Morality is becoming increasingly relative, at least when it comes to Americans’ views of human ethics.
A new LifeWay Research poll found a major gap between younger and older Americans, with six-in-10 respondents older than 45 saying they believe “right and wrong do not change,” versus just 4 in 10 of those individuals aged 35 and younger who said the same.
Overall, 52 percent of respondents said that right and wrong never change. Meanwhile, 81 percent agreed that they are “concerned about declining moral behavior in our nation,” with 19 percent disagreeing that declining morality is a major concern.
With all of that in mind, Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said in a statement that the U.S. is “shifting very fast from a world where right and wrong didn’t change to a world where right and wrong are relative.”
McConnell added that Americans aren’t all on the same page when it comes to the issue of morality and said society hasn’t quite come to terms with exactly what that means.
Just consider that fact that, while most respondents agreed that declining morality is a problem, there were disagreements over how to handle the issue. The majority — 63 percent — agreed with the notion that enacting laws “to encourage people to act morally is not effective” and 56 percent disagreed with the following proclamation: “The fewer laws regulating moral standards, the better.”
Furthermore, 51 percent said that too many moral laws have been removed.
Respondents also weighed in on which factors are most influential in helping shape their moral views, with 39 percent selecting their parents, 26 selecting their faith and 18 percent selecting their feelings. Read more about the research here.
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