What Is a Worldview?

What Is a Worldview?

A worldview is a perspective used to interpret one’s own experiences as well as the happenings in civilizations and history (Vidal, 2008). Every individual who has beliefs about reality and how to make sense of the events in the world is acting from a worldview. Regardless of whether a person is aware of their worldview, everyone has one (Taves, Asprem, & Ihm, 2018 What Is a Worldview?).

What Is a Worldview?

Think of the lens of a camera: A photographer places the lens against his or her eye and views the world through the lens. The photographer assigns meaning to what the lens reveals. A worldview is not a physical lens but, rather, a philosophical and intellectual lens though which a person sees and interprets everything one encounters. It helps a person accumulate and interpret how human beings gain knowledge, the area of study known as epistemology, and what one knows to be true about the world, others, and oneself. Worldview determines what one does and does not value and find meaningful in life.

A worldview includes underlying, often unconscious, assumptions about reality that a person holds. These assumptions inform how a person determines what thoughts and actions are morally right and wrong. They also influence whether a person has positive or negative thoughts about the future. Sandy Gibson (2011 What Is a Worldview?) conducted a study on male prisoners of various ages and discovered that internally held worldview assumptions informed how they viewed both their present circumstances and future possibilities. To put it simply, worldview will influence one’s sense of hopefulness or lack thereof.

Why do some people look forward to the future while others do not? Such worldview assumptions are shaped over a lifetime (Gibson, 2011) and may be additionally influenced by adult experience, such as religious experiences or traumatic events. Other studies conducted by Edmonson, Chaudoir, Mills, Park, and Bartkowiak (2011 What Is a Worldview?) and others demonstrate that trauma can play a significant role in worldview formation. When a person cannot integrate a traumatic event in his or her worldview, then posttraumatic stress disorder may occur, which can change the person’s ability to handle daily activities and shape how the person interprets events and assigns meaning to experiences (Edmonson et.al., 2011).

According to Clément Vidal (2008), those who possess coherent, practical, and consistent worldviews tend to experience less stress, are more open to encountering others in the world, and have a greater sense of trust and hope (Vidal, 2008 What Is a Worldview?). Hence, it is important to think through and hold a worldview that is clear, consistent, and matches reality.

Worldviews come under two broad categories: religious and nonreligious. This text has further divided those two worldview categories into three: atheism, pantheism, and theism. Most people hold worldviews compatible with these three.

Worldview Analysis and Personal Inventory

Nursing has existed throughout the years, responding to the holistic needs of patients and clients. Nursing has undergone many struggles for recognition as a reputable and autonomous profession. The struggle is sculpted in the pages of our nation’s and world’s history. Where science fails to fully explain human beings’ origin and nature, ethics and religion play a vital role. Furthermore, healthcare providers and patients hold different worldviews on nature and perspectives about human beings, affecting service delivery. This paper reviews the Christian view of the nature of spirituality, explains the concept of scientism and the main arguments against it, and provides my perspective on different worldview questions.

Christian Perspective of Spirituality and Ethics vs. Postmodern Relativism

Religious or spiritual affiliations and one’s cultural background influence one’s perspectives and beliefs about health. Furthermore, the Christian view on the perceived meaning of life, beliefs, values, and life experiences influence many decisions in healthcare (Rego et al., 2020). Christianity views spirituality as the theological and religious explanations of the nature of God (how, what, and who). Furthermore, spirituality signifies the interaction and personal relationship between the Christian and God. Christians perceive God as the external, supreme, all-powerful creator, preserver, and controller of everything in the world (Hogg et al., 2022). Christians have an immanent and transcendent belief in God’s monotheistic conception views. Christians have adopted the belief systems presented in the teachings of the Holy Bible. The belief systems explain the meaning, truth, and purpose of human life and experiences. Therefore, Christians achieve a transcendent state of experience when they pursue the Bible’s teachings and belief systems. Consequently, when making life choices, humans’ spirituality ensures that their decisions are grounded on the will and guidance of God.

