Slide set 2 the nature and importance of a worldview
THE NATURE ANDIMPORTANCE OF AWORLDVIEW INBUSINESSES (ANDIN LIFE INGENERAL)
The BIG PictureThe word picture tothe right (developedon the Wordle.comwebsite) displays themany ideas we willconsider in thiscourse. This essayslide set draws on avariety of sources,but is, ultimately, theexpression of myperspectives andpriorities for thecourse.
Essay Slide Set Outline• Best Place to Work and Worldview. We begin with an example of a value-driven (and, so, worldview-driven) assessment of best practices in managing an organization.• Definitions of Worldview. We move into a discussion of the variety of perspectives concerning what a worldview contains and its impact.• Dimensions of a Worldview. MY synthesized definition of worldview• Four Elements of a Worldview. This model proposes a way of organizing our discussion about the ―structure‖ of a worldview along with examples of how those elements might look in the real world of business.• The Forces that Shape Our Worldview. This single slide is just a short list reminding us that our worldview is not just something we individually dream up.• The Human Dynamics of a Worldview. Our worldview deals with things and structures … but mostly (and most importantly) with how we interact with others. Humans alone have the capacity to have a conscious (rather than an instinctual) worldview.• Discipline Building Blocks of a Worldview. The formal concept of worldview draws from a variety of ―academic disciplines – these slide define and discuss some of those more important influences. Think of these as tributaries flowing into the stream of thought about worldview over many decades.• Distinctives of a Christian Worldview. This final section of the essay slide set focuses attention on the particular beliefs that have characterized Christianity over thousands of years. The proposition is that IF a worldview is going to label itself as a ―Christian worldview‖ it must incorporate these elements.
Best Place to Work and Worldview* • At the heart of our definition of a great place to work - a place where employees "trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with.― • A great workplace is measured by the quality of the three, interconnected relationships that exist there: – The relationship between employees and management. – The relationship between employees and their jobs/company. – The relationship between employees and other employees. * Drawn from GPTW website
Best Place to Work and Worldview Enhancing the workplace brings in results In a great workplace, how people are treated is important. Creating a great working environment is considered a valid objective of the company. In a great workplace, both goals are seen as compatible. Indeed, good employers that create the best possible workplace may enhance a firms ability to perform well financially. But they insist that having a great workplace cannot be merely another strategy to make money. Quite the reverse. Rather than stifling employees lives to make money, a great workplace also sees profits as a means of enhancing employees lives.
CREDIBILITY and Worldview Credibility is built through three interdependent sets of behaviors and attitudes found in the practice of two-way communication, competence and integrity. • Effective communication invites two-way dialogue. Leaders and managers are clear and comprehensive with the information they share; mechanisms are available to employees that afford them the opportunity to begin conversations about what they might need or want to hear. • Competence is seen in the skills and behaviors needed for the effective coordination of people and resources, directing employees’ work with the right amount of oversight, and clearly articulating and pursuing a vision for the organization as a whole and for individual departments. • Management’s integrity depends on honest and reliable daily actions. Managers strive to be consistent in what they say and do, and promises are kept. Additionally, employees have confidence that their managers run the business ethically.
RESPECT and Worldview Respect is demonstrated through practices that provide professional support to employees, encourage collaboration and allow for expressions of care both in the workplace and outside. • Professional support is shown to employees through the provision of training opportunities and the resources and equipment necessary to get work done, as well as through the expressions of appreciation for accomplishments and extra effort. • Collaboration between employees and management re-quires that leaders and managers genuinely seek and respond to employees’ suggestions and ideas, and involve people in the decisions that affect how they get their work done. • Managers demonstrate caring by providing a safe and healthy working environment, and by showing an interest in people’s personal lives. Caring managers are also aware of the impact the work has on employees’ personal lives.
FAIRNESS and Worldview The three principles that support the practice of Fairness in an organization are equity, impartiality and justice. • A sense of equity is conveyed through balanced treatment of all people in the distribution of intangible and tangible rewards. • Manager impartiality is displayed through an avoidance of favoritism in hiring and promotions practices, and absence of politicking in the workplace. • Justice is seen as a lack of discrimination based on people’s personal characteristics, and the presence and utilization of a fair process for appeals.
PRIDE and Worldview Managers in great workplaces help to build employees’ pride in their work and the work of the company. • Employees feel pride in their personal jobs, and know that their individual work makes a difference. The work that is produced by their team is a cause for pride and is supported through a willingness to give extra. • People also feel pride in the company as a whole, based on the organization’s public reputation and standing in the community.
