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POLL OF CANADIANS' BELIEFS ABOUT IMMORAL BEHAVIOR

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Lger Marketing conducted a public opinion poll during 2002-JAN-8 to 13. A total of 1,519 Canadian adults were surveyed. The margin of error is 2.6 percentage points. The pollsters suggested different activities and asked whether the action was immoral or not.

Some results: The following percentage of adult Canadians consider these activities to be immoral:

bullet Shoplifting 89.3%
bullet Infidelity: 80.8%
bullet Hard-core drug use: 79.2%
bullet Tax evasion: 77%
bullet Prostitution: 68.4%
bullet Alcohol abuse: 66.1%
bullet Suicide: 61.8%
bullet Working "under the table": 52.8%
bullet Taking soft drugs, like marijuana: 47.5%
bullet Abortion: 41.8%
bullet Gambling: 41.4%
bullet Swearing: 40.2%
bullet Homosexuality: 32.1%
bullet Physician assisted suicide: 31.3%
bullet Pre-marital sex: 27.3%
bullet Atheism: 26.2%
bullet Divorce: 22.3%

One problem with such a poll is that a simple moral/immoral answer is often not possible:

bullet Many pro-lifers consider a purely elective abortion to be immoral, whereas having an abortion when the life of the mother is at risk might be considered quite ethical.
bullet Similarly, many people might consider homosexual behavior to be immoral if it is performed by a heterosexual, or is unsafe, or coercive, or outside of a committed relationship. But those same people might consider safe, consensual same-sex behavior to be moral if done by a homosexual within a committed relationship.

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References:

  1. "Theft worse than infidelity: Poll," Toronto Star, 2002-FEB-18, Page A3

Copyright 2001 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-FEB-18
Latest update: 2002-FEB-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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