Is there any objective truth?

Some people believe that something may be true for one group of people but not for another—for example, “spirits can cause sickness” may be true for some tribes in Africa but not for people living in New York.
Others believe some things are true objectively—regardless of where or who you are. Things are not “true for you” but are simply true.

Is it possible to know the truth?

If objective truth exists, can we access it? Most people believe we have the ability to discover and know truth. For example, you can know how old you are or that the United States is a country.
However, some people believe that it is impossible for us to ever really know the truth. At most, we can simply offer opinions or guesses, but there is no way to know if they are really true.

Is anything objectively good or bad?

We all make value judgments: “This was a good meal”; “He’s a bad boss”; “That’s not right”; “It is wrong to enact this policy”, etc.
Some people believe value judgments are relative—they flow from our preferences, tastes, desires, etc.
Others believe that some things are really good (e.g., love) or really bad (e.g., rape), regardless of what people think about them.

Is there more than one valid religion?

There are a lot of religions in the world. What should we make of this?
Some say that no religion is true, or that only one religion is true.
Others argue that more than one religion could be true. Buddhism is true for Buddhists, Christianity for Christians, etc. Or perhaps different religions offer different perspectives on the same ultimate reality.

Is there a God?

This is a crucial question for understanding the world.
For the purposes of this question, let’s define God in this way: Is there a Supreme Being that deserves some honor and gives meaning, purpose, and direction to the universe and to human life?

Is everything ultimately one?

One of the biggest historical philosophical questions is whether the universe is ultimately an indivisible unity, or whether there are distinct entities separate from each other.

Is everything ultimately material?

Philosophers have recognized two kinds of things in the world—material (matter and energy) and mental (minds, feelings, memories, thoughts, etc.). Material things exist in space and have sizes, shapes, etc., while mental things do not.

Is everything ultimately mental?

You believe at least some things are not material in nature. But is anything material? Does the world simply exist in our minds?

Is God a personal being?

You believe God exists, but what is God like?
Is God a personal being (with self-consciousness, thoughts, goals, will, emotions, etc.), or an impersonal being?

Is God a perfect being?

Most theists believe God is perfect—all-wise, all-knowing, all-good. Others believe God has some limitations—perhaps he is not all-knowing or all-powerful.

Has God communicated with humans?

Personal beings usually communicate, so has God communicated? As a perfect, personal being he must be capable of communication, but has he communicated with humans?

Has God communicated openly with humans?

Since you believe God has communicated, do you believe he has done so openly (through prophets and inspired scriptures) or privately (giving individual messages to individuals)?

Did Jesus rise from the dead?

The Christian gospels claim that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. Theists who are not Christians usually deny this claim.

Was Jesus divine?

Historic, orthodox Christianity has held that Jesus was God, but not everyone who believes Jesus rose from the dead agrees.

Do good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell?

One final question separates different Christian theist worldviews: what is the basis for salvation? Many who have answered the questions the way you have believe good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Do you agree?

Was Muhammad a true prophet of God?

Since you are a not a Christian theist, you are likely an adherent of one of the other main monotheistic faiths. Muslims believe that Muhammad was a genuine spokesperson for God.

Was Moses a true prophet of God?

Another common form of traditional monotheism is Judaism, which holds that Moses was a true prophet of God who revealed God’s holy law to the people of Israel.

Is there only one God?

Since you believe God is limited, he might be limited by the existence of other powerful beings.

Is the Universe God?

Do you believe God is identical to the universe—God is Nature and Nature is God? God is the sum total of everything in the universe?

Is the Universe within God?

If God is not identical with the universe, is the universe part of God, or is God completely distinct from the universe?

Worldview: Atheistic Dualism

Dualism recognizes two distinct categories: mental and material. Since you answered no to the God question, you hold to atheistic dualism.
Where did mind and matter come from? Atheistic dualism says intelligence is the result of pure accident.
If our minds are the result of material processes, are we really free in our thoughts?

