Ethical and spiritual response 1

Please Respond to these discussions APA format with a reference

Discussion 1

Each of us has a worldview that we cannot be separated from; it defines how we understand our reality. The tension between science and religion is fueled by people believing that their worldview is the only correct one. The worldviews of people who believe in God, and those who do not, have fundamental differences, and an unwillingness to find common ground may perpetuate any tension or conflict between them (Shelly & Miller, 2006).

My reality is defined by what I understand to be true. If my worldview was guided by scientism, I would believe that science is the only way I can gain knowledge, and anyone claiming to know the truth using a different philosophy would be misguided (PHI-413V Lecture 1, 2015). However, knowing something is true because I personally experience it (using abilities that God gave me) suggests that science may be limited in its attempts to describe my reality.

Religion, or rather, faith in God, offers us access to an entire dimension of truth that is unseen. Christ told Thomas, “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29, New International Version). If one believes that all reality is comprised of only physical or material phenomena, then one excludes oneself from this unseen, spiritual reality. Such intangible phenomena cannot be proved by science; therefore, scientism cannot acknowledge the reality of the personal, spiritual, unseen world (Shelly & Miller, 2006). As Meilaender (2013) describes, our human nature has an inherent duality; we are simultaneously both finite beings and free spirits, and are therefore not best served by a limited worldview.

Shelly and Miller (2006) offer a framework in which one can determine their personal worldview. The questions that comprise this framework can perhaps enable us to understand not only our own, but another’s worldview. By understanding another’s worldview, we can better serve that person. Perhaps it is a lack of understanding of worldviews that has allowed science, with its limitations, to be the accepted way our society perceives, and comprehends reality (Shelly & Miller, 2006).


Meilander, G. (2013). Bioethics: A primer for Christians (3 rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Retrieved from

PHI-413V Lecture 1 (2015). Worldview foundations of spirituality and ethics. Retrieved from

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing (2 nd ed.). Downers Grove, Il. IVP Academic. Retrieved from

Discussion 2

A worldview is how you see the world around you. These underlying beliefs effect how you interpret everything (Grand Canyon University, 2015). There are many worldviews. Two common ones in today’s culture are scientism and postmodernism.

Scientism demands that everything is proven by science. It stresses facts, and rejects anything unseen or unproveable. It believes that science is the only way to gain knowledge (Grand Canyon University, 2015). Scientism has limitations because it states the facts, but cannot make moral or ethical judgments from them. When it can only describe data, but cannot evaluate it, it only states what is, not what ought to be (Grand Canyon University, 2015). The belief in God and in the unseen world does not fit in scientism.

Postmodernism is also seen in today’s culture. The postmodern worldview sees that science cannot give meaning to life, and goes for a more holistic view where humans have harmony with their environment. They think the world is made up of energy which can be controlled and manipulated. (Shelly & Miller 2006 p37). A generic, nonspecific energy or god is in everything and is one with all things (Shelly & Miller, 2006. p 65). This reminds me of the “the force” in Star Wars. People can become human-centered, accepting of everything, have no right or wrong, and place great importance on individualism (Shelly & Miller, 2006. p 51). Postmodernism can appear very religious and spiritual, but it does not believe in the God of the Bible.

I see some of this tension when society does not want to make any judgments, and to have no concrete morals. Everything is accepted, as long as your opinions are like the group. You cannot disagree with choices people make. Christians are looked down on because we follow rules, have right & wrong, and believe in a God that is much different than the postmodernism god.


Grand Canyon University (2015) PHI-413V Lecture 1. Retrieved from

Shelly, J. & Miller, A., (2006) Called to Care, A Christian Worldview for Nursing, Second Edition. Retrieved from…

Discussion 3

Scientism is the belief that knowledge is black and white and if something cannot be proven scientifically than it is not known at all. While this concept is held highly in the medical field it leaves out the fact that there are other influences in a persons world. A persons worldview is shaped by their morals and ethics. What they may view as right or wrong is influenced by their culture or religion. Even when science and the facts tell us one thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the way a person feels on the same issue.

While the advancements is science have brought a lot of good things into the would, it has also brought with it the need to make decisions that were not needed to be made before. For example, a century ago if someone were to go into cardiac arrest the person would have died. Fast-forward to the modern day and someone goes in to cardiac arrest there are various levels of interventions that one may want done. Many people request that they be allowed to die a natural death while others want all interventions to be done. With the successful resuscitation of someone then comes the decision about what to do if that person is determined to have no brain activity. Do you continue to keep that person alive or do you discontinue artificial ventilation? If you continue to sustain their life you must then decide weather artificial nutrition is to be given.

While science has given us the means to say yes to all of these interventions, many peoples moral and religious views shape their thoughts on what the deem the correct thing to do. Science is a wonderful tool however it lacks the ability to make moral and ethical decisions.

