Thursday, March 20, 2014


            The ideal world, for me, lacks most of the conveniences of modern life that permeate western society.  No cars, fast food restaurants, telephones, etcetera.  Cars pollute our air with their exhaust and our homes with the noise of their engines.  Fast food pollutes the health of our society with their quick fix hamburgers and milkshakes.  The telephone and other modern forms of communication are destroying the personalization that has evolved through the interaction of man amongst himself over the past three millennia.  My ideal life is myself living alone in a cabin in the wilderness far from modern civilization, minus electricity and telecommunications.  I have an infinite library of books, grow my own food, and my only contact with the outside world is through letter writing.

            The ideal worldview would be entirely neutral; void of interference or experience.  It would be entirely possible to construct it a priori.  Seeing as how I can not develop a completely neutral worldview, I will do my best to develop one that is as close to neutral as I can. 
            According to the Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies a worldview should consist of seven keys: an ontology, an explanation of the world, a futurology, values, praxeology, epistemology, and etiology. [1]  Ontology: what exists?  It may seem easy to say that the dog exists or this rock has existed since the beginning of the Earth, but the difficulty arises when one attempts to assign existence to ideas.  The mind, love, the souls: all are not tangible objects but does that mean they do not exist.  Perhaps so, but has man’s idea of what the soul consists of or what it means to have a soul not changed over the hundreds of thousands of years he has had rational thought.  Ideals and ideas seem to evolve with time the same way in which living things evolve and to me for something to change it has to have “been” at some previous time, therefore change requires existence.
            An explanation of the world could be as simple as the world is where humanity exists, but its not.  The universe, in all its dimensions, either has a First Cause from a higher being or some other power, or has existed for all eternity.  A First Cause leads people to look for purpose where there may be none, whereas eternity necessarily lacks purpose since the universe has always been.  Therefore, it is my belief that a universe that has always existed, in some form, is much better for my worldview because it negates the need for an endgame.  There is no final goal that a person, or humanity, should aim for.
            Futurology: Where are we heading?  What does the future hold for us?  In our current state, it is my belief that should the world continue unaltered that the gap between the developed and the Third World will continue to widen until the people of the Third World are seen as second-class and eventually less than human.  At this point genocide will become an acceptable option for us to rid ourselves of this plague.  All this is presuming that between now and then the Earth does not get impacted by a meteor, have the seas boil dry, or get blown to bits by its own inhabitants.  Should our need to own everything and overtake everyone continue this is the future I see for us.  The Holocaust and the forced removal/murder of the American Indian will merely be small blips when compared to the vast destruction left by this acceptable carnage.
            Values: What should we do?  Man should do his best to pursue knowledge.  If man does what is best for himself (Man vs. Man), then an individualist society is created where each man fends for himself, does not help others, and eventually intentionally impedes or hurts others.  If man does what is best for society (Man vs. Nature), then he is ignoring the effect his actions have on the world around him.  If man does not do anything, then he will decay and soon fall out of existence (Man vs. Action).  If man does what is best for the world, he will first have to learn what is good and bad for the world, and recognize his position within it and his effect on it (Man vs. Ignorance).  Because the destruction of ignorance is achieved through the acquisition of knowledge, man should pursue knowledge.
            Praxeology: How should we attain our goals?  We’ve already determined that man should do pursue knowledge, but at what cost should this be done?  From the values, man should not harm other men, nature or the world in which he exists, and he should not be inactive because inaction leads to ignorance and destruction.  Therefore man should pursue knowledge as long as his pursuit does not harm other men, nature, or the world.  Pursuing knowledge inherently cannot lead to inaction.
            Epistemology: What is knowledge? What is true and false?  Knowledge is a justified true belief.  Something is only knowledge if it is true, therefore a person cannot know that the bridge is safe to cross and know it is not at the same time.  The bridge either is or isn’t safe.  However, that which is true to one person may be false to another.  If Al knows the bridge is safe to cross and Jim knows the bridge is not safe to cross, they can both be correct, because Al’s knowledge is not the same as Jim’s.  Al may weigh fifty pounds less than Jim, so the statement translated to their weights would become the bridge is safe for 150 pounds and the bridge is not safe for 200 pounds, respectively.  Both men are justified in their belief and both of their statements are true.  Therefore truth is relative to the individual, yet knowledge is not.
            Etiology: Causation of worldview.  This worldview, of my own, exists because I recognize that I do have a world view.  I can see others’ worldviews and am able to also see my own. 


[1] World views: From Fragmentation to Integration.  Aerts et al. Via Internet (

This article originally written April 25th, 2008 for OU IPE 3913 - Environment and Worldview.

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