Political Philosophy

Religions, Cults & Worldviews: Valuable Answers for Valid Questions.

Philosophy of Politics – What is The Best Method By Which A Society Should Be Governed?



    1. Left – Communism, Socialism, Globalism, Statism, Secularism

    1. Center –Libertarianism, Pacifism, Anarchism/Nihilism, Social Democracy

    1. Right – Direct Democracy, Representative Republic, Monarchy, Theocracy


    1. Left on The Political Spectrum

      1. Globalism – The prevailing political attitude of the 21st century whereby the interests of the world as a whole overrule the interests of a particular nation or individual. The early attempts at globalism include the failed “League of Nations” which was an international organizational response to the nationalism and arms race that was said to have brought on World War I. It failed due to existing national exceptionalism found in the world powers of that day: England, France etc. The second attempt at globalism was the formation of the United Nations after World War II. This institution has been largely ineffective at carrying out true globalist policy in that it has historically relied on the U.S. military to provide a ‘bite’ to its international bureaucratic ‘bark’. This has led to the establishment of environmental, economic, and social policy along with military action via global organizations like INTERPOL and the UN. This perspective is opposite of “nationalism” on the political spectrum.

      1. Secularism – Sometimes used in conjunction with or in the place of, humanism in a political sense. Secularism – derived from the Latin word secularis or “world”. It is a political stance that asserts that since the world and the universe is all that exists, all government should conduct itself and express itself accordingly. To the secularists, this is accomplished via the removal of all mention and association with religion or the supernatural of any kind. This “social” methodology of governance seeks to re-educate the populace to accept that only manmade solutions are “real” and “relevant” and all other views of the supernatural are suppressed and/or marginalized.

      1. Communism – a political system of governance founded by Karl Marx whereby all property is “public-owned” which translates to “government-owned” which then equates to the public having little to do whatsoever with property, commerce, or distribution whatsoever. Each citizen works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. Normally, communism attempts to overthrow existing governmental infrastructures by way of class warfare, pitting the lower and middle classes of a society against the higher or highest classes (i.e. the ones with power and influence) i.e. 99% vs the 1%. This results in animosity and if successful, a violent coup or takeover via populist-leaning political powers. Unfortunately, history has shown us that the corruption at the heart of mankind results in a government which filters and skims most of the “public” proceeds leaving a society overcrowded, cramped into multi family living quarters, hungry, and destitute of purpose. This is a far more “hardline” approach to “community ownership” and governance than that of its little sister socialism. Along with facism and socialism, communism is one of three primary forms of collectivism. Communists are often referred to as leftist, liberal, progressive, radicals, sometimes mistakenly referred to as “socialists”

      1. Socialism – A philosophy or system of governance whereby production, distribution, and large scale commerce are either owned or highly regulated by government which is comprised of officials that are put in place via a limited election process. Adherents and the system’s founder, Karl Marx, define it as governing by the community as a whole, although it rarely works out this way. In most socialist governments in the world today, an even smaller few rule over an even greater majority than in a true democracy or representative republic. Marx believed socialism to be a transitional social state between capitalism and communism. Along with communism and fascism, socialism is one of three primary forms of collectivism. Other names associated with socialism are leftists, nanny state, progressivism, social democracy, communism, marxism, labor, entitlement state

      1. Liberalism – Widely considered “leftist” on the political spectrum with a decided socialist or communist approach to governance in its call for big government or total government involvement or ‘regulation’ in the lives of its citizenry. The liberal’s (recently adopted moniker “progressives” to shed the negative connotation with the ter “liberal”) approach to economic governance is in keeping with Karl Marx, the founder of communism, in that liberals condemn free market capitalism as the height of greed and source of all social and economic woes (c.f. Michael Moore/Hollywood narratives in general). Liberalism calls for a common holding of all taxes, land, and goods which are then redistributed by a “utopian-minded” government to solve the social and economic woes of society. Socially, liberalism is Darwinian and humanist in approach, which randomly borrows ethics and morals from the Judaeo-Christian worldview (conservative), without crediting, much less adhering to the Deity which claims to be the source of those ethics and morals.

      1. Statism – The underlying philosophy of government that contends for the supremacy of government in all affairs of its citizenry: politically, economically, morally, religiously, and otherwise. A statist will hold that the ultimate duty of government is to provide the basis for all around existence. This is accomplished by establishing state-controlled elections by determining who can and can’t vote and what system should be used to “tally” the votes. c.f. “its not who votes that holds the power but who counts the votes. Economically, the state establishes heavily regulated monopolies and markets that are controlled and determined by that government. c.f. tech industry and big national banking. Morally, statism finds it necessary to provide and control education of its masses that are in keeping with the chief interests of the state itself. c.f. government run schools, government endorsed higher education, and politically correct indoctrination. Religiously, statism will regulate religion by way of taxation (501c3) and the declaration of legal religious groups and illegal groups (fundamentalists, extremists, and “cultists”). Examples from history would be the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, and Stalinist Russia. Examples of statism in current political systems would be Globalist E.U., Communist China, and recent leftist American politics. Statism can be found in all positions of the political spectrum but has been placed in the “leftist” category due to its overwhelming acceptance by communism, socialism, and liberal political thinking. Opposite political idealisms to statism would be representative republics (rightist U.S.) and theocratic world views (Christianity, Islamic Sharia law)

