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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Another response to Mr. Goldstein Goldstein, David Nov 12, 2008

Stark proceeded to check whether there is a correlation among the respondents between accepting the notion of the above actions as immoral and belief in some form of deity or supernatural force (of course, the specifics of belief differ from one country to another due to the particular religions professed therein). His findings are that a significant correlation between belief in the supernatural and acceptance of the above-mentioned moral views pertains only in those countries where the major religion(s) consider(s) the realm of the supernatural to be inhabited by a deity or deities deeply concerned with the moral behavior of humans. However, this category of religions includes also Hinduism, and whatever one’s understanding of Hindu theology, this religion is not normally perceived as monotheistic. And on the other hand, within Christianity, there is a distinction between Western (Catholic and Protestant) and Eastern (Orthodox) denominations in the degree of importance attached to moral behavior of the individual as a religious virtue, and concomitantly, the correlation between the belief in God and the acceptance of the above-mentioned moral norms is much higher in the Western denominations than in the Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Moreover, as said above, the perception of Stolen Goods, Hit/Run and Smoke Dope as immoral was shared by a large majority of respondents in every country checked in the surveys, including, e.g., Japan, where there is no significant correlation between this perception and belief in the supernatural. The major religions of Japan – Shintoism and Buddhism – admit the existence of many supernatural entities behaving more or less as independent personalities (which fits fairly well the category of polytheism), but do not see those entities as concerned to any significant degree with the moral life of humans. This appears to be a good example of moral norms shared by a society independently of a religious persuasion. Stark reports similar findings for China (PRC), but those are problematic because the profession of religious beliefs in China has deeply suffered from anti-religious campaigns run by the PRC government throughout its existence.


David Goldstein
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