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S0Noma
12-01-2007, 09:25 AM
Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

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.”

Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist, used data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research bodies to reach his conclusions.

He compared social indicators such as murder rates, abortion, suicide and teenage pregnancy.

The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

Mr Paul said: “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.”

He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added.

Mr Paul delayed releasing the study until now because of Hurricane Katrina. He said that the evidence accumulated by a number of different studies suggested that religion might actually contribute to social ills. “I suspect that Europeans are increasingly repelled by the poor societal performance of the Christian states,” he added.

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.

“The non-religious, proevolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator.

“The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.”

web page (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article571206.ece)

bamadog
12-01-2007, 10:54 AM
And yet there are lines of would be immigrants outside virtually every US Embassy around the world.
Go figure.

Well we won't have to worry about the stellar performance of the secular European nations for very long. They are reproducing at FAR below replacement rates.
So their populations are declining.
With their generous cradle to grave social giveaways/pensions and declining populations, they are, in effect, giant ponzi schemes.
Those not in bankruptcy, are rapidly headed that way.

Drop1
12-01-2007, 01:18 PM
Is there a point to your dribble?

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 01:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> Is there a point to your dribble? <hr /></blockquote>

I looked for it but couldn't find it.

'Dribble' sounds better than what others might call it: drivel.

Bamadog dribbles drivel.

Drop1
12-01-2007, 01:35 PM
That works...

bamadog
12-01-2007, 02:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> Is there a point to your dribble? <hr /></blockquote>

I looked for it but couldn't find it.

'Dribble' sounds better than what others might call it: drivel.

Bamadog dribbles drivel. <hr /></blockquote>

Look more closely.

What is your opinion on the article you posted?

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 03:44 PM
In response to your first post in this thread, I said: <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr> [
Bamadog dribbles drivel. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">You said: </font color>

Look more closely.

<font color="blue">and </font color>

What is your opinion on the article you posted? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">Okay, let's tackle part you want 'looked at more closely: </font color>

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> "And yet there are lines of would be immigrants outside virtually every US Embassy around the world.
Go figure."

<font color="blue">Alright, let's 'go figure'. But first what are you implying? You are obviously alleging that immigrants, of undisclosed numbers and nationalities, want to get into the US but you don't substantiate your claim with a statistical breakdown of who these immigrants are or why they want to come here? Are you implying that they are all coming from the prosperous secular nations mentioned in my top post? If so please supply supporting data.

What are we supposed to conclude when you offer us nothing but a vague generality to support an even vaguer point? Are we to make a WAG (WildAssGuess) that because there are immigrants wanting to come here from parts unknown everything mentioned in that research study is automatically invalidated? What's the connection?

You need to provide more data (not just your own obviously warped opinion) and connect the dots for us if you will? Innuendo ain't gonna get the job done. </font color>

"Well we won't have to worry about the stellar performance of the secular European nations for very long. They are reproducing at FAR below replacement rates.
So their populations are declining.
With their generous cradle to grave social giveaways/pensions and declining populations, they are, in effect, giant ponzi schemes.
Those not in bankruptcy, are rapidly headed that way."

<font color="blue">Once again you rattle of a list of your personal opinions regarding how "we won't have to worry much longer" about 'stellar performances of the secular European nations' because 'they are all headed for bankruptcy'.

What are we supposed to conclude from this rather bizarre commentary? That secularism is leading those prosperous nations to bankruptcy therefore lack of god-belief leads to bankruptcy? By extension, does it also mean that we have god-belief therefore we are exempt from bankruptcy?

Sorry, please explain with more details and please supply supporting links that show these secular democracies are 'headed for bankruptcy' - and we're not because we have god-belief - if you can find them.

As usual, you are attempting to substitute vague generalities and innuendo for a substantive response. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">You also said: </font color>

"What is your opinion on the article you posted?"

