It Happened to Me

What’s Your World View?

Just in case you’re attending a party this weekend and are the sort of

person to end up in a deep philosophical conversation at 2:30 a.m. in

the kitchen over the last of the nachos: the What is Your World View? quiz might be a good source of conversational fodder.

My result:

You scored as Cultural Creative.

Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm.

You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion

but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You

are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning

outside of the rational.

Here’s what the quiz says are my percentage matches with the possible world view results:

  • Cultural Creative: 81%
  • Postmodernist: 75%
  • Idealist: 75%
  • Existentialist: 63%

  • Modernist: 50%

  • Romanticist: 50%
  • Materialist: 38%

  • Fundamentalist: 38%

Give the test a try, and if you feel like sharing, post your results in the comments!

15 replies on “What’s Your World View?”

Postmodernist! I am 94% post-modern. I always suspected I might be, but now that an internet quiz has confirmed it I feel much better.

Is there anyone who actually believes that “Science can solve all problems and answer all questions, eventually”? That seems to be several miles more implausible than the rest of the statements, no matter how much I love science.

Um. I took the quiz yesterday and did not record my results, but I was most Materialist, and then Postmodernist not too far behind. I am pretty sure that science can EVENTUALLY solve all problems and answer all questions. I do not feel that any one person will ever bear witness to all of it. But I think that any question individually could be answered at one time by science.

Okay, I guess the intent probably was “there is no question which science can’t eventually answer” which is much weaker than being able to solve all problems or answer every possible question. Still, I don’t buy it. Unless you accept “we can never know that” as a valid answer to “why does the universe exist?”

Even I, science boy, will have to state something that may seem completely the oppostie of what you might expect:

There will always be some questions that science will never be able to answer.

Why? Because of Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

Here’s one of the more formal ways to state the theorem:

Let T be a formal theory for which the Gödel numbering (a numbers system in which all formauls and proofs in T each assigned a natural number to uniquely identify them) and diagonal lemma can be carried through, and all axioms – and hence theorems – of which are true. Then T is incomplete, i.e. there are sentences in the language of the theory- as exemplified by the Gödel sentence G for T – which can neither be proved, nor refuted in the theory.

Whoa. Major math-geekery here. What ol’ egghead was trying to say is that each and every branch of mathematics has some axioms that could never be proven within that branch of math itself. You have to go outside that system into a larger branch of mathematics, which in turn would have its own set of axioms that couldn’t be proven within that branch of mathematics, unless you then went outside that system, which would put you in yet a larger branch of mathematics…and so on.

The practical gist of what G�del says is nicely written by Carl Boyer with Isaac Asimov in A History of Mathematics:

G�del showed that within a rigidly logical system such as Russell and Whitehead had developed for arithmetic, propositions can be formulated that are undecidable or undemonstrable within the axioms of the system. That is, within the system, there exist certain clear-cut statements that can neither be proved or disproved. Hence one cannot, using the usual methods, be certain that the axioms of arithmetic will not lead to contradictions … It appears to foredoom hope of mathematical certitude through use of the obvious methods. Perhaps doomed also, as a result, is the ideal of science – to devise a set of axioms from which all phenomena of the external world can be deduced.

In other words, scientific proof of the limits of science. Hence my answer.

For a whimsical look at Gödel’s Theorem, read Douglas Hofstadter’s classic book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Goldern Braid.

Because Gödel’s Theorem is often condensed to “there are some things that are true but can’t be proved”, it is often cited as proof of the existence of God. That’s a stretch; at best, the Theorem can be used as an inspiration for an argument for the existence of God.

That’s not to say that Gödel didn’t come up for an argument for the existence of God. Gödel was an admirer of Leibniz (one of the people to blame for calculus), who believed in the possibility of “rational theology” and cam eup with an ontological argument for the existence of God. Gödel himself also conceived his own argument for the existence of God, which is covered in detail here.

Haven’t you learned yet that you’re not supposed to prove me wrong in public?

I didn’t prove you wrong, sweetie: I prefer to think of it as scientifcally proving you mostly right.

Scored the exact same as Accordion Guy for Culturally Creative (81%) but the rest is quite different.

Lola took the test again and was fundamentalist. She found the religion questions a little vague. They assume that people belong to a religion.

I thought it would interesting to show how all the world views are explained in the survey. I found these by doing a Google search. The only one I couldn’t track down was Fundamentalism. So I imagined myself as George W. Bush, took the quiz again and, viola!

Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Man is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.

Modernism represents the thought that science and reason are all we need to carry on. Religion is unnecessary and any sort of spirituality halts progress. You believe everything has a rational explanation. 50% of Americans share your world-view.

Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.

Romanticism encourages society to look backwards to find our solutions. Your rationale is that things were much better a few hundred years ago so we should thus look back to those times and replace them in our modern society. You believe in a simple life and that the complexities of the modern world have turned it upside down.

Idealism centers around the belief that man is moving towards something greater. An odd mix of evolutionist and spiritualist, you see the divine within man, waiting to emerge over time. Many religious traditions express how the divine spirit lost its identity, thus creating our world of turmoil, but in time it will find itself and all things will again become one.

Materialism stresses the essence of fundamental particles. Everything that exists is purely physical matter and there is no special force that holds life together. You believe that anything can be explained by breaking it up into its pieces. i.e. the big picture can be understood by its smaller elements.

Fundamentalism represents a movement in opposition to Modernism, stressing the highest importance on foundational religious tradition. Science has brought on corruption of society. God is real and is watching. Scripture leaves little room for interpretation; man is God�s creation. About a quarter of the population in the U.S. is classified as Fundamentalist.

So it turns out I’m a Materialist at 69%. I was 63% other things except Fundamentalist. I’m quite happy to not be a fundamentalist.

Cultural Creative 81%

Idealist 75%

Romanticist 63%

Existentialist 56%

Postmodernist 56%

Fundamentalist 31%

Modernist 25%

Materialist 19%

… who knew? — Lil

Many of the questions on this quiz are daft.

“All that exists is matter.” Obviously there to draw out the “materialist” type–who, if literal-minded enough, is likely to reply, “No, there is also energy!” Non-materialists are also likely to disagree with this assertion, for other reasons. The question is meaningless.

“Religions have lost their focus and should be returned to their founding principles.” Typical of a bunch of other “A and B” assertions in this quiz. What if you agree with one clause and disagree with the other? One might think that religions have lost the thread, but that it’s a *good* thing–how to respond?

“Evolution is true and is taking us closer to the spiritual.” See above.

“There is no truth.” Harrumph. We’ve already had the Goedel discussion for this thread.

Years ago there was The Book Of Questions. It was full of queries meant to stretch your mind and see things from a different point of view. Most of it ended up being fluffy hand-waving, like, “Would you rather be deaf or blind?”

“No, thanks,” I replied, and went about my business.

Leave a Reply