Adults in more than a dozen countries say it’s not necessary to believe in God to lead moral lives or have good values, according to a recent study.
The majority of respondents were based in secular Western European countries of Sweden (90%), France (77%), the United Kingdom (76%), the Netherlands (76%), Spain (74%), Belgium (69%), Italy (68%), Germany (62%) and Greece (60%). Most respondents in other countries located outside Western Europe but still considered to be part of Western civilization, including Australia (85%), Canada (73%), and the United States (65%), also maintained that a belief in God is not necessary to “be moral and have good values.” Majorities of respondents in the Eastern European nations of Poland (67%) and Hungary (63%), which have governments sympathetic to traditional values and religion, said the same.
People in Israel and Singapore were more evenly divided on the question, with 50% and 54% of those surveyed, respectively, saying that a belief in God was a prerequisite for morality and having good values. Malaysia, a Muslim country, was the only country where the overwhelming majority of participants (78%) saw belief in God as necessary for leading a moral life with good values.
In the U.S., those who believe religion is not important (92%) and the religiously unaffiliated (88%) were most likely to view a belief in God as unnecessary for living a moral life and having good values. Majorities of all subgroups based on partisan identification, education level, gender, and age group indicated that a belief in God was not necessary to live a moral life. Even among those who described religion as “important” to them, a narrow majority (51%) suggested that a moral life is possible in the absence of a belief in God.
If God does not exist then how do we know what is good or bad or right or wrong? To say that something is objective is to say that it is independent of what people say or think, e.g. the Holocaust was objectively wrong even though the Nazis thought it right. To say that there are objective moral values is to say that something is good or evil independently of whether or not any human believes it to be so.
The atheist Richard Dawkins says, “There is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference… we are machines for propagating DNA… It is every living object’s sole reason for being.”
Without God, there is no basis for the objective moral values that do exist.
Paul wrote about “liars whose consciences are seared” (1 Tim. 4:2 ESV). What did he mean? What is a seared conscience? For that matter, what is the conscience? Our conscience is given by God; the inner voice that inflicts us with feelings of guilt when we have sinned.
“They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Romans 2 :15-16
If you want proof that we are living in the prophesied last days before Jesus returns these Poll results are just one of the prophesied signs being revealed in our day.
“But understand this, that in the last days, there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7
“For in those days, there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.” Mark 13:19-20