Any good worldview should have explanatory power that relates to all of the things that can be observed in the universe. This would include the material universe: the nature of matter, energy, and time; and the immaterial universe: logic, truth, justice and morality. In other words, a good worldview will be able to adequately address both science and philosophy.
By this standard Greek Mythology, for instance, fails as a worldview. By assigning various gods to different aspects of reality, Greek Mythology cannot adequately address all of reality. Which god was in charge of, say, quantum mechanics? As new information about the world came to light, new gods would be required to explain it, or old gods would have to be assigned new duties. It also fails to explain the unity of reality. If the goddess of the earth and the goddess of the moon are not getting along, how does this affect tidal forces, and does the god of the sea have any say in that?
Pagan religions such as this have largely been abandoned because as new information comes to light, these worldviews are clearly inadequate to the task of explaining reality.
That being said, any positive worldview – a worldview that proposes to be able to explain reality – must be predictive. That is to say that, as more things are discovered about the universe, these worldviews must already have sufficient explanation for the new information built in to that worldview.
For instance, when the double-slit experiment was performed, the results could not have been predicted by Newtonian Physics. As a result, Newtonian Physics had to be discarded for another kind of physics that could explain the results of that experiment.
On the other hand, quantum physics was able to predict the existence of the Higgs-Boson particle which was later discovered through particle collision experiments. This means Quantum Physics was upheld as a theory.
Speaking broadly, there is one negative worldview – a worldview that attacks others without giving a sufficient model of reality itself – and four positive philosophies that thinking people subscribe to in order to explain reality. The negative worldview is agnosticism. The positive worldviews are postmodernism, materialism, pantheism, and theism.
Agnosticism is not so much a worldview as it is the lack of a worldview. An Agnostic states that they do not know how to explain both science and philosophy in a unified manner. Implicit to Agnosticism, however, is that they reject all of the alternative worldviews.
Postmodernism states that truth is not comprehensive. In other words there are truths, but there is no Truth. This allows the subscriber to hold any number of contradictory beliefs or ideas to be true without requiring the believer to reconcile the differences.
Materialism states that the material universe is all that exists, and that immaterial concepts, such as logic, philosophy, truth, and so forth, are simply illusory results of the mechanical processes that govern the brain. This neatly gets rid of philosophy and appeals solely to science.
Pantheism states that all of reality is illusory, especially the idea that people are individuals. The opposite of Materialism, this worldview gets rid of the concept of the material and reduces all of reality to the immaterial.
Finally, Theism states that there is an immaterial, eternal God who is responsible for creating reality. This system allows for science because the material universe is a product of intelligent design which is what makes it intelligible, and that immaterial things, such as intelligence itself, are fundamental to God’s nature, and indeed, were the processes he used in order to design the universe. In principle this worldview explains both the material and the immaterial universe without inherent contradictions.
The problem with the positive worldviews are that they are subject to criticism. By making a statement that they hold to be factual, people can challenge the factuality. For instance, Postmodernism fundamentally states that there is no Truth. Yet they believe that to be true, contradicting their own philosophy. Materialism states that there is no thought, just mechanical processes that give the illusion of thought. And yet they have to use language, philosophy, and the immaterial concept of “illusion” in order to state this. Pantheism states that material reality is illusory as is the concept of “self.” But if there is no “self”, who is having the illusion? Theism attributes reality to an intelligent God. If this is the case, couldn’t everything that people do not yet understand simply be credited to this God? And how would someone go about falsifying the existence of such a God?
The fact that a positive worldview can be criticized is simply a byproduct of making a statement of fact. Statements of fact must necessarily be challengeable. If a person walks into a room and announces that “dinosaurs were aliens,” no one in that room is obligated to believe this statement. It is the responsibility of the person making the statement to provide a convincing argument to support this idea.
However, challenging a comprehensive worldview that attempts to explain reality comes with an additional burden: one must be able to provide some alternative explanation. It is easy to nitpick and tear down a worldview. This is what the Agnostic philosophy does. But just because a worldview requires explanation does not mean it is false. It is also the duty of the critic to show how some other system better explains the facts. For example, a defense attorney may be able to find potential holes in the prosecution’s case against their client, but unless they are able to provide a solid alibi, the prosecution’s case is the best explanation in the room. To thoroughly discredit a worldview, one must advance an alternative that better explains the evidence. Agnosticism is just lazy thinking.