Why are 80% of religious people of China Buddhist? Why are 78% of religious people of the United States Christian? Why are 85% of the religious people of India Hindu? Why are 80% of the religious people of Brazil Christian; specifically Roman Catholic? Why are 99% of the religious people of Middle Eastern countries Muslim? These are very high percentages of each population of religious peoples who claim to be of the same religion as the rest of those occupying their immediate geographical area. Further examination, of both countless studies and those well-traveled, reveal that there is an overwhelmingly obvious trend of the transmission of parental religions and parental religious values to their offspring. What is the reason for the trend that the overwhelming majority of religious individuals whom I personally know claiming to be of the same religion that is of their parents? Why do all of those who I know to be raised in non-religious families, remain non-religious? Could this be because the parents (which are who most commonly raise children) rather than grandparents, friends, or teachers, tend to have the largest influence on shaping our beliefs and ideologies when we are children? Undoubtedly.
Although most are ignorant of the beliefs of religions other than the one they claim to be true, it’s true that each religion claims specific ideas as truth which are conflicting with the ideas that other religions claim as truth. Ideas which cannot co-exist (i.e. different saviours, manifestations of God, after-life, creation, etc.) With this knowledge, how can one refrain from acknowledging that the reason the overwhelming majority of religious persons believe their religion as truth is solely because it was taught to them as truth by whoever raised them or through their culture? Do religious persons believe their religious ideologies are truth merely because their parents, church, or culture told them that it was truth? That is what my personal experiences and publicly studied data tell me. If not their parents, church, or culture, then what could be the explanation for the geographical and familial trends of world religions obeying geographical boundaries?
People will claim that they ‘chose’ their religion because people instinctively wrestle with the fact that something so influential in their life could be the result of their envinroment rather than the result of their own free-will. Acknowledgement of their personal lack of influence in the belief of ideologies associated with a specific religion rattles the very core which most religions are built upon: the theory that one has free will to seek out their religion, as opposed to it being dictated by their environment. But denying that peoples’ environments dictate their religion, contradicts the facts found by observing the obedience of religions to geographical boundaries, which indicate the opposite: that our environment precisely dictates our religion.
The answer to the question of whether our environment dictates our religion is significant because it raises the question: Is the criteria for determining truth instinctive to humans, of natural law, or to be found or proven through facts and evidence? If truth is merely what we are ‘taught’ to be truth, then there is no determining process, rule, or standard by which we are able to judge the accuracy of claims and statements. By that criteria for determining truth, no ‘search’ for truth exists. Truth just ‘is’ as we are told it is. People raised in different environments spawn different perspectives, which consequentially results in the teaching of opposing ideas as truth, and therefore the belief of opposing ideas as truth, which undermines our understanding of truth to be absolute. A world without absolute truth is riddled with chaos and injustice, as every person deems their own truth that may contradict another’s truth. If truth is absolute, only one truth for a given hypothesis exists in reality. I.e. ‘God exists’ or ‘God does not exist’.
Most who deny the existence of an absolute truth state that they do not mind what others believe and that they are free to believe whatever they want under the sole condition that they do not attempt to impose their beliefs onto others. This view is an assertion of what is right and wrong, which is an absolute one…an absolute one which they do try to impose on others. They have an expectation of the behavior which they insist everyone uphold, thereby violating the very ideology they claim to uphold themselves.