This article uses a Christian worldview to provide an interpretive framework which will solidly support and inform commonly held social values such as the inherent value of every person regardless of self-determination and personal characteristics. The author believes that a Christian worldview will challenge other values and theories which include extreme moral relativism and exploitation of the weak by the strong. He adds that other worldviews including empiricism, materialism and postmodern subjectivism can lead to quite contrasting conclusions regarding social work values. Throughout the article, the author has evaluated the relationships between the worldviews and other social factors and most importantly he has explained how these worldviews help construct our understanding of values. We are also taught how worldviews help define the nature and value of persons. Using the quotes from the bible the author has explained the impacts and consequences of worldviews to individual values, in fact, he has gone ahead to give a personal account of himself to explain this idea. Towards the end of the chapter, the author challenges his readers to choose a Christian Worldview; he explains that abandoning theological basis of values built into the universe by God is equal to abandoning the necessary values which morally bound us.
It is important to know that our values affect how we understand and help people. But most significantly it affects how we relate to other people and our behaviors. According to Scales (2016), what we believe affects what we experience including how we define our feelings, this means that our values define us and our behaviors depend on these values. Our perception of the nature of the world, other people and ourselves interact fundamentally with how we act, how we perceive reality and how we define our own identity. Therefore, it is proper for me to suggest that values instilled in us affects how we relate to others and by extension, it affects our behaviors. Some time ago, while in High School there was a group bully who had a habit of bullying this particular student. I didnt like the way these bullies were doing to this student, and whenever I saw them hurling insults and abuses to the poor student, I would get furious even though it wasnt me. Now on this particular day, while taking lunch, I saw the same bullies approaching the student and taking away his food. I couldnt allow them this time to get away with their vices, I stood up for the student and report the matter. From my childhood, I have always been taught to care for other people, and it has grown to impact my behavior (Scales, 2016).
I believe human beings have intrinsic dignity and value, and their social work practice is affected by their values of the profession and individual practitioners. And how is that? Well, the answer to this question will explain the values that affect the social work practice which includes the values of the profession and those of individual practitioners. Nowadays, social workers are trying to hold onto values such as the worth of the individual and fundamental dignity while denying the only basis in which such a value can ultimately stand. The intrinsic values human beings possess enables the social workers to have the moral responsibility of performing their duties effectively. It allows them to have the moral obligation beyond their own subjective biases. Among the completely secular psychologists, therapists and social workers there currently appears to be a high degree of consensus about the wrong moral practices in the society. This is because the moral problems we face tends to be based on a more individualistic and rationalistic model of power and model of justice.
NASW code of ethics and the Christian worldview have a lot in common that is, they both understand that in actual practice situations, the legitimate values do come into tension with one another. Therefore, not all social workers, be it a Christian or not will necessarily accept to prioritize legitimate values when they come into tension with each other in a given situation. Since individual peace and prosperity do not necessarily rank high in the list of biblical virtues compared to sacrifice of common good means that Christian worldviews and NASW code of ethics have the same thing in common. However, they differ in explaining the source and authenticator of values. The NASW code of ethics itself is the source of values and a moral framework while the Christian worldview believes that God is the ultimate source of and authenticator of values.
Scales, T. L., & Kelly, M. S. (2016). Christianity and social work: readings on the integration of Christian faith and social work practice (5th ed.). Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
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