27 September 2005

But Isn't God an American?

Thanks to Innisfree for citing this provocative article which will never get the attention it deserves:

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

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

“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.”

The full research paper is here.


Anonymous said...

Provocative is the right word. The article and study are very obscure so I don't know how much attention they deserve, but I agree that the problems highlighted do not get enough attention.

While some criticism of the United States’ efforts at dealing with these problems is justified, I do not see how the correlation is made to religious belief. It would appear to me that if you looked at the correlation to pet ownership or hours spent playing video games you would get a similar result.

We have positives and negatives in this country. I think religion falls on the plus side.

Anonymous said...

I ran across this website today randomly, one of those "keep following the links." This is the ideology that Christianity breeds in our country. A 15 year old girl taught to be submissive. Lovely.


K. said...

thanks for the shout-out! :)

The article really speaks to what I've always suspected. The religious right want to live with their heads in the sand. They don't want people to have access to abortions or contraception...then they attack the poor families in New Orleans as though it was "their own fault" for not leaving the city. They care about the "unborn" more than those living human beings.

I believe in most of the 10 commandments, but I do not believe in religion and am not sure I believe in God.

Thou Shall not kill being the biggest....yet i hear "Christians" preaching for this every day on airwaves and in various print media forms. This, is just one example that bothers me on a daily basis.

I'm rambling....incoherently....sorry...

Anonymous said...

of course the other way to look at the data would be to say that as america has become less christian over the past 50 years there has been an increase in murder rates, abortion sexual promiscuity and suicide.

Same data just depends on which bias you hold which one makes sense

WestEnder said...

No, that is not another way to look at the data. That would be like saying medical research shows smoking can decrease one's chances of lung cancer, depending on your bias.

The study demonstrates a correlation between religiosity and societal ills. This does not imply causation. But it also does not mean the results are simply a random correlation, like pet ownership or video games. And if those were also found to be correlated, it would not imply random association, but rather some commen element shared by both measurements.

Religiosity is a psychological phenomenon. What this study says to me is that the same psychological conditions which predispose people to religiosity also predispose people to other kinds of abnormal behavior. To be blunt, religiosity is a form of abnormal psychology.

Before anyone goes into conniptions over the notion, please remind yourself of the historical record of death and destruction committed in the name of God.