    1. Center On The Political Spectrum

      1. Egalitarianism – The political position that declares that all citizens are of total equality, especially with regards to political, economic, and social policies and interests. It is most common among socialist and communist ideologies – although it is rarely practiced among such governments. i.e France, Cuba, Italy, Great Britain, China, North Korea. Australia seems to operate primarily by an egalitarian political world view today.

      1. Democratic Democracy – A system of government whereby the power resides in the hands of the people by way of majority vote. Democracies exert their governmental power through frequent general and free elections. This can be accomplished at times with limited administrative representation but in a genuine democracy, the people vote on all public policy, social machinations, military, foreign relations, taxation, and economic policy are all set by a vote of the people in conjunction with the administration of elected officials. This ‘purist’ form of democracy today only exists in concept only and is referred to sometimes as “Direct Democracy” and as such does not currently exist among first or second world nations (second world meaning “limited industrialization, etc.”. Many Representative and Social Republics today are mistaken for democracies and have even coined the term “preserving the world for democracy” even while those governments are not democracies themselves.

      1. Anarchism – The political philosophy which contends that all governmental authority is useless and undesirable. The anarchist opts instead for a voluntary community of cooperation, affiliation, and association of societal groups and individual citizens. This sounds nice on paper, however, there isn’t answer for the inevitable conflicts that arise when two groups clamor for prioritization regarding issues that they face. The inevitable rise of hegemony by way of social affiliation would be the result. Anarchists cannot provide a solution for “who goes first” or which individual gets the nod when two people require the same singular resource at precisely the same time. Four-way stop sign intersections would be a nightmare in this system of “non-governance.” In order for the anarchist to address these issues and develop a system of prioritization at any level – would then result in the necessity of a governing system and thereby an authority over the “system”. Both system and administrator would destroy the very core of the anarchist society which operates by “non authority” and “non governance”.

      1. Centrism or Moderate – The political position of the moderate whereby radical change of the left (liberal) or the right (conservative) is scorned for a more “please everyone” approach to political reform by employing a gradual change and repeated compromise in policy. The idea being that general appeasement through compromise is the solution to social and economic woes. However, critics would say the following flaws plague centrism: “He who stands for everything – stands for nothing” and “You can please some of the people some of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” In social matters, the moderate tends to lean to the left and in economics to the right, somewhat.

      1. Pacifism – The position whereby resistance to government or authority is scorned in an effort to “pacify” those in power and maintain the status quo. This attitude is found in those who call themselves “liberal, moderate, or conservative” yet refuse to vote – which belies the underlying political philosophy of pacifism. Many who scorn participation in the affairs of governance (politics) can usually be identified with pacifistic tendencies. This is more often used in the modern vernacular as a descriptor of a praxeology or methodology than a political philosophy or world view in that it usually pertains to someone who is in direct opposition to military conflict of any sort usually due to moral objections or religious convictions i.e. Amish, Mennonites, and Transcendentalists, are usually pacifists.
        1. Laissez Faire – This is more a “creed” against government interference in public and economic policy beyond the bare minimum to protect and maintain geo-political peace (secure national borders) and the personal property of the individual. This goes a bit beyond “pacifism” and “anarchism” Because of this, military action outside the role of national protection is usually condemned by laissez-faire.
      2. Libertarianism – This is the extreme embodiment of laissez-faire as a governmental system. Although there is a more strict condemnation of military action than the typical laissez-faire approach, libertarianism maintains a very similar set of ideals with regards to individual rights and freedoms while condemning a “big government” or “big brother” state.

      1. Nihilism – EXTREME center – political belief that all established authority is corrupt and must be destroyed in order to rebuild a just society – i.e the idea that to succeed in a Democracy, we must always “vote out all incumbents” or “out with old in with the new”

    1. Right On The Political Spectrum

      1. Conservatism – One of the most ill-defined political philosophies in the world today. Often referred to as “preferring an existing or traditional situation” which is incorrect. Conservatism is a political philosophy which calls for small or highly limited government and free market system which establishes the best product or service at the best price due to healthy competition within the marketplace. Conservatism condemns the high taxes required by progressive or liberal political system which fund big government. Socially, conservatism tends toward a more Judaeo-Christian moral structure with approach to governance versus the Darwinian humanist social emphasis of progressives and liberal social governance. Referred to as “rightist” on the political spectrum.

