Worldview Examples

What are some good definitions of a world view?

What are some good definitions of a world view?

Expert Answers
lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A person's world view is the overall perspective from which he or she views and interprets the world. It can also include the beliefs about life and the universe held by a group (such as a "Christian world view"). The concept is from a German word, Weltanschauung. 

A person's or a group's world view encompasses values, goals, concepts of the future, definitions of truth, etc. Naturally, you can see how differing world views have caused much conflict historically.

For example, the Nazi world view caused them to believe they were acting in the name of a higher ideal and in accordance with their world theory. They believed the Germans were the "Master Race" and because of this, it was their duty to eliminate any threats to that race, which in their twisted logic, included the Jews, handicapped, homosexuals, etc. Perceived by the rest of the world that did not share this world view, their acts were considered barbarism and evil and a violation of human rights.

Radical Islam's world view is that the world's problems are caused by secularism. They believe a solution is to establish Sharia law, and that anyone that interferes with their goals is evil. Therefore, they can justify holy war to eliminate threats to these goals (this is an over-simplification and there is much debate about this). Note that "radical" Islam is a huge departure from Islam itself.

In the Christian world view, everything is seen through the eyes of faith. Christians believe that the earth is not their home, but they are on earth for a purpose, and that purpose is to serve the God that sacrificed himself for them so that they can have eternal life. They believe that God made humans stewards of the earth, so Christians have the obligation to take care of the earth. They also believe that it is their duty to share the good news about eternal life with all people because this is what their loving God expects.

Other religious world views also believe their religion is the only true religion, so adherents of these faiths often become overzealous about sharing their faith because they are passionate about wanting others to have the peace that they have.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think many Americans need to take a good look and observe a more tolerant view of the lives and customs of people in other countries. Americans tend to have an attitude that the United States is the greatest nation in the world (and I can't really disagree), but many citizens have little respect for alternate views that exist around the world. International respect for America has declined drastically since the Clinton years, and part of that viewpoint exists because of the perceived holier-than-thou attitudes of many Americans and the might-makes-right stance taken by our government in policing problems around the world. Americans are perceived as close-minded bullies by many nations' peoples, and I believe that our respect worldwide would improve if Americans were more receptive to other ideas and differing opinions. A world view should be an outlook that concerns what is best for the entire planet--not just American interests. Naturally, Americans are not alone in this regard, but as one of the world's superpowers, we should certainly make a better attempt to understand our fellow citizens of planet Earth. 

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World view is how one perceives and interprets the world in its entirety. It includes a collection of beliefs about things such as life and the world itself. These beliefs can be held by an individual or a group of people. Many people associate world view with religion as well. According to Carol Hill, word view is defined as:

 "By ‘worldview’ I mean the basic way of interpreting things and events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes a culture's concept of reality — what is good, what is important, what is sacred, what is real.  Worldview is more than culture, even though the distinction between the two can sometimes be subtle.  It extends to perceptions of time and space, of happiness and well-being.  The beliefs, values, and behaviors of a culture stem directly from its worldview."

Most people have a world view that is guided by their own beliefs. People here in the United Sates will have a different world view than that of people living in the middle east.

marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A worldview is the system by which you view life events. Over time and by experience you develop your own sense of how things work in your life.  Religions tend to perpetrate their own particular world view as a way of "keeping the faith" through the generations.  Societies and cultures also have a particular set of values that are particular to their way of doing things.

A world view is the "big picture" way you see your place in the world, the actions you will take, and how you organize the events in your life to make meaning of them.

A worldview, whether religious or nonreligious, is personal insight about reality and meaning, often termed a "life understanding." Each of us has a worldview.  It is our own discernment.  It develops in part because we have sought some understanding of our own significance. (


accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A world view is a complete system of how we perceive the world and process it - how we make meaning. Often worldviews can be compared to spectacles or lenses - we have our own way of looking the world based on our cultural background and upbringing - we have our own type of spectacles. When we travel to different countries, we understand that others have different world views - they have their own type of spectacles, which means they see things differently. You can take any number of issues to explain this but for me I like taking dogs. How do you view dogs? For us Brits, a dog is a man's best friend. He is a pet. He is part of a family. For some people in countries such as Korea or Indonesia, dog is a meat source that they eat for dinner. Shocked? That is the point - you are looking at it through your world view.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no standard definition of worldview, but the best definition that I have ever heard is as follows. A worldview are the things that people assume without proof. A worldview in a person's mind consists of things that seem self-evident. They are commonsensical to a person. I should also say that worldviews are almost never conscious to the person. Therefore, they almost never think on that level. The only way, then, worldviews can change is when a person enters into a different culture with different set of cultural assumptions. This can cause "culture shock," which may eventually cause a person to doubt his or her worldview.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
A world view is just like it sounds- how a person looks at the world. We all have lenses through which we temper experiences. Two people can experience the same event, view the same object, smell the same flower, and have compltely different reactions. To some extent, a person's worldview is shapes by where and how he grows up, but the rest is personality.
epollock | Student

Having a world view is doing things that not only help oneself and their local community but also helps people in other parts of the world. By recycling, for example, you not only help yourself, but you help others living far away. This is just one small example of how a world view can change your outlook on things.