What an interesting coincidence. I was having a conversation with my dad this last weekend about just this subject. He proposed his theory that people in, for example, countries like Russia and China were less ethical than in other countries because of the purging of religion that happened in those two examples, within recent history. This surprised me because he's a fairly liberal-thinking person, although he has become more religious as he gets older. I think of myself as agnostic for the most part, but after giving it some thought, I wonder if he might have a point.
What do you think? Did the suppression of religion in those countries reduce the level of ethics? Can ethics effectively spread and be maintained among a large population without a broad system of organized religion?