Monday, February 8, 2010

Experimental Evidence Finds that Religious Beliefs Do Not Shape Moral Intuitions

A new article in Nature (here) describes experimental research by Ilkka Pyysiainen of the University of Helsinki and Marc Hauser of Harvard, in which thousands of people from various religious and social backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities were presented with moral dilemmas, which could not be resolved by simple reference to holy books. They found that, for the most part, "'moral intuitions operate independently of religious background," which supports arguments by atheists that moral conduct is not a specifically religious virtue.

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