- Whoa March 13
Barely more than half of all Americans think it's necessary to believe in God for one to be moral, according to a new Pew poll. And in every European country Pew surveyed, clear majorities said the opposite; in France, fully 85 percent of respondents said a belief in God was not necessary to instill morality.
Meanwhile, huge majorities in many African, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian countries said it was impossible to be moral without believing in God. In Indonesia, 99 percent of respondents agreed with that statement.
So what's the connection? According to Pew: money. The richer a nation is, the less likely its citizens are to connect God and morality. Interestingly, the U.S. and China were extreme outliers, as this handy graph from Pew shows. --Jon Terbush
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 29 adorable slang terms for sex (from the last 600 years)
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why I choose not to be rich
- What if The Purge was real?
- Here's the last time Russia shot down a passenger plane
Subscribe to the Week