One Way to Rule Them All?

What is your preferred way of looking at the world? Of assessing it? Of discriminating between various options and choosing your course of action? Not easy questions, no easy answers. Unless there is one Way to rule them all. But is there?

Having read a discussion between two philosophers with opposing views on the relationship between religion and science, I noticed one curious thing (among others). You can get to know yourself better by becoming more aware of your worldview. 

If you build your worldview based on one narrowly defined set of criteria and then evaluate everything that comes your way based on that set alone, you are basically trying to force the entire richness of the world into your preferred worldview. The world obviously will not fit. But such worldview may give a satisfying feeling of control and certainty. Extreme dogmatism lives here.  

On the other hand, you simply cannot live in this world without any set of criteria, being fully open to everything. We humans cannot function like that, the world is just too much for us to take in its entirety. We need our worldviews as helpful guides in life. Without a set of criteria acting as a sort of filter, we will be overwhelmed and swept along the currents of social winds (in the best case). Extreme relativism lives here.

It seems both these extremes have a paralyzing effect on us. In one case we think we know everything, in another – nothing. Neither worldview is a helpful guide in life. Perhaps, therefore, the richness and complexity of the world should be met with a rich and complex approach to developing our worldviews. 

There are no easy answers to the questions I posed at the opening of this article. Yet, whatever answers each of us might give, we would be wise to accept that, however strong our wish for simplicity, clarity and certainty, there is no one Way to rule them all. 

keep exploring! 

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