Ethics and Worldviews

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The Universe Next Door:
Ethics and Worldviews

A worldview is the set of beliefs that is fundamentally grounded in each person’s heart whether they realize it or not, whether they hold true to it or not. Put simply, it is the basis on which a person lives his/her life. Therefore, ethics, the defining of right and wrong in life, is a crucial aspect of each worldview. Some would say ethics is based on feeling, others would say religious beliefs, while still others would say ethics is based on the law or the standards of behavior accepted by society. The absence of ethics is also a theme in some worldviews. While James W. Sire discusses several different worldviews in The Universe Next Door, the ethical beliefs held by each worldview can be honed down to just a few basic groups with major similarities. They then diverge into their individual minor differences based on their metaphysical and epistemological beliefs.

For theists, God is the foundation for all values. He is transcendent of this world yet immanent and personal, the standard for which people should live their lives by. His personal goodness, absolute holiness, and perfect love is manifested in human form through His Son, Jesus Christ, the model of morality for all humanity. God also reveals His laws and moral principles through Scripture and special and general revelation. Because of God’s pure goodness and love, though, He is limited by His character and cannot force humans to do what He wants. That freedom given to humanity led to their fallen state and subsequent flawed sense of morality, but even today, humans cannot seem to shake the feeling of right and wrong deeply imbedded into their being, for their personality is grounded in the personality of God, the Creator.

Another problem that came with the first sin was that God became veiled to humanity, his goodness too pure and bright to be seen by the sinful man, and over a great deal of time, the Christian theists became separated...
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