What is Religious Belief?

The almost universally-used definition of ‘religious belief’ is ‘a strong belief in supernatural power or powers that control human destiny’. This definition accurately covers the superstitions and most of the various religions in the world. Good and evil features in most world religions. What is Religious Belief? The difference between religion and religious belief is that religion may include ceremonies and temples or churches and men or women as priests and nuns, whereas religious belief focuses on the ideas or philosophy of the religion.

The difference between superstition and religious belief is more difficult to explain and probably comes down to one’s personal preferences. However, both superstition and all the world religions believe in some usually invisible, spiritual (non-material) entity or force influencing the lives of living human beings. The main difference between philosophy and most religious doctrines is that philosophy focuses on the rational and the material and does not entertain ideas about miracles.

There is no room for spiritual Heaven or hell in philosophy, which tends to see Heaven as paradise on Earth and hell as being in the imagination of the living. However, philosophy and some religions define their doctrines as the pursuit of reality – for example, Buddhism, which also has sites for religious activities such as temples. This tends to blur the distinction between philosophy and religion. Religious belief does not have to focus on one God. in fact, most world religions teach that there are many gods. Some religions hold that everything that has life force contains God, because God is nature.

Various religions teach that the gods are present on Earth in animals or natural entities like the sea, the wind or mountains and that the voice of these gods is expressed in the tides, storms or volcanic eruptions. The human race has always sought altered states of consciousness in the pursuit of reality. Some say that the highest state mind is when it is in harmony with God or nature and that trying to achieve this by using drugs or alcohol is fools’ gold. However, these are religious matters and luckily it is far easier to answer the question: ‘What is religious belief?’ than it is to answer the question of which particular doctrine is correct.

Native Religious Beliefs The original native religious beliefs in most countries are animism and ancestor worship. Some still are, but many native religious beliefs have been supplanted by the spread of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam in chronological order. Buddhism is the only of these three religious organizations that has not used warfare to proselytize. Hindu Religious Beliefs Hindu religious beliefs have as their roots the historical Vedic Religion of Iron Age India, so Hinduism is one of the oldest world religions if not the oldest faith in the world.

Hindu religious beliefs are not as rigid as many religious beliefs and more represent suggestions on how to live a good life which will ensure a happy future, both in this and future lives. Non-Religious Beliefs Non-religious beliefs cover a wide range of subjects like atheism to Freemasonry. Atheism is the non-belief in God and Freemasonry represents a code of living that is compatible with most religions, although Catholicism did warn against it. Other non-religious beliefs can be cultural, like etiquette.

For example, in Thailand people believe that it is a sign of disrespect to point the soles of the feet at anyone. Religious Beliefs in China There are many religious beliefs in China despite the fact that the communist regime tried to suppress them for decades. The current regime is not so intolerant of religion, although there is still not total freedom of religious belief. China is a huge country where there are people who believe in animism, ancestor worship and Confucius as well as world religions (like Buddhism and Christianity) to name but a few of the religious beliefs in China. Korean Religious Beliefs Korea is now two countries. Religious beliefs prosper in South Korea, but what about North Korea? North Korean religious beliefs are not well-known in the West, but it is imagined that there are still some North Koreans who hold religious beliefs in secret. Are particular Korean religious beliefs different in the north than in the south though?