Must you be religious to be moral?: A worldwide survey, and its lesson

Why Evolution Is True

A post by C. J. Werleman at Alternet called my attention to a new study by the Pew Research “Global Attitudes Project” that polls people on the perennial (and already answered) question, “Do you need God to be moral”? Pew’s answer, however, is a general “yes,” but that answer is far more common in poorer than richer countries. Here are Pew’s data broken down by country:


The survey involved 40,080 people.

As you see, the wealthier countries of Europe and Asia have a fairly high proportion of people who don’t think it’s necessary to believe in God to be moral, while sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) show a much higher belief that goodness requires godliness. Much of Latin America is also in line with that view.

Note that the U.S. is higher than any surveyed European country in its view that you need…

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