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EDITOR’S NOTE: This text on “Embedded Fallacies in the Western Worldview” is the third in a 4-part sequence to deconstruct the Western, settler-colonial worldview and to #ResurrectEloheh

Dualism: Dualism is maybe the foundational fallacy of the Western worldview and is instantly linked to lots of the different fallacies current. A dualistic worldview causes individuals to spend money on the ethereal (within the non secular/metaphysical realm) or summary (as in academia) to the next diploma than the bodily realm. Our ideas and our theologies change into disembodied.


In dualistic theologies, we neglect the significance of seeing Christ at work and being Christ at work in our earthly cultures. We are likely to view sure areas of life, particularly these outdoors the church, as secular, when in reality, Jesus taught that every one of life is sacred, together with each heaven and earth. In his phrases in Matthew 5:34 Jesus was quoting Isaiah 66:1, “Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. The place then is a home you can construct for Me? And the place is a spot that I could relaxation? (c.f. Matthew 23:22; Acts 7:49; James 5:12).

Can the Creator of all be contained in any constructing or any house? Dualism particularly causes us to imagine that God is at work uniquely within the church greater than God is at work on this planet which God additionally created. This usually results in inactivity by way of complacency introduced on by our personal satisfaction.

Dualism causes us to neglect the reality present in Jesus’ phrases to do God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.” Bodily/psychological or bodily/non secular dualism leads to there being no certainty of 1 entire actuality however relatively residing into the elements as in the event that they had been the entire. Dualism creates blindness to the wants of these outdoors our personal group and even our personal selves.

In dualistic methods, summary actuality is regarded as extra actual than bodily actuality similar to land, and even one’s personal physique, which is taken into account summary and fewer necessary. Western dualism can also be obvious on the aircraft of morality. Western thinkers are likely to assume in binary positions like both proper or unsuitable; both authorized or unlawful; both heaven or hell; both sin or holiness; success or failure; civilized or primitive; introvert or extrovert; saved or misplaced; clear or soiled; weeds or crops; animals or varmints, et.al…This dualism makes it troublesome for Western thinkers to carry two seemingly incompatible issues in rigidity with out having to discover a decision, and it creates the false assumption that every one issues could also be understood and each drawback solved.

Compartmentalization: Just like the Sacred/Secular cut up talked about above, compartmentalization stems from dualism, in that it permits Western thinkers to create extrinsic, usually unrelated classes which can be solely elements of the entire of actuality. This reductionism divides and classifies life into many elements with little consideration to entire. Once more, the elements can usually change into a false actuality.

One instance of compartmentalization is the shortcoming for North Individuals to grasp how the economics of extracting pure assets from the earth impacts local weather change. They merely classify them into two realities, neither of which is entire with out the opposite.

One other instance is that of medical specialization. A affected person could have a Normal Practitioner, a Heart specialist, a Gastroenterologist, and a Podiatrist but when every solely pertains to the affected person from their very own space of specialization with out regard to the others, the affected person would be the poorer for it. Within the Apostle Paul’s phrases, we’re members considered one of one other, every making the physique entire.”

Compartmentalization could be a nice asset underneath sure circumstances. To make use of the final analogy, a doctor who makes a speciality of cardiology might be able to supply assist that different medical professionals don’t see, however she chooses to disregard the remainder of the physique on the affected person’s peril.

Hierarchy is one other main fallacy of the Western worldview. Western thinkers, together with Western methods of governance, seem to imagine equality is unsuitable or a minimum of not a most well-liked system, even when they name it democratic. The outcomes of historic Western structured methods have created de-humanization by class, race, ethnicity, gender, faith, nationality, and so on. Due to structured hierarchy, the Western worldview is ready to classify individuals and folks teams one above the others.

This classification of rank doesn’t imply management should be absent nor anarchy current. Jesus himself exhibited nice management however appeared to grasp just one type of hierarchy, specifically, Creator God has the innate proper to manage all creation. When requested concerning the hierarchy of his kingdom, Jesus taught that his followers shouldn’t Lord over each other just like the Gentiles however as a substitute serve each other.

Anthropocentricism: Borrowing thought from compartmentalization, dualism, and hierarchy, anthropocentrism permits classification of humanity outdoors of the created order to the purpose the place human beings are seen as over creation and aside from creation. An anthropocentric view understands people as having the correct of supreme rule over all creation to the purpose the place all creation is topic to people. Anthropocentrism permits human beings to view the assets of the world as commodities made for his or her pleasure or for extraction, with out considered the entire of the eco-systemic actuality. An anthropocentric worldview misses the intimate relationship we share with all creation within the net of life. Within the phrases of Indigenous activist and planter Winona LaDuke, “Regardless of whether or not they have roots or fins or legs or wings, they are all my relatives.”

