According to recent study, religion has an great impact on the moral behavior of a person. A person with religious beliefs is more moral if compared with an atheist.
If you were in a bind and needed a friend you could trust help you find the moral high ground, who would you choose? A recently released UK study suggests your most deeply religious friends might be the first place you should look.
In the largest study of this subject to date, encompassing 68 schools, including more than 10,000 students and 250 teachers, researchers from the UK’s Birmingham University gathered data over the course of 18 months using surveys, interviews, and moral dilemma questionnaires. They discovered that religious training is correlated to the presence of strong moral character traits such as respect, fairness, honesty, gratitude, and self control.
Girls scored slightly better than boys on the morals tests, and students at faith based schools scored slightly better than those who were not; but of statistical significance, those from religious homes scored higher than those who were not. While this was true even in cases of nominal religious involvement, significance increased with the individual’s level of actively living by the directions of their religion: those expressing the deepest personal faith demonstrated the highest levels of morals.
The value of morals and character is believed to be its ability to help a person move from self-centered behavior to others-centered behavior. Strong character qualities are essential to the development of a strong society.
The study acknowledges that answers could reflect an individual’s understanding of the right thing to do based on the teachings of their religious community, rather than indicating what an individual would actually do in the situation.
The most encouraging result noted in the report is that the schools demonstrating the highest and lowest overall levels of character varied in location, economic levels, size, and in terms of being faith-based or not, or public or private. The report offers the conclusion that “with the right approach, it is possible for any kind of school to nurture good character.”