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Religion improves Ethics | Religion, moral understanding and behavior
Religion and Ethics

  • Ethical standards have declined greatly over the last several decades, resulting in more than 2 generations who have been raised with little religion or character development in our schools.  As a result, many of today’s youth are less anchored to traditional moral values, which have led to a sharp increase in dishonesty, violence, irresponsibility, and teen pregnancy.
  • Secular values have caused enormous suffering and damage. Today there is an epidemic of dishonesty from politicians to corporations, and from schools to neighborhoods.  Approximately 1 of 3 high school students admits to stealing, and 2 out of 3 admit cheating on an exam.  
  • Religion is important to democracy.  A man from another country who had “studied democracy was surprised at how critically important religion is to democracy.  He pointed out that in societies where citizens are taught from a young age to feel accountable to God for honesty and integrity, they will abide by rules and practices that, while unenforceable, promote democratic ideals.  In societies where this is not true, there cannot be enough policemen to enforce honest behavior.”  (related by Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard professor, commencement speech, Southern New Hampshire University, May 2009)  
  • Many people are turning to religion today after decades of a poor diet of secularism.   Youth with a solid religious training admit that religion is very important to them and contribute it to their well-being in terms of their school work, their relationship with their parents, and their overall happiness.  
  • The media plays a role in setting a general moral tone for our society.  Although most Americans believe in God, we are so saturated with the advice to seek psychological counseling, that many see religion as an inferior source of counseling.  Psychiatric advice will not replace religious principles, because they are time-tested, successful in their application, widely known, and FREE.
  • Religion has everything to do with ethics, because moral understanding and behavior are grounded in religion.  Religion gives direction in life, helping us put ethics into action.  Religious teachings are an anchor for our decisions, experiences and trials in life.  The principles in the 10 Commandments teach a global ethic which, if followed, help establish sound government, successful business, character development, and achievement of our potential.  For example,
Thou shalt not kill, teaches us to respect all life.
Thou shalt not steal, teaches us to live honestly and fairly.
Thou shalt not bear false witness, teaches us to speak and behave truthfully.
Thou shalt not commit adultery, teaches us to be moral and respect others.
  • Religion helps people think beyond themselves—such as, “Who will this affect,” and “Am I doing what is right even if it costs more?”  The Golden Rule teaches us to treat others as we would like to be treated.  Such virtuous-thinking people are needed in families, education, business and government.  Only then will individuals reach their greatest potential and find true happiness and peace.

    (Faith and Families Report)