Is Belief in God Necessary for Good Values? Global Survey on Religion and

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To me the more interesting question is whether the belief that religion is required for morality correlates strongly with poor moral character. Discussions with those who hold such a belief have generally led me to suspect that it does, for two reasons. First, such people, when questioned, often report that they are poised to commit a series of offenses against others, but that the one and only thing restraining them is their religious belief. While that’s possibly just their own attempt to brace up a bad argument by making themselves the villains in it, it’s quite disturbing to hear and many of those who make these claims deliver them in a sincere and convincing way. Second, when questioned about the nature of morality they tend not to rely upon ethical considerations of the “do unto others” sort but upon command-based formulas which bear no resemblance to actual moral thinking.

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