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The Differences Between Religious And Non-Religious Ideologies

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There are three ideologies under religious which are reveal and preserve, reveal but interpolated and not reveal but based on human wisdom. However, there are many ideologies under non-religious. For example, scientism, rationalism, humanism, agnosticism, atheism, materialism and etc.


“Religion usually describes the belief in a superhuman controlling power involving God or gods; it entails a system of faith and worship” (Burrowes, 2016). The three ideologies under religious are:

  1. Reveal and preserve
  2. Reveal but interpolated
  3. Not reveal but based on human wisdom


The only religion that reveal and preserve in this world is Islam. “Islam, major world religion promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century CE. The Arabic term Islam, literally “surrender,” illuminates the fundamental religious idea of Islam—that the believer (called a Muslim, from the active particle of Islam) accepts surrender to the will of Allah (in Arabic, Allah: God)”. (Muhsin S. Mahdi Annemarie Schimmel Fazlur Rahman, 2019). Basically, the people who called as Muslim need to perform any good deeds in religion because of Allah so they believe that all the happen things caused of Allah will and He knows what we know not.

The characteristics of Islam are make Al-Quran and Sunnah as a priority in Muslim’s life. They used Al-Quran and Sunnah as a guidance in life to be a better Muslim for chasing dunya and hereafter. Next, the true Muslim will distinguish between truth and false. They enjoining good and forbidding wrong in life to avoid from God’s anger.

For example, people that are born in Islam, was adzan by their father. They learn about Islam from parents while growing up. They reveal with prayer, pillar of Islam and faith since a child. It means that when they are practicing in Islam since child, they will strengthen their believe in Allah and prophet.


The reveal and interpolated religious are Christian. “Christians are monotheistic, they believe there’s only one God, and he created the heavens and the earth. This divine Godhead consists of three parts: the father (God himself), the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit” (Luther, 2017). Christianists believe that Jesus is a god’s son that born from Mary. They are ordered to follow bible and obey their Father. They need to know the right and wrong in Christian.

The characteristic of Christian is the cross that a symbol of Christianity. They believe that the cross can protect them from any harm. Thus, the use of cross is widely used such as they used it in the neck as an amulet and place it in church. Sunday known as the day that believer devoting themselves. Next, bible is the main source for Christian as a guidance to be good person. They believe that everything in the bible is right that comes from Jesus as known as God’s son.

For example, Eucharist or Holy Gathering is the dinner of bread and wine as a sign of unity between Christians and Jesus. The most powerful church leader is the roman bishop called the pope in the West and Patriach in Constantinople in the East. Among the holy festivals in Christianity are Christmas, Easter and Good Friday. Christians are in encouraged to gather in the Church to worship and live of life according to God’s moral rules.


Taoism is the religion from China. The founder named of Taoism is Lao Tzu. Huston Smith in his article said that Tao “means path, or way. There are three senses, however, in which this “way” can be understood” There are three types of ways to knowing ‘Tao’ which are believes that Tao is the way of ultimate reality. Second is the way of the universe. While third is the way of human life. Taoism started when Lao Tzu makes Tao popular. Then, Zhang Daoling makes Tao became the official religion. Most of the believers is Chinese (Tioang Hua).

Taoism symbol is Ying-Yang. The ‘Ying’ means feminine while ‘Yang’ is masculine. They believe that in this world there is dualism such as day and night, man and women, left and right and so on. That’s why, it can be seen that Ying-Yang symbol have a same size of white and black. The center line on the Ying-Yang symbol means that, nature can change. In the Ying-Yang symbol there are two small points which are the black dot in white and the white dot in black. It’s means that in this world there are no things that perfect. For example, if you become success it will lead to arrogance while if you’re falling down it will lead to being humble. Hence, all the things that have done to us have their own positive and negative.

Tao Te Ching is a book for followers of Taoism. It has 81 poems and consists of 25 pages. The book was written by Lao Zi in the 6th century. One of the contents in the book is teaching about Wu Wei. Wu Wei is a teaching about maintaining life. Other than that, Chuang-Zhu book, that tells of stories and entertainment in philosophy. In addition, Chinese people worship idols as their gods. They have 60 gods which are Thay Shang Lao Jun, Er Lang Shen and others.

Taoism can be seen in ‘Kung Fu Panda’ movie which is there is a scene that one- character quote about Taoism philosophy which is “This is where Oogway unravelled the mysteries of harmony and focus”. This is a reference to Taoism since Taoist philosophy teaches about harmony and balance in life. Besides that, Taoism also influenced the Chinese painting. For example, ‘Shan Shui’ means ‘mountain-water’ is a style of Chinese traditional painting and has a reference to Taoist motifs.


