What makes a “Worldview”

It is commonly understood that there exist questions in philosophy and physics that are beyond the scope of our limited human senses and intellect. However, we all come to our own conclusions to create a self-consistent and complete view of the universe and our place in it.  The way that we answer these “unanswerable” questions (i.e. How did the universe come into being? How did life evolve and our consciousness develop?) has a large effect on how we live our lives and make every day decisions.  Recognizing and categorizing these answers allows us to see the thought processes that resulted in an action or decision.  Being aware of other people’s sometimes vastly different worldviews then allows us to communicate more effectively and hopefully will lead to more effective decision making as a society.

Pillar Beliefs

The pillar beliefs, or “ultimate facts” are answers to questions we cannot objectively answer given our five senses and the faculty of reason and logic.  All reasonable people will come to conclusions on questions such as “how did the universe begin?” and “how did human consciousness arise?” However, as a whole, humanity comes up with a wide and colorful spectrum of answers to these questions that then inform our everyday decisions and actions.  Defining and categorizing these questions and the spectrum of answers they produce can then give us great insight into the decisions of others and help communication between people with vastly different ways of looking at the world.  We analyze the pillar beliefs by looking at the answers to four sets of existential questions:

The Cosmological Question:

How did our physical universe first come into being, and what are the physical laws that govern its past, present, and future functioning?

The Teleological Question:

Is there a specific direction in which our physical universe is unfolding, and if there is, what is the role of our human species, if any, in this unfolding?

The Ontological Question:

How did sentient consciousness come into being (especially human consciousness)?

The Epistemological Question:

What are the means by which we as human beings are capable of discerning the “facts” that constitute the answer to ultimate cosmic questions such as these?

Mode of Ethical Reasoning:

The methodology be means of which we determine what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”, what is “Good” and what is “Bad” – or even what is “Better” and what is “Best” from among apparent “options” presented to us by our universe.


Generated by the composite of specific “Answers” that one determines for oneself to these previous “Cosmic Questions.”

Political Philosophy:  Theory as to how we, as human beings, “ought” to go about collectively deciding how to decide what the Principles, Policies and Programs are pursuant to which we should make our collective “community” decisions governing how we live together…and what the comparative degree of importance is hat we should attribute to “The Collective” or “The Individual.”

Social Order:  The particular “form and structure” that Adherents to each such “Worldview” believe ought to be put into place, through the “authority” of The Collective Community, in which we, as human beings, should live together in our human communities.

Theory of Human Psychology:  Theory as to how our individual human Mind “works” in conjunction with “The outside world.”

Mode of Spiritual Expression:  “Theological” and/or “Meta-Physical” theory pursuant to which we as human beings might comport ourselves “in the face of The Mystery” which is The Universe and/or its “Source.”

The vast majority of the members of our American Electorate do not, to any meaningful degree, understand the “differences” between the “Principles, Policies and Programs” that are likely to be espoused by someone identified as “Liberal” and the “Principles, Policies and Programs” that are likely to be espoused by someone we identify as “Conservative.”

Beyond the political left and right, there exist seven entirely distinct “Worldviews” from amongst which we can possibly choose in determining what the “Principles, Policies and Programs” will be that we wish to adopt, here in the 21st Century, by means of which to address – and, hopefully, to remedy – national  and global public policy problems that will confront us in the 21st Century.

Finally – and perhaps most-importantly – very few Americans can tell which of these alternative “Worldviews” any particular person – for example the Candidate for The Office of President –actually adheres to…IF ANY…in attempting to make our “choice” among and then between them – because virtually EVERY Official Candidate does the very best that he or she can to convince the members of whichever audience he or she is speaking to at any given moment that that Candidate adheres to that “Worldview” that is the “Worldview” that is shared by the members of THAT particular audience to which he or she is speaking at the time. In short, virtually ALL Candidates for the modern American Presidency attempt to conceal his or her true “Worldview” fro potential voters…or, even worse, he or she insists that he or she does NOT even HAVE any specific “Worldview.”

