What is your main worldview?
My perception of the world is one that I have honored all my life. I don't force my opinion on others. I respect and welcome different beliefs and enjoy arguing their validity. A philosopher by the name of Foucault inspired me in 1993 when I first purchased a book written about his work. He reasons that knowledge is just what a group of powerful people get together and decide is true. Whether we are discussing what can be defined as normal or even more simply, words in general. His beliefs are so "on point" that I found myself holding them long before I knew others did. His is one of the many ideologies that I give credence to.
What is knowledge? Well according to Foucault, "knowledge is power" (Foucault, 6). He doesn't mean it by insinuating that if you have knowledge then you will have power. He instead, means that if you have power then you may possess knowledge. This is so true, as in the government. Power does not mean majority. At the same time it does not mean that majority is definitely ruled out. In the case of the family hierarchy, (granted, this is a horrible example but one that does get the point across) if a situation arose that needed a resolution and a child gives an option, what happens? It gets ignored because the child is not one who has power in this structure. Regardless of whether or not it is right, the child's idea will not be given a second thought until an adult (party with power) says its right.
Now to step up to a more universal plane. What is the truth? The truth is something that, once defined, determines humanity. "If they (those who have the power to create beliefs) can get enough people to believe what they have decided, then that may be more important than some unknowable truth" (Foucault, 8). An example that will illustrate this point is any situation giving before the 20th century. The position of the Earth, witchcraft, how crimes were handled publicly; all these examples prove that the majority can be mislead and still hold there beliefs as being truths.
An example that will illustrate that there is no such thing as the truth would be a situation in which A tells B a lie. B believes A; therefore the lie becomes B's truth. Even though what was said was, in fact a lie according to B it is true. The same information is now both a lie and a fact. Who can honestly defend that in B's world his truth is a lie?
Even the line between normality and abnormality leaves me to question who can define it? Those people in position of power. People who are mentally insane, or at least defined that way, are cursed to live with a label that may or may not suit them. Why must someone who is catatonic (one who doesn't move or speak for long periods of time) be looked at differently than everyone else? It is our differences that make us prosperous. We always hear the doctors defining normality by pointing out the abnormality of their patients but we never hear it the other way around. Why? "What they have to say has already been ruled irrelevant, because by definition they have no knowledge" (Foucault, 18).
Another example that proves my point would be the acceptance of the burp in society and the vulgarity of the fart. What makes the two so different? Even for me to write the word fart makes me feel uncomfortable. I hate the shackles that society puts on me. I hate not knowing who to blame. Who said it is alright to do one and not the other? It upsets me that we are so set in our rules and regulations that we are limited to being who we all are.
I believe that nothing is constant. I am, by no way near being a relativist but I do understand what they are trying to say. There is such a thing as right and wrong. Murder is wrong no matter how you look at it. But who is to say that murder is wrong. That is my point. Who is the person that decided that to kill another human is wrong but to kill an animal is justifiable if it benefits the killer? To hear this after being raised in this society must be a bit alarming. Don't worry, I'm not going to be the student who blames my philosophy teacher for my murdering spree. Even though I don't agree with the fact that ideas were unwillingly distilled in me does not mean that I don't agree with these same ideas. (Then again it could possibly be some sick inner power struggle that I'm going through because I don't like to live by other peoples rules.)
The point I'm trying to make is that society could have just as easily gone the other way and said that murder is right and what would our universal truth then be? That murder is good. Which society would then be right? Who defines what is right anyway? I believe that religion was created to stop society from going chaotic. Those who held power in BC saw that their people were going crazy so they created this "high being" who happened to be "all powerful" and "all knowing" and who says that murder, lying and anything else that hurts another is bad. How fortunate!
A similar example forces us to look at the Santa Clause figure. He also sees you all the time and if you are good then you will be rewarded with presents. Just as if you are good and you go to heaven (as in the case of my religious back round). If you were bad you would get coal from Santa Clause, something that produces fire which is found in hell. These things are no coincidence. They are just similarities due to someone's lack of imagination.
Let's look at words. Nagel touched upon this in his book "What Does It All Mean?". Who said that the letters w o r d put together in that order would define what we now register as words? A cruel thing I did to a baby cousin of mine when she was 2 that I am not too proud of illustrates this argument. Every time I showed her an umbrella I said "elephant". I kept repeating this until she understood the object to be titled after the animal. I though it was funny because that is all we are; programmed robots who have no idea of what humanity really is, only what our language has defined it to be. Even though she called it something other than its intended name it did not loose what it is. "The collection of sounds and letters that make up the word "horse" do not in themselves have any connection to the animal. A "horse" is called, around the world "cheval" in French, "pferd" in German, "farasi" in Swahili" (Foucault, 92). How can anything have meaning if we don't have one universal language?
In closing (and only because lack of space), I believe in many things. I believe there are people (a limited few) who control the entire population. I believe we, as humans lost ourselves through our growth in areas of study and communication. I believe that society is a product of movies and not the other way around. I believe that we can be molded into anything deemed fit and because so we aren't as smart as we think. I believe that technology has dampened what we as humans are suppose to be. We are now so far into to it that we have no idea of how we were; so what we have become has ,in fact, been molded into our universal truth. I believe that it is hopeless to fight the inevitable. But it sure is fun complaining about it.