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Bearing the Image of God

Does a person’s view of what it means to be human influence their ethical decision-making?

John Evans, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego analyzed data from 3,500 US adults in order to find out. The results: Those who believed humans bear the image of God held more humanitarian attitudes than those who did not.

The more that respondents agreed with the purely biological definition of a human, the less likely they were to view people as special. They were less willing to stop genocide and more likely to accept the ideas of buying kidneys, suicide to save money, and taking blood from prisoners. By comparison, those who believed humans are made in the image of God were less likely to agree with money-saving suicide or nonconsensual blood donation.

The editor of New Scientist, where Evans’ research was published, commented, “If this preliminary result is upheld by further research, it will come as an unwelcome shock to scientific materialists.”


Julie Borg, “Bearing the Image,” World Magazine (9-17-16)

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