New study shows 74% of American teens and young adults embrace moral relativism

by Peter Heck · Feb 1st, 2021 8:49 am

Last Updated Feb 3rd, 2021 at 7:24 am

According to a new report from the Barna Group in partnership with Impact 360 Institute, most teens and young adults subscribe to the philosophy of moral relativism, believing that many religions can lead to eternal life.

The results found 65% of Americans ages 13-21 believe "many religions can lead to eternal life," a 7% increase since 2018.

Researchers also found that 74% of that age group at least somewhat agreed with the idea that what is "morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society." Thirty-one percent of respondents strongly agreed with that statement, a jump of six points.

"That means literally moral reality ... moral truth shifts as society shifts," Impact 360's director of cultural engagement and student discipleship, Jonathan Morrow, said. "That will have devastating consequences for everyone trying to live according to God's good design and flourish as He designed them to function in this world as image-bearers."

Christian organizations like Barna have been documenting the American culture's slide away from belief in objective truth and morality over the course of several decades.

"But the simple fact of the matter is, moral relativism hasn't just crept into the worldview of Gen Z," Morrow explained. "It is now the majority opinion."

The study was conducted between June and July of 2020.


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