A belief is a particular view on the Universe. Belief is in contrast to both doubt and knowledge, the three of which form a spectrum of certainty. Generally, a belief is a form of opinion that is not universally accepted as truth due to lack of convincing evidence.
Belief can take a variety of forms and apply to many different subjects. The primary concern of belief lies in the supernatural, or that which cannot be directly observed in the natural world.
When several beliefs are clustered into a single topic or teaching, it is called a doctrine.
- Main article: Afterlife
Many religions put forth theories on what happens to the human consciousness or soul after death. The most prominent is a system of Heaven and Hell, where people judged as "good" go to Heaven, and those judged as "bad" go to Hell. However, alternate systems also exist, such as reincarnation.
- Main article: God
Some religions are indifferent to gods as a whole, as gods are not necessary for a complete moral, ethical, or cosmological framework to be constructed. In such a case, the belief is called apathetic atheism.
- Main article: Creation
Many religions try to organize their views on the Universe by putting forward different versions of the creation. Often, the universe is created by gods or other powerful beings. Also described is the residence of gods, humans, the dead, demons, or any other supernatural beings.
- Main article: Saint
Another point that differs from religion to religion is the reverence and respect for important figures from the past. Oftentimes biographies of saints and other religious figures are organized into hagiographies to emphasize great faith or devotion to one's religion. The object of this practice is to inspire followers to commit similar acts of benevolence, virtue, faith, or other desirable traits.