I hesitated a bit this morning writing this post. For many of the readers of my blog, they MAY get the wrong idea. So, let me be perfectly clear from the beginning…this is a not a political post. I’m not trying to take a political side or try to pose myself as some sort of climate expert (because that’s way outside of my ability to fully comprehend). This is a blog post that has more to do with philosophy and the theology behind our current culture and the “panics” that seem to sweep through the world given the heightened attention on specific issues. Remember, although each of the issues I will refer to in this post have massive political implications and each is being used as a tool of polarization and argument, my purpose is to attempt to give you an idea of how these issues stack up from a different perspective – that being a person’s and a worldwide shift in worldview.
First of all, permit me to build some common ground of knowledge on this particular subject matter…here are a few comments on the issue of worldview:
A Worldview is:
Big Picture of what we see in life
- It is the way we view reality – foundation on which we live our lives
- Directs our daily decisions and actions
- All of us have one – whether we believe it or not
- Worldview is a map – built on assumptions and unique perspectives
- Or to get a little more “academically” oriented for some of you – A comprehensive world view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics. It refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it.
According to scholars, a worldview is an ontology, or a descriptive model of the world. It should comprise these six elements:
- An explanation of the world
- A futurology, answering the question "where are we heading?"
- Values, answers to ethical questions: "What should we do?"
- A praxeology, or methodology, or theory of action: "How should we attain our goals?"
- An epistemology, or theory of knowledge. "What is true and false?"
- An etiology. A constructed world-view should contain an account of its own "building blocks," its origins and construction.
Why a worldview is important is clear – they shape our choices and opinions and THAT is important…why? Because our choices are shaped (or at least should be shaped, by our core beliefs).
Now let’s cut to the chase and move to the realm of personal opinion, be it, MINE! There are essentially TWO worldviews that are alive in culture and society:
- Theistic worldview that embraces a Deity, some transcendent Ultimate Reality through which we have allegiance and ultimate moral and ethical accountability. That Ultimate Reality is a frame of reference for life, living, thought, and perspective. In other words, the Theist understands that there is something more to the world and embraces the reality that God (in this instance, I’m referring to a biblical theistic worldview) interacts with human history bringing it meaning and purpose (I prefer to say actually that we enter God’s story…but that’s for another post). Theists understand, or at least should understand, that there is something more to this world and that there are purposes that we should be accomplishing in the world given our accountability to the reasons for which we were created. And yes, you read that right, a Theist defaults to the fact that God give direction and has a created order in which we play a part.
- A NON-Theistic worldview is just that – a worldview where there is no Ultimate Reality (aka God) framework of personal and societal reference. In this instance, the only frame of reference possible is that which was birthed in the Enlightenment that being that HUMAN reason, personal initiative, definition of justice, and ethics are essentially issues that relate to personal (or individual) fulfillment. If there is NO ultimate meaning in the universe beyond the material, then the only choice we have is to deify ourselves (thus setting up a clash of perceived knowledge and expertise of competing self-interests are postured to rule the culture). Now, there are a multitude of “offshoots” of a Non-Theistic worldview, offshoots that have “labels” that I don’t necessarily see as helpful in this discussion. All I do know is that with the emergence of Post-Modernity (which has accelerated non-theism as a worldview) there has been an increasing movement of disruption and deconstruction of people’s life frame of reference that has anything to do with God. People and culture are much more apt to look to themselves (Individualism, Narcissism or Moral relativism), what they own (aka “consumerism”), a sense of collective (sometimes known as “Nationalism” but nationalism individualistically defined), “groupism” (political parties, political philosophies, race differentiation, etc.), existentialism (individual pursuit of meaning through human passions), etc.
Now for the kicker…the seemingly insane passion, panic, and distress for issues like Climate Disruption (aka Climate Change or Global Warming) or Neo-Darwinism (a modern evolutionary synthesis is a 20th-century union of ideas from several biological specialties which states that evolutionary theory is now dogmatic, indisputable fact…not only on a macro but primarily on a micro level – in other words, evolutionary theory is the new “doctrine” of how life is observed…if you don’t believe me, study how this issue to communicated in education – it is taught dogmatically) are primarily emotional reactions to that which proceeds from of a NON-Theistic worldview.
