Americans Don’t See Human Life as ‘Sacred’—But See Humanity as ‘Basically Good’

Americans Don’t See Human Life as ‘Sacred’—But See Humanity as ‘Basically Good’ by JOE CARTER for Life Site News

The Story: A new study finds that a majority of Americans no longer believe human life has intrinsic value, with six out of ten rejecting the idea that “human life is sacred.” Yet a majority also say that humans are “basically good.”

The Background: According to new research from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, only 39 percent of Americans today view human life as “sacred,” or as having unconditional, intrinsic worth. Groups that still hold this view include adults with a biblical worldview (93 percent); those attending an evangelical church (60 percent); born-again Christians (60 percent); political conservatives (57 percent); people 50 or older (53 percent); and Republicans (53 percent).

Some religious groups had only a minority who viewed life as sacred, including those attending Pentecostal (46 percent), mainline Protestant (45 percent), or Catholic (43 percent) churches. Evangelicals were the group most likely (60 percent) to say that life is sacred, while spiritual skeptics were the least likely (13 percent).

More than one-in-three adults (37 percent) say “life is what you make it, but it has no absolute value,” while a little more than one-in-ten say “life does not attain its full value until we reach our highest point of evolution and expression.” Another one out of ten adults admitted they did not know how to appraise the value of human life.

A majority of Americans are also unclear on the Bible’s view of abortion. More than one-in-three (37 percent) say the Bible is ambiguous about abortion, while nearly another one-quarter of adults admit they do not know (22 percent). Almost one-in-three evangelicals also say the Bible is ambiguous on abortion.

The research also finds that almost seven out of ten of Americans (69 percent) see human beings as “basically good.” A majority of every population subgroup examined adopted that view, ranging from a little more than half to more than three-quarters of those groups (including 70 percent of evangelicals). The segment least likely to say “people are basically good” are people with a biblical worldview (52 percent).

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