      1. Representative Republic – A form of governance modled after ancient Greek and Roman governments circa1st-2nd century B.C. This government infrastructure consists of a hierarchy of elected officials who act as “representatives” acting on behalf of their constituencies (ideally) in casting votes which form public policy, social machinations, military, foreign relations, taxation, and economic policies, etc. Policies such as 2, 4, and 6 year terms and overall term limits are put in place to prevent an imbalance of power. Because these officials are put in place by public vote, this system of government is often confused with a democracy and like a democracy, there are loopholes for abuse whereby votes by the elected officials are manipulated special interest groups, lobbyists, and outright bribery. (c.f. United States “Obamacare” kickback scandals). Abuses like this result in representatives voting according to their own interests when it comes to taxation and military action and not necessarily the “will” of their constituents.

      1. Monarchy – A method of governance defined by the absolute sovereignty of a single individual. Usually this chief of state either establishes a hereditary line or is a part of an already-established hereditary line of monarchs. The UK is considered a “monarchy” but the role of royalty in state affairs is primarily determined by a parliament and the Prime Minister. The UK resembles more of a socialist republic than it does a monarchy today but many second and third world nations still have established monarchies.

      1. Totalitarianism – The extreme version of “statism” which involves governance by complete control over all aspects of society. Totalitarianism differs from statism in that it projects a much thinner veil of citizen “rights” or “participation” in government. Totalitarianism also tends to rally more around a charismatic leader than the actual state itself. i.e. Stalin vs Marx. Judges and law enforcement operate by unwavering, unrelenting, and merciless obedience to the central governor or government. Public executions without judicial process are commonplace for this form of government. Media is simply a voice of propaganda for the state and any critical voice is deemed unproductive and therefore, illegal. Educational systems introduce, maintain, and reinforce the agenda of the state while elections are state-selected candidates with state-determined outcomes. Totalitarianism has been evident in both left and right positions of the political spectrum. Some examples are: Left – Stalinist Russia, Jong-Un N. Korea; Right – Nazi Germany, Iran – pseudo-theocracy

        1. Fascism – A method of governing whereby social organization is achieved via nationalism and enthusiastic support of a central charismatic leader. It has, in the past, exalted a particular race or nation over others as in the case with Germany in 1932-1944, but this is more an exception than the rule as it is usually a party-led fight for national prominence and growth via a centralized and autocratic leader. c.f. Venezuela, and some Central African nations. Like communism, this system involves stringent social regimentation for the “better of the state” and usually there is a high level of suppression of opposition which preserves the fascist government’s control of the populace. This method of governance is often used synonymously with the term “dictatorship” or “totalitarianism”. Along with communism and socialism, it is one of three primary forms of collectivism. The argument for this position of governance is the absence (usually) of red tape and bureaucracies which have been known to delay major national decisions. The problem is that reform is usually impossible outside of removing the fascist in power. (Most dictators don’t see a need to reform themselves just everyone else)

        1. Autocracy – One person with absolute & unchallenged authority. Often used synonymously with fascism, despotism, totalitarianism etc. The current political environment in post-communist Russia would greatly resemble an autocratic governance with Putin acting as an unchallenged authority, arresting and oppressing opposition

        1. Statismsee statism under “left of spectrum” above.

      1. Nationalism – The political mindset that holds one particular nation superior to all other nations with regards to culture, heritage, interests, methodology, and an overall way of life. i.e. American exceptionalism. With the rise of Globalism, nationalism has quickly been regarded as misplaced and misguided enthusiasm by a fanatical few. c.f. American mainstream media’s approach to the grassroots Tea Party movement. Nationalism has seen a sharp decline in the west but seems to be on the rise in some of the newer first world nations like Brazil and China. This political perspective is opposite the spectrum of globalism.

        1. Jingoism – A pejorative term used to describe extreme nationalism and militarism. Usually a person who is overly occupied with “patriotism” is referred to negatively as a jingoist. The term is sometimes interchangeable with “superpatriotism”. Although the term is currently used disparagingly for anyone with nationalistic pride, the term’s first usage in 1878 denoted a foreign policy that included a “cry for war” or intimidation and threats to achieve effective foreign policy and national security of foreign interests. Nations that utilize this policy today are China toward Japan, Russia toward Ukraine, and some U.S. ultraconservatives toward Middle East nations harboring Islamic terrorists. The derogatory usage of this term today is usually levied by left wing globalists who tend to subsequently overlook the same behavior in leftist countries that embrace their political world view.

      1. Nepotism – Although most commonly used today as an individual methodology in the context of employment, this can be considered a method of governance within a given government infrastructure. It is the practice of appointing favorites, usually relatives, to ideal positions primarily based on kinship as opposed to qualification. This was a fairly common practice within the hierarchy of the the Catholic Church whereby Popes, Cardinals, and Bishops would appoint their relatives to church positions. Today the political practice is most evident in American politics with the President appointing key positions within a Representative Republic to family and friends. i.e. Pres. John Kennedy appointing his brother Robert Kennedy to Attorney General, etc.

