Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some of my thoughts

I might take the time to say now that to a certain degree my post's will follow on from earlier ones, so when you first visit it might be best to review my previous posts first. So, in the introductive post yesterday I layed out three basic question. Here are some of my thoughts.

What is a Paradigm/WorldVeiw?

A framework of ideas & concepts that help us to make sense of seemingly conflicting information. A paradigm is like a lens through which we see the world and interpret information. It can either distort and filter our perception of reality, or it could sharpen and clarify our view of the world. The aim must therefore be to hold a worldview that is as accurate as possible over a wide range of phenomena, thus a clear lens through which to process information, and hence live.

How is a Paradigm formed/ how is it created?

I think what I meant to ask was by what proccess's do individuals come to take on certain worldviews? The above question can actually ask, how in fact was the worldview initially formed? This is a different question altogether, and I think I might leave it till later. So, most people begin their live's by taking on the opinions and idea's of those that they have the most contact with. So parents obviously have the biggest effect on our thinking while we are young. As we grow older we are then influenced by extended family & freinds, schooling, media etc. Later again living in a modern world we are exposed to a huge range of different philosophies of which we can choose to investigate, or not. As adults we take resposibility for how we choose to view the world, whether or not we are consciously influenced by religious or philosophical system's. I think to some degree at least everybody has a worldview, although I suspect that for some people it is a subconcious thing.

How does it effect the way we see the world, and thus the way we live?

The worldview we subscribe to can effect the moral and ethical values that we consider to be important. It can affect the way we percieve ourselves metaphysically, ie What is mind? Matter? Do we posses something called a soul, and/or spirit? What are the psychological ideals we consider worth pursuing? The way we process world events and understand history can be filtered by our worldview. And finally what we consider important in life and thus worth pursuing is a direct consequence of how we view the world.

So, what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Are there points that I have overlooked? (There must be many, I'm sure.)
That will do for today.

Goodbye all. Peace.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hello everyone.

Hi, thanks for visiting my blog!

I will try and summarise why I have created this blog and what I want to get out of it, and what I hope other people will get out of it too. I have an idea for a website I would like to create covering the topics of world-views, paradigms primarily concerning Spirituality and Science and comparing the different ways of seeing the world. I envision this blog as an intermediate step towards the creation of the site, allowing me to discuss my veiws with other people, clarify and evolve my thinking and open myself up to criticism of my views. I hope that in doing so other people will learn more about some of the topics I will discuss and the different worldviews of others. I hope that many people will be interested in what I'm talking about and will partake in ongoing discussion with me, so particullarly I'm inviting everybody to post responses to my blogs, and also email me personally if you choose. I'm also asking people to spread the word, and invite other people into the discussion

I have yet to see any large scale project dealing with these topics. Whilst there are many website's dealing with comparative Religion and interfaith-dialogue (of differing quality!), and a few books dealing with world views (one of the only one's I have come across is "The Universe Next Door" by James W. Sire which didn't impress me particularly (I'll publish a full review of it soon), I have yet to come across any that have satisfied me. In general most discussion of these topics I've seen are either inconclusive, highly biased or most commonly, way too short.

You would have noticed from the above that I tend to write very long sentences, with brackets within brackets. Well, as I told someone recently that the side-effect of being partially self-educated, my English will probably be found lacking by those of you who are University educated. So, please excuse this, when I get around to making the website I will need to employ someone more skilled in this area.

I would like to be able to discuss controversial issues without the name-calling and personal, emotional attacks that are unfortunately quite common in the discussion of Religion. I will attempt to present my own opinions as objectively as possible, however being a human being (and hence imperfect) I will most likely fail in this from time to time (perhaps all the time!). So, please feel free to point this out to me. I would like to think that we can strongly disagree without having to result to calling each other bad, evil, stupid, brainwashed or any other such words (I particularily dislike swearing by the way, if anybody uses foul language in response to my posts I will delete the comments!)

So, what I think I will do is regularly post on different topics and then respond to the comments I get. So, I will start with a series of questions:

What is a Paradigm/WorldVeiw?

How is a Paradigm formed/ how is it created?

How does it effect the way we see the world, and thus the way we live?

I will write my own thoughts on these questions, but I thought it would be good to let people respond first. Thank you everyone for taking part in my "experiment", I hope it is a stimulating and productive experience for us all.