New Data Reveals Most Adults in the US See Morality as Independent of God

Most Americans and people from developed countries believe that believing in God is not necessary to become a good person according to a Pew Research Center (PRC) survey released on April 20th.

(E)ven among people who are religiously affiliated, most do not think it is necessary to believe in God to have good values,” PRC concluded in its study. “In most countries surveyed, half or more of people who say they belong to a religion also say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral.

In the study, 56% of religious Americans believed someone doesn’t need to believe in God to be moral and have good values, compared to 65% of all American adults and 88% of non-religious Americans with similar views.

The survey also discovered that Americans were not alone in believing there was no link between morality and religious belief. For instance, 64% of religious Canadians think it’s unnecessary to believe in God to be moral, while 75% of religious Australians and 86% of religious Swedes agree.

Although the differences in many surveyed countries are striking, there are still some outliers. One example is Israel, whose population is more split on the issue, with 50% of Israelis agreeing that believing in God is not necessary to be moral compared to 47% who hold opposite views.

Another example is Malaysia, positioned on the other end of the spectrum. Only 22% of Malaysians believe there is no link between morality and religious belief, compared to 78% who think otherwise.

Pew Research Center’s survey also found a link between age, political affiliation, educational attainment, religious background, and belief in a connection between morality and faith in God. For example, 72% of Americans aged 18 to 29 agree that it’s unnecessary to be religious to be moral, compared to 59% of Americans aged 50 and above who have the same view.

In addition, left-wing people are more likely to see no connection between belief in God and morality than moderates and right-wingers. This observation was true in the U.S. and other developed countries, including Israel.

Compared to the survey Pew Research Center conducted in 2019 that surveyed 34 countries, the 2022 study focused more on developed countries, especially Western countries, Israel, and a few countries in Asia. The results from the study conducted in 2019 found that countries with a lower gross domestic product tend to believe that having faith in God is necessary for morality.

The data was drawn primarily from the institute’s Global Attitudes Survey conducted in the spring of last year. PRC conducted the survey from March 21 to 27, 2022. Out of the 4,120 panelists who were sampled for the study, 3,581 responded, resulting in a response rate of 87%.

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.