      1. Imperialism – A nearly extinct system of governance whereby a particular government seeks to expand its own influence and power usually by military action or “strong-handed” foreign policy. Soviet Russia accused the United States of this policy repeatedly during the cold war years (1947-1987). Whereas Soviet Russia expanded its territory by way of military action (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Afghanistan) and heavy-handed foreign policy (overuse of veto or “Nyet!” during U.N. General Counsel sessions) during this period more than any other nation on earth. Nazi Germany was a fairly accurate example of Imperialism during the events that led up to World War II. Whereas the United States and Great Britain have had a history of imperialism during the 20th century, this political philosophy seems to be a dying albatross in light of today’s pervasive emphasis on globalism.

      1. Theocratic – From the Greek words “theo” (god) and “krateo” (rule of). It is a method of governance where priests, clerics, or supreme religious leaders disseminate the law and justice of the land. A similar term is “ecclesiocracy” where there is a large amount of leadership, guidance, and involvement of religious leaders but there isn’t a claim to hold and operate in the position by way of “divine providence”. An ancient form of theocracy would have been Israel under Moses, Joshua, and the Judges that followed up until the appointment of Saul as their first king. A modern version of a “loose” theocracy would be many of the Islamic states in the Middle East which are governed loosely by clerics and state appointed “Prime Ministers”. Often times these Islamic theocracies tend more toward totalitarianism or fascism.

      1. Hegemony – The political approach whereby a dominance of one social, economic, political, ideological, or cultural group is exerted over all others. Nearly all democracies, republics, socialist, and communist governmental systems exhibit hegemony at some level, no political system is immune to this pervasive approach to governance.

    1. Oligarchy – A system of governance where a small group exerts inordinate control over a larger community (the tail wags the dog) usually in a manner that serves corrupt or self-serving goals. A very close cousin to the politically incorrect “aprtheid” method of rule. e.g. The lobbyists in Washington D.C. exercise a great deal of control over the U.S. Senate which in turn exercises a great deal of control over the United States.
 
    1. Questions To Determine One’s Political World View And Examples of How Various Views Might Answer:

      1. How should society be managed or “governed”?

        1. Communism – Society should pool its total resources and appoint a board and chairman to oversee the equal distribution of all goods and each should work according to his ability and each should receive according to his need.

        1. Socialism – Society should turn over all major industry to government control while permitting smaller and medium business ownership to provide for basic health needs and welfare.

        1. Theocracy – Society should be run by one or more representatives of God and ensure that the community operates by the laws spelled out by that God through the leader’s interpretation of sacred writings.

        1. Democracy – The majority should make the governing decisions of the land by way of popular vote, judicial, and legislative decision and impose regulation on major industry to prevent abuse while permitting (and regulating) medium and small business

        1. Monarchy – A competent leader in the form of a King or Queen who follows an upright & good moral code should make the governing decisions of land with input from nobility.

        1. Anarchy – All organized government is bad and unnecessary. Society should be allowed to just exist and live free in the land doing as they deem best without any interference of a governmental structure.

        1. Globalism – There should a mass unification of all societies on earth and national divisions and boundaries should be done away with to facilitate a worldwide freedom and interaction between all citizens. It should be governed by representatives of all major hemispheres

        1. Biblical – We should abide peacefully and obediently by the authority that we have been placed under while looking to the future return and reign of God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, a Divine Monarchy which is the only perfect government there can be.


      1. Who is best qualified in a given society to lead that society?

        1. Democracy: A Majority Of People is the most fair leadership a society can ask for

        1. Communism: The State itself as set up by the people should lead the society

        1. Monarchy, Facism: A Single Person is best to lead a society as there are no bureaucracies or red tape to get things done. Just one person who is the most capable to do the job.

        1. Theocracy: Priests or Clerics have the word of God for governing the land so who best to lead than the very representatives of God Himself?

        1. Representative Republic: Representatives of People should be elected by the people and represent their best interests in legislative meetings where leadership is required.

        1. Socialism: A combination of Representatives and The State

        1. Anarchy: No one person or organized group should lead, we should all lead ourselves as qualified individuals of our own lives & not mess with anyone else – no taxes necessary.

        1. Biblical: The King of Kings – Jesus Christ is the most qualified person to lead as He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, no one is more qualified or more wise or just to lead.

      1. In A Wealthy Country, Who Should Own That Wealth?

        1. Communism: Government should own all the wealth then distribute it according to each person’s need.

        1. Meritocracy: Individuals who earned it with innovation and/or hard work should own the wealth that they have worked for. If a man doesn’t work, neither shall he eat.

        1. Oligarchy: Individuals of Nobility or Rank – Those who were born with it, should then distribute it by creating employment, giving to the church, etc.

