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Worldview Comparison & AnalysisResearch Paper

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¶ … faith that is familiar to the author of this report and a faith that is not familiar to the author of this report. The former of those two will be Christianity and the latter of those two will be Shintoism. While the two faiths are similar in fairly significant ways, their origins and their paths over the years have been quite different and the differences between the two reflect as such. Questions that will be answered will include the prime reality of each faith, what each faith thinks about the nature of the world around us, what a human being really is, what happens to a person after death, how it is possible to know anything at all, how someone knows right from wrong and what the meaning of human history happens to be. While all major faiths over history share at least some common threads, these two are quite different in what they hold true and dear.

Summary

To address the questions about worldview form a Christian perspective, one site the author of this report found was that which was called "Exploring Christianity." It actually answers the questions with questions. The author will note those but will also point to what a Christian would typically say based on what is widely known about Christians based on the Bible. It is actually a site form New Zealand. For the prime reality question, it states that "God, the gods, or the material universe." For the Christianity-known God, it would obviously be the God described in the Bible. As for the nature of externality reality, there is the question of whether we see the world as created or autonomous, chaotic or orderly or as a matter or spirit. Of course, Christians believe that the Earth was created by God and that Christians are made in God's image and we inhabit the Earth. The site also asks the question of whether we emphasize the subjective and personal relationship with the world or its objective apart from us. As for the question of what a human being is, this was already touched upon above, but the New Zealand sites asks whether we are highly complex machines, "sleeping gods," people made in the image of God or "naked apes." Of course, Christians would indicate the "image" answer (Exploring Christianity, 2015; Challoner, 2015).

As for what happens to a person at death, the New Zealand site says whether it is "personal extinction, transformation to a higher state, or departure to a shadowy existence on the other side." Christians, believers in Heaven, would suggest that there would be a transformation to a higher state. The fifth question is why it is possible to know anything at all. The New Zealand site explains that sample answers include the idea that we are all made in the image of an "all-knowing God" while others say that consciousness and intelligence have developed through the process of evolution of centuries and millennia. The Bible would obviously indicate the former. As far as how we know right from wrong, the New Zealand site asks "is it because we are made in the image of God whose character is good" or "are right and wrong determined by human choice alone?." They also ask if the "notions simply developed under the pressures of cultural and physical survival." A reader of the Bible would say it is because of the way God made us and that we thus instinctively know what is right and what is wrong. As for the final question, there is that of what the meaning of human history happens to be. The New Zealand site asks whether it is to realize the purposes of God or the gods, to make a paradise on earth, to prepare people for a life in community with a loving and holy God or whether perhaps it is something else. A Christian would probably give varied answers on this but would probably tend to say that we are to be living lives based on God's teaching despite all of evil but because of the good around us (Exploring Christianity, 2015; Challoner, 2015). The questions and answers just cited above actually appear on a few websites so the original source of the questions posed above is not clear. However, they are good questions to ask.

For another perspective, the author of this report went to the website of Pastor Alin. Alin asserts that the "Christian theistic answers" about the Prime Reality of Christianity is that the "prime reality is the infinite, personality God revealed in the Holy Scriptures. This God is triune, transcendant, and immanent, omniscient, sovereign and good." As for the chaos/order question posed by the prior source, Alin asserts that there is most certainly order the universe and that we exist within that order. Alin mentions that the entire universe in which we exist was created "from nothing" and that everything that exists now came from God's hand and nowhere else (Pastor Alin, 2015).

As for the Shintos, they believe that "ultimate reality….includes the chaos form which the kami emerged, but the focus of the ultimate in relationship to humanity is earth." One site goes on to say that "certain kami gave birth to the earthly realm and everything in it. Kami can occupy natural objects such as mountains, rivers and trees. They can also occupy sacred areas and, more rarely, human beings" (Patheos, 2015). As for life after death, Shintos generally believe in the saying "born Shinto, die Buddhist." Before Buddhism came to pass, it was generally believed that all who died went to a "vast hellish underworld" from which no one could escape. However, Buddhism introduced the ideas of there being rewards and punishments in the afterlife. As such, it has come to as that death and salvation have come to be considered using a Buddhist perspective. As far as knowing right from wrong and the overall realm of human history, there is the idea in Shintoism that "humans are part of the natural realm, which is sacred." Further, "pollution does occur through normal acts such as contact with things that threaten life, for example, death blood or disease." It is noted that this is "unavoidable" and does not constitute any "sin" or wrongdoing. IT is noted that pollution is washed away regularly through acts of "purification." One's purpose in life is to maintain the pure and "natural state of existence." Pollution is the basic equivalent of "evil" when it comes to Shintos. Indeed, the Patheos website states that "the ideas closes to the Western notion of evil are pollution and impurity, and these are addressed through rituals of purification." Suffering is considered a part of the natural human experience and thus part of life when looking at things from the Shinto perspective (Patheos, 2015).

When it comes to the common "critical components" that are present in all religions, it is clear that Shintoism and Christianity are similar in that they perceive disease and other problems to be "impurities." Christians and Shintos would also both seem to believe that these problems are a necessary and pre-designed part of life and the general idea is to keep things as clean and as purified as possible despite what may come to pass. It is clear from the sources above that there is a common thread of living a good life, looking to cleanse any disease or discomfort that exists and to try and live a good life overall. Indeed, the religions that exist in the world tend to be more alike than they are different when it comes to things like healing and suffering. It was mentioned earlier that Shintos are accepting of suffering and that there is purification to be found afterwards, Christians believe much the same thing in terms of prayer, forgiveness and so forth (Patheos, 2015; ICR, 2015)

The assignments asks the question of what is important to someone who is being treated by a person of a faith that is different from his or her own. Indeed, a person that is near death or that is going through a medical ordeal will tend to want people and faiths around them that are familiar and personal to them. This is not to say that a Muslim going through a medical crisis is going to refuse care from someone that is a Christian or a Jew. However, they will be more comfortable with someone that is Muslim and/or that understands Muslim precepts and beliefs. The key is to be understanding and be as accommodating as possible to a person based on their faith so that they are as comfortable as possible (Padela, Gunter, Killawi & Heisler, 2012).

As for the author's own personal perspective on healing, the author is a Christian and believe that God will help us through our suffering and medical conditions but the author also believes that we must take care of ourselves and avail ourselves of the medical care that exists. Indeed, if someone is diabetic, they… [END OF PREVIEW]

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