The term world view also referred to as world outlook is used to mean the wide world perception held by individuals concerning the world. It refers to the beliefs and ideas which individuals use to interpret the events that happen in the world thus enabling them to interact with the world.
It is a consistent and central sense of existence which provides an outline for the generation, sustainability and application of knowledge. From a religious point of view, world view is termed as the commitment or an essential orientation of an individual’s heart that is usually expressed through a story and also in sets of presuppositions which may either be partially true, true or false and which one holds unconsciously or consciously either inconsistently or consistently regarding the primary construction of reality. This provides the basis on which individuals live, have being and move on. A religious world view believes that there is supernatural power which influences the eventual reality (Heylighen, para 1-2).
Religious world viewAs mentioned above, a religious world view refers to an individual’s insight or outlook of the world in regard to a supernatural being. A religious world view believes that there is a supernatural being commonly referred to as god who controls the events which happen in the universe. There are different religious views held by different religions around the world. However, despite the varied religious believes, all religions believe that there is a god, a deity, a universal spirit or divine entity that controls the universe.
Another common believe is that this divinity did establish eternal moral order (during creation) that is known to people partially. As such, religious people believe that it is their duty to follow such eternal moral dictates from the supreme god. The religious world view also believes that human conduct (of following the moral dictates of the deity or god) have far reaching effects or impacts which stretches even after a person’s death (Futrell, para 3).
Each religion as mentioned above have its own believes and world outlook which differs from other religions. There are about five identified religious world outlooks currently which includes the pantheistic tradition composed of Hinduism, mysticism, Buddhism, transcendentalism and new thought. Under this world view, it is believed that there is one divine essence who is behind all the realities of live. Nature is thought to be infused with spirit which surrounds it and it (spirit) manifests itself as matter or nature in the physical world. This world view also believes that matter is the one which evolves bodies the bodies in turn evolve minds, the mind then progresses to become the soul and the souls ultimately return to their source which is the spirit. As such, people are spiritual beings who have human experience which evolves consciously as they take the journey to spirit from matter. Meditation, Zen or yoga’s are the tools which enables the mystical union between human beings and he divine essence. Spirituality under this religious world view entails letting go of the human “false self” which is associated with ego and personality which is socially adapted which enables one to experience his or her true self which have the divine essence.
Individuals’ divine essence results into respect and love for all human beings (Xplorehl, para 2-3).The second approach of religious world view is the polytheistic tradition which is made up of Taoism, shamanism, Hinduism, Wicca, primal religion and druidry. This outlook believes that there are a number of gods, metaphysical levels and spiritual energies in the universe. These spiritual energies or the “gods” manifests themselves usually in deep structures referred to as archetypes or mythic symbols. The archetypal images as well as the energies are often experienced in trance states, dreams, imagination, story telling, art, dance and music.
The energies are used for serving and healing through rituals or magic. Under this view, spirituality entails living a well tempered and balanced life which the spheres, energies and gods are in harmony. In essence, people live according to the guiding spirit and wisdom of nature enjoying intimate partnerships of beauty and love (Futrell, para 5).The third form of religious world view is the henotheistic tradition which is made up of the early Judaism, some post modernists and some Native Americans. This outlook argues that there are various gods although there is one supreme and high god. The supreme god is the ultimate reality which all people should respect and worship. Spiritualism entails taking all the sacred traditions and offering them to the supreme god in worship and reverence.
Another religious world outlook is the monotheistic tradition which is composed of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. This outlook believes that there exists one true god who is infinite and is the creator of the universe. His nature is righteousness, love, holiness, mercy, compassion, kindness and just. He is perfect. Spirituality refers to the receiving of prophetic revelation word as well as redemptive salvation. Ideally, people seek to love god with their whole being as well as loving other people (Xplorehl, para 6).The last religious world outlook is the atheistic tradition which is made up of the humanism, agnosticism, romanticism, rationalism and existentialism. Under this outlook, it is believed that there is no god and in case he exists, people cannot know about it.
People are believed to be capable, free and responsible to develop collective and personal potential while in the world without any help of divinity. Spirituality under this outlook means constant renewal of human spirit composed of fairness, sympathy, duty and self control. In essence, people are dedicated to realizing their potential through creativity which in turn leads to body, heart, mind and spirit development for the greater service of the community.
