Belief Systems Revisited

Belief Systems Revisited

Belief systems tend to have a significant impact on our lives. It has always been interesting to me that where you are born will be a primary determinant of what you believe. For example: If you were born in India there is an 85% chance that you would be raised in the Hindu Faith.

Three belief systems amount to over half of the world’s population. The followers of Jesus (including Roman Catholics) comprise 2.4 billion, followers of Mohamed 1.9 billion, and followers of Vishnu (the supreme Hindu god of thousands) 1.2 billion. 5.5 billion of 7.9 billion people subscribe to one of these three beliefs.

Studies indicate that when facts and beliefs are at odds then beliefs tend to rule the day.

Historical beliefs have been traditionally viewed as myths. Early Egyptian, Roman, Greek, and Norse beliefs in multiple gods are generally viewed as misguided by current standards. And yet, to the people of those times, they were just as real as the primary belief systems of today. In one sense all of these systems are correct even though they are quite different since all that is required is a personal commitment to a dogma. However, from an objective observer who has no prior conditioning, it becomes quite confusing. Which belief system should I adopt? Which one is more accurate in absolute terms?

Perhaps the system that has endured for the longest is the best to adopt. In that case, Hinduism is, by far, the best option. Perhaps the system that has the most devotees is a better option. Christianity seems like a good option. However, the most recent may have improved on some of the older systems. Islam might be the best choice.

A remaining option would be to remain with 1.2 billion others that do not subscribe to any organized belief system.