August 9, 2005
(Ventura, CA) -- How people react to moral issues is a common challenge these days. The Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts, funding for stem cell research, the war in Iraq and against terrorism, sexual abuse by clergy, the Terri Schiavo case, gay marriage, and many other recent issues have brought people's moral convictions into play. Yet, in spite of the fact that most Americans consider themselves to be Christian, very few adults base their moral decisions on the Bible, and surprisingly few believe that absolute moral truth exists. These are among the findings from a new national survey conducted by The Barna Group among a representative sample of 1002 adults.
The survey also revealed that most Americans say they are "deeply spiritual," feel "accepted by God," and believe they have a clear personal understanding of the meaning and purpose of their life.
Absolute Moral Truth
When asked whether they believe moral truth is based on absolute standards or is relative to the circumstances, Americans are divided into roughly equal segments. About one-third (35%) contends that moral truth is absolute -- that is, it is not dependent upon the circumstances. Another one-third (32%) says that morality is always determined by the situation. The remaining one-third (33%) indicates that they do not know if moral truth is absolute or relative.
Once again, people's religious connections relate to their perspective on truth. A large majority of evangelicals (70%) report believing that moral truth is absolute. But a minority of non-evangelical born again adults (42%) holds that same view, and even fewer of the notional Christians (25%), people associated with non-Christian faiths (16%) and those who claim to be atheist or agnostic (27%) embrace moral absolutes.
Read the entire article on the Barna Group website (new window will open).