Sample International Relations on Types of Worldview

Introduction

Individuals, groups, and organizations have different worldviews. A worldview is defined as the framework or a fundamental-cognitive orientation, which guides the way individuals or societies view the world and life in general (Underhill, 2011). It is the philosophy, ideology, or point of view that shapes the understanding of a person or a society. A worldview consists of four elements, namely ontology, explanation, values, and epistemology. An ontology consists of all things that exist, such as God, souls, properties, and rocks, among others. The explanation focuses on the operations of ontology, particularly the causes and impacts of various things. In contrast, values involve a person’s beliefs on what is good and bad (virtues and vices) in a given setting. These values include the morally acceptable behaviors in a society. Finally, epistemology involves the process of judging things that exist, values, and operations of other things in the world. The Christian worldview can influence international relations positively by minimizing conflicts and wars.

Types of Worldview

People have different worldviews depending on their orientations, settings, level of education, among other factors. These parameters have determined the way they view the world, God, nature, and relationships with other creatures (Underhill, 2011). There are four significant types of worldviews. They include attitudinal, philosophical, religious, and ideological worldviews. The Christian worldview is an example of religious worldviews.

 

Ideological Worldview

Ideologies are values or beliefs that a group or even a person holds for normative reasons. It describes the system of ideals and ideas which dictate the political, economic, and social approaches of an individual or a group of people (Vidal, 2012). For example, the policies of a country emanate from its ideologies about the world, supernatural beings, and human relations. Socialism and capitalism are examples of ideological worldviews that societies follow in their operations. Therefore, the ideological worldview emanates from the values and beliefs of a community.

Attitudinal Worldview

Attitudinal worldview is based on a set of attitudes an individual or a group may hold. It dictates their understandings, feelings, approaches, and thinking about the world (Underhill, 2011). For example, people with a pessimistic worldview always predict that things are going to be harmful, and they always prepare for the worst. Conversely, optimistic people have positive attitudes toward life and assume things will turn in their favor. Attitudinal worldview focuses on the perceptions and perspectives of a group, an individual, or a society.

Philosophical Worldview

The philosophical worldview addresses essential questions about the world using reason. It is based on the teaching of influential philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Locke, among others. The followers of this worldview explain political, social, and economic organizations using logic or reasons (Vidal, 2012). Some of the thoughts that philosophers have proposed in the past include moral relativism and pluralism. The philosophical worldview bases its explanations on reason or logical thinking.

 

Religious Worldview

The religious worldview uses supernatural, spiritual, or transcendental elements to understand the operations of the world, God, and human beings. Organized or informal religions form the bases of this worldview. Some of these religions include Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam, among others (Vidal, 2012). Each of these religions has a set of practices and beliefs about God and the world. Thus, a religious worldview applies supernatural forces to approach all issues in the world.

The Christian worldview or biblical worldview is based on the teachings of the bible concerning the universe, the world, God, and his relationship with human beings. It uses the infallible word of God to explain various things in this world (Marshall, 2014). Some of the topics expressed in this worldview include the origin of the world, the power of God, truth, Satan, salvation, and Jesus Christ, among others.

Comparing a Christian Worldview and a Non-Christian Worldview

The Christian worldview differs from a non-Christian worldview in numerous areas. Christians believe God is eternal, infinite, and morally perfect. He is the sovereign sustainer of life and the transcendent creator of the world. Conversely, non-Christians argue that there is no supernatural God and only gods that exist (Schultz & Swezey, 2013). They also believe that all religions are equal and subjective on the belief of the existence of supernatural beings.

Christians believe that God created the universe out of nothing. Consequently, the world depends on God for providential control, guidance, and power. This is not the case with non-Christians who gives differing views on the origin of the world. For example, scientists believe that the world was there since the beginning. Therefore, the creation of the world cannot be attributed to any deity or supernatural being.

Christians believe that God created human beings in his image and likeness. They are spiritual, rational, and spiritual beings. However, human beings misused the freedom God had given them at the beginning and lost their dignity (Rieg, Newbanks & Sprunger, 2018). As a result, they are born with original sins that require the power of God through Jesus to redeem them. Conversely, non-Christians believe in the evolution theory that contends that human beings emanated from small organisms, which have developed over the years. Various forces, such as biological, environmental, and social factors, among others, have shaped the development of human beings.

