Before presenting our answers to today’s question, we need to introduce our friend, May-Lily Lee. May-Lily is a Praxis Circle Member Contributor who has been on board from the beginning. She’s an extremely talented public figure, who helped guide our early interviews as co-interviewer and videographer. She is the host of our Hero Video on our homepage. We’ve gotten to know her in the process over the last few years, and that was her big mistake!
And she’s right: The word worldview does sound academic. The problem is, worldview is the generally accepted word for what we’re talking about today, and, as we mentioned in a prior post, the first thing humans do in order to solve their problems is give them a name.
In any case, in discussing worldview topics with others, we hope you’ll always keep May-Lily Lee’s clip above front of mind. More specifically, what we hope you’ll remember is her story we will entitle “Penn the Gracious Magician.”
As stated in our About page, our PC mission is based on such faithful prescriptions as, Seek to understand before being understood, or Most people don’t wake up seeking to do evil to their fellow man. (BTW, we’ll challenge somewhat that last presumption in later PC posts and discussions.)
But May-Lily offers Penn Jillette’s (of Penn & Teller fame) approach to worldview idea and information exchange that we hope all PC Members will adopt: Sharing worldview thoughts is usually an act of caring, not a mean & ugly act of coercion. We’re dedicated to such acceptance and trust, and we hope to model Penn as we progress over the long run.
Now that would be truly magical.
And thank you for that special story, May-Lily!
So why study worldview?
Surprisingly, while there’s a lot of written worldview content, there isn’t much written on why we should want to take it in, why study the subject itself. There are certainly good reasons for skipping over the justification part that we’ll touch on soon enough, but let’s just say that most “worldview writers” address the question “why” ever so briefly as it relates to their own purposes, then quickly move on.
Instead, what we’ll do here now is offer a summary, and then come back to the question for elaboration one more time in the next post. In fact, we’ve already strongly hinted at several of the reasons why worldview study today is so important.
“Authorities” PC has consulted have written as presented here in a rather hodge-podge fashion (with some repetition and overlap) that your worldview:
1) Can determine your fate and that of those around you who hold the same view, as well as strongly influence others nearby with differing views,
2) Influences everything you do, even pragmatic or logistical decisions and their outcomes,
3) Helps you determine and achieve your goals and, in general, to be more effective,
4) Determines your values (and even many of your “facts”),
5) Blocks or enhances your creativity, pool of options, experiential accommodation, and confirmation bias,
6) Gives you your meaning in life, life motivation, and morality (if any),
7) Is part of being human and what you need to think about to be more so,
8) Is the thing you need to be true to in order to be a more “authentic” person or a more “holy” person (or at least respectful of the sacred?),
9) Is what you must understand to “Know thyself” (tipping our hat to Socrates, who stole the idea from the Oracle at Delphi, where those words were written on its walls; thank you, Frank Hill!),
10) Is one key factor that will determine how you interact with others,
11) Is a critical determinant of your level of power and influence in your worlds: In sum, is the primary source of success, conflict, creation, and destruction, in tandem with the worldviews of empowered others, in the local, regional, national, and global public squares,
12) Is what we must try to find freedom and accommodation for all in our public spaces to achieve peace and prosperity, often referred to today as “human flourishing,”
13) Must be able to recognize other worldviews that directly conflict with and perhaps seek to subvert or destroy yours, so that they might be properly dealt with (if that is your wordview) and reduced to harmlessness or even somehow eliminated (a tough one given humans), if necessary and possible.
[Footnote concerning #12: Worldview “agreement in community” might be a good and worthy goal – and we emphasize again: might be– but we doubt that it’s possible in the U.S. now given the level of pervasive angst, without quite a lot more worldview knowledge and human bridge-building.]
In our next post, we’ll survey the current state of conflict referred to just now in America and conclude with 7 more reasons why PC Membership “Building Worldviews” might help.
As you can see, when it comes to beating helpless animals, we at PC have no mercy when it comes to dead horses.
(And why should we? Only your worldview can answer that. :))