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

KurtFF8

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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.
quite interesting
 

KurtFF8

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true its not at all but interesting indeed
 

Kandahar

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I'm an atheist and I don't necessarily disagree with this conclusion...but the way it's presented makes me question the veracity of these claims.

First of all, no distinction appears to be drawn between correlation and causation. The study is correct in noting that the United States is more religious than other developed nations, and it is correct in noting that the United States generally has more problems related to sexuality, crime, abortion, etc.

But from that information, can you really draw the conclusion that religion CAUSED those problems? I think not. Could they be correlated without there being a causal relationship? Absolutely. Could a few of those statistics simply be a coincidence? Absolutely; the number of developed countries in the world is hardly a large statistical sample.

Let's examine the problems in the United States that this study claims are caused by religion:

1. Violent crime / murder / suicide - Are these really caused by religiosity? Or do they have to do more with the fact that the United States has greater wealth disparity and poorer education than most other developed nations? Whether or not you agree with American economic policies, I think it's fair to conclude that more relatively poor and uneducated people means more crime.

2. Abortion - The abortion rate is greater in the United States than in most other developed countries...but that's partly because abortion is illegal in most other developed countries. Once again, whether or not you agree with abortion, I think it's fair to conclude that when a country makes it illegal, it lowers the rate at least somewhat.

3. Sexual promiscuity - I have to agree that religion probably does play a role with this one, or at least America's brand of religion. Societies where sex is a relatively open-for-discussion topic tend to have lower rates of sexual promiscuity and lower rates of STDs. Societies (like the United States) where people are more conservative tend to have higher rates because people have less access to good health information regarding sex. This kind of conservatism usually (but not always) coincides with religiosity, so I think a causal relationship may exist in this case.

Also, I'd like to clear up a couple errors in this study. According to the study and/or the article:

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.” - This is arrogant and simply not true. Our social ills are different from those of other countries, but aren't necessarily greater overall. Should we conclude that religiosity promotes a strong economy, since the economies of the America/Ireland/Poland are among the strongest of all developed nations? I think not. Correlation or coincidence does not imply causation.

"He said that most Western nations would become more religious only if the theory of evolution could be overturned and the existence of God scientifically proven. Likewise, the theory of evolution would not enjoy majority support in the US unless there was a marked decline in religious belief, Mr Paul said." - I don't think this is necessarily true. Over the decades, Americans have become more accepting of evolution, even though their religiosity has remained about the same. It is fair for the study to say that the large number of people who don't believe in evolution in the United States CAN be attributed to religion...but even among religious people, those with a higher education are much more accepting of evolution.
 
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scottyz

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Kandahar said:
2. .but that's partly because abortion is illegal in most other developed countries. Once again, whether or not you agree with abortion, I think it's fair to conclude that when a country makes it illegal, it lowers the rate at least somewhat.
It's legal in Germany, England, Japan, Ireland, Italy and Spain. That seems like the majority of the developed world to me. :thinking
 

scottyz

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Kandahar said:
That's not true. Germany is the only one of those countries with progressive abortion-on-demand laws.

http://www.pregnantpause.org/lex/world02.htm
Is abortion legal?

After years of conflict on the issue of abortion, the German Bundestag passed legislation regulating the termination of pregnancy at the end of June 1995.. Under the terms of the new law, abortion is prohibited. However, a woman who has an abortion during the first trimester will not be prosecuted as long as she undergoes counseling that must seek to persuade her to carry the pregnancy to term. An abortion is fully legal if the pregnancy is the result of rape or if completing the pregnancy would endanger the woman's health. The doctor performing the abortion likewise remains free from prosecution.
http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch/info/facts/facts/questions_en/health/healthissues3.html

It's legal in all those countries I listed. Some have restrictions but it's still legal.
 

Connecticutter

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Wow - this study is completely bogus. Can anyone tell me how the data they they gathered can possibly be considered evidence for the claim that they are making? What if I compared the two sides in the cold war - would the results change?


It looks like this study was done by people with a political agenda.

This:

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
is just a completely subjective statement.
 

KurtFF8

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Connecticutter said:
is just a completely subjective statement.
I agree they didn't bother to do their homework
 

Deegan

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This third paragraph is just not true, and this is right off the bat, assumptions, and untruths.

"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."

This is what so many are confused by, and where so many get it completely wrong. One can certainly believe in both evolution, and a creator, it's those who take the bible too literally, which are confused. The majority of Americans do not, I repeat, DO NOT believe the biblical version, over that of the theory of evolution. You would think this person had went back in time or something, this is just not the case today. Now there are still many people who stand by the bible, but they are not the majority, not at all.
 

Kandahar

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scottyz said:
No it's not. And since I acknowledged that Germany was the ONLY one of those countries with progressive abortion laws, I don't know why you picked Germany to prove that exact thing to me.

scottyz said:
Some have restrictions but it's still legal.
The point is that it's MORE legal in the United States than most other developed countries, so at least part of the higher abortion rate is because of better access to abortion in the United States.
 

scottyz

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Kandahar said:
No it's not. And since I acknowledged that Germany was the ONLY one of those countries with progressive abortion laws, I don't know why you picked Germany to prove that exact thing to me.



The point is that it's MORE legal in the United States than most other developed countries, so at least part of the higher abortion rate is because of better access to abortion in the United States.
Germany does not allow abortion on demand as my link showed. There are hoops to jump through(in a couple) but it's essentially legal in all those countries. Go read their laws on abortion.
 

Dezaad

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Abortion Article in Wikipedia gives a quick overview of abortion laws in many countries, and the restrictions that exist.

But the more interesting parts of the article are the history of abortion law before it was considered "morally wrong" by various religious groups, including Catholics. Catholics did not always consider abortion to be murder, and neither did many Christian European nations.

This leads me to believe that the Catholic Church, and others, may have decided to consider abortion murder on insincere grounds. For example, to increase birth rates...
 

Dezaad

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I think I may have overstated the case of the religious with regard to tolerance for abortion. In any case the information on abortion laws in most countries is listed in the article.
 
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Deegan said:
This is what so many are confused by, and where so many get it completely wrong. One can certainly believe in both evolution, and a creator, it's those who take the bible too literally, which are confused. The majority of Americans do not, I repeat, DO NOT believe the biblical version, over that of the theory of evolution. You would think this person had went back in time or something, this is just not the case today. Now there are still many people who stand by the bible, but they are not the majority, not at all.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml
Actually, it looks like the majority of Americans (55% +/-3%) do believe that "God created humans in present form" (creationism)
 

Canuck

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US does not believe in anything but the devil

killed 1,000,000+ indians with god on their side
beware they say they have god on their side and they are killing
stealing raping and lying
those are the antichrists on americas side
dont be silly
 
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