Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

How do we relate to people? The “isms”

Many “isms” are presented as a form to help people to relate to people and to understand themselves and their worldviews such as Naturalism, Deism, Existentialism, and Islamism. I will present them in a short understanding.


Naturalism asserts that the world is of a piece; everything we are and do is included in the space-time continuum whose most basic elements are those described by physics. We are the evolved products of natural selection, which operates without intention, foresight or purpose (“Tenets of Naturalism,” n.d.). According to the Tenets of Naturalism, nothing about us escapes being included in the physical universe, or escapes being shaped by the various processes – physical, biological, psychological, and social – that science describes.


Deism presents other view to understand life and related situations. It preaches that Deism has a lot to offer to us and to society (“World Union of Deists” n.d.). Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature; therefore, Deism presents itself as a natural religion and is not a “revealed” religion. The natural religion/philosophy of Deism frees those who embrace it from the inconsistencies of superstition and the negativity of fear that are so strongly represented in all of the “revealed” religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam (“World Union of Deists,” n.d.). They are called revealed because they all claim to having received a special revelation from God and they present many books with its roots in God as the revelator.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay


Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice (Mastin, 2008). It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. Existentialism focuses many questions such as the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no explanation that can derive of the core of existence. However, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness (and hence to find meaning in life) is by embracing existence (Mastin, 2008).


According to (“Islam,” n.d.) Islamism is an important religion, which shares many beliefs and practices with Christianity and Judaism. Furthermore, Islam is a rational religion: “The vilest of creatures are those who choose to be deaf and dumb and do not use their reason.” (Qur’an 8:2). Muhammad reminded his followers that “The first thing God created was reason”. Therefore, believers must take personal responsibility for one’s actions and faith. Islam’s appeal lies in being able to connect the piety of faith, the covenant, and the mobilizing elements to produce powerful resistance to foreign intrusion. Crucial dimension is not economic but social. Sufism is the mystical dimension of Islam (“Islam,” n.d.).

The pillars of Islam are: 1. Faith in ONE God and Muhammed the Prophet; 2. Five daily prayers facing to Meca; 3. Sharing or giving money to the poor is REQUIRED, not optional; 4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan. Muslins cannot eat or drink anything during the daylight hours (period of spiritual and moral renewal); and 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca: Once in their lives, IF they can afford it. Some authorities add a sixth pillar: Jihad or Holy War in defense of Islam. Means active opposition to evil and injustice, more than literal warfare (Dutch, n.d.; Kash, n.d.).Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

DeSantis (n.d.) present six Islamism’s beliefs: 1. Belief in only One God. He is defined as Eternal, Absolute, Infinite, Compassionate and Merciful, the sole Creator and Provider; 2. Engage only in Righteous Actions in all areas: spiritual, intellectual and physical activity; 3. All God’s creation is “Muslim”. Only humans are given CHOICE to submit (be Muslim) or reject submission to God’s will; 4. All children are born without sin and are Muslim. As they grow older, they make their religious CHOICE; 5. God created human beings with a body and soul. The body is a temporal host for this life, whereas the soul is eternal. It is the soul that will survive beyond death, and 6. Universality of the call. All Muslims are brothers and equals without any distinction of class, race or tongue. Superiority is only based on the greater fear of God and greater piety.

How To Deal With The “Isms”

As stated above through the Sire’s seven questions, as a Christian Theist, I believe in God and follow the Bible as my book of revelation about the God becoming knowledgeable Himself through the scriptures and given a variety of instructions belonging to many areas of our lives to us, as human beings. I accept and defend God and His creation, as well as I hope to see Him soon and live together. As simple as is.

On the other hand, we can defend our worldview without being arrogant to other’s “isms” worldviews. So, in some instance, I felt a bit uncomfortable trying to answers some provocative questions that have appeared in many post comments on the related week’s forum about the “isms”. I believe that the “tone” on this role play should be a lot different. Instead attacking the worldview of others being provocative, arrogant and/or sarcastic, my point is that we should add knowledge to ourselves and limit some “personal” thoughts in order to discuss only ideas and beliefs in a non-aggressive tone that are related to the class’ proposals. There is no gain in any type of dispute. Before some people state their position in an arrogant way, these people should go deeply and learn and understand their cultures, and their worldviews they are inciting. They could also learn how to speak their languages so they could say that they know a bit more about them. So, it is always wise to be careful when expelling out the other’s worldviews.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