<font color="blue">I think that the comparison of crime rates is very interesting because if it's true then there is less of a causal relationship between god-belief and good behavior than some of us would like to believe. I honestly don't know if further research has been done to bolster the results of this one survey but it would be interesting to find out. I don't think one survey is sufficient to make 'written in stone' declarations about god-belief versus secularism - nor do I intend to.</font color>

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 04:11 PM
FWIW: Here's a link to the actual study -


Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies (http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html)

bamadog
12-01-2007, 08:33 PM
First, I don't think the author came anywhere near proving this point.

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

Question: American Blacks describe themselves as being "religious". Yet they have much higher rates of murder, drug abuse, abortion, illegitimacy, than the general population. Does being religious cause these behaviors? If so, how?

I said that for a "dysfunctional" society, there sure are a lot of people trying to move to the US. I think you'll find that immigration rates from Germany and Great Britain to the US are higher than vice versa.

I also pointed out that the secular European nations don't reproduce at anywhere near replacement rate. They are, in effect, dying societies. What does it say about a society which has lost the will to procreate? How can we call them successful?
Further, they have higher unemployment rates, higher suicide rates, higher illegitimacy rates, and are less productive than us.

Btw, do you think that copping your little attitude makes you look macho?
If you didn't want to discuss the article, why post it?

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 09:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr>
Btw, do you think that copping your little attitude makes you look macho?

<hr /></blockquote>

Not so much. Did you think that coping an attitude towards Harry, challenging him for something he apparently never said and then ridiculing him with the help of your butt buddy LWW made you look macho? I didn't.

In fact I thought it made you look like the small minded, despicable bullying fool that you actually are.

Hope this helps.

Sonoma

bamadog
12-01-2007, 09:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr>
Btw, do you think that copping your little attitude makes you look macho?

<hr /></blockquote>

Not so much. Did you think that coping an attitude towards Harry, challenging him for something he apparently never said and then ridiculing him with the help of your butt buddy LWW made you look macho? I didn't.

In fact I thought it made you look like the small minded, despicable bullying fool that you actually are.

Hope this helps.

Sonoma <hr /></blockquote>

I was not rude to Harry.

And your rudeness now only indicates that you are scared of me.

Settle down, you only make yourself look more foolish

Drop1
12-01-2007, 09:32 PM
You forgot ignorant. In the real world ,the race is among nations,for superior educated workers. Unfortunately our schools do not produce enough of these workers,and we have to go to other nations to fill the technology gap. Eighty percent of GDP in the U.S.,is accounted for by the service sector. In 2006,visas for these skilled workers were all given out,by May,and employers were left with a shortage of skilled technical workers. Canada,has gone to a skill based immigration policy,and we should try to do the same. Thirty five percent of all math,and science teachers in secondary schools,are up for retirement within five years,and they are not being replaced. Bush has done a very smart thing,in announcing new emphasis on science and math. Forty percent of our work force is over fifty,and half of all workers have no retirement plan. We should solve our problems,and worry about other countries when we can afford to.

Drop1
12-01-2007, 09:42 PM
SONoma,bullies are able to intimidate,there was never a chance of that from Bamadog,or WLL. All sound and fury signifying nothing. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

bamadog
12-01-2007, 09:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> You forgot ignorant. In the real world ,the race is among nations,for superior educated workers. Unfortunately our schools do not produce enough of these workers,and we have to go to other nations to fill the technology gap. Eighty percent of GDP in the U.S.,is accounted for by the service sector. In 2006,visas for these skilled workers were all given out,by May,and employers were left with a shortage of skilled technical workers. Canada,has gone to a skill based immigration policy,and we should try to do the same. Thirty five percent of all math,and science teachers in secondary schools,are up for retirement within five years,and they are not being replaced. Bush has done a very smart thing,in announcing new emphasis on science and math. Forty percent of our work force is over fifty,and half of all workers have no retirement plan. We should solve our problems,and worry about other countries when we can afford to. <hr /></blockquote>

That's real nice Harry.
What has it got to do with what we are discussing?

Drop1
12-01-2007, 10:18 PM
Go challenge Dick Leonard. Finish your homework yet?