Such a “reality” hardly recommends such a person to hold the most powerful political position in human history, a position in which he or she will be presented with repeated situations in which he or she will have to make almost immediate – and potentially world-altering – decisions.

For, without such a “Worldview”, what criteria will such a person employ in making such important – and potentially world-altering – decisions?

4 comments on “What makes a “Worldview””

    • pzk Reply

      We will be starting a newsletter in the summer or fall as we get closer to the first round of talks in Berkeley. I will add your e-mail to the list!

  1. Giorgio Piacenza Reply

    Yes, in terms of the sociological schools that emphasize culture and worldview as paramount to the formation and functioning of a society, I think that the parameters listed above make sense. That would be compatible with a Parsonian and Weberian approach. It also is a very valid epistemological approach that emphasizes culture creation over, for instance, the economic-political, control of the “means of production” schools of thought and the more post structuralist and postmodern schools that emphasize the role of language and communication. According to some Integral theoretical perspectives, when a minimum percentage of cultural leaders (perhaps around 10%) are – broadly speaking – psychologically stable (from a developmental perspective) on a new way of thinking, being, feeling, valuing, possesing their own methodology, then new legal systems, norms, institutions are formed. Most of other individuals functioning at level of development different from the avan- garde creators of the new cultural stage will simply participate in living under the newly formed social system. The creation of this new social system, accompanied by the increasing dominance in most areas of life of a new meta stage worldview and its applications is subdivided which into varying sub-worlviews which are also attractive to different individuals according to their innate personal tendencies. Information from cognitive psychology and moral psychology impinging on our ethical choices would shed more light on this issue.

    That said, I think that the creation of an eight worldview applicable to the U.S. (and perhaps other countries) is an adequate and necessary endeavor bu I surmise that, it would have to be not only very highly inclusive of classic modern and traditional premodern ideas and phenomena but also of ideas and phenomena dismissed under existing predominant worldviews in a transdisciplinarian manner which would also have to include the findings of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and moral psychology.

    That said, creating a comprehensive worldview capable of assisting human beings find more reasons to cooperate more harmoniously in order to form a more united and sovereing planetary society I think is possible and necessary. However, this creative process would have to include the parsonian approach but also go beyond it.

  2. Giorgio Piacenza Reply

    As I understand it, Dr. Sheehan is already aware of the ET presence. Yet, he is waiting for a progressive disclosure by stages that may take a decade or more. The latter would be preferred within some conventional institutions to prepare the population, belief systems, etc. I guess since we don’t know what is going to happen he might be going through the conventional route of preparing civilization and evolving paradigms. But disclosure of an intelligent ET presence could also unfold much faster if the ETs thought it was necessary for humanity to awaken much faster. But could it be that Dr. Sheehan is already aware that the way that it is going to take place is gradual? I notice that, on the one hand, he is working with intellectuals that think in terms of the possible, eventual discovery of intelligent life sometime in the future and, on the other hand, working with intellectuals that already know full well that this has been discovered and that “they” are here and have probably been here for for as long as humanity has been here.

    However it may be, whether awareness of an intelligent ET presence grows by leaps and bounds or takes the route of a gradual conventional discovery, I also deem the work of preparing the cultural basis for the consequences of a widespread public verification of intelligent ET life highly important. In this regard, I would advice him and all those seriously interested to review the work being done by Steve McIntosh at the Institute for Cultural Evolution (ICE), applying Ken Wilber’s Integral Meta Theory to issues like political polarization. I think that McIntosh’s approach can and should be extended to the subject of an actual intelligent extraterrestrial presence or its future formal discovery and as understanding the variety of things otherworldly scientifically and metaphysically also promises to be important for paradigm change.

    There are similarities between Talcott Parsons worldviews and paradigms in the political spectrum and Wilber and McIntosh’s developmental approximations. McIntosh proposes a useful integrative path to reconcile differing political positions among the political segments of society and this should be useful in the discussions at Romero Institute and elsewhere. Accompanying this, I have also commented and given a few recommendations to extend Steve McIntosh’s integrative proposals and posted this at http://giorgioexploringandthinking.blogspot.com/2016/09/exopolitical-and-integralist-comments.html

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