For centuries, humans have studied religion. It’s no surprise that many of these studies have focused on religion’s influence on morality. Many people believe that religion has a profound influence on people’s moral behavior.
Honestly, depending on someone’s perspective, there are countless things that can influence a person about something from anime culture that encourages people to buy anime clothing, tech innovation which makes many people to be acquainted in technology and so on.
If you ask most people, they would probably say yes. But, is that because they’re biased? Perhaps they’re only saying that because they’ve been indoctrinated into thinking that way? Or are they right? Is religion really so influential on people’s behavior?
Evidence that Moral Behavior is Influenced by Religion
A widely-publicized study was performed in the US. Participants were shown photos of people doing good deeds, like helping an old lady across the street, or giving water to a person on the street, and they were asked to rate how valuable these actions were.
Researchers found that people who strongly believed in a religious belief, like Christianity, rated these actions as more morally valuable than people who didn’t hold religious beliefs.
Is Religion Really So Influential?
Many people believe that religion influences people’s moral behavior, but is this really the case? Let’s start by looking at the evidence above, where participants who strongly believed in a religious belief, like Christianity, rated these actions as more morally valuable than people who didn’t hold religious beliefs.
First off, it’s worth pointing out that we aren’t exactly sure what the participants in this study were thinking. Perhaps they believed that Christianity has the best moral code, or perhaps they simply chose to follow the rules of their religion and rated the actions in a way that was consistent with those rules.
Depends on People
Regardless, this study didn’t look at why people choose to follow a religious moral code. Maybe they were born into a religious family, or they joined a religion because they believed it was the right one.
Maybe they chose to follow the rules of their religion because they thought it made the world a better place. To truly discover the influence of religion on moral behavior, we need to look at other studies. We also need to look at why people choose to follow religious moral codes.