Generally speaking, religion is a social-cultural system of beliefs and practices that aims to improve people’s lives. It includes a variety of concepts, including morals, texts, and organizations. The purpose of religion is to give meaning to life and facilitate spirituality.
There are two major groups of people who hold both positive and negative views of religion. These are religiously unaffiliated Europeans and those who identify as Christians. The former tend to have more positive attitudes towards religion. The latter hold a more ambivalent opinion.
Across Europe, a substantial minority of Europeans believe in a soul. These people are just as likely to be monotheistic as polytheistic.
The majority of people who believe in a soul are not Christians, however. They have a higher preference for a religiously unaffiliated lifestyle. This group is also more likely to believe in a higher power. The term “spiritual but not religious” is used to describe these adults.
Respondents who are religious agree that religion gives them meaning and helps them choose right from wrong. They also agree that religion provides moral guidance. This group also holds more positive views of religion than those who are neither religious nor spiritual.
The survey found that the differences in these views are strongest among women, those with less education, and those who are younger. While the majority of adults who are religious have positive views, fewer than half of those who are neither religious nor spiritual have positive views of religion.