In the ever-evolving landscape of Canadian moral values, one might wonder if the absence of religion has left the nation adrift. From shifting beliefs to emerging social challenges, the transformation is undeniable. So, whether you find yourself pondering the fate of a nation without a clear moral compass or simply curious about the changing tides of values, we’ve explored it all in this article. And if you’re in need of some relief after diving into this deep topic, just remember, even in a sea of shifting values, a good laugh can still be a moral constant. More on this below.
The New Atheist Movement, spearheaded by the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” – Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett – during the early 2000s, vigorously promoted the concept of “anti-theism” and aimed to enlighten the West by challenging religious beliefs. Their stance was not merely that God didn’t exist but that it was morally virtuous because religious texts, such as the Bible, were considered detrimental to society. In this article, we explore the consequences of declining religious practice in Canada and its impact on moral values.
- Declining Religious Practice The New Atheist Movement advocated for a significant reduction in religious adherence in Western societies. In Canada, their influence seems to have made an impact, as surveys show that a substantial 89 percent of Canadians do not attend religious worship regularly, regardless of their religious affiliations.
- The Consequence of Abandoning Religious Values As religious values recede, other moral values emerge to fill the void. This is evident in recent survey data, where 21 percent of Canadians express support for polygamy, 20 percent find suicide morally acceptable, and 19 percent favor the use of illegal drugs. A further 18 percent find it morally acceptable for married individuals to engage in affairs, while 11 percent support human cloning, and a disturbing 7 percent even consider pedophilia morally acceptable.
- The Evolving Moral Landscape Recent data from 2022 indicates that 73 percent of Canadians now find divorce morally acceptable, and 69 percent believe that sexual relations between unmarried individuals are morally acceptable. Additionally, 59 percent consider same-sex sexual relations morally acceptable, although this figure has seen a slight decline. Conversely, 27 percent find it morally wrong, with stronger moral opposition observed among certain demographics.
- The Abortion Debate On the topic of abortion, 29 percent of Canadians believe it is “morally wrong,” marking a four-point increase from the previous year. This shift is noteworthy as it represents a higher level of moral opposition compared to a decade ago.
- Other Moral Issues Other moral issues addressed in surveys include support for same-sex “marriage” (66 percent), prostitution (30 percent, with a three-point decrease), embryonic stem cell research (55 percent), and the moral acceptability of pornography (31 percent). The discussion around pornography raises questions about its impact on individuals and the need for regulations to protect children.
- A Nation Without a Moral Compass Collectively, these survey results paint a picture of a nation without a clear moral compass. Canadians appear to strongly disagree on various major moral issues, with substantial support for practices that have contributed to the erosion of social bonds and family structures. Immigrant communities, originating from more traditional countries, often uphold more traditional values.
- Immigration and Its Challenges Mass immigration is an integral part of Canada’s demographic landscape, driven by high rates of abortion and low birth rates. The introduction of diverse cultural backgrounds brings its own set of challenges and opportunities as it influences the nation’s moral fabric.
- “Where there is no vision, the people perish” The verse from Proverbs 29:18, carved on the West Side of Parliament’s Peace Tower, serves as a prophetic reminder of the importance of having a guiding vision. It suggests that in the absence of a shared moral compass, societies may face disintegration.
Conclusion The New Atheist Movement’s influence in Canada has resulted in a decline in religious practice and a significant shift in moral values. As the nation grapples with these changes, it is essential to engage in meaningful discussions and find common ground to foster social cohesion and address the challenges that arise from these evolving beliefs.