Here’s my thesis – if your worldview is decidedly Theistic, your frame of reference in evaluating reality originates in an acceptance of the presence of a Creator or God that brought life into existence (whether through the big bang, evolutionary Creation theory or “pure” ex nihilo, out of nothing creation) and currently “resides,” protects, and placed natural laws in place to guide His Creation (I’m going to use a masculine pronoun here although the reader should understand that the word God or the concept of God is “asexual”…transcends the categories of human gender differentiation). People of faith (theists) would be apt to use a biblical phrase, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1) as their frame of reference from which they trust and believe God to act in a manner consistent with His love for His creation. But that is not so for the non-theist. The Non-Theist only has themselves as their frame of reference setting up the scenario that life is lived primarily from the perspective of competing self-interests. Again, it is not that they are “bad” people it is simply that they have a completely different frame of reference from which to evaluate the world than the theist. In fact, most Non-theists are essentially utopianists. In other words, they have an absolute belief in the inherent goodness and infinite/infallible ability for humanity to make a perfect world (given the “right” thinking that, usually, they or their group possesses). That is why, at least from my humble vantage point, the adherents of Climate Disruption (new politically correct term because warming or cooling or many of the other categories of evaluating what is occurring from their point of view is too restricting to the far-reaching changes to society that they want to make to curb their panic) and Neo-Darwinism AND a host of other issues, communicate to the world their passions with religious fervor for these issues primarily because they have a NON-Theistic frame of reference. In other words, if you don’t have a God to look over the human journey you only have yourself, your own views (limited by virtue of a limited human condition) or your “group’s” view that you have agreed to impose on the rest of the population because you have, what you consider, the only right perspective. It appears to me that those of us alive in these moments have witnessed the birth of a NEW religion of culture, that which was mentioned by the apostle Paul centuries ago when he made reference to the great “exchange” of worshipping the creation rather than the creator. In other words, we see a vast “evangelistic movement” (observed regularly on news outlets and political systems) of those who blindly worship the earth and human potentiality to attain its own fulfillment and perfection. If there is a bane to the world, from this perspective, it is the human being that is hurting or destroying its “god.” And because of that, they (humans) must be stopped no matter the cost.
Here’s the reality – IF a person has a Non-Theistic frame of reference (aka worldview) and ethical, moral, value oriented decisions or challenges face them they ONLY have individual, competing self-interests or “groupthink” from which to inspire action. To make that sentence even clearer – when a person is a Non-Theist and issues arise which call for perspective and action, the only foundation from which a person acts is from the perspective of narcissism and/or a sense of groupthink, aka “majority rules.” If a person doesn’t have Ultimate Moral Accountability to God then all they have in life is a battle of self-wills and individualistic directions. Here’s how it comes down in reality, “if I can gather enough people to believe in what I believe and my group can become a majority voice in culture or a voice labeled as disenfranchised or a victim, we can change our world’s reality, values, morals, attitudes, etc. In other words, I (or me and my group) have to argue YOU out of the conversation because I’m (or we’re) either more enlightened, smarter, or more popular, or have specific evidence that proves I’m (we’re) more authoritative than you. In addition, and we are especially seeing this in the Climate Disruption scenario, WE have gathered the MOST experts on our side to call “your side” irrelevant, idiotic or moronic because “everybody knows” that what we are seeing in indisputably right. As long as the majority rules and that majority owns or controls the means of communication of broadly available information and/or has the political power to impose their will, that is PERFECTLY morally acceptable because THEIR RELIGION is their non-theism.
Now, this evaluation is on a blog post…so it is not comprehensive. Even so, the issues of theism vs. non-theism and their implications on decisions and perspectives regarding ALL the issues we face in the world are profound. For example, when I heard the President of the USA say the other day that it was our responsibility to pass on the nice weather we have enjoyed in our lifetimes on to our children and grandchildren, I thought I was living in some Twilight Zone. Do we have responsibilities to steward the planet? Absolutely! Because that was, from a Theists perspective, what God wants. But to be able to say that we can change the climate (that has been fluctuating for centuries) or that by controlling flatulence of mammals we can right the planet (when the very planet has been teeming with life, extraordinary and abundant and “flatulating” life since the beginning of time), or that the planet is more important than the human experience (which is the foundation of Earth Religion) is clearly an unmasking of the non-theists worldview. For that reason and that reason alone I reject their assumptions. Like I said, I want to care for the environment because that was one of the purposes of human creation (look it up in Genesis 1) but to propose that humanity can change the climates of the world just doesn’t add up to this theist. Yes, scientific evidence is there for some of their theory…of course, since “the majority” now rules the communication threads of culture, they can purposely ignore what happens with other issues (like Neo-Darwinism) they can ignore that other evidence contradicts their findings. Again, all non-theists do when persuading the masses is appeal to groupthink and “majority rules” paradigms. Why? Because that’s all they have as their frame of reference.
So, give that some thought…I know that this post is long, that cannot be prevented when you open up a “can of worms” like worldview. A bit of explanation must occur within the context to set up a foundation of debate. But for now, that’s where I stand on the issue – I’m appalled that human beings believe (that’s why I say the language of the Climate Disruption community and others of this ilk use religious language of belief and faith as they describe their point of view…but the bottom line in that they “believe” that they have the ability to change the universe. Zealots for Climate Disruption have claimed that “we” will plunder the earth so that it falls off its axis, rotates faster/slower, kill all wildlife and almost ever other apocalyptic scenario you can imagine. But of course, it completely makes sense from an individualistic, narcissistic perspective. Once you believe that you are the center of the universe, you have no one that can really argue with you. But that’s for another post!