Best Place to Work and Worldview • The qualities of great places do not happen accidently nor incidentally. • These qualities are targeted for cultivation by managers who have developed a worldview of business that is passionate, purposeful, powerful, pervasive, promoted and performed. • A business worldview is a reflection of beliefs about the nature of organizations and the nature of people. • A Christian worldview of business completes the ―triangle‖ by focusing on people, the organization, and God.
Some definitions of worldview• A particular philosophy or view of life.• Abstract cultural aspects that give value, meaning, and order to the experiences of a folk group, often embodied in folk life.• An organized and accepted set of ideas attempting to explain the social, cultural, physical and psychological world.• The way we explain and assimilate experience.• A set of commonly held values, ideas, and images concerning the nature of reality and the role of humanity within it.
Alternative definitions of worldview• The collective interpretation of and response to the natural and cultural environments in which a group of people lives.• The largely unconscious but generally coherent set of beliefs about how the world operates; at the level of day-to-day practice, approximately synonymous with paradigm• A foundation or belief system about how and why things happen in the world.• Ones personal view of the world and how one interprets it• The totality of ones beliefs about reality
Dimensions of a Worldview• Our worldview is • A complex structure of elements (ideas, meanings, values, beliefs) • Shaped by a variety of internal and external forces • Expressed in the ways we perceive, process and relate to our universe and the people in it • Refined by what we learn from the perspectives of various disciplines and their proponents
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Presuppositions: – Primary, fundamental beliefs about what is true and what is valuable Presuppositions Perspectives – Often personally or culturally implicit – that is, so a part of the ―fabric‖ of our personal or cultural Practices being that they go unquestioned because they are taken to be ―the way things are.‖ – They more asserted than proven. Principles While they can be subjected to various tests of reasonableness, their power to impact our thinking is not wholely dependent on such tests
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Presuppositions: – They are ―first‖ beliefs upon which Presuppositions other beliefs are constructed Perspectives – Because of their primary importance, they are often defended with great passion that Practices may seem totally unreasonable to others not holding these beliefs Principles
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Presuppositions: – Examples of • The world is rational and Presuppositions Perspectives operates in knowable ways vs the world is random and unpredictable • God exists and is involved in Practices His created world vs there is no god and we (people) alone are responsible for the world • All men are created equal and Principles endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights vs people are created unequal and have only the rights they can fight for and win.
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure•Perspectives: – Ways of viewing and evaluating events and people Presuppositions Perspectives (partly rooted in our presuppositions) – These perspectives provide Practices meaning to the events/people we observe: • Similarity vs differences Principles • Cause/effect relationships • Primary/secondary priorities • Critical/non-essential considerations
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure•Perspectives (examples): – ―Bob betrayed me because he is like all people – when push Presuppositions Perspectives comes to shove everyone looks out for #1‖ – ―You cannot trust younger Practices workers – they are self- centered‖ – ―Women are hard to work for Principles as bosses‖ – ―I had to sacrifice my integrity or my job, I would sacrifice…‖
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Principles: guidelines for decisions and actions in terms of: – Effectiveness (goal Presuppositions Perspectives achievement) – Enhancement (human development) Practices – Efficiency (resource management) – Efficacy (power and influence) – Emergence (change) Principles – Education (the learning organization) – Economy (sustainability) – Ethicality (values)
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Principles (examples): – Always tell the truth - you will never regret the lie you do not tell Presuppositions Perspectives – How we obtain our goals is as important as what our goals are – Satisfied employees are more Practices productive employees – Change is always painful, but always essential – sort of like exercise Principles – Every organization must take in more money than it spends – being a non-profit does not mean being a money loser
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Practices: specific rules/guidelines governing – Individual behavior Presuppositions – Interpersonal relationships Perspectives – Institutional authority and responsibility• Practices may be highly Practices personal, or may be influenced by people we respect, groups we are a part of, faith beliefs, etc.• Our view on practices is more likely Principles to change, or to be subject to situational conditions, than presuppositions, perspectives or principles
