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Religiosity, moral attitudes and moral competence

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The present research investigates the relation between the religiosity dimensions which Wulff (1991; 1997) described (Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence and Literal vs. Symbolic) and both moral attitudes and moral competence. The Post-Critical Belief scale (Duriez et al., 2000) was used as a measure of Wulff's religiosity dimensions, and the Moral Judgment Test (Lind, 1998) was used to measure both moral attitudes and moral competence. Results from an adolescent sample (N = 138), a student sample (N = 372) and a sample of adults affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church (N = 294) suggest, that, whereas the Literal vs. Symbolic dimension shows substantial relations with moral attitudes and moral competence, the Exclusion vs. Inclusion of Transcendence dimension is unrelated to both of them. This suggests that there is no intrinsic relationship between religiosity and morality. However, results also suggest that religiously affiliated persons, in general, exhibit low moral competence. The content of the moral dilemmas that were presented cannot account for this.


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