        1. Socialism: Most should be owned by government to avoid being oppressed by the “rich” but some should be owned by the people to give them a sense of “freedom”

        1. Theocracy: The Church/Mosque/Synagogue/Temple should own it all and then distribute it according to each person’s need so that “no man lacks”

      1. Biblical: God, the Creator of all things, is the owner of all things (Psalm 89:11), all land, all wealth, and all people with or without wealth are His and His alone (Psalm 24:1; Haggai 2:8). We bring nothing into the world and we take nothing from the world – it is therefore not ours but belongs to someone else (Timothy 6:7)
          1. It is Almighty God Himself who gives to each of us the very ability to create wealth – it does not come from ourselves and our supposed “natural abilities”.(Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

          1. By His word we, as created beings, are given stewardship of all his creation: His earth and the wealth within it. (I Corinthians 4:2) We are told to trust Him with our wealth by providing for the poor and those in need. (Malachi 3:10-11)We are to loan without usury and without expectation of being paid back. If we are asked for our robe, we are to give our tunic as well. (Matthew 5:40) We are to love others as we currently love ourselves and this is demonstrated by our generosity and hospitality to others.

        1. When we die and stand before our Maker, we will give an account for everything of God’s that He put under our stewardship and care.(Romans 14:12; Luke 16:11-12)

Now that you’ve examined various Philosophies of Politics, click on the icons below to take a look at the other elements that comprise a person’s world view:

Ethics / Morality Worldview – What Is The Right and Correct Way to Behave in Life?

Relative Morality
    1. – What is good and right for YOU not necessarily others – walk through life according to your own set of morals.
“I cannot say that evil exists only that we are dancing to our DNA” – Richard Dawkins
    1. vs.

Absolute Morality
    1. – There is good and bad, right and wrong, independent of perception. Morals exist as a result of an escalating level of good that cannot have infinite regress but must trace back to an independent “source” or “fountainhead” i.e. highest level of good that cannot be improved upon or increased any further.
To admit that evil exists means by default we must admit that good exists and to admit that both good and evil exist one must then admit that there is a “law” of good and evil that exists and since there is a “law” of good and evil there must be a “law giver” (and this law giver must Himself possess a complete and full knowledge of the greatest of both good and evil – lest He be disqualified as “giver”) this means that since evil exists, so God must exist and since the law of good and evil is not by nature intrinsic – it bespeaks the implicit worth of personhood given to each by God.” – Ravi Zacharias

    1. Questions To Determine What the “Moral” Aspect Is of your Worldview:

      1. Is Mankind Basically Good or Basically Evil?

        1. If Mankind is Basically Evil – Then human beings are basically sinful and in rebellion to their Maker and this brings on the guilt and inner turmoil that requires getting at the source and healing them with repentance, reconciliation, and human responsibility. Suffering can bring development and can bring a greater good.(Theistic Worldview)

        1. If Mankind Is Basically Good – Then human beings must rid themselves of all guilt which is brought on my the evil institutions of Church, family, etc. (Atheism/Marxism). Sometimes these evil desires are repressed (c.f. Buddhism) in order to eliminate all pain and suffering as pain and suffering themselves are evil and must be removed altogether – There is no need of a God or a “giver of morals” in this worldview – all that is needed is education and state-driven indoctrination to bring about an eventual greater good in mankind and to rid the planet of evil (Socialistic, Humanistic Worldview)

        1. Nihilism/Skepticism: Mankind is neither good nor evil as neither concept exists.

        1. Humanism/Naturalism: Mankind is basically good but gets morally hindered by social experience and perception

        1. Atheism/Darwinism: Mankind is basically good and grows into a more moral and civilized being as he evolves.

        1. Environmentalism: Mankind is basically evil and if left to himself would destroy the human race and its environment.

        1. Biblical Christianity: Mankind is basically evil at conception by way of the transmission of an evil sickness called sin which began with the first man and woman and he grows more evil and corrupt over time.

        1. Atheism/Darwinism: Mankind is basically good and evil does not exist – we are all just “dancing to our DNA”.


      1. What Is The Right And Correct Way To Behave in Life?

        1. Consequentialism – As long as the result is “morally good” to me it doesn’t matter what I do to achieve it. The ends justify the means.

        1. Utilitarianism – Everything I do should be to the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. The well-being of the many outweighs the well-being of the individual.

        1. Hedonism –All that I do must be in pursuit of happiness & pleasure while avoiding all pain “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” Eccl 8:15, Isa 22:13, ICor 15:32

        1. Altruism – I should behave in a way that benefits others especially when it doesn’t benefit me.

        1. Egoism – All things that I do should be in my own best interest and be to my own benefit.

        1. Animism – I hope for the best and do whatever I can to bring about good luck and fortune. I must avoid evil spirits and if that is not possible I must avoid upsetting them and if that is not possible I must appease those that I have upset.

        1. Biblical Christian – All that I do must be an expression of love for The God of the Bible first and love for other people in the same way that I love myself.

