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article imageGallup's Annual Values and Beliefs Survey

By Christopher Wager     Oct 31, 2010 in Politics
Gallop's Annual Values and Beliefs Survey reveals Americans remain steeply divided on biggest moral issues facing the country today.
On May 3rd through 6th, 2010, Gallup conducted its Annual Values and Beliefs Survey based on a random telephone sampling of 1,029 adults, eighteen years or older with a margin of plus or minus 4 percent. In this survey, Gallup attempts to gauge the moral compass of Americans on eighteen of the top moral issues facing the country today.
The survey was based on a two question moral criteria. What Americans felt to be morally acceptable, and what they felt to be morally wrong. Topping the list of moral issues was doctor assisted suicides in which the moral criterion was split down the middle at 46 - 46. One can only speculate the reasoning behind American's view on this issue. Perhaps the reasoning is based on deep core religious views or more of a liberal stand based on a person's freedom to choose what goes with one's body, and their right to decide to die with dignity. The contradicting survey information is that 77 percent of Americans believe suicide by your own hand is morally wrong, yet, the death penalty is a morally acceptable way to end a person's life by 65 percent of the same polling group.
Other issues on the minds of Americans were gay or lesbian relations. Fifty-two percent said they believe these relationships were morally acceptable leaving only 46 percent feeling them to be wrong. Again, are those possessing these relationships basing their moral convictions on deep religious beliefs which have traditionally been against same sex marriages. However, 90 percent of the same group felt polygamy was wrong. An even higher number of people felt married men and women having an affair also were morally wrong. Based on the percentages one would conclude there are different degrees of moral acceptance among people and gender. The men of the survey felt affairs were more morally acceptable than the women by only one percent.
Of the 1,029 adults surveyed 38 percent felt abortion was morally acceptable. Another surprisingly high number of Americans believed in stem cells reach from human embryos at 59 percent. But 88 percent disagreed with human cloning. Sixty-three percent disagreed with cloning animals as well. On the other hand, 59 percent agreed medical testing on animals is morally acceptable.
All of these morally judged percentages lead into some surprising results of what is really on the moral minds of Americans with some information seeming contradicting and confusing. I would like to leave you with one last Gallup poll result which a true reaction of the times is 69 percent of the people polled believe in divorce to be morally acceptable. Could it be another indicator of the lesser roll organized religion is playing in the lives of Americans today?
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