PHI-413V Lecture 1 (2015). Worldview foundations of spirituality and ethics. Retrieved from

Discussion 4

Scientism is the belief that science is the only means of acknowledging reality, it is a philosophical thesis that focuses on facts. On the other hand, religion and spirituality involves the belief in science (to an extent) but also embraces the idea of God’s creations. The tension between scientism and religion, in my opinion, falls solely on the fact that science fails to explain absolutely everything. There are some things that just cannot be proven with facts alone. This gives the opportunity for religion/spirituality to fill in the gaps regarding morals and ethics. It is my belief that, as humans, we are simply terrified of the unknown. We feel the need to have an explanation for absolutely everything. When science falls short, religion/spirituality is there to pick up the slack and soothe our souls by providing us with the explanation we so desire.

In healthcare, a combination of both scientism and religion/spirituality is ideal. Scientism can explain the physical technicalities of an illness as well as with evidence regarding medication and so on. But religion/spiritualty comes into play for a patient when science just can’t explain the way they are feeling. Patients in the hospital often have feelings of helplessness. Scientifically, there’s no explanation for that. There’s no medication that could make that feeling disappear. However, a patient’s beliefs or prayers may help to aide that feeling of helplessness. Or perhaps there is a situation completely opposite that presents itself. All of the facts point us to the conclusion that a patient will not recover. Prayer alone will not cure that patient if there is absolutely no factual, scientific probability.

Puchalski, C. M. (2001) The role of spirituality in health care. Retrieved from…

Discussion 5

Religion is typically associated with teachings and rituals of various faith traditions (Winslow & Winslow, 2007). For example, attending church on Sunday mornings, wedding ceremonies and funeral sacraments are faith based. Spirituality arises from within the human shell. Spirituality is the, “universal human need for hope and meaning” (Winslow & Winslow, 2007). While similar, spirituality and religion, are two different concepts, and one does not require the presence of the other to exist. One does not require religion to be spiritual.

Religion and spirituality are elements of healthcare that can lead to ethical dilemmas/concerns.Worldviews, or what one culture perceives as truth, must always be taken into consideration. For example, as nurses we can not force blood transfusions on our Jehovah’s Witness patients. Doing so would be unethical, and different worldviews frequently clash in ethical situations. Scientism frequently collides with relativism in healthcare.

Scientism is the belief that knowledge is only learned through science and science is the basis of everything that exists. However, relativism is the credence that nature is in control of our reality and our reality is influenced by our place in the world. The two concepts clash because of differences. Cultures define worldviews. My culture may not be the same culture as my neighbors. World cultures differ. Reality is different for everybody, but the philosophy of reality is similar because we all exist.

My thought is science gives me knowledge, and through science I am capable of saving lives. The scientific method has enhanced technology and given us the tools we need to save lives and enhance life. The challenge is there will be disagreements and ethical dilemmas. Relativism allows me to see a larger picture of scientific knowledge and combine it with mystery, emotions, compassion and dignity. Realistically, truth will always be interchangeable. Cancer may kill one human, and another will survive. Science gives us tools to enhance reality as we search for the truth. Faith, a belief in God or a Higher Power, can not be proven or disproven. It is what we believe and influenced by our worldviews.

We grow from change and the clashing environment of science and religion is expanding. We will continue to learn, but there will always be questions we can not answer in our universe. There will always be conflicts, and as nurses we accept different cultures and move forwards. Ethical dilemmas may require an ethics committee to resolve issues that are exceptionally challenging.

Winslow, B. & Winslow, G. Ethical Boundaries of Spiritual Care. 2007. Retrieved from:…

PHI-413V Lecture 1 (2015). Worldview foundations of spirituality and ethics. Retrieved from

Discussion 6

The perceived tension between science and religion is derived from the difference in the beliefs about the nature of knowledge between scientism and relativism. Scientism involves the belief that the best or only way to have any knowledge of realtiy is by means of science (Grand Canyon University, 2015). There are many weaknesses to scientism. Of interest to healthcare and nursing is the inability to make moral or ethical judgements. Every day we are faced to make decisions that are the “right thing to do” or ethically in favor of the patient. Relativism, on the other hand, views that there is no such thing as truth. I believe that our different worldviews have been derived from relativism. or the way that a society or culture perceives the nature of reality (Grand Canyon University,2015). What may be deemed important in one society may not be important in another. One post modernist theorist , Martha Rogers, is based on philosphical holism. Another named Rosemarie Parse, is based on existentialism where the human being is human centered. This theory eliminates the need for God (Shelly & Miller, 2006).

My perception on the tension is that nursing should combine aspects of science and religion to achieve the best care for our patients. The tension that exists originiates from differences in worldviews. As a nurse I embrace the Christian worldview that incorporates a personal approach, holistic view, and the importance of faith (Shelly & Miller, 2006). I also value the science of research that supports the healthcare that we provide.


Grand Canyon University (2015). PHI-413V Lecture 1. Worldview foundations of spirituality and ethics. Retrieved from

Shelly, J., & Miller, A., (2006). Called to care. A Christian worldview for nursing. 2nd edition. Retrieved from…

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