PHOENIX, AZ — The opening paragraph of the Cultural Research Center sixth release of the results of the American Worldview Inventory 2020 introduces a frightening overview of our country’s perceptions of morality and moral choices.
“Our nation is facing a potential moral freefall unthinkable to earlier generations — with a majority of Americans today no longer embracing values of honesty, respect for the rule of law, the sanctity of life, and traditional sexual morality when facing moral issues.”
The research team led by Dr. George Barna has already published five releases that dramatically demonstrate that “America is undergoing a radical reshaping of what constitutes morally acceptable behavior.” It is as though we are living in a time similar to when the Southern Kingdom of Israel disregarded God and lived in immorality for 55 years until the book of the law was rediscovered, read, and obeyed. (See 2 Kings 21)
The current AWVI 2020 report, “Perceptions of Morality & Moral Choices,” is an analysis of the survey respondents’ answers to two questions.
When you have an important moral or ethical decision to make, which one of the following is the source of guidance that you, personally, are most likely to rely upon?
Alarmingly, only 23% of all people surveyed said they would rely on the Bible, while 30% indicated they would consult trusted people, and 31% said they would rely upon themselves. Only 3% would seek out a religious leader for advice.
As a group, born-again Christians were three times more likely than other self-identified Christians to rely upon the Bible or a religious leader. Nonetheless, fewer than half (48%) responded in that manner.
In the second scenario, respondents were asked to imagine five situations in which someone had come to them for personal advice. For each situation, they were asked how they, personally, would respond to their friend.
Would you tell them it is morally acceptable for them to …
… tell a “white lie” to protect their personal best interests or reputation?
Fewer than half (47%) said it would not be morally acceptable, while 32% said it was either acceptable or not a moral issue.
… drive 80 mph late at night in a 55 mph zone in a non-residential area with no other cars on the road?
Only 39% found this scenario to be morally unacceptable, while 45% said it was either acceptable or not a moral issue.
… not repay a small amount of money borrowed from a relative because the relative had not mentioned repaying it and doesn’t need the money, but your friend does?
A majority (61%) agreed that this is not morally acceptable, while 24% said it was either acceptable or not a moral issue.
… have sexual relations with someone they love and expect to marry in the future?
Only 27% would advise that this is morally unacceptable, while a majority (56%) said it would be morally acceptable (38%) or not a moral issue (18%). Only 20% of adults under the age of 30 found unmarried sex to be immoral.
… have an abortion because their partner has left and they know they cannot reasonably expect to take care of their child
A minority of 44% said it would be morally unacceptable, while 33% said it was morally acceptable or not a moral issue.
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