The degree to which a worldview is able to guide the follower to answer any philosophical question they may ponder shall be defined as the comprehensiveness of the worldview. For example, by this standard Judaism, Christianity and Islam are more comprehensive worldviews than agnosticism because they provides an explanation of how the world came to be (God’s will) answers ethical questions (the Torah, the Bible, the Quran) and describe what happens after one dies (heaven or hell), whereas agnosticism does not answer these questions. Agnosticism though might answer some questions regarding epistemology or ontology.

The degree of comprehensiveness of a worldview is not just a measure of how many questions it can provide an answer for, but to some extent whether or not such answers treat the question with special significance also factors into this measurement. All of the questions under discussion here have been pondered and debated by diverse cultures for thousands of years. Each one of them has special significance in the lives of most people, so if a worldview does not treat the question with special significance but still provides an answer then it cannot be considered a full answer for the sake of measuring comprehensiveness. If a worldview provides a nihilistic answer to any of these questions then it can more appropriately be considered a half-answer. For example, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all treat the question “What is good and what is evil?” with special significance (God’s commandments are good and deviation from this is evil). On the other hand, materialism provides a nihilistic answer to this question because within this worldview there is no possibility for anything to be inherently good or evil. Therefore, materialism is not as comprehensive as any worldview that treats good and evil with special significance, other things being equal.

This does not necessarily mean that materialism is wrong on this question. However, if a person is pondering what is good and evil and is provided with a nihilistic answer in response, then it usually will have an unsatisfactory effect on this person. It is near universal for one to ponder this question, along with the other worldview questions, and it is natural to desire an answer that treats the question with special significance. The correct answer may very well be a nihilistic one, but because the effect of receiving a nihilistic answer is psychologically similar to not receiving an answer at all, this factors into the worldview’s measure of comprehensiveness.

Comprehensiveness and epistemic justifiability are the two factors that contribute to a worldview’s degree of enlightenment.

What is your worldview? How did you come to believe this? Please let your voice be heard in the forum.

The Enlightened Worldview Project

Using modern phenomenology

to make sense of consciousness,

to establish a solid foundation for morality,

to answer the question of ultimate explanation,

and other great questions of life