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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

Scientists finally "discovered" what we've always been saying...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1798944,00.html

"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.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills.

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.

“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.”"


For those of you who still hold to Americanist bullshit, I got an entire page full of data for you : http://www.objectivethought.com/libertarian/main/usworst.html

Post a Comment


12 Comments:

At 9/28/2005 12:17 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

YES! Awesome study! Im gonna go post this at ChristianForums LOL I wonder if Ill get banned?

 
At 9/28/2005 12:20 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Oh yea, by the way. America is losing its religion.

I predict that within 3 or 4 generations, America will be at least 50% "nonreligious," "agnostic," or "atheistic," and America (not to mention the world) will be much better off.

 
At 9/28/2005 6:57 PM, Blogger Jesse Gritter declaimed...

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

Correlation is not causation.

 
At 9/28/2005 7:13 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Thanks dumbass, no one said correlation as causation. We know it's a cause-and-effect relationship specifically because of the dogmas and effects of monotheistic religions.

 
At 9/29/2005 10:46 AM, Blogger Jesse Gritter declaimed...

"Thanks dumbass, no one said correlation as causation."

I think this comment shows a direct correlation between being atheist and having a hostile attitude :)

"We know it's a cause-and-effect relationship specifically because of the dogmas and effects of monotheistic religions."

I'm sorry, but a consideration of the law of modus ponens (if P then Q) will show you otherwise. Go look it up on the internet. If you're assuming that Christianity causes crime (whereas P = Christianity and Q = criminality), then you're committing the logical fallacy known as "denying the antecedent." In this case, Q does not necessarily follow from P since agnostics and atheists also commit crimes.

Besides, there are a whole host of things taken for granted in that article that are just assumed and not proven. It has question begging written all over it.

And are you really going to take that article ON AUTHORITY???

 
At 9/29/2005 11:39 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Correlation is not causation.

True, but irrelevant.

A better educated society will behave better and be less religious. Causation is not necessary for this study to demonstrate that more religious places are also less civilized places.

Im more curious about what youre thoughts are on this study, CT.
I'm sorry, but a consideration of the law of modus ponens (if P then Q) will show you otherwise. Go look it up on the internet. If you're assuming that Christianity causes crime (whereas P = Christianity and Q = criminality), then you're committing the logical fallacy known as "denying the antecedent." In this case, Q does not necessarily follow from P since agnostics and atheists also commit crimes.

I dont have to worry aout that, because Im not saying that there is causation between these two specifically. I think that the causation is education. So there :P

Now quit dancing around and tell us directly what you think of the study. If you agree or disagree with the validity of the results, and if you have any contrary evidence, or if you have any explanations for its findings?

 
At 9/29/2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Jesse Gritter declaimed...

AK: "A better educated society will behave better and be less religious."

Begging the question. Besides, you admit you don't know this but that you merely think this: "I think that the causation is education."

AK: "Causation is not necessary for this study to demonstrate that more religious places are also less civilized places."

But Francois specifically said that "it's a cause-and-effect relationship specifically because of the dogmas and effects of monotheistic religions."

Furthermore, the study does not consider other factors. It overlooks crime rate patterns over time and fails to distinguish between those people who simply say they're religious and those who really are.

And if both religious and nonreligious people commit crimes, then the problem is one that they both share. You suggested education, but you know very well that teaching people not to commit crime does not necessarily mean they won't.

I think that the causes of crime are many and complex, but all find their root in sinful human nature as a result of the Fall of man in the garden. All humans inherit this sinful human nature and stand under God's wrath (Romans 5). (Ouch, I bet you're not going to like that, but consider yourself warned.)

 
At 9/29/2005 5:31 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

But Francois specifically said that "it's a cause-and-effect relationship specifically because of the dogmas and effects of monotheistic religions."

Well maybe I differ slightly from Francs views on it. I would contend however that higher religion = lower education in general, and they tend to fight against eachother. Of course theres intelligent educated theists, but generally religion and education are at odds. College graduates believe less than high school graduates, and high school graduates believe less than those with no diploma. The highest amount of religious fervor is in places with the least education, worldwide.

Im not saying that I think its education. Im saying that the evidence shows that its education.

Furthermore, the study does not consider other factors. It overlooks crime rate patterns over time and fails to distinguish between those people who simply say they're religious and those who really are.

Crime patterns over time?!?!? Please. America has always been more violent than Europe, ever since Europe started really losing its religion (after WWII, although the snowball started in the 1800s).


And if both religious and nonreligious people commit crimes, then the problem is one that they both share. You suggested education, but you know very well that teaching people not to commit crime does not necessarily mean they won't.


Athiests are vastly underrepresented in jailhouse populations. They are also vastly underrepresented in mental hospitals. Atheists are vastly OVERrepresented in intellectual circles, intellectually inclined groups like the NAS, and in populations of college grads and doctors and such.


I think that the causes of crime are many and complex, but all find their root in sinful human nature as a result of the Fall of man in the garden. All humans inherit this sinful human nature and stand under God's wrath (Romans 5). (Ouch, I bet you're not going to like that, but consider yourself warned.)


So then CT, why do religious people commit far more crimes then? Why do religious populations have more STDs and more abortions and more divorce? Why is it then, that the atheistic populations are being more "godly" (although I consider "godly" to be immoral and for atheists to be better behaving people because they ignore these godly dictates, I am arguing from your perspective for the moment in assuming that obeying Gods rules is the humane thing to do) than the religious populations?

 
At 9/29/2005 6:44 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Aaron, don't feel the trollish asshole.

As for the correlations, I think it's pretty clear that there is a correlation between lower education and theism on the one hand, and theism and immorality on the other hand. But the majority of theism comes from child brainwashing, not lower education, and not all immorality comes from theism, so it's not a one-to-one relationship.

 
At 9/29/2005 8:14 PM, Blogger Jesse Gritter declaimed...

AK: "So then CT, why do religious people commit far more crimes then? Why do religious populations have more STDs and more abortions and more divorce? Why is it then, that the atheistic populations are being more "godly" ... than the religious populations?"

I still think you're begging the question, but even if this is true, it is precisely because you do not know the answers to these questions that you should not conclude it is because of religion.

Besides, you know very well that the Bible does not condone divorce, abortion, STD's, etc., etc. The problem is not with Christianity but with people. (I can't and won't speak for other religions.)

And the debate between the Christian and the atheist is not over the adherents of the beliefs, but over the truth of the beliefs themselves (atheistic worldview vs. the Christian theistic worldview.) Otherwise the debate degenerates into a pissing contest over who can produce the most ad hominem arguments.

FT: "don't feel the trollish asshole."

Is that any way to talk to a fellow Canuck? You should know that I'm in favour of Quebec separatism. Vive le Quebec libre!

 
At 9/30/2005 10:17 AM, Blogger Sam Jordison declaimed...

Very good. I'm going to post this on my blog too.

Thanks!

 
At 9/30/2005 3:48 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

A fucking separatist. As if you weren't enough of an asshole, now I know you're a redneck too.

 

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