Four elements of a worldview – a suggestedstructure• Practices: (examples) – Measure twice – cut once – Look both ways before you cross Presuppositions Perspectives any line – Take others seriously, and yourself lightly – We have two ears and one Practices mouth: listen twice as much as you talk – Never make the same mistake twice – unless you do it in a more Principles creative way! – Life is short: fill it with more laughter than tears, more risk than safety, and more praise than blame
The forces that shape our worldview• Family• Friends, groups• Church• Education• Experience• Media• Leaders: governmental, non-profit, business• Cultural history
The human dynamics of a worldview• Worldviews are not mere Believing Understanding Sensing abstractions. They are embedded in the hearts, minds and souls of individuals and the fabric of groups and culture. As such, worldviews are Believing influenced by, and, in turn, influence: – Our perceptions (seeing) – Our philosophy (understanding) – Our relationships with people Understanding (belonging) Culture
The human dynamics of a worldview• Our perceptions – Sensing and believing are mutually influencing worldview elements – Our senses (what we see, feel, Believing Sensing touch, taste) influence what we believe about things – Any situation has hundreds of elements we could sense – our beliefs filter out many of those elements (for example we filter out the unusual, the unexpected and the unwanted) – Both senses and beliefs are imperfect
The human dynamics of a worldview• Worldviews are influenced by, and, in turn, influence our philosophy • Our beliefs influence what we Understanding Believing understand (tying together various beliefs) • Our understanding, in turn, influences what we believe (that is how we evaluate truth and value claims made by others)
The human dynamics of a worldview• Worldviews are influenced by, and, in turn, influence the way we relate to people (culture) • Where our belonging (the Understanding Culture people we identify with, the people we believe we are a part of, or the people we feel we are apart from) is a matter of shared beliefs and perceptions and ways of understanding) • Our sense of belonging is related to the strength of connection of our beliefs
Discipline Building blocks of a worldview – Taken (in part) from Whats the Big Deal About Worldview? by Dr. Steven C. Riser, found at the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute website, http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/practical- christianity/PC0205W2.htm
Discipline Building blocks of a worldview• The study of worldviews Metaphysics Epistemology (thinking deeply Theology Cosmology about and going beyond superficial descriptions of Psychology Teleology things) finds it Morality Soteriology ―roots‖ in many Ideal-ology disciplines Eschatology• Each discipline raises its own Anthropology unique set of questions (and also may have its own vocabulary with which we might struggle)
THEOLOGY (the study of God)• The most important element in a worldview is what it says or doesn’t say about God. Worldviews differ greatly on this matter. Some important questions to ask are: – Does God exist? If so, what is the nature of God? Is there only one true God? – Is God a personal being?—the kind who can know, love and interact with? OR, – Is God an impersonal force or power? – The theological ―question‖ is not an easy one to escape. • Calvin said that man is incurably religious. There really is no such thing as an atheist. Everybody worships (another word for what we love) someone or something. Whatever that object of ultimate concern, it will be our god because it shapes our attention, affections and energy. People can worship things, ideals, others, or themselves instead of God. • So, worship, or faith in and of itself is the unusual state of affairs – the determining issue is what we have faith in.
METAPHYSICS (the study of realitybeyond what we “see”)• Met⋅a⋅phys⋅ics – (meta = beyond, physics = tangible reality)• 1.The branch of philosophy that treats of first principles, includes ontology [the ends or goals of things] and cosmology [the nature of our universe] , and is intimately connected with epistemology [how do we know what we know] … 3. Underlying theoretical principles of a subject or field of inquiry.4. A treatise (4th century BC.) by Aristotle, dealing with first principles, the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation.• Origin: 1560–70; < ML metaphysica < MGk (tà) metaphysiká (neut. pl.), Gk tà metà tà physiká the (works) after the Physics; with reference to the arrangement of Aristotles writings [Note – the idea of “physics” is related to the “lawful” relationship of cause and effects]
METAPHYSICS (the study of realitybeyond what we “see”)• Metaphysics deals with what constitutes ultimate reality. Questions in this area include: – Is the existence of the universe a fact – or a conjecture? That is, do things exist outside our perception of them? – What is the relationship between God and the universe - is God the ―Master of the Universe‖ or are God and the world co-equal and interdependent? – Is there one God – or many – or none? – Is the universe best understood in a mechanistic (non purposeful) way or an organic (purposed) way? – Is the universe a closed system (no miracles) or can someone outside the system circumvent natural law (miracles)? – Are there forces beyond what we can see – and, if so, is there any way to comprehend these forces – and, if they are comprehensible, is there any way to influence or control these forces?
