Ipsos/Reuters conducted a survey of over 28,000 people worldwide to assess global belief in God. In a world of six billion, it’s a very small sample, but nevertheless raises food for thought. Read the report at http://www.canada.com/life/Belief+supreme+being+strong+worldwide+Poll/4669884/story.html .
It should go without saying that there is no absolute proof of the existence of a supreme being or an afterlife, so a consensus is unlikely, but, according to the poll, about half the world’s population believes in both.
18% said they don’t believe in a god, leaving about a third uncertain. Some in Asia believe in many gods, while the proportion of those who don’t believe in any god reach 40% in Europe and Scandinavia.
Of those believing in an afterlife, 7% thought we are reincarnated, strangely, the largest percentage from Hungary. Other ideas about an afterlife mostly included heaven, less believing in hell, while others were unsure what to expect. Those not believing in an afterlife thought “you simply cease to exist.”
Of course, the safest belief, if true, is that we all die like dogs, and a rotting body is all that remains. That avoids the sticky question of accountability for behaviour in this life. The most frightening scenario is not that there is no afterlife, but that there might be.
The most surprising result of this poll is that so many believe in some deity and an afterlife, considering there is no certain way of confirming either, and the enlightenment has tried eroding this idea for centuries. The growing data of natural reasoning for existence should have convinced the whole world that spiritual beliefs are simply superstition.
Evolution was the last brick in this modern Tower of Babel that attempts to dispense with need for God. Few believe in fairies or Santa Claus, so why should we hold to other apparently improbable beliefs? In fact, why should we even have the capacity to think in spiritual terms if only the physical world exists?
This all-natural approach that we evolved from microscopic life begs the question of why any life form should develop the idea of unseen realities. The jump from simply utilitarian behaviour of animals to the human assumption of an alternate existence is a huge conjectural leap.
Of course, once belief in God is established, the implantation of desire for Him, evidenced in the search for God since history began, becomes a reasonable assumption. It takes determined effort not to wonder about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beyond simply preserving its existence.
It’s easy to dismiss the idea of God in prosperity when it appears we control our destiny. Under those conditions God is unnecessary and not worth keeping. The three billion who believe and the two billion who are uncertain are simply ignorant, deluded, or just fools. (We are left to wonder who the fools are, Psalm 53:1).
If what we observe with our senses is all there is, what’s the point of maintaining the miserable existence of the majority on earth? Culling makes the most reasonable, horrific sense. But the human soul is totally dissatisfied with such a philosophy, and when hard rubber hits the road, all the reasonable disbelief in the world is cold comfort.
No wonder most of the world seeks Him who is beyond it.