How My Education Connects to My Worldview

My education also has shaped my worldview. Education and learning are constantly taking place in a person’s life (Knight, 2006, p. 108). Thinking about my personal education and how it has similarities with my actual one. I can divide my education in parts: my home education and school education. The most important part of my home education is that one that I could learn and receive from my parents. They gave me a Christian education and taught me the basic principles, values, ethics, and built the foundation for the person I am today. My father used to say: “My son, education will always give you the skills and knowledge, but they won’t be enough. Study as much as you can because it will help you to make better decisions in your life. Have a good relationship with God and ask Him humility and wisdom. Finally, do as best as you can for the people around you.”Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

I think that in some level we tend to reflect in our lives the level of education and boundaries we were taught in our early ages. So the education we teach to our children is in some way a combination of that one we received from our parents. If we feel that it was a good one, we automatically transfer to them. If we feel that it was not a good one, we take knowledge and do it in different ways. My children are 10 and 11 years old and I would like to apply the knowledge I have now back few years ago. Even with my knowledge, I would say that I would do some things in a different way. By May 2016, they will celebrate their 50thanniversary and I am very thankful to God for this celebration as well as the education they have given to me. They have helped me as a person, father, husband, friend, son, brother, educator, leader, etc.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

My school education is a combination Christian and non-Christian education. After I have finished my non-Christian elementary and middle school in a small city in South of Brazil, I left it to live in Sao Paulo and to attend high school in a Seventh-day Adventist Academy. Sao Paulo was among the five biggest cities around the world and an unsafe city to live outside the walls of the school. As soon as I finished high school in Sao Paulo, I moved to Curitiba to continue my studies. In Curitiba I attended the college and took the Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, followed by the Specialization in Finance, and a MBA in Business Administration/Finance. Parallel to these degrees, I took three years as a Bachelor’s in Music (Piano solo). As I had already started my piano soloist career earlier, for multiple reasons, I did not complete this degree.

If compared to Anyon (1980)’s study, I can say that I always had the opportunity to participate in the “Affluent Professional School”, the fourth class of school among the five contained in his study. My parents always looked for giving me the best study they could afford. Repeating my father’s words again, he used to say: “My son, education will always give you the skills and knowledge, but they won’t be enough. Study as much as you can because it will help you to make better decisions in your life.”Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay


I left Brazil to live in US in 2002 and from US to Canada in 2012. So I used to say that my education/learning/schooling is always a working in progress. I am taking the Ph.D. program in Leadership at Andrews University in US and a Bridging program at York University in Toronto. As English is not my first language, every single class I take is a challenge. I would say that for me, it takes almost the double of the time to have a complete understanding about the readings and to elaborate projects and complete assignments. Living, working and studying in these different countries, and receiving a cross cultural education; I can affirm that directly or indirectly, my worldview has been influenced by these cultures. However, Thompson (2014) states that “Great leaders are always learning” (p.20).

The Constructivism Approach

I see in my education the constructivism approach where according to Knight (2006) means that I am constantly revising and upgrading my knowledge. It dictates the way I can learn seeking new understanding or ways to fulfill my knowledge with “new” things. Basically it says that I can construct my own knowledge through experiencing things and reflecting on them. Is some way, is how I construct my worldview about things making some type of measurement about the ideas and experiences already acquired against the new information where I can change or discard them. It is a continuous learning process through life; where we are actively creating our own knowledge. This approach makes me a bit uncomfortable because the quantity of “knowledge” I have today, may not be enough to keep me as a successful leader, educator and professional five years from now. What does it mean? The education and learning acquisition’s system are in a constant and evolving change. I have to analyze myself constantly and compare to level and quantity of information it is necessary to exceed.

My learning process as well as my need to seek knowledge never ends. Through my ideas, education and experiences that promote my actual knowledge I have to be innovative and reflective in order to add more knowledge on it. The principal goal of education is to create individuals who are capable of doing new things, not simple of repeating what other generations have done (Theory of Constructivism – Jean Piaget) (Constructivism, n.d.).Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

My Worldview As Leader

As leader, I also need to understand who I am. Reading the article “Learning while leading: The Andrews University leadership program” written by Drs. Freed, Covrig, and Baumgartner (2011), on page 37 it states: “Leaders need to understand who they are-and they achieve this understanding in part by learning the significance of their own life stories.” This citation caught my attention, and I would like to reflect in the first part where it says “Leaders need to understand who they are”. As early as 42 B.C., Publilius Syrus proposed: “It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are” (Whetten & Cameron, 2011, p. 57). Freud (1956) once asserted that to be completely honest with oneself is the best effort and individual can make, because complete honesty requires a continual search for more information about the self and a desire for self-improvement (Whetten & Cameron, 2011, p. 58).

