In May of this year Gallup polled Americans to determine what behaviors they found morally acceptable and unacceptable.  Sixteen behaviors were evaluated, and here are the results:

I am surprised that more people judge the cloning of animals (63% opposed) to be worse than the killing of human beings in abortion (50%) or in stem cell research (32%).

I see a bit of cognitive dissonance in the fact that only 15% of people approve of suicide, but 46% approve of suicide if a doctor assists in the process.  Same individual.  Same outcome.  The only difference is the presence of a medical professional.  How does that change the morality of the act?

It should say something about culture when an equal amount of people find wearing fur (35%) morally equal to having sex (38%) and getting pregnant outside of marriage (40%).

I find it odd that people think the worst thing one can do is have an affair (92%), and the most acceptable thing one can do is divorce their spouse (only 23% think divorce is wrong).  So if your spouse sleeps with someone else while you are still married, that’s bad.  But if they divorce you before sleeping with them, that’s good.  Moral confusion is everywhere.

There are only a few issues the nation is polarized over: assisted suicide, homosexuality, and abortion.  The public used to be decidedly opposed to all three.  Right now we’re about evenly divided.  If the trend continues unabated, soon all but abortion (the pro-life viewpoint is in the ascendancy) will be accepted just like divorce: as something unfortunate, but acceptable.  Just look at this chart from Gallop tracking the public’s acceptance of homosexuality since 2001:

We have our jobs cut out for us.

Advertisements