Worldview: Atheistic Idealism

Idealism says nothing exists except minds and ideas in those minds. Idealists can be theists or atheists (but since you answered no to the God question, you are an atheist idealist)
Seems counterintuitive—don’t trees actually exist?
Atheist idealists must believe that at least one mind has always existed, since there would be no universe without minds. But where did this mind come from?
If your mind is the cause of all your experiences, then who put together this quiz?

Worldview: Christianity

“According to the Christian worldview, there is a personal God who is perfect in goodness, knowledge, and power. God created the entire universe out of nothing and continually sustains it. We humans were uniquely created in his image to live in personal love relationships with him and with our fellow humans. It therefore follows that there are objective moral standards for human life: God’s good and wise commandments, which can be summarized in terms of loving him and loving our neighbors. Tragically, however, we humans rebelled against our Creator and flouted his perfect moral laws. By doing so, we spoiled God’s creation, corrupted ourselves, and placed ourselves under his righteous judgment. We are all rebels at heart and deserve only condemnation, yet out of his great love and mercy God sent a Savior, in the person of his divine Son, Jesus Christ, to restore us and reconcile us to God. Jesus accomplished this by his sacrificial death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection from the dead. God has revealed this salvation plan through his prophets, his apostles, and (of course) Jesus himself. These revelations are recorded in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments.”
Why would God allow evil and suffering?

Worldview: Deism

Deism believes that God created the world but no longer interacts with it. God has never supernaturally intervened in the world since he got it started.
Why would God create a universe with the capacity for communication and never communicate with it?
Why wouldn’t God intervene to address all the evil and corruption in the world?

Worldview: Finite Godism

This view believes in one personal God who created and directs the world, but this God is limited in some way—perhaps he doesn’t know the future or can’t overcome evil. Typically this view still holds that God is all-good.
If God is not perfect, what is the standard of perfection?
Why believe in an all-good but not all-powerful God? Why would he be limited in some areas but not others?
If God is limited, can he really be said to be God?

Worldview: Islam

Islam is the second largest religion in the world. It places great emphasis on knowing the laws of Allah (God) and submitting to them. At the final day of judgment, people’s lives will be weighed to determine whether they will enter Paradise or hell.
How can God be just if he simply overlooks some sin—doesn’t justice require that sins be punished?
Why does the Qur’an (holy book of Islam) contradict the previous revelation (Torah, Gospels, etc.)?


To reconsider the resurrection question, go here.

Worldview: Judaism

At the heart of Judaism is the observance of the Torah, which is interpreted by the Talmud.


Jesus and his followers point out that he fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Who else could have a better claim to be the Messiah?
No one can perfectly keep the Torah. Jesus offers a solution by bearing the penalty of this failure. What solution does Judaism offer?

Worldview: Materialism

Materialism believes everything that exists is either matter or energy. Everything can be explained by physical laws. There are not immaterial entities, like God, angels, souls, etc. Science can ultimately study and explain everything.
Materialists have not been able to explain our minds, ideas, thoughts, etc. (e.g., how much does your mind weigh?)
Materialism cannot explain objective moral value. Matter simply exists in the way it is arranged. Science can explain the way things are, but not the way things ought to be.

Worldview: Mysticism

God only speaks to individuals, and only those individuals can know what God has communicated. People get direct communication with God.
If two people claim God gave them conflicting revelation, how can we evaluate those claims? (e.g., “God told me to take your wallet!”)
Since humanity shares common realities, wouldn’t God offer public and collective communication to address those common realities?

Worldview: Monism

Monism says that everything is one. Only one thing really exists, and everything is part of that one thing. The distinctions we see are only illusions.
It is counterintuitive—we must believe that the world that we experience is an illusion or unreal.
It is hard to live: we act as if there are distinctions between your body and mine, your bank account and mine, or your mind and mine.
It also seems counter to previous answers you gave—are there ultimately distinctions between good and evil, truth and falsity, etc.?

