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Worldviews A Brief Introduction The Brights’ Network

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1 Worldviews A Brief Introduction The Brights’ Network
This very short presentation is serves as a skeletal overview. In PowerPoint projection mode, it can be used for group presentations/discussions.

2 What all humans have in common...
Each individual develops his/her own worldview A worldview, whether religious or nonreligious, is personal insight about reality and meaning. (It is often termed a "life understanding." ) Each of us has a worldview.  It is our own discernment.  Our personal worldview develops in part because we have sought some understanding of our own significance. The Brights’ Network

3 A worldview generally refers to personal beliefs about:
What is a worldview ? A worldview generally refers to personal beliefs about: the purpose of life existence of a supernatural origins and expressions of values and morality (good/evil) making meaning of death and of life origins of the universe and of life From the dictionary: World-view, world view, or worldview (noun) The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. The Brights’ Network

4 Another way to think of it:
What is a worldview ? Another way to think of it: A person’s worldview consists of his/her answers to a great many questions about life and living Your worldview is your set of answers to those questions Human beings everywhere are desirous of certitude by which to live their lives.  There are what appear to be universal queries for understanding of important aspects of life and living.  An individual’s worldview makes reply to these universal human queries. The Brights’ Network

5 Worldview Introspection
For example, your worldview includes your personal beliefs about … Mortality / Afterlife To greater or lesser degree, people have qualms regarding their ultimate concerns and obtain reassurances from worldview coherency.  A worldview consists of basic assumptions and images that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world. It may be expressed, more or less systematically, in cosmology, philosophy, ethics, religious ritual, scientific belief, and so on, but it is implicit in almost every act.” Q: After death, what? The Brights’ Network

6 Worldview Introspection
For example, your worldview includes your personal beliefs about … Personhood The personal insight comprising a worldview will encompass notions of the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural and a deity or deities; the origins of the universe and of human life; the source of morality and values and identification of what is good or evil; how to live one’s life; the meaning of life and of death; and so on.  Q: When does it start? The Brights’ Network

7 Worldview Development
Brief Overview Much of any person’s worldview is shaped by his or her culture and upbringing. But, the worldview is not merely a philosophical byproduct of a person’s culture, like a shadow. It is a person’s internal mental framework of cognitive understanding about reality and life meaning. As A.F.C. Wallace in Culture and Personality (1970) states: “(A worldview is) the very skeleton of concrete cognitive assumptions on which the flesh of customary behavior is hung.” The Brights’ Network

8 Developing a Worldview
Death Multiple Influences No infant has a worldview. Each person’s "life understanding" takes shape over time as the individual grows and develops, as he or she engages in new events and experiences, interacts with others and with his or her surroundings, and derives answers to inquiries about life and living from fellow human beings.  Any individual’s worldview is internal and, in the fine scale, unique. Birth The Brights’ Network

9 Environmental And Hereditary
Multiple Influences Environmental And Hereditary parental educational familial geographical The “players in” and “process of” early worldview formation for any child vary across cultural and other variables that influence the child’s upbringing (e.g., rearing communally or within a nuclear family).  The ones who supply answers to queries and facilitate the formation of a youngster’s worldview are, in a great many places, the parents and/or close family of the child. Their influence during formative years is considerable, as would be that of any other significant adults in the child’s life.  Peers are important, too. And, as science is finding out, far more important than had been thought. Along the way of gaining their worldview perspectives, youngsters hold to their formulation (assumptions/images) with varying degrees of firmness and cognitive maturity.  Influences in modern society (e.g., powerful television and other media; “popular culture”) more and more have some bearing on both the process and outcome. cultural global The Brights’ Network

10 Perpetuating a Worldview
guided exposure experiential interpretation screening of experiences Intrinsic Purposeful There are stakeholders in the process of any youngster’s development. Whoever most controls a child's early environment will likely be most influential in directing the developmental course and bringing about desired ends.  Stakeholders can hope to produce a preferred outcome by exposing a youngster to selected experiences and instructing him or her by way of narratives and rituals (along with related plaudits, censure, etc.).   A conformist indoctrination process also may involve parental screening out of alternative worldview narratives and experiences, or at least careful managing of a youngster’s acquaintance with them.  Even a broad-minded approach, one which does not seek to restrict exposure to alternate assumptions or images, will involve instilling certain "interpretations" and offering up "guidelines."  Conveyed as "helpful" (for understanding the universe, living life well, gaining meaning of it all, etc.), the intent is that they frame the child's outlook thenceforth. As the twig is bent… The Brights’ Network

11 exposure < -------- > indoctrination
Education / Schooling Parents or guardians will invest to varying degrees in the transmission to progeny of their own understandings of life and meaning.  (Some care deeply about their child’s development and attempt to inculcate their own cognitive accounts and traditions with regard to “life understanding.”  Others may devote far less attention to consciously influencing their child’s course.)   Living within a culture permeated by a dominant religion will have consequence. In some form and to some degree, the narratives will be influential on worldview development. Experiences of being brought up within organized religion can vary considerably according to the tradition. In general, there is careful management of a youngster’s acquaintance with alternative worldview narratives and experiences. A nation’s own warrant is signaled through the process of education conducted in its government-supported schools.  This warrant ideally is neutral across the varied worldviews, but is likely to be to a degree in accord with culturally dominant influences.  Ideally, the public education programs will concentrate on interpreting the world in secular fashion. * They accord to authenticated standards of knowledge (with broad inter-subjective validity). * They mold conduct around common values of civilized society (with a concomitant respect for the individuality of personal conscience). exposure < > indoctrination The Brights’ Network

12 It’s yours It can change Owning a Worldview
An adult’s worldview may, but need not, remain consistent.  Aspects may gradually evolve as the person proceeds through his or her life, or there may be events that compel radical reformation of outlook.  For example, exposure to new ways of thinking through education may induce varying degrees of changed perspective.  Vivid experiences or persuasive encounters may engender dramatic alteration of outlook.  Exposure to different cultural practices or mores, or changes in geography or living circumstance, or significant tragedy or success—such experiences may revamp one’s way of thinking about life and meaning.  It can change The Brights’ Network

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