COSMOLOGY (the study of the universe, itscreation and meaning)• Cosmology has to do with the study of the universe and how it came into being. Questions to be asked in this area are: – Is the universe (matter) eternal? Or did it have a beginning? If so, when? How? Will the world ever end – if so, when and how? – Did an eternal, personal, omnipotent God create the universe – or did the universe just happen? – How old is the universe? How is it sustained? By what laws does it operate? – How, when and why was the earth created? Is it unique – are there other inhabited planets or worlds? – What is the nature and purpose of the universe - or is there a purpose at all?
EPISTEMOLOGY (the study of knowing from theGreek episteme = knowledge)• This area deals with the question, how do we know what we know? Some questions in this area include: – Can we trust our senses - what are the proper roles of feeling, reason and sense experience in knowledge? – Are our intuitions more or less dependable than our sense experience of the world? – Is truth relative, or must it be the same for all rational beings? – What is the relationship between religious faith and reason? – Is the scientific method the only or best method of knowledge? – Is certain or accurate knowledge about God possible? If so, how? Since there are so many different views of God, what does this mean? – Can God reveal Himself to human beings? If so, how? Under what conditions? How do we know God has revealed this? – Can God reveal information beyond Himself to human beings? If so, how, and to whom?
MORALITY (sometimes called axiology – the study ofethics from the Greek axiologie = what is valued)• The area has to do with how do you determine right from wrong? Some important questions in this area are: – Are there moral laws that govern human conduct? If so, are these laws God-made or man-made? – Is morality relative (culturally or individually) or absolute? Why or why not? – Are moral laws discovered, or invented, by people? – Is God or man the source of morality? – Can the same thing be right for one person and wrong for another? What is the relation between ethics and the law of non-contradiction? – Does morality transcend individuals, cultures and history?
PSYCHOLOGY (the study of the human mind)• This question deals with the true nature and make up of humankind. Some questions in this area include: – Is man simply a product of time plus chance? – Is he the creation of an infinite, personal God? – Is man created in God’s image? If so, what does that mean? – Is man simply another animal controlled by his instincts? If so, how can he be held responsible for anything? – Is our nature any different now then when we were first created? Does human nature change? If so, how, and toward what end result? – What is wrong with man? Is our main problem ignorance or character or choices or circumstances?
SOTERIOLOGY (the study of “deliverance from”Greek sōtēría = salvation, deliverance)• The subject deals with how to solve man’s most basic problems of sin and redemption. Questions in this area include: – Is there such a thing as sin? If so, how did it arise? What are its consequences? – Was there such an historical event as the fall? What provision has God made for it? Where were the effects of the fall and how can they be reversed? – Is there a real hell – or is it just figurative? – Is there a need for salvation? – Is there something we can do to save ourselves? – Is there something God has done to provide a way for us to be saved? If so, what?
TELEOLOGY (the study of end purposes or final causesfrom Gk. teleos = entire, perfect, complete, end, goal)• This area deals with the purposes for which we and everything else were created. Some important questions in this area include: – What am I here for? Is there any meaningful purpose in life? Are we simply here to grab for all the gusto we can get? – If there is no ultimate purpose to life, does it really matter how we live? How meaningful is life without a significant purpose in life? – Does my life really matter? Can I make a difference? Is my life of any temporal or eternal consequence? – If I am only a product of evolution what meaning can my life have? – Am I responsible for determining the ultimate purpose of my life? If so, what reliable way do I have to do this? – Does God love me and have a wonderful plan for my life? If so, what? – What will determine if my life is ultimately in vain?
ESCHATOLOGY (the study of last things from the Greekéschatos = last)• This area deals with the end of history, as we know it. Questions include: – Where is history going? Is there any ultimate purpose in the universe? – Is there life after death? If so, what kind of future will I have? – Do my actions in this life affect the quality of my existence in the next life? Are there any other factors that can influence the outcome? – Is death simply the extinction of by being and the beginning of decomposition? Or, is there more to the story? – How will human history be consummated - with a bang or a whimper? – Is God in control of the universe and has He said how it will end? – Does God have an over-all purpose that he is working out and will bring to fruition?
IDEAL-OLOGY (the study of ought-to-be)• This area deals with the kind of vision we should have about what should be, and how we handle the gap between vision and reality. Questions to ask include: – Can things be better that they currently are? – Do we have ideals or a vision of how we think the world should be? – How do we explain the disparity of the way things are and the way they ought to be? – Should there be less selfishness, less stupidity and less corruption? Should there be more equity and less poverty? Should people make fewer excuses and accept more responsibility? Should people be more loving and less hurtful toward others? Should there be more justice and less injustice?