Finally, Christians believe that God is the source of authentic knowledge. A man can acquire knowledge through the special and general revelation of God. The bible also provides absolute truth and moral values that can guide human beings in their relationship with God, nature, and their fellow human beings (Schultz & Swezey, 2013). In contrast, non-Christians believe that there is no absolute and universal truth, and knowledge in this world is subjective. They argue that morality depends on cultural context, and people should adopt pluralism, inclusivism, and relativism. Other religions such as Islam and Buddhism also have their holy books, which they refer to as the source of their truth. Therefore, Christians and non-Christians have different views on the nature and sources of truth and morals.

My Worldview and Impact on International Relations

My Christian worldview has shaped my understanding of international relations. I am Christian, and biblical teachings have formed mainly my worldview. Religion can play a significant role in enhancing the interpretation of international relations (Sandal & James, 2010). It has been at the center of world politics for many years, especially in countries in the Middle East region. Consequently, theological perspective and international relations are interconnected, particularly in explaining various religious phenomena in the world today.

One of the Christian teachings that have influenced my view on international relations is love. The bible states that love for God and one’s neighbors are the greatest commandments. People should love their neighbors as they love themselves. The rule is critical in international relations since most conflicts across the world emanate from a lack of love amongst the people (Sheikh, 2012). States and tribes can practice the principle of love as taught in the bible to avoid such differences. For example, states and tribes can place the interests of others first, even in their negotiations. As a result, there will be minimal cases of conflicts in international relations.

Both external and internal violence are related to disagreements arising from competition for power and resources. States in international politics seek to pursue political, economic, and social interests at the expense of other countries. For example, some developed countries use hidden strategies to exploit developing countries economically through sanctions and other techniques. Such methods have caused international disagreements and wars between two or more states. A good example is the Israel-Palestine border conflicts, which have lasted for many decades. Other countries have fought over resources, especially those located in their borders (Hassner & Horowitz, 2010). Competition for political power and resources is also a major cause of domestic violence in many states across the world. Therefore, if people across countries and tribes practice love as taught in the bible, peace will prevail in the world.

The Christian worldview has also enabled me to appreciate that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. They should be treated with dignity and honor irrespective of their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and nationalities (Sandal & James, 2010). Hence, it is not appropriate for states, groups, and individuals to engage in activities such as civil war, domestic violence, transfer of population, and displacement of other people. These crimes are common in international conflicts, but they are contrary to the teaching of the bible. Viewing human beings in the likeness of God can play a vital role in minimizing crimes against humanity in international relations.

Conclusion

A Christian worldview has the potential to change international relations by encouraging players to use love to avoid wars and conflicts. It is a type of religious worldview that is based on bible teachings. It differs from other worldviews because it recognizes God as a supreme being and as the creator of the world. Christians also believe that God is the source of truth and morals that can guide people in their ways. It has shaped my view on international relations because it emphasizes brotherly love, which is essential in eliminating wars and conflicts across the world.

 

 

References

Hassner, R., & Horowitz, M. (2010). Debating the Role of Religion in War. International Security 35(1), 201-208.

Marshall, R. (2014). Christianity, Anthropology, Politics. Current Anthropology, 55(10), 344-356.

Rieg, L., Newbanks, R., & Sprunger, R. (2018). Caring from a Christian .Worldview Exploring Nurses’ Source of Caring, Faith Practices, and View of Nursing. Journal of Christian Nursing, 35(3), 168-173.

Sandal, N., & James, P. (2010). Religion and International Relations theory: Towards a mutual understanding. European Journal of International Relations, 16(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249690908_Religion_and_International_Relations_theory_Towards_a_mutual_understanding.

Schultz, K., & Swezey, J. (2013).A Three-Dimensional Concept of Worldview. Journal of Research on Christian Education, 22(3), 227-243.

Sheikh, M. (2012). How Does Religion Matter? Pathways to Religion in International Relations. Review of International Studies, 38(2), 365-392.

Underhill, J. (2011). Creating worldviews: Metaphor, ideology, and language. Edinburgh University Press.

Vidal, C. (2012). Metaphilosophical Criteria for Worldview Comparison. Metaphilosophy, 43(3), 306–347.