      1. Does Evil Exist?

        1. Nihilism/Skeptic/Christian Science: There is no evil in the world, it is the illusion of unenlightened people.

        1. Biblical Christianity: Evil is the result of a curse due to rebellion against the Creator along with perpetual poor choices starting with the very first man and woman to this very day. Mankind is born with it, as a result of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

        1. Atheism/Humanism/Naturalism/Darwinism: Evil exists as a result of poor behavioral choices from one person towards another. It is inherent in DNA (nature), inborn naturally, Deity has nothing to do with it. It is nurtured, and shaped by experience: people, stimuli, etc.

        1. Animism: Evil comes from the wicked spirits that move on the earth and sometimes possess trees, rivers, animals, and people

        1. Hinduism: Evil comes from a cyclical series of bad choices over the course of thousands of years of repeated lives and sometimes life forms.

      1. Why do good things happen to good people?

        1. Atheism: Its a matter of pure chance, not luck, nor destiny, just chance

        1. Fatalism/Hinduism: What goes around, comes around, its the law of the universe (not a Deity)

        1. Theism: Islam, Roman Catholicism – God rewards good people with good things

        1. Biblical Christianity: No one deserves good things. All good comes as a gift from a generous God.

      1. Why do good things happen to bad people?

        1. Atheism: Its a matter of pure chance, not luck, nor destiny, just chance

        1. Monotheism: Good things are sent even to evil people by a Deity as a special gift to teach them to be good

        1. Monotheism: God gives good things to all people good & bad without discretion at times

        1. Pantheism: Good is a reward received in this life from good deeds done in a past life./li>
        2. Cynicism: There is no rhyme or reason whatsoever to the universe. Life is not fair

        1. Humanism/Pessimism: Combination of Atheism with Cynicism answers above

        1. Biblical Christianity: For some, God causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous as an act of His grace; For others, God has put the wicked in “slippery” places whereby they will never repent as they will never see a need to repent in light of the supposed “good” things they have.


      1. Why do bad things happen to good people?

        1. Atheism: Its a matter of pure chance, not luck, nor destiny, just chance

        1. Fatalism/Humanism: What goes around, comes around, its the law of the universe (not a Deity)

        1. Monotheism: Islam – God repays bad people with bad things


        1. Monotheism: Christianity – for some people (no one is truly good – as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) it is the result of living in a fallen world among fallen people (those in sin and rebellion against the God of the Bible); The bad is allowed in order to bring about a greater good – more people being saved, growth, maturity, and fruitfulness in the life of a believer (bad person saved by Grace through Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead)

        1. Humanism: Combination of Atheism, Fatalism, and Relativism answers

        1. Relativism: The notion of “bad” or “good” people or ‘things’ is highly subjective and depends on which specific things and people you mean
 
Other Types of Moral/Ethics World Views – Which one do you most identify with?
    1. Egoism – any and all acts “ought to” serve one’s self interest and betterment and are thus morally good and right. c.f. satanism. Somewhat opposite to altruism

    1. Altruism – ‘alter = other’ – Sacrificing yourself for the good of the many is a superior moral doctrine particularly if it is NOT good for the person performing the moral act– a form of consequentialism – any act which brings good consequences is a morally “good” act.

    1. Nihilism – Both a philosophy of religion (or toward religion) and an ethical view which involves a general rejection of established social conventions and beliefs, especially of morality and religion

    1. Free Will

    1. Cynicism – believes that human actions are insincere and motivated by self-interest

    1. Pacifism

    1. Humanism

    1. Relativism – The belief that ethical/moral concepts such as right and wrong, goodness and badness are dependent upon culture, specific situations, or historical application and are not absolute in any way.

    1. Hedonism – An ethical theory that identifies good as “happiness” and “happiness” as defined by the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain (c.f. Buddhism – cessation of pain). This view places the pursuit of pleasure as a measure of good itself mistaking a result of “good” for being “good” in and of itself. “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die!” Hedonism can also be categorized as a “methodology” within the fuller picture of one’s worldview.

    1. Objectivism

    1. Cognitivism

    1. Absolutism – A philosophical theory in which values such as truth or morality are absolute and not conditional upon human perception.

    1. Determinism – Belief that everything, including every human act, is caused by something and that there is no real free will

    1. Libertarianism

    1. Compatibilism

    1. Situationalism

    1. Utilitarianism – The ethical doctrine that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the criterion of the virtue of action

    1. Laissez-Faire – The laissez-faire approach to one’s own philosophy of ethics and morals is usually consistent with one’s own praxeology or methodology which is usually laissez-faire itself. This approach or attitude toward the formulation and maintenance of a moral or ethical structure insists on personal freedom’s and liberties to formulate one’s own choices and actions. i.e. Jungian Psychology – “Each person is basically good and must find their own way.” or “Don’t push your morals on me!” are both laissez-faire attitudes toward one’s ethical or moral philosophy of life.

    1. List Item 4

  1. List Item 5

How Can We Know Something?

Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief and how it is acquired, either before sensory experience (a priori) or only after sensory experience (a posteriori). This section of our overall worldview determines how we perceive and process information and differentiate between truth and falsehood. Are some beliefs properly basic e.g. the knowledge of God? Or are beliefs constructed from a web of many other beliefs? Epistemology seeks to answer this question.