I would like to extend Freud’s point adding that we cannot improve ourselves or develop new capabilities unless and until we consciously know what level of capacity and ability we presently possess. This is a point of recognition and evaluation about our current abilities and deficiencies versus what is expected at end. The realization that we may not be totally adequate or knowledgeable is sometimes difficult to accept because seeking self-knowledge is a prerequisite for our personal growth. However, for a variety of reasons we might be attempted to avoid seeking information as well as evaluate ourselves because it may make us feel inferior. Whetten and Cameron (2011) declares that self-knowledge will help you understand your own taken-for-granted assumptions, trigger points, sensitive line, comfort zone, strengths and weaknesses, and so forth. I would say that this is an important part of our self-awareness which is to understand who we are.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

As a leader, I am also a proactive person by nature. I try to learn, reach a high level of home and school education, and acquire knowledge as much as possible for few reasons including that they can grow me as a person and as a professional as well. Cloud and Townsend (1992) state that “Proactive people show you what they love, what they want, what they purpose, and what they stand for” plus “Proactive people are able to love others as themselves, they have mutual respect, they are able to die to self and not return evil for evil” (p.98). This is me.

From the various education philosophies theories I have learned, I sympathize with ontology (being) and epistemology (knowing). Knight (2006) claims that “Ontology is the study of the nature of being.” It is how we make sense of being or existence. On the other hand, Epistemology is the study of knowledge or how we know the things we know. In a practical way, epistemology is how we make sense of the processes by which we make sense. More broadly, epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge. So based in these two analyzes, and in a simple philosophical thought, I like to think and I am naturally inclined to consider that “Ontology comes ‘before’ Epistemology” in the same way I can consider that “Zero comes ‘before’ One”. I can think that ontology is a sufficient condition for epistemology. Example: you cannot study something which you do not have an example of. In general, this is our life and this is one of the reasons I am taking the leadership program (LP) of Andrews University (AU), always seeking more knowledge.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

As Christians we believe that everything began with God. God made everything real. Sire (2009) present many question which his first question is What is prime reality-the really real? To this we might answer: God, or the gods, or the material cosmos (Sire, 2009, p. 22). The LP of AU is summarized by these two philosophical dimensions about being and knowing where: being works with the individual bringing his/her personal and professional experiences and sharing with other his/her “cultures, beliefs, worldviews, and theoretical orientations”. Knowing is represented by the paradoxical unity of theory and practice and as leaders we can transmit and generate knowledge. (Andrews University: Leadership Handbook 2014-15). In my understanding, I am participating actively in these two philosophical dimensions in this LP of AU.

So as leader in the position to exert leadership, if I understand the complexity of my own culture, working by worldview and values I am inserted, I can better understand my own behavior and values. As important as the understanding of my own worldview is how I deal, interpret and accept other’s worldviews. I would say that, the leader’s role would be a complete understanding of culture, applying the worldview, values and principles in a right way moving forward the vision. Doing so, I can exert a better and successful leadership.

Reference list

Anyon, J. (1980). Social class and the hidden curriculum of work. Journal of Education, 162(1), 67-92.

Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (1992). Boundaries: When to say yes, when to say no to take control of your life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Constructivism. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2015 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_%28philosophy_of_education%29

DeSantis, A. (n.d.). Understanding Islam: A brief introduction. Retrieved March 20, 2015 www.uky.edu/~addesa01/documents/UnderstandingIslamforweb.ppt

Dutch, S. (n.d.). Islam. Retrieved March 20, 2015 https://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/WestTechPPT/Islam.ppt

Freed, S., Covrig, D., & Baumgartner, E. (2011). Learning while leading: The Andrews University leadership program. Journal of Applied Christian Leadership, 4(1), 26-55.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

Freud, S. (1956). Collected papers (Vol. 3 and 4). London: Hogarth.

Islam. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2015 schools.yrdsb.ca/markville.ss/history/religion/ISlam.ppt

Kash. (n.d.). The religion of Islam. Retrieved March 20, 2015 mrkash.com/activities/Islam.ppt

Knight, G. (2006). Philosophy & education: An introduction in Christian perspective (4th ed.). Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.

Mastin, L. (2008). The basics of philosophy: Existentialism. Retrieved April 5, 2015 http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_existentialism.html

Sire, J. W. (2009). The universe next door: A basic worldview catalog (5th ed.). Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press.

Tenets of Naturalism. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015 http://www.naturalism.org/tenetsof.htm

Thompson, L. L. (2014). Making the team: A guide for managers (5 ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. S. (2011). Developing management skills. Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

World Union of Deists. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015 http://www.deism.com/deism_defined.htm.Effects on an Individual’s Worldview Essay

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