Atheism means denying God's existence, which of course involves rejecting His commandments, as well as religious reflection and seriousness, and believing in the possibility of total self-independence apart from God. As such beliefs negate the concept of sin, people imagine that they can live as they please. Therein lies in the corruption of people's hearts and minds. Atheism spreads because education is misused, young people are neglected, and schools actually defend and foster it.
Atheism first manifests itself as a lack of interest in the principles of faith. People with this attitude often claim that it is positive, for it represents a desire for the mind's independence and freedom of thought. As the demands of faith are strenuous, indifference turns toward what is easier. It seeks any pretext to excuse it from honest and serious reflection, and so falls easily into neglect, then heedlessness, atheism, and even contempt for religion.
Atheism is caused by a lack of knowledge and learning, an inability to synthesize one's inner and outer life, and is the result of an undernourished heart and soul. People cling to what they know, and resist what they do not know—or at least try to remain uninterested and unconcerned.
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The word was first used in the early 17th century denoting homage paid to a divinity and derived from the French culte or Latin cultus, ‘worship’, from cult-, ‘inhabited, cultivated, worshipped,’ from the verb colere, 'care, cultivation'.
In the 1930s cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior. They have been criticized by mainstream Christians for their unorthodox beliefs. In the 1970s the anticult movement arose, partly motivated by acts of violence and other crimes committed by members of some cults (notably the Manson Family and People's Temple). Some of the claims of the anticult movement have been disputed by other scholars, leading to further controversies.
Government reaction to cults has also led to controversy. Cults have also been featured in popular culture.
Gnosticism (from gnostikos, "learned", from Greek: γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices found among some of the early Christian groups called "gnostic" ("learned") by Irenaeus and other early Christian heresiologists. The term also has reference to parallels and possible pre-Christian influences of the Christian gnostics.
Gnosticism was primarily defined in Christian context, or as "the acute Hellenization of Christianity" per Adolf von Harnack (1885), until Moritz Friedländer (1898) advocated Hellenistic Jewish origins, and Wilhelm Bousset (1907) advocated Persian origins. Consequent discussions of Gnostic Christianity included pre-Christian religious beliefs and spiritual practices argued to be common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism (especially Zurvanism), and Neoplatonism. The base of discussion of gnosticism changed radically with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library, and led to revision of older assumptions, and a reorientation of modern scholarship following the 1966 conference on gnosticism in Messina.
Messianism is the belief in a messiah, a savior or redeemer. Many religions have a messiah concept, including the Jewish Messiah, the Christian Christ, the Muslim Mahdi and Isa (Islamic name for Christian Jesus), the Buddhist Maitreya, the Hindu Kalki and the Zoroastrian Saoshyant. The state of the world is seen as hopelessly flawed beyond normal human powers of correction, and divine intervention through a specially selected and supported human is seen as necessary
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece. In the field of folkloristics, a myth is defined as a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. Many scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different ways. In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any story originating within traditions.
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics". It aims to create "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas" that is inclusive and pluralistic. It holds to "a holistic worldview," emphasising that the Mind, Body and Spirit are interrelated and that there is a form of Monism and unity throughout the universe. It attempts to create "a worldview that includes both science and spirituality" and embraces a number of forms of mainstream science as well as other forms of science that are considered fringe.
Pantheism is the view that the Universe (or Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek (pan) meaning "all" and the Greek (theos) meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of relating to the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.
Polytheism was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, up to the Axial Age and the gradual development of monotheism or pantheism, and atheism. It is well documented in historical religions of Classical Antiquity, especially Greek polytheism and Roman polytheism, and after the decline of classical polytheism in tribal religions such as Germanic polytheism or Slavic polytheism. It continues into the modern period in traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Chinese folk religion, etc., and it has been revived in currents of Neopaganism in the post-Christian West.
Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but can be Henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be Kathenotheists, worshipping different deities at different times.
Satanism is a group of religions composed of a diverse number of ideological and philosophical beliefs and social phenomena. Their shared features include symbolic association with, admiration for the character of, and even veneration of Satan or similar rebellious, promethean, and liberating figures.
Spiritism is a loose corpus of religious faiths having in common the general belief in the survival of a spirit after death. In a stricter sense, it is a religion whose beliefs and practices are based on the works of Allan Kardec and others. Formed in France in the 19th century, it soon spread to other countries, but today the only country where it has a significant number of adherents is Brazil.