certainty? Does reality include only matter/energy, or is there more?"

Here's my simplistic "me" oriented view of the world - as if "I" (b. Aug 19, 1949) were the absolute center of the universe. Below represents "me" (There is no actual picture of me at this age!):

By Christopher Michel from San Francisco, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

My "me-related" questions:

  • Who made me? Or how did "I" come to exist? 
  • Am I real or am I just dreaming - a la The Matrix. What does it mean that I am a "person"?
  • I hardly understood death then - but now that Daddy is dead along with a host of other persons I once knew! What happens to me once the heart stops pumping, the lungs stop breathing and the brain stops computing?
  • More simplistically: what was before me? The past!
  • What is real around me? The present! How can I know anything?
  • What should I do? How should I live?
  • What will happen after me? The future! And since I am entirely selfish (it's all about me), where will I be in that future? 
This small, humble blog post by, what I have come to understand,  a fairly average individual with a limited knowledge of all now quotes Wikipedia (the more than me!):
According to Apostel, 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.
One of my favorite films is Rebel Without a Cause, and one of my favorite scenes (after "The Chicken Game") is the Griffith Planetarium scene:

 Here's the text of the planetarium lecture:

For many days before the end of our earth people will look into the night sky and notice a star, increasingly bright and increasingly near.

The last of us search the heavens and stand amazed. For the stars will still be there, moving through their ancient rhythms.

The familiar constellations that illuminate our night will seem as they have always seemed, eternal, unchanged and little moved by the shortness of time between our planet's birth and its demise.

Orion, the Hunter. Gemini, the Twins. Cancer, the Crab. Taurus, the Bull. Sagittarius and Aries--all as they have ever been.

And while the flash of our beginning has not yet traveled the light years into distance-- Has not yet been seen by planets deep within the other galaxies, we will disappear into the blackness of the space from which we came .

Destroyed as we began in a burst of gas and fire. The heavens are still and cold once more. In all the complexity of our universe and the galaxies beyond, the Earth will not be missed.

Through the infinite reaches of space, the problems of Man seem trivial and naive indeed. And Man, existing alone, seems to be an episode of little consequences. That's all. Thank you very much.
Plato remarks: "What does he know about Man alone?"

Good question Plato!

(Is it any wonder those kids (most now dead) were so messed up!?)

That scene in particular presents a worldview:

  • Man is of little consequence
  • That's all
Perhaps we (a collective "we") are rebels without a cause because we regard ourselves of little consequence and in the end - that's all!

Que Peggy Lee:
Changing course a bit, and not revealing my own worldview, here are some worldview questions (thinking ... if someone asked me (since this post is about me) these questions, he would know my worldview:

  1. Is there a Creator?
  2. What / who was there before the beginning of the universe?
  3. Is God (or god) (depending on previous question) knowable?
  4. What is His nature?
  5. Does He transcend the universe?
  6. How does He interact with the universe?
  7. How is He knowable?
  8. Is man just an animal or unique in some way?
  9. Is there evil? (thinking of Aurora theatre killer, ISIS, Nazis, Columbine, et cetera)
  10. Why is there evil? Where is God in this?
  11. What happens after one’s end (death)?
  12. Will there be some type of culmination or end? What then?
  13. Will good ever triumph over evil?
  14. Is man’s soul eternal?
  15. Is there a heaven? Hell? (will evil be judged?)
  16. Is truth knowable?


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