The research, which appears in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, found that “across the world, religious belief is intuitively viewed as a necessary safeguard against the temptations of grossly immoral conduct”.
Researchers looked at the attitudes of more than 3,000 people in 13 different countries across the world. The countries ranged from “very secular”, such as China and the Netherlands, to more religious societies such as the United States, United Arab Emirates and India.
Participants were asked whether a fictional evildoer, who tortured animals as a child before growing up to kill five homeless people, was more likely to be religious or atheist.
Participants across the study group were around twice as likely to assume the man was an atheist. [More]