Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Group 1: Purpose and the Self

Q: What’s in our brain that manages the beautifully coordinated and smoothly appropriate behavior of our body? A: neural circuits (p. 194)

Q: How did the brain’s neural circuits attain the ability to store our much-needed information for function and survival? A: natural selection (p. 196)

In the latest poll, the U.S. is the last of the developed countries to abandon the belief that morality is grounded in religious mythology and superstition.

This week, Pew Research Center published the results of a survey conducted among 40,080 people in 40 countries between 2011 and 2013. The survey asked a simple question: Is belief in God essential to morality? While clear majorities say it is necessary, the U.S. continues to be an outlier. 
In 22 of the 40 countries surveyed, the majority says it is necessary to believe in God in order to be a moral person. “This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East,” says the report. No surprise there, but Asian and Latin countries such as Indonesia (99 percent), Malaysia (89 percent), the Philippines (99 percent), El Salvador (93 percent), and Brazil (86 percent) all fell in the highest percentile of respondents believing belief in a god (small G) is central to having good values. 
Interestingly, clear majorities in all highly developed countries do not think belief in god to be necessary for morality, with one exception only: the USA.
The full article in Salon via AlterNet is here.

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