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Five Worldviews Though there are 6, 000+ distinct religions in the world today, they can be broken down into five major categories Adapted from “Christianity: The Faith that Makes Sense” by Dennis Mc. Callum (Tyndale)
The Five Worldviews • Naturalism – Atheism; Agnosticism; Existentialism • Pantheism – Hinduism; Taoism; Buddhism; New Age Consciousness • Theism – Christianity; Islam; Judaism • Spiritism; Animism and Polytheism – Thousands of religions • Postmodernism
Naturalism Reality Material universe is all that exists. Reality is “one dimensional”; no soul or spirit. Pure naturalism. Man is chance product of biological process of evolution. Man is entirely material. Humans will pass out of existence. Truth is understood as scientific proof. Only what can be observed with five senses is accepted as real or true Values No objective values or morals exist. Morals are individual preferences or socially useful behaviors. Even social morals are subject to change
Pantheism Hinduism; Taoism; Buddhism; New Age Reality Only the spiritual dimension exists. All else is illusion, maya. Spiritual reality, Brahman, is eternal, impersonal and unknowable. Man is one with ultimate reality. Thus man is spiritual, eternal and impersonal. Man’s belief that he is an individual is illusion. All is part of God, or God is in everything. Truth is an experience of unity with “the oneness” of the universe. Truth is beyond all rational description. Rational thought as known in West cannot show reality. Values Since reality is impersonal, pantheistic thinkers believe there is no distinction between good and evil. “Enlightened” behavior is what fails to understand essential unity
Theism Christianity; Islam; Judaism Reality Man Truth An infinite personal God. He created a finite, material world. Reality is both spiritual and material. The universe as we know it had a beginning and will have an end Humanity is the unique creation of God. People were created in the “image of God, ” which means that we are personal, eternal, spiritual and biological Truth about God is known through revelation. Truth about the material world is gained via revelation and the five senses in conjunction with rational thought. Values Moral values are the objective expression of an absolute moral being.
Spiritism, Animism and Polytheism Reality Man World is Man is populated by creation of the spirit beings gods lie the who govern all. rest of the Gods and creatures on “demons” are earth. Often, causes behind tribes or races “natural” events. have a special Material things relationship are real, but with some have spirits gods who associated, so protect them can be see as or punish spiritual them Truth Values Truth about the Moral values natural world is take the form of taboos, what discovered ever irritates or through the angers various shaman figure spirits. This is who has visions different from telling him what the idea of the gods and “good and evil. ” It is just as demons are doing and how important to they feel: thus avoid irritating good or evil what can be spirits expected.
Postmodernism Reality Man Reality must be interpreted through our language and cultural “paradigm. ” Therefore, reality is “socially constructed. ” Human are nodes in a cultural reality – they are a product of their social setting. The idea that people are autonomous and free is a myth. Truth Values are part Truths are of our social mental paradigms as constructs well. Tolerance, meaningful to individuals within freedom of expression, a particular cultural paradigm. inclusion, and refusal to claim They do not to have the apply to other paradigms. Truth answers are the only universal is relative to values one’s culture.