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Michael considered fate at 15:09   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The quote of the day @ Slashdot today:
"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." -- Bertrand Russell
It's rather pertinent given yesterday's article about new research showing secularity breeds better society. Okay, I admit it, I'm paraphrasing in favour of atheism here.. let me quote the real headline - Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'. Hmm, I guess that's not much better.
RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
Well Hurrumph. And I was just loving my pushy christian coalition neighbours in the south. Truthfully, I thank my lucky stars that I live in the relatively low-key religious environ that is New England.. but I can't mention this article without asking anyone who reads it to take a careful look between the lines. I smell smoke and I think it's coming through the cracks in this study.

I'm not saying it's completely unfounded, but it smacks of over-generalization. There are many many things to consider when judging a society, only one of which is religion. History of conflicts, hardships of the people, wealth, resources.. these are factors that you cannot ignore when attempting to rank a country on it's immorality.

Regardless, there is irony in the researchers words:
“The study shows that England, despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America.”
Funny, didn't we run from England to avoid religious persecution? Oh, wait, I forgot.. America was really founded by a bunch of slave owning aristocratic white males didn't want to pay their taxes.

Update: here is the full study.

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