Select each of the terms in the circles below to reveal in the large center circle, how each of the following epistemological worldviews determine how we can know something:

Empiricism

Knowledge is acquired via sensory perception via direct observation

Rationalism

Knowledge can be acquired by both intuition and deductive reasoning. Reality has a “rational” structure and it can be “known” by logical principles.

Representationalism

Knowledge is just our own perception of it according to our experience as a “veil of perception” prevents first-hand knowledge of the actual existing world.

Constructivism

Knowledge is my view constructed of my own perception & social experience apart from any “objective” understanding

Biblical

This is a view which could be

labeled as a combination of both

innatism and rationalism – It states that we are born with some knowledge, acquire some by social experience, deductive reason, and revelation from the Creator of the Universe.

Transcendentalism

Posits that one can know divine truth by way of its transcending the natural world and all physical existence and reaching my mind. The transcendentalist believes they don’t need organized religion or intellectualism.

Psychology

Dualism vs Monism

Dualism, two realities

– body (material) and mind

(soul, spirit, immaterial),

vs Monism, one reality – body only (naturalism). Problematic when a psychologist is a monist and prescribes medication

for a mind issue when it is

only a "body" issue.

(reductionist approach)

How Can You Justify A Belief In Something?

Select each of the terms in the circles below to reveal in the large center circle, how, using each of the following epistemological worldviews, we can justify a belief in something:

Empiricism

Only by sensory experience and perception. “Seeing is believing!”

Rationalism

We can justify a belief by way of deductive reasoning and logic.

Post Modernism

There is no “truth” per se so beliefs can only justified to ourselves and by ourselves as it is our own internal experiences and perceptions that lead to belief

Biblical

Three Biblical methods

by which beliefs are justified:

  1. General Revelation - this is the revelation of the truth of the existence and glory of the one and only true God and Creator (Rom 1:20)
  2. Conscience - knowledge of right & wrong; good & evil
  3. Specific Revelation: The Scriptures/Word of God
Solipsism

We cant justify a belief as everything outside of ourselves is illusory

Cumulative Case

Judicial evidence: eye witnesses, evidence (archaeology), testimony etc

What is Knowledge

    1. A Priori – non empirical – knowledge can be acquired by reason “prior” to experience
    2. A Posteriori – empirical – knowledge is only possible (posterior) as a part of certain sensory experience in addition to reason. i.e. geographical location.
    3. Belief – We can’t say, “I know that a thing is true – but I don’t believe it” although it may be a phraseology in use within the Western vernacular it is a nonsensical statement. Our knowledge of truth and our belief are inextricably tied to one another.
    4. Justification – reasonable belief as opposed to irrational belief based on random chance

What is Truth

  1. “What is truth?” – this was the question asked of Jesus by Pontius Pilate. Aristotle attempted to define truth as, “To say of something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true.”
  2. Untruth: Aristotle defines falsehood/untruth as the following: “To say of something which is that it is not, or to say of something which is not that it is, is false.”
  3. Relative truth – This concept is embraced/developed via the constructive methodology: after sensory perception and experience (a posteriori);
    1. This is a truth as it exists within a person to that person but not necessarily in the external world as it truly is. e.g. “It is cold in here” or “That clown is scary!”
  4. Absolute truth – prior to sensory perception and experience (a priori) or a priori + a posteriori – this is a truth as it exists within the external world around us. e.g. “What goes up must come down due to the law of gravity” or “Cats give birth to cats”

Common Epistemological World Views

In contrast to empiricism, rationalism holds that reason provides the best (or only) path to truth. As reason is separate from sense and faculty, which empiricism requires, rationalism is considered a contrast belief to empiricism. Famous rationalists are Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.

As opposed to "rationalism", empiricism dictates that all knowledge is derived from experience and not from reason. This theory of epistemology relies heavily on sense experience and when pressed, most empiricists have to admit that they don't entirely live their lives by empiricism and in fact no one can.

  1. A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
  2. Philosophy an ancient or modern philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief, in some sphere.
  3. The doctrine that holds that true knowledge is not possible

There are primarily two types of skeptic, the "hard" skeptic who claims that objective or absolute truth cannot be obtained whereas the "soft" skeptic might claim that it is impossible to say whether objective or absolute truth can or cannot be known. Both positions are self-refuting in that the skeptic has to claim (and cling to) objective/absolute truth in order to deny its existence or its ability to be obtained!

“Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given” – Gaston Bachelard

A fairly recent view of epistemology which contends that knowledge is “constructed” by way of human perception and social experience along with external convention. It is this view that is embraced when positing “subjective” truth in contrast to “objective” truth. Constructivism holds that there is no one single superior methodology in that there may be equally efficient methodologies held by someone with a different societal or experiential “construct”. In some veins of constructivist thought, change can only occur in a person’s life if they engage in experiences outside their world view. In a sociological sense the constructivist might claim that those things which appear “obvious” and “natural” to a person are nothing more than manifestations, invention, and influences of that individual’s culture.

