Over the course of thousands of years, the vast majority of people have been a part of a religion. Despite having no clear evidence of the existence of a god or religious figures being who they say they are, they still cling to the idea of our lives being a part of something more, and that we were created as we are now, and not evolved over a period of time. The fact of the matter is that people being religious is not a result of evidence, reason or logic, but rather feelings and emotions. According to (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/religious-people-beliefs-cling-contradict-evidence-facts-moral-compass-research-athiests-analytical-a7863446.html), researches have found that the brains of atheists are far more analytically oriented than those of religious people, who rely more on their emotions to lead them in their quest for truth.
According to the article, “Emotional resonance helps religious people to feel more certain – the more moral correctness they see in something, the more it affirms their thinking.” In other words, people naturally want things to be morally correct, and when they see something like religion that is as morally correct as can be, they see it as far more factually correct than if it were not. The article continues, saying “religious individuals may cling to certain beliefs, especially those which seem at odds with analytic reasoning, because those beliefs resonate with their moral sentiments.” For a lot of people, emotions top their ability to think reasonably and use logic to come to a conclusion.
There are many people who to this day believe that atheists, because they don’t believe in God, must be bad people with no moral compass (https://via.hypothes.is/https://go.galegroup.com/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=T003&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=SingleTab&searchType=BasicSearchForm&currentPosition=1&docId=GALE|CX3446800128&docType=Topic+overview&sort=RELEVANCE&contentSegment=&prodId=GVRL&contentSet=GALE|CX3446800128&searchId=R1&userGroupName=pioneer&inPS=true). This is not true to even the slightest extent, as the article claims that despite not believing in God, there is no convincing evidence to say that atheists are any less moral good than those who believe in a faith.
Another article (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/24/why-americas-nones-left-religion-behind/) explains why people that were religious growing up left their faith. About 79% of atheists grew up in a religious family, while only 21% have been atheists their entire life. According to the article, “About half of current religious “nones” who were raised in a religion (49%) indicate that a lack of belief led them to move away from religion.” This includes people that turned away because of science, in other words analytical reasoning. One-in-five express an opposition to organized religion in general. There are many other reasons people leave the faith as well, including “the hierarchical nature of religious groups, several people who think religion is too much like a business and others who mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance.”
There are other stances on religion as well. For example, many are agnostic, and studies show that those people tend to walk the line of following their emotions while also using analytical reasoning. There are also people who consider themselves to be a part of a faith but are inactive, meaning that they believe in God(s) but choose to practice their faith in their own unique ways. These people lean towards the emotional side of their brains but also use their own logic and reasoning to decide what their faith life should look like.
Many people believe that religious people are more moral because they have an external force that is forcing them to be as morally correct as possible. According to http://theconversation.com/are-religious-people-more-moral-84560, when meeting someone who isn’t religious many have a prejudice against atheists because they feel that they are less morally correct than those who are a part of a faith. However, this is not entirely true. Studies have shown that while people that are a part of a faith have a much more powerful external motive for good deeds, people with no faith tend to have internal motives for good deeds that are just as high as those that are a part of a faith. While many use religion as a way of indicating up front how morally good someone is, it is truly not an accurate representation of how morally correct someone is.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What Makes a Person Religious? by Zach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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1 Comment
  1. Anthony 7 months ago

    Dear Zach,
    I was very happy when reading your article as I am writing about a similar topic, “Can You be Good Without God.” I was quite pleased with some of the links you provided, as I will also use them in my research paper. Here is an article that I’m using, opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/good-minus-god/. I think it could help you out as well.
    Good luck on your essay.
    -Tony

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