A worldview is a defined philosophy about life that influences and directs how we live. While there are many world views that are defined and labeled, a worldview is really very individual and personal. One's worldview is formed and articulated by the way in which the individual perceives and understand the world around them. Much in the same way that every person's relationship with Jesus is personal and individual, so also are the fine details of one's worldview. There are, however, core foundations that enable a broad definition of worldviews into a number of categories. Five major categories are:
- Naturalism: atheism, agnosticism, existentialism
- Pantheism: Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, New Age, Consciousness
- Theism: Christianity, Judaism, Islam
- Spiritism and Polytheism (includes thousands of religions)
- Postmodernism and Secular Humanism (marked by skepticism and individualism)
Our mental perception of the reality in which we live greatly determines our worldview. Therefore, in addition to those listed above some people might claim to be "free-thinkers" and not adhere to any of the mainstream definitions. However, for all intents and purposes, they only modify the basic belief system of one of the five and tend to not define very clearly what they believe. Rather than "free thinkers" it can better be defined as "loose thinkers" with shifting views.