Non-religious ideologies do not believe any Gods and free from any rules and teachings. There are many ideologies under non-religious such as scientism, rationalism, humanism, agnosticism, atheism, materialism and etc.


“Liberalism is an ideology based on beliefs of economic and personal freedom, and the fact that social inequalities are a part of nature.” (Svengali, 2004). From the article Liberalism from the context of building foundation of Malaysia “The concept of liberalism is actually having broader context and can be divided into the basics such as social-liberalism, economic-liberalism and political liberalism.” Social liberalism can be seen in manner and cooperation between two countries. It means that, they want people to not fight or against with other, otherwise from the wrong action it will lead to the war and destruction of a country. The economic-liberalism can be seen in a trade with foreign countries. From this cooperation the dependence from each other can be created and the national market can be expanded. Next, the political-liberalism is they fight for personal rights without measuring their social status.

Among the characteristics of liberalism are firstly, individual freedom is priority, which means that society can do all things as long as it does not violate the rules and government does not have the right to interfere with the individual affairs. Secondly, the equality of individual right, every citizen should be given the same rights without need to measure their race. Thirdly, the country is just a symbol where leaders can do as they please. Forth, individual rights are recognized by the state as the country cannot be developing without citizen. Therefore, without respecting the individual a country will not be balanced. Fifth, the system of government is liberal democracy, which means the government cannot make decisions that violate individual rights. Lastly, the role of the state is limited because the government cannot interfere with economic affairs.

The examples that can relate to liberalism are the countries that use liberalism as their main ideology which are United Stated, Australia and German. Other than that, it can be seen in gender equality and women’s empowerment which fought by United Nation (UN) and NGO bodies. In Malaysia the liberal party is Liberal Democratic Party Sabah, the majority of members is Chinese. This ideology also can be seen in western music as examples from the song ‘we can’t stop’ which is in the lyric states “it’s our party, we can do what we want” the singer talking about freedom among individual.


“Scientism is the belief that sciences have no boundaries and will, in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe. Scientism can, like religious literalism become its own ideology” (Todd, 2007). The Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethnics defines scientism as “an exaggerated trust in the efficacy of natural science to be applied to all areas of investigation. (as in philosophy, the social sciences and the humanities)”.

It means that scientism does not believe on anything that can’t be proven true through the investigations or experiments. Most of the scientism deny the existence of God. Most of the scientists will not believe on something until it prove by science because they worship science its rituals and result and claim the science to replace God as the source of knowledge. Scientism believe that science can explain everything in the universe without relying on God.

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The characteristics of scientism is denying the existence of God. Knowledge is a priority for scientism, for example, someone must assume on process or anything that he or she want to know so it will begin a scientific investigation to know the truth. If it can’t be proven by the science so it will not be clarified. Next, scientism will make people lack of morality. This is because, scientism doesn’t have any boundaries to know about something so it will across the natural of human beings. For example, scientists will do any experiments on human or living things without any sympathy that very contrary to morals.

For example, John Hampden was an English scientist that believe on flat earth theory. He offered anyone 500 dollars who can proved to him about round earth. It is clear that he trying to make other people confused. But, most of the scientist believe about the round earth and have been proved by the science and revelation.


“Rationalism is the philosophical stance according to which reason is the ultimate source of human knowledge. It stands in contrast to empiricism, according to which the senses suffice in justifying knowledge” (Borghini, 2019). Rationalism believe all knowledge can be understood based on reason and human knowledge without any sources as long as it is logic. Some of rationalists reject the revelation because of illogical.

The characteristic of rationalism is referring to human cognitive powers than supernatural faith or revelation. This is because rationalists want a reasons about what was happen or how was it happen. It must have a reason that related to any situations to know the truth. They used the mind abilities to know about something. Next, rationalists gain knowledge without experience compared to empiricism. It means that their knowledge based on innate ideas, reason and deduction. They don’t need any experience to know about something.

For Instance, a mathematical question is the best way to explain about rationalism. Mathematical questions are offer people to find the answer through logic on mathematics. Mathematical questions cannot be answered by a wrong formula because it will never find the solution and every formula has a reason for each solutions.


