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Is it what you believe, or how much you believe it?

Posted this in P&CE to address the globalization half of the survey, so if you want to address that section, the question is over there.

Tony Blair's foundation commissioned this survey, given around the world, to address global economy and religion:

There are a lot of stats in this thing (the religion section starts about 6 or 8 pages in), but one recurring theme seems to be a correlation, not just between the percentage of a population that supports a religion, but the intensity with which they support it.  In the middle east, obviously, the majority of people claim Islam, but the vast majority of them also insist it's a very important part of their life and the ONLY answer.  On the other hand, Christians vary, not just in population, but in importance.  85% of US Christians say it's the be all and end all, but in Europe, the importance of faith hangs around 25%.  They're also less likely to say their way is the only way.

Is it cultural,or is it spiritual?  Why are Muslims uniformly devote across different countries, but Christians in different countries don't hold their beliefs in equal importance (as compared to each other, not other religions)?  Does believing, period, count for all or nothing, or does the degree of belief matter?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 1:11 PM on Jul. 7, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • Gosh, I wish I wasn't on the road, with only my cellular. I'll watch this post. Should be interesting.

    Answer by dullscissors at 1:25 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Hmmm, I'd say it's both cultural and spiritual. I think here in the U.S. there is the idea, culturally, that in order to be a "true" believer in something, it has to be the end all be all. There can be no waivering from it, b/c then you are not devoted enough. it's become almost a competition of sorts, but what ISN"T a competition in our country? That seems to be the way for us.
    But while we do have that cultural idea of things, we also have the will power, individually, to maintain our own ideas of what is spiritually important to us. Well, I'd say that's becoming more prevelant we are seeing and hearing more beliefs aside from christianity being talked about.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 1:38 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • It's hard to say, but I think I would lead more towards cultural. In the Muslim world, Islam is very much intertwined with everyday life. In the US, most practicing Christians still try to incorporate it into everyday life (but may find disconnects for one reason or another). In Europe, most everything works from a secular perspective and so Christians may not feel/see where they're supposed to be incorporating their beliefs in with life.

    I looked through the link and didn't find it, but was there a question that what religions favored globalization?

    Answer by -Eilish- at 1:46 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • but was there a question that what religions favored globalization?

    Not directly. At the very end is one that shows a glossed over breakdown of countries by religion (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Other), so if you want to match that up and look for correlations. It seems to me they intentionally kept the globalization and religion as two separate issues - in the notes at the beginning it mentions that some of the Muslims replying in Saudi Arabia answered the globalization questions but opted out of the religion ones.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:55 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read the link right now. I'm popping in and out between errands and packing for our trip. That said, I suspect that the difference may lay in the fact that in the Middle East, there is little differentiation between the laws of the land and religious laws, and therefore they feed each off and support each other. Religion, then, is all-encompassing. Fortunately, we have (or are supposed to have) a secular government, so religion cannot completely take over. . . and with that mumbo-jumbo, I have to step out for a bit and run some errands. If what I said didn't make sense, I'll think on it and see if I can make my thoughts clearer later. . .


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:10 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • "Fortunately, we have (or are supposed to have) a secular government, so religion cannot completely take over."

    LOL...yea, I see this slowly changing. We already have politicians spouting off about bringing america back to it's "christian roots." Secular government my ass.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 2:14 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Its both...

    NP I am not sure how much you understand of the spiritual realm ( both good and bad ). I know you know the term but how much of it do you truly understand and how much do you understand that there are what the bible calls prince and principalities of the air . Much like an arm there are ranks in the demonic hosts and angelic hosts. The ones that walk the earth are UNDER the ones that battle in the second heaven. each country there is an assignment over it... by demons and angels. each state and city and town...all have spiritual forces assigned to it. ( they are assigned to people too) So when you see certain countries leaning away from Christianity.. it means their are more demonic forces assigned.. there are Godly angels there too but it is a battleground for them. I think you get the picture... There is a HUGE spiritual influence over many countries and people including leadership of that country! cont.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 2:36 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Which is why as Christians we pray... and intercede for the countries around the world. If you read the book of Daniel you will see that it backs up everything I say.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 2:37 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Wow shan...that is an incredibly arrogant way of thinking.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 2:40 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • I got my degree in sociology so my answer is going to extremely biased but all of our beliefs, norms, feelings, opinions, etc are shaped by the society in which we live. From birth until death, we are immersed in the culture of our society and believe that that is the norm and that anyone outside of that bubble is taboo or wrong. Religion is no different. The strength of and what you believe is shaped by the society in which you are raised. If you live somewhere that is not accepting of others, you think that that is the way you need to be in order to be considered "strong in your faith" If your society is a tolerant one, you think that part of being strong in your faith is to be able to accept the faith of others. That is just my opinion.

    Answer by BriHan06 at 2:50 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

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