Worldview: Nihilism

Nihilism is the view that there are no objective values, since there is no overarching purpose or meaning in the world.
In this view, there is no real difference between building an orphanage and dumping toxic waste in a river.
We have moral intuitions that make certain things seem objectively right or wrong—e.g., we believe that torturing children is wrong, even if people wanted to do it.
It’s self-defeating: If there is no objective value, then there is no good reason to believe Nihilism

Worldview: Non-Mainstream Monotheism

This view believes God is a personal, perfect being who has communicated openly with humanity but rejects a major tenet of the three main monotheist religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
If God did not communicate in the Bible, Qur’an, or Torah, where did he communicate?
If God only communicated partially in these other books, what criteria can we use to determine what is from God and what is not?

Worldview: Panentheism

This view believes God includes all of the universe but is still more than the universe.
Just like there is more to you than your body (e.g., your soul), there is more to God than the universe.
If evil exists, then evil is part of God—so God is at least partly evil.

If God isn’t the ultimate standard of goodness, can we really consider God to be God?

Worldview: Pantheism

In Pantheism, the universe is God, which means you and everything else is divine.


If everything is God, then everything is good—including the Holocaust, cancer, and child abuse.
Many Pantheists are Monists (all distinctions are illusory), which means there is no difference between good and evil.

Worldview: Pelagianism

Pelagianism is the idea that, with the help of God’s grace, people can live good moral lives and earn eternal life.
Pelagianism was denounced as a heresy in AD 431.
The Bible teaches that eternal life is not earned—it is a gift from God.
The Bible teaches that people are unable to live morally good lives, so Jesus died to pay for their sins.

Worldview: Platonism

This view believes there are two distinct realms of reality: the lower material and changing realm and the higher immaterial and eternal realm. “God” is the ideals of beauty, truth, and goodness in this higher realm.
How does this impersonal God of principles influence the material world?
An impersonal God has no care and thus no real relevance for the material world.

Worldview: Pluralism

Pluralism is the view that there is more than one valid religion. Each religion represents a different path up the same mountain.
Religions teach contradictory truths. (e.g., Christianity says Jesus is God, but Islam explicitly denies that idea). The pluralist is forced to argue that they understand the different religions better than the adherents of those religions.
Pluralists argue that no religion has all the truth, but in order to make that claim they must claim that they do have all the truth.
If all religions are not equal, then it is reasonable to believe that one religion gets closest to the truth.

Worldview: Polytheism

Polytheism believes there are multiple gods who exist inside the universe.
Where did the gods come from?
Where does the standard of goodness come from (which god lets us know what is really good)?

Worldview: Relativism

Subjective relativists believe truth is relative to a person—true for me but not you.
Cultural relativists believe truth is relative to a culture/society—it was true for ancient Christians that Jesus was God, but not true for modern secularists today.
Do you really believe that truths like “the earth rotates around the sun” is true for some people but not for others?
Relativists claim “there is no objective truth.” But is that statement objectively true, or only true for some people? If it is true, then it is self-defeating. If it is not true, then relativism is false.

Worldview: Skepticism

Skeptics believe that truth cannot be known—everything can be doubted, even your own existence.
Though this may appear humble (“Who’s to say what is true or not?”), it is actually arrogant—”I know that you cannot know anything.”
We intuitively believe we know several things—that the world has existed for more than 10 minutes, that you and I are different people, that the world operates according to laws of nature, etc. If we didn’t know these to be true, the way we live would be pointless.
It is self-defeating: if we can know that skepticism is true, then it is false, because we can know some things.

Worldview: Unitarianism

This view holds that there is only one God, the Father, and Jesus was not divine. They often claim to follow Jesus but reject the doctrine of the Trinity.
Jesus and the New Testament writers affirmed belief in one God and belief that Jesus was divine.
The early Christians worshipped Jesus as God. Why claim to follow Jesus if you reject what he and his early followers believed?