“Humanism is a philosophical view that upholds value and positions of human and makes it as a criterion of all things.” (Hadi, 2012) By the late 1940s, a new psychological perspective emerged. People involved in the adoption of psychology serving in this development, such as clinical psychologist, social workers and counselors. This movement is developed, and is later known as humanistic, existent, perceptual, or phenomenological psychology. This psychology seeks to understand one’s behavior from the perspective of the perpetrator, not from the observer.

Characteristic of humanism. Humanism has divide by two categories, which is humanism from renaissance tradition and humanism secular from upgrade technology and globalism. People from secular humanism thought and believe value of human come from a self-knowledge and logic. They think, they have their own answer for all question on an importance of general philosophy which for them it did not have different between culture caused by customs and religion in one places.

For humanism secular, they more posit that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. However, assume that humans are not inherently either good or evil, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. Rather, the humanist life stance emphasizes the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions. For example, they more focus on humanism approach, which is the importance of emotion and feeling plus open communication too. Another that that, they believe humanism should give a focus on appreciation with each other without feeling prejudice for help the individual to solve their daily life problems.

Humanism can be likened in teaching education. Teacher is of the most importance component of the learning system in school because there is no teaching process without teacher. In addition, to the teacher’s teacher is also one of the importance components because what is the use of a teacher if the absence of a student to be educated so that the learning process requires a right and obligation of the humanity that exists.


“Materialism is a view of life the governs the basic of everything that belongs to our life in the realm of materialism alone, by pulling out anything that overrides the senses” (Liedman, 2008) in other word, materialism is an understanding that states that something invisible (cannot be sensed) did not exist. That is, the unseen world (including God, angels, jinn, etc.) does not exist. Because it cannot be sensed by humans.

For materialism believe, they think everything that exist comes from one source the material. They did not believe in the existence of the unseen. They only trust what they seen and can prove with logical knowledge. It means like they only making senses of achieving knowledge. Another that than, people in this category put poisoning science as a substitute for religion in laying the law. So, there not believe in another way to prove something including religion except science as they holding. People in this category also talked about the enchantment of modern times. Contemporary human beings are bewitched by technology and its constant advancements. They are obsessed with the conviction that everything must surely be calculable, usable and made manageable.

For our information about this, materialism person has given their opinion on God. To the idealists, ‘God’ is just the name given to all that seems grand, good, or beautiful, but which exists external to humanity. Here, the God of theology is replaced with the God of metaphysics, and it is the sanctity of these ideas, which is worshiped.

In example like, natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine are a form of materialism because the objects of the study of natural sciences are fully material so that can be explained mechanically and mechanically. However, human knowledge such as sociology, psychology is also said to be materialism, if it is assumed that the object of the study is that human behavior is material that occupies space and time.


“Atheism is the absence of belief in gods” (Cline, 2017) and lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a God or any gods. “But whether an atheist is a person who has never heard of gods, doesn’t care about gods, doubts their existence, or absolutely denies their existence. Atheism being first found as early as 1566” (Martiall 1566). The etymological root for the word atheism originated from the ancient Greek which is atheos, meaning “without Gods”. “The first individuals to identify themselves using the word atheist lived in the 18th century during the Age of Enlightenment” (Armstrong, 1999).

Atheists do not have faith, no commitments and no declarations. They don’t see any reason to believing in any Gods. There are two types of atheism which are strong atheism and weak atheism. Strong atheism is the doctrine that there is no God or gods and weak atheism is the disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

We can found the examples of atheism in movies such as Life of Brian (1979) and Cosmos. Besides, “Dear God” is a song written by Andy Partridge of the English rock band XTC. This song is about struggling agnostic who writes a letter to God while challenging his existence.


“Modernism, in arts is a radical break with the past and the concurrent search for new form of expression” (Kuiper, 2019). Modernism refers to a reforming movement in art, architecture, music, literature, drama and the applied arts during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Then, modernism rejected traditional and they were interested in new way by doing old thing. In addition, they believed that science and technology could change the world in better way. Moreover, modernist also thought about new ideas in psychology, philosophy, and political theory for new modes of expression.

“Modernism also rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and many modernists rejected religious belief” (Lewis, 2000). New ideas in psychology, philosophy, and political theory for new modes of expression. Some Modernists saw themselves as part of a revolutionary culture that also included political revolution.

For instance, the modernism in music is they desire “to make new”. No less than artist and writers, composers and musicians were fascinated by possibilities of new song, previously unheard of modes of expression, new techniques, new creativity as well as cultural effects. Next, we can find modernism ideology in literature by film such as “The Old Man and The Sea”.


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