Christianity English Religion

Moral Behaviour Vs. Religious People

In the London Review of Books, reader Anthony Buckley (“God and Human Behaviour”, Letters, LRB, 30 June 2011) wonders what “would constitute evidence” for or against the statement that “religious people…are more likely to behave in virtuous ways than non-religious people“.

That is an interesting question. And it can be easily answered in Christianity. The Gospel of Luke (chapter 5, verses 30-32) says:

“But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples,saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

It seems logical to conclude that, according to the Messiah Himself, “people who have [Christian] religious convictions” will be “on the whole morally worse than people who lack them“.

One reply on “Moral Behaviour Vs. Religious People”

Well…… it could be interpreted that way. It would, of course, depend on how one views moral behavior. Towards the scribes and Pharisees…… eating and drinking with the sinners was deemed less than moral. But, given that we are all sinners and have fallen short of the Glory of God, then the scribes and Pharisees can be seen as participating in hypocrisy, which is immoral itself…..a common short-fall for religious people, as the Pharisees and Sadducees were. Sadly, religiosity and righteousness are not entirely synonymous.

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