ANTHROPOLOGY (the study of mankind from Gk,comb. form of ánthrōpos human being, man)• Deals with the nature of mankind, both as individuals and as groups. Questions might include: – Were people created – or evolved? If created, created by whom for what? If evolved, how and with what consequences? – What explains the social structures developed by humans? – Are individuals more important than the group – or is the group more important than the individual? – Are people essentially self-seeking, or bent on serving others? – People show a great deal of diversity in cultures, races, abilities, appearances – are the ways people are alike more important than the ways people differ?
Discipline Building blocks of a worldviewWhile we cannot Metaphysics Epistemology―master‖ all these Theology Cosmologydisciplines, we can Psychology Teleologydeal with the issues Morality Soteriology Ideal-ologythey raise in a Eschatologydisciplined and insightful way. We Anthropologycan dig deeply into what and whywe believe – and what othersbelieve.
Distinctives of a Christian Worldview• (This discussion is based primarily on David Naugle’s Worldview: a History of a Concept [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002], James Orr’s Christian View of God and the World (PDF copy downloaded from Christian http://www.ccel.org/ccel/orr/view.html, [Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library]), and our course texts.• If a worldview is going to be called legitimately a Christian worldview, there are some basic assertions that it must contain. These could be called the ―fundamentals:‖
God’s Objective Existence• ―Worldview‖ in a Christian perspective implies the objective existence of the Trinitarian God whose essential character establishes the moral order of the universe and whose word, wisdom and law define and govern all aspects of created existence. (Naugle, p. 260)• God’s holiness, justice and love constitute the transcendent, authoritative standard in which the moral order of the universe is anchored … God graciously provides insight into the ethical patterns of human existence through both natural and special revelation. (Naugle, p. 262)
God’s Transcendence and Intimacy• The Christian view affirms the existence of a God who is – Powerful (without limitation) – Personal (intimate involved) – Holy (without moral imperfection) – Self-Revealing (knowable)• The Christian view affirms the creation of the world by God, His immanent presence in it, His transcendence over it, and His holy and wise government of it for moral ends. (Orr, p. 43)
Revelation of God’s Will• God reveals His will and work through two means: – General revelation. This refers to the revelation of God’s existence, attributes and will through creation and human nature (individual and in community). General revelation can reveal truth both through normal observation and through systematic exploration (such as through the ―hard‖ and ―social‖ sciences). – Special revelation. This refers to the revelation of truth through the specific channel of Scripture. In evangelical circles Scripture is held to be the wholly inerrant and completely authoritative in all matters that it covers.
The Nature of Mankind• People are created in God’s image and share many of His attributes (self awareness, ethical sensitivity, creativity, a desire for community [other awareness], communication)• People are fallen – God’s ―image‖ in them has not been erased, but has been deeply marred. Our fallenness is deep and leads to a habitual individual self- centeredness and interpersonal competitiveness. Our fallenness affects our minds (we deceive ourselves), our hearts (our emotions are undependable guides) and our bodies (we are beset by fleshly desires).
Sin and Spiritual Warfare• ―Worldview‖ in a Christian perspective implies the catastrophic effects of sin on the human heart and mind, resulting in the fabrication of idolatrous belief systems in place of God and engagement of the human race in cosmic warfare spiritual in which the truth about reality and the meaning of life is at stake. (Naugle, p. 274)• Sin is both personal (we ―want‖ to sin, and Satanic (malevolent forces prod us to sin)
Grace and Redemption―Worldview‖ in Christian perspectiveimplies the gracious inbreaking ofthe Kingdom of God into humanhistory in the person and work ofJesus Christ, who atones forsin, defeats the principalities andpowers, and enables those whobelieve in Him to obtain aknowledge of the true God and aproper understanding of the worldas His creation. (Naugle, p. 284)
History• The Christian worldview affirms that history is linear (has a beginning, a middle and an end) has a goal, and that the present order of things will be terminated by the appearance of the Son of Man for judgment, the resurrection of the dead, and the final separation of righteous and wicked,—final, so far as the Scriptures afford any light, or entitle us to hold out any hope. (Orr, p. 44)• The Christian worldview affirms that the historical aim of Christ’s work was the eventual founding of a Kingdom of God on earth, which includes not only the spiritual salvation of individuals, but also a new order of society, the result of the action of the spiritual forces set in motion through Christ.