Religion is a social-cultural system that shapes beliefs, morals, practices, and worldviews. It also involves organizations, texts, and sanctified places. Often, religions are based on the lives of historic figures. It may even have rituals to follow and designated behaviors.
In Europe, people generally disagree on whether religion has a positive or negative impact on society. However, a small minority of Europeans think that religion is good for them. In this group, more than half believe that religion helps them make the right choices.
In Portugal, more than half of adults say that religion provides them with meaning. In Italy, more than half of adults say that religion is helpful in determining right from wrong. In Norway, more than half of adults say that religion causes harm.
In Germany, more than one in four adults agree that religion is more useful than not. The survey was conducted using a sample of U.S. adults between 18 and 35 years old. It included 1281 web-based surveys. The sampling error was a plus or minus three percentage points.
It is not uncommon for a person to say that he or she is neither religious nor spiritual. This is considered ambivalence. It is different from claiming that an institution has done harm.
The survey also found that religious and nonreligious people alike agree that religion provides them with a sense of purpose. In fact, the most popular statement was: “Religion gives me a sense of purpose. I am not religious and not spiritual, but I am happy.”
Another interesting finding is that women are more likely to have positive views of religion than men. This is in contrast to previous studies that showed men to be more likely to have negative views of religion.