Can you be “good without God?” Most Americans say the answer is a resounding “yes.”
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A recently released Pew Research Center study conducted last year found 65% of Americans believe it’s unnecessary to believe in God to be moral and “have good values.”
Just 34% of Americans believe the Lord is essential to morality and solid values.
The data is heavily impacted by the self-described importance of religion in a person’s life. Not surprisingly, the more faithful a person claims to be, the more likely he or she is to link God and morality.
In fact, 92% of those who say religion is either not too or not at all important to them believe one can be moral without the Lord compared to 51% who said religion is very or somewhat important, Pew noted.
Interestingly, though, the majority of the religiously affiliated in America — 56% — said it’s not necessary “to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values,” compared to 88% of the religiously unaffiliated.
Thus, those with faith allegiances don’t necessarily believe one needs God to be moral. Other differences persist along political lines, age cohorts, and other demographics.
“Democrats and those who lean Democratic are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral (71% vs. 59%),” Pew reported. “Liberal Democrats are particularly likely to say this (84%), whereas only about half of conservative Republicans (53%) say the same.”
These beliefs on God and morality aren’t only limited to the U.S., as Pew looked at other nations across the globe and found similar sentiments. That said, there are some outliers.
Sweden was the least likely to believe in tying God to morality, with 90% saying God isn’t necessary to be moral. Meanwhile, Malaysia was inverted, with 78% stating a belief in God is essential to be moral and have good values.
And Israelis were divided, with 50% saying God isn’t necessary and 47% stating belief in the Almighty is essential to morality and good values.
Read the full results here.
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