November 26, 2011 in Letters, Opinion

Morality without religion


I would like to reply to Suzanne Nyberg’s Nov. 13 letter, in which she says we are close to losing our “religious freedom” because the boundary stones of her religion are being moved. I say we have religious freedom only because we are a secular nation with secular laws, not the laws of a privileged religion, as in a theocracy.

As far as the morality of today’s society, mankind is mankind, and yes, human nature is the same as it’s always been. I would like to add that a new and growing body of social science research reveals that non-religious people, in general, are far from being as “unsavory” as many Americans assume.

Multiple studies have found that on basic questions of morality and human decency, things like the government use of torture, the death penalty, corporal punishment of children, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, environmental degradation, human rights, militarism, and the like, the irreligious tend to be more ethical than their religious peers. They tend to be sharply more ethical than the extremely religious. Truth will find a way.

Gary Garoutte

Newport, Wash.

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