Many cultures have scriptures written by mystics who reported access to higher knowledge. Over time, their followers formed social organizations called religions that interpret scriptures a certain way, like the Catholic or Protestant interpretations of the Bible. Well-known scriptures and their mystic sources are:
Zoroastrianism. The Zend-Avesta scripture attributed to Zoroaster, in Persia.
Hinduism. The Vedanta scripture attributed to unknown Rishis, in India.
Judaism. The Old Testament scripture attributed to the Prophets of Israel.
Taoism. The Tao-Te-Ching scripture attributed to the sage Lao-tzu, in China.
Buddhism. The Sutra scriptures attributed to the Buddha, in India.
Christianity. The New Testament scripture based on Jesus, in Israel.
Islam. The Koran scripture revealed though the prophet Mohammed, in Arabia.
It is now proposed that these scriptures have three premises in common:
1. Divinity. That there is an invisible, all-powerful divinity.
2. Dependence. That the manifest world around us depends on this divinity to exist.
3. Deliverance. That human beings can survive death by means of the divinity within them.
Different religions differ greatly in their teachings, as some have one divinity, some have a trinity, some have many divinities and some don’t refer to divinity at all. Some say that divinity created a perfect world, while others say that perfection is yet to come. Some say we go to heaven or hell after death, while others reincarnate us up or down the evolutionary scale. Whatever the differences, and they run deep, modern materialism denies all such views by arguing for:
1. Physical causes. Every physical event has a physical cause, so no unseen divinity is needed.
2. Physical particles. Everything is made of fundamental particles, that depend on nothing else to exist.
3. Physical mortality. Every physical system winds down so there is no deliverance from mortality.
Religion and materialism are thus currently at loggerheads based on their premises about the nature of reality.