Does God or Society Determine Religious Faith?

What the distribution of religions in the world says about God.

While many religions claim their god is universal and for all of humanity, a look at a map of world religions tells a different story. It shows a god that must be limited by geographic features and political boundaries.

The world religions on a map
When you look at a map of where the followers of the major religions are, it is plain to see that politics and geography have had a definite impact on which religions people in certain areas are likely to follow. For example, Islam clearly spread from its core in Arabia by conquests, etc. throughout the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia. Christianity and Buddhism also followed patterns of spreading from their core areas (although they lost their original homelands for different reasons), with Christianity spreading from Europe to other regions and Buddhism primarily through Asia.

Matches exactly with human made
What is striking about any map of the distribution of religions in the world is how the spread of religions so closely matched the terrain and politics that shaped human history, Until modern times when communications and other technologies made natural and other barriers less important, the followers of different religions almost always kept within geographic and political boundaries. For example, the Mediterranean Sea divided North Africa and Europe both politically as well as religiously. As Christian nations conquered and colonized the Americas, those areas became almost entirely Christian as areas conquered by Muslim Armies became Islamic.

If a being with the power to create the universe favors a certain religion, wouldn’t that being have the ability to find a way to inform all humanity of what it was irrespective of any natural or man-made boundaries? Why do the patterns of religions spreading give every indication of coming entirely by human efforts and not a trace of hard evidence that any god ever directly did anything?

Divine favor?
While followers attribute certain historical events such as victories in battles that helped their religion spread, etc. to divine favor, similar claims have been made by all kinds of leaders and religions. There is no hard evidence that any god ever directly intervened to help any religion. If a god was doing so, wouldn’t there be clear and overwhelming evidence of such action? Wouldn’t that religion have always triumphed? If that were the case, then there would be strong evidence of a religion leaping across these boundaries and spreading in ways that could not be attributed to human efforts.

There is also the point that a being with the power to create the universe should be able to find a better way to bring his word to his people than through events like battles or other human endeavors. Besides, there are very devout and sincere people on both sides in wars, to include the Crusades, where people are fighting over religion. As one side would have to be wrong, why wouldn’t this god tell his devout followers on the side that is wrong the truth? Why not save humanity so much confusion and bloodshed with a little instruction?

What decides your religion?
As a general rule, people follow the religion of their parents and are very reluctant to change. Political and natural factors created boundaries in the past. Over time, often due to discrimination and horrible persecution, these political boundaries became religious ones. There is no sign of the spontaneous, worldwide spreading of any religion that would be expected of a divinely created ideology.

Change the time and place of a person’s birth, and in most cases, you change the religion they follow. Your society and upbringing are by far the biggest factors that determine people’s religious faith.

In modern times, religions have the chance to become less restricted by boundaries and more evenly distributed. However, this is because technology and greater religious freedom in some areas of the world now make this possible. It only serves to illustrate the human limits on the spread of supposedly divine word and the lack of evidence of any religion having the backing of a being with the power to create the universe.

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Faith can be a very dangerous thing if not backed up by evidence. Question everything and do not blindly follow. Certainty does not necessitate truth. If your God is almighty, he can certainly stand up to human questioning.

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