Unlike dolphins, which, as far as we know have one world-wide language and never declare war on each other, we humans spend a lot of our time and collective resources on disagreements. Religious disagreements are some of the oldest sources of human conflict in recorded history. In the year 2020, with a human population of 7.6 billion people, we had seven major religious categories in terms of population, plus a seventh catch-all category for the smaller religions. (Source)
- Christian 31.1%
- Muslims 24.9%
- No Religion 15.6%
- Hindu 15.2%
- Buddhists 6.6%
- Folk Religions 5.6%
- Jews <1%
- All others <1%
If you removed the wording that describes each religion (difficult if not impossible, but play along) and if you just describe the views of each religion in generic terms, most people would find, perhaps to their chagrin, that they agree with certain parts of many different religions, and also, that they do not fit neatly and entirely into any one group.
Most world religions have certain shared beliefs:
1. Belief in one or more divine beings/gods/goddesses.
2. Belief in the concept of an afterlife or life beyond death.
3. Belief in the importance of morality and ethical behavior.
4. Belief in the power of prayer or other forms of worship.
5. Belief in the importance of community and social responsibility.
But it is their differences which you would need to know to choose
A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. Based on what you believe, you can find what religious group you most fit with at the current time. It is not unusual, however, for people’s answers to change, sometimes even a lot, over the years.
If you believe in one God who exists in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and also believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that he died on the cross to save humanity from sin, then you might well choose to be a Christian.
If you believe in one God (Allah), that Muhammad is his prophet, and that following the Five Pillars of Islam (declaration of faith, prayer, giving to the poor, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is necessary for salvation, then you might well choose to be a Muslim.
If you believe in multiple gods and goddesses, with the highest being Brahman – the ultimate reality, and also believe in karma (the concept that actions have consequences) and also believe in reincarnation (the rebirth of the soul after death), then you might well choose to be a Hindu.
If you believe in the Four Noble Truths – that suffering exists, that suffering arises from craving and attachment, that suffering can be overcome by eliminating craving, and that the way to eliminate craving is through the Eightfold Path, then you might well choose to be a Buddhist.
If you believe in one God, that the Torah is the word of God, and also believe in the concept of a chosen people and that the coming of the Messiah will bring peace and redemption to the world, then you might well choose to be a Jew.
If you believe in one God and that all people are equal regardless of their race, religion, or gender, and also believe in the importance of service to others and the need to constantly work towards self-improvement, then you might well choose to be a Sikh.
If you believe in the importance of moral values such as respect, loyalty, and responsibility and also believe in the concept of the “Mandate of Heaven” – the belief that rulers are chosen by God and must act in the best interests of their people, then you might well choose to be a Confucian.
If you believe in the importance of living in harmony with the natural world and following the way (Tao) of the universe, and also believe in the concept of yin and yang – the idea that all things have complementary and opposing forces that must be balanced, then you might well choose to be a Taoist.
If you believe in the existence of kami (spirits or deities) that inhabit the natural world, and also believe in the importance of purity and that everything has a spirit or soul, then you might well choose to be a Shintoist.
If you believe in the concept of ahimsa (non-violence) and that all living beings have a soul that should be respected, and also believe in the importance of self-control and detachment from material possessions, then you might well choose to be a Jain.
If you lack of belief in God or any supernatural being, place emphasis on empirical evidence and reasoning, and value personal autonomy and secular morality based not on religious teachings, but on principles of reason, empathy, and fairness and also value the freedom to think for yourself and to choose your own paths in life, then you might well choose to be an atheist.
If you focus on spiritualism, personal growth, and self-improvement to enhance spiritual well-being through practices such as meditation, yoga, and energy healing, and also place emphasis on holistic health and wellness, and also feel that all things in the universe are interconnected and that we are all part of a greater whole, then you might well choose to follow the New Age religion.
I hope this was interesting for you.