Religious Worldviews. Similarities and Differences. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Monotheism, Deism, Naturalism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Pantheism and New Consciousness are the worldviews I am examining and this is brief description of each and how they differ. From my observation, most of them have a shred of biblical truth in all of them, again this is from what I have observed in my personal study. This shred of biblical truth is what makes them appealing at all.
There is always some sugar in poison.
Monotheism is the belief that there is One God who is separated from the world but involved in the affairs of the world. Christianity is an example of Monotheism. God is an eternal being who created our physical world and all of creation/creature. God is sovereign.
Deism is the belief that there is a Divine Creator who created the world and created it to operate without assistance or intervention. The world is orderly and will operate as it is supposed to by its “Clock Work god” without divine intervention.
Naturalism is the belief that matter is all that exists and can only be understood through science and scientific methods. Matter is all that is real. Matter has no suggestion of what is good or bad. It is what it is. Morality is not a theme here.
Nihilism is an attitude that suggests how we can really know what is true, moral and good. It does not lend itself to any holy or ancient texts therefore; it cannot identify what is good, true and moral. Morality and immorality is identified. In order for something to be identified.
Existentialism believes that there is no God and that the meaning of life is determined by the individual. This view does not have a moral code. Man, is who he says he is and whatever he decides to do is permissible. Man, is to resist any authority that suggests anything to the contrary.
Pantheism is the belief that everything that exists is Spirit and therefore is God. Physical matter doesn’t exist. Everything is spiritual therefore everything is divine.
New Consciousness or New Age thinking is the belief that elevating our awareness and understanding is necessary to achieve greater understanding. In this view, an eternal Spirit is acknowledged but it does not have personage, according to the article, Windows on the World (2008).
When you examine each of them, you will see a shred of biblical truth in most of them or an account of the belief of them in a biblical figure. An examination of the Old Testament will reveal that the nations that opposed Yahweh and Israel had beliefs founded in one or more of these views. Ecclesiastes 1:9, New Living Translation states “History merely repeats itself. It all has been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new”. This is true as it relates to worldviews. The introduction of “new” concepts or theories are new at all, simply newly packaged.
We will never be able to answer all questions but those we can answer, we should. We can do so by challenging some of these views in a very practical manner by asking some really basic questions.
We can start by addressing the issue of morality. Do we really believe that neither good or bad exist? Let us think about a few things and answer these questions…
- A man having sex with a 5 year old girl?
- Government poisioning water?
- A woman having sex with her 9 year old son?
- A man cutting off his girlfriends head?
- A lunch worker throwing away a sandwich because a child does not have lunch money?
- A priest raping a nun?
- A church choosing to pay $3000 for airtime as opposed to funding an after school program?
- A parent abandoning a child?
Just answer the questions.
If morality plays any role in our decision making, then we can rule out worldviews that claim evil does not exist and that anything and everything man does is right.
Rule those out and see what is left and go from there.
-The Budding Professor Dana L. Perry