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Open AccessArticle

The Relevance of God to Religious Believers and Non-Believers

1
Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Portuguese Catholic University, Rua de Camões 60, 4710-362 Braga, Portugal
2
UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
3
Department of Mathematics (DM. UTAD), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
4
Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies, Praça da Faculdade 1, 4710-297 Braga, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(4), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040212
Received: 16 March 2020 / Revised: 17 April 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 22 April 2020
This study presents a review about what great figures of history thought about the existence of God and a worldwide comparison between religious believers and non-believers using the World Social Survey (WSS) database, comprising a sample of 90,350 respondents. Results reveal that most people believe in the existence of God and consider that God is important and very important in their lives. Believers are mainly women; younger than non-believers; mostly married; less educated than non-believers; most of whom work, though fewer hours than non-believers; and perceive themselves as belonging to the middle class. There are more believers with no formal education than non-believers. The diversity of religious believers and non-believers, visible in the perspectives of humanity’s important personalities, mirrors the diversity of ordinary people towards the relevance of God. The results obtained point to a correlation between the belief in God and the studied sociodemographic variables but also suggest that the difference between believers and non-believers may be artificial, having resulted from the adopted methodology. The relationship found between being a believer and defending traditional values also corroborates with previous studies, suggesting that humankind needs God to give meaning to the world around them, namely, in morality and conduct terms. View Full-Text
Keywords: believers; non-believers; World Social Survey (WSS); relevance of God believers; non-believers; World Social Survey (WSS); relevance of God
MDPI and ACS Style

Leite, Â.; Vidal, D.G.; Dinis, M.A.P.; Sousa, H.F.P.; Dias, P. The Relevance of God to Religious Believers and Non-Believers. Religions 2020, 11, 212.

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