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World Views

It would be impossible to review all possible world-views or metaphysical alternatives here.   The following list however includes the most important ones.  Note that some of these categories are overlapping.

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The Scientific-Reductionist Worldview

Science in itself is nothing but an experimental method for understanding physical reality.   It works by offering hypotheses that can be falsified.  Any hypothesis that cannot be falsified - e.g. the existence of a god or universal mind - may or may not be a valid theory, but it is not science as such.  Scientism is a surrogate religion which claims that only scientific methodology can describe reality, and any phenomena that cannot be so described do not exist.  Often Scientism is used as a justification for Scepticism, Materialism, or Physicalism,  is the opinion that only the physical is real, and the denial of all supra-physical or spiritual dimensions of existence.   It is usually associated with Rationalism and Scientism.  Skepticism or Rationalism is the opinion that only phenomena which can be confirmed by means of hard physical evidence exists.. Atheism is another variant of this, emphasising the denial of an external creator deity.

Nihilistic Worldview

Hollow Ones Paradigm by Malcus Dorroga - This is actually a  commentary on a game called "Mage", but it is such a perceptive insight into the materialistic-hedonistic life-style I had to have a link to it.

The Theistic worldview (Religion)

God Religious paradigms are based on the dogmatic belief in a single supreme deity or "God" which is separate from the world but which maintains a personal connection to His creation.  The nature of this god is usually explained in terms of theology - intellectual philosophical arguments.  Religionists differ between those who are fundamentalistic and hate anything that conflicts with their bible koran torah gita etc, and those who are more open-minded and willing to accommodate science and other religions.

Creation Science is an example of a fundamentalistic religious pseudo-science.  It is pseudo-science in the sense that it is non-falsifiable (i.e. will never admit that it is wrong)

The Holistic or New Age paradigm

the rainbow body Also simply called the "New Paradigm" the Holistic or New Age Paradigm is associated with mystical  and yogic explanations, but unlike many religions it does not reject the discoveries of science, and unlike scientific reductionism it does not reject non-physical realities.  It is based on a holistic perspective which sees both the materialistic/physicalistic and the spiritual realities as interdependent and part of a greater whole.  The Godhead is usually conceived of in a Pantheistic or Panenthestic manner - "God" or higher intelligence is not something different from the cosmos or nature.  This is one way in which the Holistic Pardigm differs from the Religious paradigm.  Another is in it's non-dofgmatic and nonsectarian approach to things; "catholic" in the original sense of the term.

esoteric and occult worldviews

There are heaps of these, so you're best referred to the Different Esoteric Worldviews page.

see also

external link Worldviews - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK - From Marvin E. Olsen, Dora G. Lodwick, and Riley E. Dunlap. Viewing the World Ecologically. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992. (Chapter 2, "Theoretical Framework," pp. 13-32.)

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 17 June 1998; last modified 20 August, 2004, by WF; and 7 July 2005 by MAK