A recent study by the Pew Center found that 44% percent of Americans believe that it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values. The study also examined how many western countries lean more to the belief that God is not necessary in order to have morals.
Morality is the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. This study was conducted between 2002 and 2019. During that time there was a 14 percentdecrease in those who believe God is necessary for having morals.
The biggest difference in the data shows that many people under age 27 don’t believe that God plays a part in having morals.
FAMU student Angelo Fickins said, “I believe that God is the creator of everything and that life without him is meaningless. I know that he is real because he has done things in my life that no one else could. He has also spoken to me before in a still small voice that wasn’t mine. Over the years I’ve realized that without God in your life you’ll always have a void in your life. In realizing that it taught me to always turn back to God when I feel empty instead of turning to people and bad habits.”
Daajah Ahmed, a FAMU student, says she is no longer active in a church but added that religion was part of her early development.“I don’t follow a religion but I do believe in a higher force that keeps a balance. I agree. My religion did give me some values that I still follow, but If I was still Muslim I definitely wouldn’t have done most of the stuff that I have so far, not to say that any of it is bad. Choosing to see the universe and world as I do now takes pressure off me when it comes to the repercussion of making decisions and guiding myself.”
Isis Climes is a recent FAMU graduate who looks to religion for a better perspective. “I don’t think it’s necessary to be religious to believe in good values, although as a Christian I do think it helps put the notion of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in perspective and forces me to always keep it in mind. Religion, whether Christianity, Buddhism, etc., sets its own regulations on what’s considered good values, on what followers have to uphold in order to keep our faith. In addition to that, there’s the fear and notion that if we don’t uphold the established ‘good values’ we may be reprimanded in our faith.
“To non-religious followers, I do personally believe it gives non-believers room to be less worried of a higher being’s expectation on how their perception of good values are. Complete agree! I feel that as a Christian I have pressure to follow the laid out structure of right and wrong/good values or face the repercussions of my religion. If I wasn’t religious I feel like I wouldn’t have to hold my breath, per se, with some of my actions and thoughts,” Climes said.