WORLDVIEWS – BRIEFLY
A. Worldviews- basic distinctions and statistics.
All worldviews that ever existed may be divided between the following 3 categories:
- Atheism: Nihilism, Agnosticism, etc
- Pantheism: Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism*, etc
- Theism: Christianity, Judaism, Islam.
- atheism= the belief in no God or gods: Nihilism, Secular Humanism, Agnosticism (doesn’t know)
- pantheism= the belief that everything is God: New Age, Hinduism, Buddhism*, etc
- theism= the belief in God: Christianity, Judaism, Islam.
|Atheism (Nihilism, Secular Humanism etc), Agnosticism||Pantheism (Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism*, etc)||Theism (Christianity, Judaism, Islam)|
|God||There is no God||Everything is God||God created everything|
|The world||Matter is eternal and infinite||The world is created ex deo, immaterial||The world is created ex nihilo|
|God and the world||There is only the world||God is everything (the world)||God is above the world and in the world|
|Human nature||Body that will die||Body that will die, soul that will last forever||Body (different state) and soul that will last forever|
|Human destiny||Annihilation||Reincarnation / Inclusion in the divinity||Raise from the dead for a reward or a punishment|
|The origin of evil||Human ignorance||Evil is an illusion||The Devil and fallen angels (demons), human freedom of choice|
|The end of evil||May be defeated by men||Will be absorbed into god||Will be defeated by God|
|The origin of ethics||Human convention||Inferior manifestation of the divinity||Determined by God|
|The nature of ethics||Relative||Relative||Absolute|
|History and its sense||Chaotique, no sense, eternal||Circular, illusory, eternal||Linear, with a sense determined by God|
*Buddhism should be placed, more accurately, at the intersection between Atheism and Pantheism.
- Christianity: 2.1 billion- 33 %
- Islam: 1.5 billion- 21 %
- Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion – 16%
- Hinduism: 900 million- 14 %
- Chinese traditional religion (Confucianism/Taoism): 394 million – 6%
- Buddhism: 376 million- 6 %
- Others… 4% (source: Encyclopedia Britannica)
1. Numbers are based on people’ declarations which imply nominal believers (i.e. “in name only”, as opposed to true adopters of that belief system).
2. According to WIN-Gallup International Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism latest report 2012 (based on interviews with more than 50,000 men and women selected from 57 countries, across the globe; report which may be downloaded here) the global distribution of self-perceptions currently is: Religious- 59%, Not Religious- 23%, Atheists- 13%. Also the same report says that one of the trends from 2005 is that Religiosity dropped by 9%, while atheism rose by 3%. (see more here)