In a latest e book by biologist George David Haskell, The Tune of Timber, the writer offers an instance of the Waorani individuals within the Amazon rainforest. When requested to explain particular bushes by their normal kind, they might not do it. So as to describe the tree, it was mandatory for the Waorani to additionally describe the tree’s ecological context. Within the minds of the Waorani, like many indigenous peoples, the tree doesn’t stand alone in creation. Every tree, like each different creature, exists in relationship to its environment. We’re all intricately linked to all of creation. We’re associated to the world round us as mandatory household.

Racism: White supremacy, one other fallacy that developed by way of the mythologies of Greece and Rome, et. al. (i.e., the savage, the barbarian) and was propped up by Western European and American pseudo-science, is expounded to the fallacy of hierarchy. European hierarchical worldviews perceive white individuals as deserving final management of all data, wealth, assets, and energy. White supremacy and its fashionable expressions of white normalcy and white privilege are significantly embedded within the historical past of the formation of the North American soul.

Individualism: North America reveals maybe, all through all of human historical past, the peak of an individualistic worldview. That is particularly obvious in theological understandings. Individuals interpret scripture primarily making use of it to themselves individually relatively than corporately/communally. The issue being that the writers of scripture didn’t write from an individualistic worldview, however relatively from a communal one. Thus, the result’s misinterpreting the scriptures at virtually each flip.

Binary Considering & Competitors: Within the Western thoughts, issues are typically true or false, off or on, this manner or that manner, and holding two seemingly divergent ideas in rigidity with out a decision appears uninteresting. These binary classifications change into a fantastic platform for judgement: weed or plant; animal or varmint; heaven or hell; proper or unsuitable; and so on.

Competitiveness stems from the binary considering and is far most well-liked to Western thinkers over cooperation. For instance, the mannequin of governance the place majority rule trumps consensus. Whereby, the primary church in Jerusalem in Acts 15, we see that the physique politic makes the most important selections with enter from everybody. “Buy-in” is extra involved concerning the welfare of the neighborhood or group shifting ahead collectively than 51% being proper and the 49% deemed unsuitable. That is instantly associated to our present political local weather.

Intolerance: Intolerance of others who’re completely different is the norm of the Western worldview, and it has historic roots, as acknowledged earlier, going all the best way again to Greece. Intolerance turns into the catalyst for creating unjust legal guidelines or to hold out unequal justice, and even creating wars to protect the American myths of hierarchy and white supremacy. Range is shunned or seen as a bonus, not as important.

Utopianism: Utopianism is a centrally shared delusion or imaginative and prescient of the Western worldview that believes its finish leads to the proper type of human existence. Most frequently future oriented, utopianism usually has meant {that a} specific objective should be obtained by utilizing any means mandatory. The top objective, thought of sacrosanct, is price any value paid and is justifiable given the correct finish objective. Utopianism most frequently emphasizes the eschaton (in faith) or, in civil authorities, the proper society (i.e., regulation and order). The top justifies the means.

Greed & Management: Greed in our world system has usually change into a zero-sum sport. For Westerners to need extra, usually means another person on this planet should have much less. Greed is not only about private reward, however it additionally spins off different systemic maladies. The West’s means to manage the narrative justifies the greed, and too usually, turns into a way to acquire it.

Management stems from the hierarchical view that sure individuals, class, race, intelligences, and so on. are made to be in cost. Social theories and theologies are created to keep up psychological management utilizing theories of rewards and punishments with a view to keep management. Pressure is commonly used when different means fail. Maybe management’s best hurt will not be the management of others however the tried management of God, together with assumptions of how God views others. Within the Western worldview, greed and management feed one another.

Randy Woodley and his spouse Edith are co-sustainers of Eloheh/Eagle’s Wings, www.eloheh.org in Oregon. He has written a number of books together with Shalom and the Group of Creation: An Indigenous Imaginative and prescient. The Woodleys are presently campaigning to “Resurrect Eloheh” to allow them to buy land within the American Southwest for the brand new Eloheh Farm, an Indigenous studying heart and non secular neighborhood. Please take into account supporting their efforts at www.gofundme.com/ResurrectEloheh.

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