NZers more rational on religion than Americans - poll
The results of a poll on religion, evolution and morality strongly suggests New Zealanders are more rational than Americans on the first two topics -- although there's still plenty of work to do -- but from the questions asked on "morality" it's clear that reason has yet to flush religion from the important field of ethics.
- 56% of New Zealanders believe God exists, compared to a whopping 86% of Americans who insist they have an imaginary friend.
- On the other hand, 22% of New Zealanders are sure God doesn't exist, whereas only 6% of Americans admit to having thought this through properly.
- Only 26% of New Zealanders believe the devil exists (answers insisting she resides on the Ninth Floor of a certain building in Wellington were ruled out of contention), compared to 70% of Americans who see him everywhere.
- The majority of New Zealanders do not believe in either Heaven or Hell (just 48% and 30% respectively), whereas the overwhelming majority of Americans do still believe in these fictions, 81% and 69%.
- Three-quarters of New Zealanders believe evolution is either "definitely true" or "probably true" (respectively 26% and 49%), whereas barely fifty-percent of Americans agree (respectively18% and 35%).
- On the other hand, 26% of NZers polled are creationist nuts who insist "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it," as are a frightening 50% of Americans!
- "New Zealanders were significantly more tolerant than Americans about having a baby outside of marriage, sex between an unmarried man and woman, abortion, divorce and homosexual relations."
- "Americans were much keener on the death penalty, with 66 per cent saying it was morally acceptable compared to 42 per cent of New Zealanders."
- "Respondents from the two nationalities were most closely aligned on questions around the use of human stem cells for medical research which was seen as acceptable by 65 per cent of Kiwis and 64 per cent of Americans; cloning humans (9 per cent, 11 per cent), polygamy (10 per cent, 8 per cent) and married men or women having an affair (9 per cent, 6 per cent). Most Americans thought gambling was acceptable, but less than half of Kiwi respondents agreed."