The spectrum of belief is something that all religions share, especially in our secularised world.
It’s a spectrum of beliefs and values.
We’ve seen the spectrum of believers evolve through centuries.
The spectrum is constantly being redefined by new research, new technology, and a new understanding of the universe.
The first and most fundamental question that every believer asks is “why do I believe?”
We are all, at some level, on the spectrum.
But why are some people more religious than others?
What is the purpose of belief?
What can we do to help ourselves or others find meaning and meaning in life?
A new study conducted by Dr. Michael D. Hartman of the University of Notre Dame, and Dr. Daniel M. Pinto of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico has identified five main reasons why some people are more religious and some less.
Dr. Hartmann, who is the director of the Religion, Life, and Society Program at the UNAM, and has studied the relationship between religion and spirituality for over 25 years, says: “The five reasons for religiousness are all connected to the belief in an eternal being, in God and in a supernatural being.”
He points to three key aspects of this: 1.
A belief in a personal God; 2.
A sense of a personal divinely-directed purpose; and 3.
The ability to perceive a personal relationship to a higher power, known as the divinely ordained path.
He and his co-authors have identified five major reasons why people who have a more religious identity, called agnostics, are less religious than those who are less religiously inclined.
These include a lack of belief in God, the existence of a supernatural Being that is a personal being (God), the existence and power of an afterlife, and the existence or power of a spiritual or supernatural being.
“These five reasons are all important for agnosticism.
And they all converge in a sense,” says Hartman.
The study is available in the open access journal, PLoS ONE.”
The agnostic experience is actually a way to connect with our innermost being.”
The study is available in the open access journal, PLoS ONE.
The study was part of a broader research project, The Religious and Spiritual Worldview, that also examined the effects of religious beliefs and spirituality on life outcomes.
The findings show that the more religiously inclined individuals are, the less likely they are to become atheists or agnÓSIS, and that the religiousness of an individual increases the chances that he or she will become agnostic.
“We are really starting to understand how a lot of these differences in belief and life outcomes are connected,” says Pinto.
“For example, the more religious we are, our chances of becoming a vegetarian or vegan increase.
But if we are agnostic, our odds of becoming an atheist are about the same.
And our chances decrease when we’re agnostic.””
There is a very interesting connection between religion, spirituality and life outcome,” says Dr. Hartmans co-author, Dr. William R. Rector, PhD. “There is the possibility that agnostic people who are more religiously oriented might be less likely to have children, or become pregnant, or have children later in life.
And if they do become pregnant they might be more likely to not be sexually active, to not have children.”
Pinto and Hartman’s findings, along with those of other studies, have been published in several leading journals, including Science and Nature.
In the meantime, Hartman is looking forward to a new book coming out on the topic, entitled The Religious Spectrum: How Beliefs and Values Are Being Redefined.
Hartmen says that he hopes the book will help people identify what it is that they believe, and to develop an awareness of how their beliefs and value systems shape our world.
He also hopes that the book can help people to better understand the importance of the personal God and the supernatural being that underlies their belief.
The Religion, Lives, and Science Program at UNAM is part of the Department of Religion, Culture, and Social Sciences at UNAMS.
Dr. Richard P. Young is the Department Chair.