Personal Worldview Inventory
July 7 2018
Personal Worldview Inventory
A worldview is a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.” (Sire, 2004, p.122). It is therefore a set of beliefs that we all hold true and live by. It is a special pair of lenses that allows people to view the world through their own version of reality.
Because a worldview is quite overarching, people have unique perspectives on world view; however, it can integrate many theories from various aspects of life. For example, within our families, communities and cultures, similarities can be noted.
Spirituality to a great degree can influence an individual’s worldview and therefore requires to be considered so as to care for a patient holistically. The philosophical notions of scientism and postmodernism are a current obstacle against the full acceptance of spirituality in healthcare. My faith strongly influences my worldview but also my science rich background is also present to a great extent, hence demonstrating the likelihood of a pluralistic relationship.
Philosophical Concepts and Spirituality
Spirituality is a perception an individual has about beliefs in relevance to the meaning of life and their connection with others (“What is spirituality,” 2015). However, spirituality does not have one definite definition; it can vary from one person to another depending on who is searching for the meaning. This means that spirituality can change within one person if he/she searches more for answers and find their beliefs. Spirituality is not necessarily religious, but it is vital in the treatment of patients holistically. Spirituality and religion medical field for many years now has been downplayed to some extent where patient’s spirituality was not considered in patient histories or conversations. People’s worldview is strongly influenced by their spirituality and hence spirituality can be utilized in giving patients better care. Spirituality also decreases mortality, increase coping skills, and increase recovery times (Puchalski, 2001).
One of the reasons for the exclusion of spirituality notion from healthcare and nursing practice is due to the philosophical ideals of scientism and postmodernism. Scientism is the belief that if knowledge of something wasn’t obtained through science, then it is not real (“Foundations,” 2015). Postmodernism share same similarities with relativism because it rejects all claims of absolute knowledge, role of reason, and rationality in science (Taylor & Taylor, 2014). Postmodernism concept states truth is relative to ones’ perception.
These concepts have therefore stifled spiritualism because they do not create a room for pluralism, the acceptance of diversity of beliefs and practices (Shelly ; Miller, 2006). The philosophical concepts of scientism and postmodernism exclude ethical reasoning and are unable to fully grasp the whole picture of what human life is about. I believe that there are some elements of these two concepts that can coexist together, enhance a person’s spirituality and contribute to a better worldview. For example, being able to acknowledge the importance of science in health care but incapable of standing alone, as well as acknowledging that we should not accept everything we are told blindly.
Sire’s Seven Questions
James Sire uses seven central questions that must be answered for comprehension of one’s world view. The first question is what is prime reality? It is a question that is asking what is truly real in the world. I would answer that it’s God because I personally believe in Him and that is my reality. The second question explored how we perceived the nature of the world around us. Here we are asked to answer whether we see the world as autonomous or created by God, as orderly or chaotic, as a spirit or matter etc… God created the earth to work in uniformity and the earth was made out of nothing (Sire, 2009). That is also my belief. However, I do not refute the theory of evolution and that there are also some aspects of the scientism view that the art of science started the universe. The third question asks what a human being is. I believe a human is a creature created by God. Extraordinary machines with mystery images of God and we were made for a purpose to serve God. “Human beings are created in the image of God and thus possess personality, self-transcendence, intelligence, morality, gregariousness and creativity” (Sire, 2009). In postmodernism and scientism, matter created human beings and there is no foundation of human beings from the beginning or the purpose for our existence. I therefore do not believe we exist for nothing. Sire goes on to ask what happens to a person in death. I view death as an entrance to meet God and live an eternal life with Him. With religious death, once everyone dies they will face judgment by God (Noebel,2006). Death is not the end of life; it is promotion to an eternal life. I have suffered a great deal of loss in my life and find comfort in believing that there is an afterlife. I believe this life is a test to achieving eternal peace.
The next question is why is it possible to know anything at all? This question is a reflection on the study of epistemology, the theory of knowledge in relation to its limits and validity (“Definition of epistemology,” 2015). I personally believe that since made in the image of an all-knowing God it is possible for us to unlock a lot of mysteries in our life. James sire then asks us how we know what is right and wrong. Again, I acknowledge that we are made in the image of a God whose character is good. I also believe right or wrong can be determined by human choice with the conscience written in our hearts by God. The Sire’s last question is what the meaning of human history is. The meaning of human history is to realize the purpose of God, by living a life in strive to be better people for a reward of accessing eternal peace.
My worldviews are an illustration of the influence of Christianity while still acknowledging and not dispelling in totality all scientific facts. I believe that pluralism needs to be upheld in healthcare and nursing practices to promote the coexistence of science and spirituality. Spirituality improves patient outcomes. This responsibility therefore is left on the hands of healthcare provider.
Definition of epistemology. (2015). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epistemologyFoundation of Christian Spirituality in Health Care. (2015). In Grand Canyon University lecture notes. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from https://lc-ugrad1.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html?operation=home&classId=9bdc20ef-c021-4d8b-b939-12067cc3b2ef#/learningPlatform/loudBooks/loudbooks.html?viewPage=current&operation=innerPage&cNoebel, D. (2006). What is Postmodernism?. A paper presented at the Pre-Trib Study Group, 44.
Puchalski, C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 14(4), 352-357. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1305900/Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL.: IVP Academic. Retrieved from http://gcumedia.com/digital-resources/intervarsity-press/2006/called-to-care_a-christian-worldview-for-nursing_ebook_2e.phpTaylor, M., & Taylor, R. (2014, August 18). Is relativism and postmodernism the same? In Seeking Our God. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from https://seekingourgod.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/is-relativism-and-postmodernism-the-same/
What is spirituality? (2015, September). In Reach Out. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://au.reachout.com/what-is-spirituality