World View

World View  – A  very brief description.

It doesn’t happen overnight.  A world view is created from culture and experiences over a period of time.  In fact, a person’s world view is constantly evolving.

Think of it as the inner core of who we are.  It is surrounded by other layers.  The layers farther from the core are more easily seen.  As each of us exposes a deeper layer, the more we reveal about our world view.  Let’s look at these layers and then go through an example.

Behavior is the outer most layer.  What does a person wear?  What do they say?  How do they spend their time?  What makes them upset?  What makes them laugh?  Certain behavior patterns appear after spending time with someone.  Then we start to discover the next layer.

Values create predictable patterns in society.  Life is filled with choices between many options.  A person’s values help them decide what is good.  Usually the goal is to choose the best option.  But life often presents situations that do not seem to have a “best” option.  Our values aid us in selecting the better option among many tolerable possibilities.  And our values are built upon the next layer.

Beliefs give energy to a person’s values.  Someone’s dedication to their choice is directly connected to their belief in their value system.  A person believes what they think is true.  Beliefs are basically what a person perceives as truth.  They believe something because they think it is true.  Finally, what is true is decided by the inner core – the world view.

World view answers the question, “What is real?” Every culture, every person, has a world view.  It seems to develop automatically, without the person’s knowledge.   Few people intentionally reflect upon what their behavior, values, and beliefs reveal about their world view.  But every person believes something to be true, even if it is the idea that nothing is true.

The table below is an example of how the same behavior may have different underlying layers.  This example is by no means exhaustive or definitive.  It is only for illustrative purposes.  The example behavior may have many variations of underlying layers.

the behavior

A parent yells at an official’s decision involving their child’s sporting event.

values

child’s happiness

obeying the law

(it was a bad call thus failing to uphold the law)

fairness

(it was a bad call)

fairness

(it was a bad call)

beliefs

a happy child equals a good parent

law keeping produces harmony

each person is responsible to do their best (the official failed)

since the parent was treated unfairly, they must not let the same thing happen to their child

world view

happiness is ultimate success

obedience to laws gives life

hard work is why we are here

the world isn’t fair

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1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Politics

One response to “World View

  1. Julie

    For some reason I still have trouble seeing values, beliefs and world view as separate. I guess they are separate parts of a whole like layers of an onion. I see how world view drives our behavior but I suppose I’ve never thought of values, beliefs and world view as distinct from one another. Does this mean my beliefs don’t so much define my values as my world view?

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