Spirituality also ensures that Christians are more accepting in life. Christians believe God is the author and determiner of all human fate, good or bad. Ecclesiastes 7:14 states that when times are good, people should be happy, but when times are bad, they should make considerations, for God has made both good and bad so that no one can discover anything about their future (Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV), 2011). Furthermore, Christians perceive ethics as making decisions following God’s instructions in the Bible. Therefore, they conform to God’s expectations without any ambiguity. Christians rely on ethics and spirituality when making decisions and accepting choices that restore life, augment well-being, and lessen suffering.

In contrast, postmodern relativism posits that there is no absolute truth, and the world can be perceived and interpreted innumerable ways (Holtz, 2020). Furthermore, postmodernism views spirituality as ambiguous when arguing about the existence of God. In ethical arguments, postmodernism believes there is no absolute truth and one should not discard contradictory opinions. Postmodernism relativism is vital in healthcare delivery as it embraces diversity and promotes multicultural care by accepting that no one holds the monopoly of truth about ethics and spirituality, and doubtful cultural perspectives should not be disregarded.

Scientism and Arguments Against It

Scientism is a broad-based view and belief that the research methods and assumptions of the natural and physical sciences provide more scientific knowledge than other disciplines, including social sciences, humanities, and philosophy. The hard sciences rely on testable, replicable, and factual data, making them reliable. On the other hand, soft sciences are considered to present conjectures and guesses that are irreplicable and prone to changes, making them unreliable and inferior to hard sciences. Soft sciences are subjective and provide information on human nature that may have contrasting ideas on one principle (Moreland, 2018). Therefore, scientism perceives that the hard sciences possess more excellent fundamental knowledge and intellectual authority than the soft sciences.

The two main arguments against scientism are that it is self-refuting or self-referentially incoherent and scientism’s (false) dilemma (Hietanen et al., 2020). One main global objection is that science is built upon non-scientific grounds. For instance, scholars argue that some metaphysical assumptions, such as presuming that other minds or the external world exist, are necessary for science. Moreover, human capacities such as introspection, memory, senses, and inference are considered to belong to the non-scientific foundation (Hietanen et al., 2020). Therefore, these dependencies provide significant dilemmas to scientism that closer scrutiny would render scientism false. The second major objection against scientism is that it is self-refuting. Scientism states that one should only believe or accept the claims obtained through scientific means. Therefore, scientism must be able to be scientifically justified. However, Hietanen et al. (2020) assert that scientism is not and cannot be justified solely on scientific research and, therefore, it would be irrational to accept scientism.

Ultimate Reality

Ultimate reality refers to the existing actuality surpassing the world’s non-physical and physical dimensions. It is the source of all that prevails in the world, the central connecting point, and the absolute power. In the Christian perspective, it is the eternal and supreme being whose transcendent presence governs the universe (Diller, 2021). Verses in the Bible support Christians’ beliefs that there exists a supreme being. God is the ultimate reality. He endures eternally and is described as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. I believe I am a product of God’s creation and interactions with the environment around me. My family, community, and other environmental factors have determined my mannerisms, values, and life perceptions. These experiences influence my decision-making processes. Had I been born to a different religion or community, I believe I would be a different person with other views on the nature of life.

Nature of the Universe

The universe does not have eternity. Biblical texts add to this view. In the Genesis account of creation, the universe had a beginning. It also has an end, as outlined in the Revelation account of the destiny of humanity and the world. The universe is also changing continuously, with time being the primary form of change. Energy processes drive changes, determining the direction and extent of prioritization processes driving this change. These processes include energy conversion, competition, evolution, and extinction. They are necessary for determining the nature and direction of the universe. Competition is an unavoidable aspect of life on earth and involves struggling to acquire scarce resources that provide the essential energy that drives different processes. When some components cannot cope with the competitive processes either due to disastrous events or effects of direct competition, they are removed from the world through extinction. Other habitats of the universe evolve to adapt to changes and ensure a better environmental fit. These processes are necessary for the universe and provide a form of natural equilibrium and balance, ensuring that the universe optimally responds to all the needs of its inhabitants.

What is a Human Being?

According to the Christian view, humans are God’s creation, created in His likeness and image. The mystery of Jesus Christ finishes the picture of humans, and He is the ideal representation of God and the only heavenly and human creature revealing God to humans. Human beings are one entity encompassing the soul, body, and mind within them. Human beings derive their identity from humanity, not acts of consciousness, independence, and freedom. Human beings engage in political, social, and economic activities to benefit everyone.

