Staunch atheists show higher morals than the proudly pious, from the pandemic to climate change

Staunch atheists show higher morals than the proudly pious, from the pandemic to climate change

Two recent events have shed an illuminating light on who is and who isn’t moral in today’s world. First, Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leader in the U.S. Catholic Church and a staunch anti-masker/vaxxer, was put on a ventilator as a result of his suffering from COVID-19 . Second, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations released its latest data-rich report , warning that “unless there are rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius will be beyond reach.” The global pandemic and the rapidly warming of our planet — these dire phenomena are, above all, deeply moral matters in that they both entail care for the well-being of others and a desire to alleviate misery and suffering. Now, while most people assume that such a morality is grounded in religious faith, and while it is certainly true that all religions contain plenty of moral ideals, in our nation today, it is actually the most secular among us who are exhibiting a greater moral orientation — in the face of deadly threats — than the most devout among us, who are exhibiting the least. Before proceeding, let me make it clear: When I say the “most secular among us,” I mean atheists, agnostics, people who never attend religious services, don’t think the Bible is the word of God, and don’t pray. Such self-conscious and deliberatively irreligious people are to be distinguished from the lackadaisically […]

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