View Full Forums : Belief in God is Hurting America!


Klath
12-16-2009, 07:12 AM
Is Belief in God Hurting America? (http://www.alternet.org/belief/144174/is_belief_in_god_hurting_america/)
According to a new study, prosperity is highest in countries that practice religion the least.

By David Villano, Miller-McCune.com.
Posted November 25, 2009.

From Dostoyevsky to right-wing commentator Ann Coulter we are warned of the perils of godlessness. "If there is no God," Dostoyevsky wrote, "everything is permitted." Coulter routinely attributes our nation's most intractable troubles to the moral vacuum of atheism.

But a growing body of research in what one sociologist describes as the "emerging field of secularity" is challenging long-held assumptions about the relationship of religion and effective governance.

In a paper posted recently on the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, independent researcher Gregory S. Paul reports a strong correlation within First World democracies between socioeconomic well-being and secularity. In short, prosperity is highest in societies where religion is practiced least.

Using existing data, Paul combined 25 indicators of societal and economic stability — things like crime, suicide, drug use, incarceration, unemployment, income, abortion and public corruption — to score each country using what he calls the "successful societies scale." He also scored countries on their degree of religiosity, as determined by such measures as church attendance, belief in a creator deity and acceptance of Bible literalism.

[More... (http://www.alternet.org/belief/144174/is_belief_in_god_hurting_america/)]

Tudamorf
12-16-2009, 12:31 PM
There was a study/paper on the same thing about 5-6 years ago called "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns":

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Ath-Chap-under-7000.pdfBetween 500,000,000 and 750,000,000 humans currently do not believe in God. Such figures render any suggestion that theism is innate or neurologically based manifestly untenable. The nations with the highest degrees of organic atheism include most of the nations of Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Israel. However, atheism is virtually non-existent in most Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Most nations characterized by high degrees of individual and societal security have the highest rates of organic atheism, and conversely, nations characterized by low degrees of individual and societal security have the lowest rates of organic atheism and the highest degrees of belief. High levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low poverty rates and strong gender equality. In many societies atheism is growing, however, throughout much of the rest of the world – particularly among the poorest nations with highest birth rates – atheism is barely discernible.
The link is from a more recent book compilation, but I recall the author's conclusion in the original article was not so much that atheism makes people happier, but that happy people are more likely to choose atheism.

Panamah
12-16-2009, 02:41 PM
Yeah, it's difficult to prove causation. I think I tend to agree with Tuda though.

Our country's religiosity is probably more of a reflection of our people's level of education and economic level than the other way around.

It's one reason why I really like the non-profit that focuses on educating girls (https://www.ikat.org/) in the middle east.

Klath
12-21-2009, 04:18 AM
Our country's religiosity is probably more of a reflection of our people's level of education and economic level than the other way around.
Is suspect that there's a feedback loop. Fundamentalists, for example, have some pretty serious anti-education tendencies. They distrust people who have a high level of education (elitists) and use whatever means they can to inject their religion into the public education system. When/where they are successful, the result is more people with lower levels of education who, as you suggested, tend to be religious. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Panamah
12-21-2009, 02:33 PM
*nods vigorously* Definitely a feedback loop. The movements like home schooling sure as heck aren't going to help anything. Unfortunately it seems like the fundamentalists, of any religion, strive to insulate themselves from any other cultures or ideas to keep their thoughts in line with whatever their religion dictates. Ideas from outside are poison to their spiritual purity.

One reason I admire France is their insistence on secularity in public. I wish we had that here. And while we're wishing, I'd take their health care system.

Klath
12-21-2009, 04:23 PM
Unfortunately it seems like the fundamentalists, of any religion, strive to insulate themselves from any other cultures or ideas to keep their thoughts in line with whatever their religion dictates.
Or they attempt to destroy the culture by converting it. It will be interesting to see how this particular attempt (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/144689/gop's_new_prayer_guru_says_gays_possessed_by_demon s) goes. I just hope they don't drive people away from my favorite sushi bar.

It never ceases to amaze me that the people who steadfastly refuse to believe any of the scientific evidence supporting climate change theories are able to believe all sorts of truly absurd things if someone tells them it's the will of god.

Panamah
12-21-2009, 10:26 PM
It never ceases to amaze me that the people who steadfastly refuse to believe any of the scientific evidence supporting climate change theories are able to believe all sorts of truly absurd things if someone tells them it's the will of god.
Yeah... good point there. Although I don't think it's the religioso's that are the worst of the deniers, in fact some of them seem to believe it's their religious duty as caretakers of earth to keep it nice. It's the fiscal conservatives. They just don't want to be inconvenienced by stuff like that.

Heh! I bet that guy's son is gay and he's going to let his own demon run rampant there in the Castro.

palamin
12-23-2009, 08:55 AM
They could just send in this guy......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POYoVerCgck

It what he do.

Klath
12-23-2009, 12:25 PM
Heh! I bet that guy's son is gay and he's going to let his own demon run rampant there in the Castro.
What his demon might look like:

http://exchristian.net/uploaded_images/gay_demon1-727053.jpg

Panamah
12-23-2009, 06:23 PM
Malfurion is one guy you can say this about: "What a rack!". And perhaps that demon pictured above too!

Warcraft history confuses me mightily.

palamin
12-23-2009, 09:02 PM
But, Illidan is a demon hunter! He would run around with his twin panda blades exercising demons! Although I thought he was a whiny ass. Tyrande as well, Malfurion just wanted to keep sleeping, hated him as well. Come to think of it, the only night elf I liked was Maiev.

Panamah
12-24-2009, 02:09 PM
I only just started reading Warcraft novels, been playing the game for ages and never really followed the story line. So I read the War of the Ancients which is 3 novels about the rift in time and the dragon and mage and orc being getting sucked into the war of the first Burning Legion invasion. I liked Maiev's brother, Jarod, didn't much like Maiev in that book.

I'm having a hard time sorting out what order to read the books though, does anyone have a good chronology handy?

palamin
12-24-2009, 07:04 PM
www.wowwiki.com/Timeline_(from_official_site,_2007)

Panamah
12-24-2009, 11:52 PM
Your link is kind of borked. But I think I have it! Thank you!