Furthermore, all people possess cognition. Essential components of cognition include memory, awareness, perception, cognitive capacity, and comprehension. These cognitive processes enable people to live fulfilling lives and interact well with others. Unlike other species in the universe, humans can also communicate with each other. Moreover, people have a high degree of reason and will, are superior to other universal components, and have the freedom to engage and act in deliberate ways, with the capacity to justify their deeds (Stahl & Kilner, 2019). Lastly, all people have intrinsic human worth and dignity, which must be unconditionally valued and respected.

What is Knowledge?

Knowledge refers to the skills, information, facts, and understanding one gains through educative experiences. Education involves the formal and informal processes that provide an avenue for people to acquire knowledge. The Lancet Public Health (2020) states that there is an intrinsic link between education and the well-being and health of the population. Moreover, education is strongly associated with healthy behaviors, reduced morbidity, and increased life expectancy. Furthermore, attaining educational experiences and subsequent knowledge and skills is vital in shaping income, employment, and opportunities. The proper professional education and expertise equip a person with complex cognitive thought processes to tackle complex or specialized tasks. For instance, a doctor can correctly diagnose, prescribe suitable treatment therapies, and treat patients. Similarly, a nurse is prepared to promote health, prevent illnesses, and care for sick, incapacitated, and dying patients through educational experiences and knowledge.

Basis of Ethics

There is no single idea that satisfactorily answers the question of the genesis of humans. Investigations and research knowledge regarding human beings have significantly expanded. However, there are human aspects that science alone cannot answer. Philosophical, ethical, and religious beliefs provide explanations that compensate for deficient knowledge. The basis of my ethics is grounded on religious beliefs, awareness, and personal opinions of what is morally right or wrong. My upbringing and parental guidance have also shaped my ethical basis. I have been taught to respect everyone, embrace cultural and spiritual diversity, be honest in my dealings, and promote the well-being of all people. I also conform to state laws and public consensus when making potentially ethical decisions.

The Purpose of My Existence

My first purpose for existing is to have a family, procreate, have a fulfilling nursing profession, and have a decent income that will enable me to cater to all my needs. I also exist to be a good person and a blessing in other people’s lives, helping them whenever possible. I envision a society that embraces humanity at all costs.


This paper has provided insight into the Christian perspective of the nature of ethics and spirituality and the essence of postmodern relativism within healthcare settings. Healthcare workers should embrace cultural and religious diversity when dealing with challenging clinical situations. Additionally, one should be introspective and define one’s worldview on ultimate reality, the nature of the universe, the basis of one’s ethics, and the purpose of existence. These questions give one a redefined sense and a better outlook on life.


Diller, J. (2021). God and Other Ultimates (E. N. Zalta, Ed.). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/god-ultimates/

Hietanen, J., Turunen, P., Hirvonen, I., Karisto, J., Pättiniemi, I., & Saarinen, H. (2020). How Not to Criticize Scientism. Metaphilosophy, 51(4), 522–547. https://doi.org/10.1111/meta.12443

Hogg, W. R., Marty, M. E., Sullivan, L. E., Fredericksen, L., Lindberg, C. H., & Hick, J. (2022, August 13). Christianity. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christianity

Holtz, P. (2020). Does Postmodernism Really Entail a Disregard for the Truth? Similarities and Differences in Postmodern and Critical Rationalist Conceptualizations of Truth, Progress, and Empirical Research Methods. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.545959

Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV). (2011). Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV – – Bible Gateway. Www.biblegateway.com.

Moreland, J. P. (2018). What Is Scientism? Crossway.org. Retrieved from https://www.crossway.org/articles/what-is-scientism/

Rego, F., Gonçalves, F., Moutinho, S., Castro, L., & Nunes, R. (2020). The influence of spirituality on decision-making in palliative care outpatients: a cross-sectional study. BMC Palliative Care, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-020-0525-3

Stahl, D., & Kilner, J. (2019). The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons with Profound Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of the Christian Institute on Disability, 6(1-2), 19-40.

The Lancet Public Health. (2020). Education: a neglected social determinant of health. The Lancet Public Health, 5(7), e361. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2468-2667(20)30144-4

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