Materialism (sometimes referred to as physicalism) is the epistemological theory that physical matter is the only reality and that psychological states such as emotions, reason, thought, and desire will eventually be explained as physical functions. Some strict materialists might cling to the notion that reality is only comprised of those entities or particles discovered by physicists.

An epistemic view that a belief can be justified if based on a basic or foundational belief or set of beliefs which needs no justification as they are a foundational belief which is of a different sort of belief than a non-foundational one. Only non-foundational beliefs require being justified even if they are a “chain of beliefs” so long as they are supported by a foundational belief. Those that adhere to and propagate this epistemology claim that some basic propositions must exist (i.e. Reformed Theology’s argument for the existence of God). Opponents claim that it falls into “Agrippa’s Trilemma” of either becoming an infinite regress, circular reasoning, or a dogmatic stopping point which are all logical fallacies.

A belief system that stretches across epistemology, ethics/morality, and religion which holds to the idea that absolutes do not exist in the realms of knowledge, morality, & truth but rather exist only in direct relation to the culture, history, and society in which they are encountered. Critics point out that the flaw of this belief system is that it requires “absolute” knowledge and truth to claim there is “no absolute” truth or knowledge.

“The meaning of a proposition is its method of verification”

This epistemic view holds that all propositions are cognitively meaningful either by definitional analysis or verifiable by the senses. If a thing appears to be untrue/false by definition (falsifiable) and is itself not verifiable by sensory experience it is false. This approach to ‘meaning’ has been used in an effort to discount philosophy of religion and metaphysics. Both Metaphysicians and theologians have pointed out that the problem with this epistemology is that verificationism renders itself false by its own criterion. To which proponents of this position allowed for a “weak sense” of verifiability in which a proposition can be rendered verifiable if sensory experience could cause that proposition to be “probable”. This weakening of a flawed position then opened the door for both metaphysics and religion to be verifiable.

Moral truths or external objects exist independently of the individual mind or perception and that which can’t be “demonstrated” apart from one’s perception of it, cannot be classified as “provably real”. The primary founder of this epistemology was Ayn Rand who was influenced greatly by Aristotle. In order to be an objectivist one must endeavor to be emotionless, neutral, detached and avoiding of presuppositionalism in their thinking.

A somewhat obscure and simple system of belief that by its very simplicity affects nearly every category of one’s world view that adheres to it. Solipsism is simply the belief that nothing can be known outside of one’s self. In fact nothing can be known to even exist outside of one’s self. Its as if the individual wanders around in their own tiny world of reality and all their surroundings are just a dream! Because of its odd simplicity I have placed it in a number of categories. In this case, with regards to religion, it is similar to the hard agnostic view that knowledge of God cannot be known, obviously because he would exist outside of one’s self.

This view rejects objective moral values and structures. It has been referred to as epistemic "nothingness". Ambivalent transcendentalist thinker Friedrich Nietzche described nihilism as a "fate that haunts Western civilization. The second definition of nihilism in this case is a sub-category of epistemology in the sense that it asserts that nothing in the world has a real existence. Christian Science holds a nihilistic view with regards to sin, sickness, and pain. They assert that these things do not exist but are a figment of the imagination. It is for this reason that traditional medical aid (doctors) are rejected. c.f. Church of Scientology.

A step-sister of empiricism, this view holds that knowledge can be acquired only through direct observation and experimentation rather than through metaphysics and theology. This group tends to be skeptical of anything which cannot be directly observed.

A worldview which stresses that human existence is the sum of the actions that one takes. It can be either atheistic (normative) or religious (rare) and places an emphasis on the freedom and precariousness of the human situation. Famous existentialists are Friedrich Nietzche and Soren Kierkergard.

This view believes that the highesdt (and only) knowledge that exists is that which is derived from science - particularly natural science. This view utterly rejects the idea that knowledge can be derived from moral, religious or aesthetic experiences. It should be noted that those that claim this epistemology usually do not live consistently according to scientism. It is utterly impossible to have informed preference or even to claim to "love" or "hate" a particular thing when these emotional responses cannot come from the sciences.

The Biblical Worldview

Various philosophical worldviews will always lead the inquisitor to the same questions:

    1. How did we get here?
    2. Why am I here?
    3. What is my future, in life and after death?

It is for these questions that we have created this site that visitors may learn of the Biblical worldview which is the most correct and fully answers the three questions above.

Select the graphic below to be taken to a page to learn what the Biblical worldview is:

Take a look at the other systems of belief that comprise your world view:

Do you have a question for our staff here at truthforsaints.com? Please go to our contact page and send it in. We will be happy to give an answer to those who ask. Please note that your question may be utilized as a blog entry for the education of others regarding World Religions, Cults, Christian Denominations, or various World Views.

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