Religious world view principles entail faith, divinity, spirituality and life after death. For a world view to be considered to be religious, it must have the above elements. As discussed above, all the religious world view apart from atheism believe in a supreme being that forms individuals’ basis of their faith. The Supreme Being is thought to control the universe and is believed to be powerful and omnipresent demanding for reverence. In some instances, there may be more than one Supreme Being or gods who control different events around the universe. Also, people are thought to contain some spiritual or immortal aspect like the supreme beings and that eventually, individuals or human beings become spiritual beings after their death. According to the religious world view, morals and virtue which guides human beings originate from the supreme beings and it is the duty of every man to fulfill them for him to find happiness and joy (Nishida & Dilworth, pp 90).Significance or importance of learning the religious world viewHuman beings in themselves are said to be incomplete and requires the aid of a “supreme being” to help them find meaning of their existence.
Despite the different outlooks of religious outlook, almost all of them apart from the atheistic outlook acknowledge that there are spiritual beings who govern the human beings’ morality and behavior. One main importance of learning the religious world view is that it helps a person to understand why different individuals behave in a particular manner and why they value certain activities. As mentioned above, a religious person’s way of life is guided or dictated by his or her believe about the universe. Different people have different religious world outlook which are different and understanding them is vital as it would enable one appreciate other people’s believes and also to respect them. Every individual has his or her own world outlook which conflicts with his or her neighbors’ world outlook. To ensure harmony is maintained, each person must respect the other peoples believes and outlooks. Most people have a religious world view although such views conflicts which have contributed to the rivalry which exists between different religions. An understanding of the different religious world outlook is thus essential as it helps an individual to live at peace with himself as well as his colleagues (Heylighen, para 6).
Another importance of learning religious world outlook is that it helps in explaining some of the mysteries which exists in the universe. Human mind is limited in its understanding and as such it tends to attribute that which it cannot comprehend to a supreme being who is said to be all knowing and almighty. Despite the fact that most individuals claim not to be religious, most of them have religious world outlooks which dictates their way of life.
Learning about religious world view helps us to live within the human limitations comfortably as this view gives us meaning to our lives as well as the universe. Religious world view regarding a divine intervention helps an individual to attribute that which he or she is unable to perform to this divine person or being thus eliminating mental torture which comes with human limitation. It also helps one understand why one believes in certain things which usually do not seem to make sense in an ordinary setting as well as the in the universe (Blackford, para 4).Learning about religious world view is also important in that it gives a person strength and courage to face difficult times and trying moments. Religious worldview believes in supreme power which enables individuals to face calamities with renewed strength in the hope of that their supreme being is able to help them.
Faith is one strong attribute which enables a person to push through trying moments. It also helps one to fully exploit his or her potential in life. Having faith in the help of a supreme being who is well able to do all things helps individuals to become or exploit their potential which is beneficial not only to them but also their communities and the world at large (Xplorehl, para 8).Challenges to religious world viewIt is essential to understand that people who are opposed to religious worldview do not necessarily hate religion. On the contrary, they are well learned on issues regarding different religions and were at one time themselves religious people.
Most of them even practice different religious believes before forming their world view. One of the biggest challenges of the religious world view is that it does not substantially elaborate or enlighten individuals on the existence of the Supreme Being. In all the religious world views, none of them explains clearly the nature of the Supreme Being or even states in a quantifiable manner where this being lives. Divinity is explained through mysteries which are at times difficult to understand and cannot be proven. This approach thus lacks scientific reasoning behind it which poses a major challenge to this world view. Science is used to explain the existence of different things and why things happen the way they do unlike religious world view which assumes that a divine power controls the universe (Nishida & Dilworth, pp 124).Another challenge to the religious world view emanates from the various religious believes individuals have in regard to divinity.
Different religious groups as mentioned above hold different believe which makes it ambiguous and inconsistent. If the Supreme Being was a reality, then he would manifest in a similar and consistent manner to all religious people. The conflict which exists among different religious world outlooks has posed a major challenge about the viability of this world view (Blackford, para 7).ConclusionA world view held by an individual is important as it help him or her to relate well with other people as well as the nature. Different world views project the different perceptions people have regarding the universe and all the events which take place in it.
Most of the people have religious world views which form the basis of their faith, spirituality and actions. Most religions believe in the existence of a supreme being who controls the universe. All the mysteries and events which are beyond human understanding are attributed to this divine power. Despite the fact that there lacks uniformity in religious world views unlike the non religious world views, they have contributed largely to the peaceful co-existence of people especially those having similar religious world views.