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 10:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> First, I don't think the author came anywhere near proving this point.

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

Question: American Blacks describe themselves as being "religious". Yet they have much higher rates of murder, drug abuse, abortion, illegitimacy, than the general population. Does being religious cause these behaviors? If so, how?

<font color="blue">I suppose that if we accept your statement that "American Blacks describe themselves as being "religious"" as somehow encompassing all blacks in America (which I highly doubt) - then the real question is not 'how does being religious cause these behaviors?" But if religion does indeed provide the moral compass that it claims - then why isn't it working to help prevent "much higher rates of murder, drug abuse, abortion, &amp; illegitimacy, amongst that particular "religious" (your term) group?</font color>

I said that for a "dysfunctional" society, there sure are a lot of people trying to move to the US. I think you'll find that immigration rates from Germany and Great Britain to the US are higher than vice versa.

<font color="blue">Interesting - and this co-relates to secularism versus god-belief? How? Should I assume that these are all 'non-believers' fleeing their secular societies for sanctuary here amongst the believers? That by implication these higher rates of immigration into our country as opposed to out of our country belies any argument that religious belief is not the bastion of guaranteed good behavior and high morals that the research mentioned in my OP disputes?

Nope, too grossly over simplified to suit me. There are many reasons for immigration - economic opportunity is certainly one. Perhaps these immigrants you mention are not well equipped to compete in their societies so they come here looking for a chance to take jobs from our citizens instead? It's possible - and certainly wouldn't have much to do with issues like religious belief versus non-belief.</font color>

I also pointed out that the secular European nations don't reproduce at anywhere near replacement rate. They are, in effect, dying societies. What does it say about a society which has lost the will to procreate? How can we call them successful?

<font color="blue">Lower birth rates = "lost the will to procreate?" Buwahahahahahahah! This must mean that third world nations with extremely high birth rates and rampant poverty are (in spite of all signs to the contrary) wildly successful! </font color>

Further, they have higher unemployment rates, higher suicide rates, higher illegitimacy rates, and are less productive than us.

<font color="blue">According to the OP:</font color><font color="red"> "The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

Mr Paul said: “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.”

He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added." </font color>

<font color="blue">But you're suggesting that "higher unemployment rates, higher suicide rates, higher (and) illegitimacy rates, and (the fact that they) are less productive than us" is the true measure of dysfunction? Am I understanding you correctly? Please tell me more and if you can, supply some supporting data to confirm your statement(s). </font color>


If you didn't want to discuss the article, why post it?

<font color="blue">With you 'discussing' anything always transcends the norm. As in our last thread where you completely misread the OP and railed endlessly at the author of the website until it was brought to your attention that you had missed my one and only question. Funny, but Deeman didn't miss it. Nor did anyone else - but you did. Then, when pressed, in order to save face, you took a quote out of context from one of your prior posts and pretended that you actually HAD! LOFUCKINGL!

Good luck with this one, doggie. </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

S0Noma
12-01-2007, 11:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Drop1:</font><hr> You forgot ignorant. In the real world ,the race is among nations,for superior educated workers. Unfortunately our schools do not produce enough of these workers,and we have to go to other nations to fill the technology gap. Eighty percent of GDP in the U.S.,is accounted for by the service sector. In 2006,visas for these skilled workers were all given out,by May,and employers were left with a shortage of skilled technical workers. Canada,has gone to a skill based immigration policy,and we should try to do the same. Thirty five percent of all math,and science teachers in secondary schools,are up for retirement within five years,and they are not being replaced. Bush has done a very smart thing,in announcing new emphasis on science and math. Forty percent of our work force is over fifty,and half of all workers have no retirement plan. We should solve our problems,and worry about other countries when we can afford to. <hr /></blockquote>

Some good points Harry, particularly taken in the context of the emphasis in this country on teaching Intelligent Design (creationism) in lieu of real science - rejecting evolutionary theory because it contradicts with religious belief - opposing stem cell research because it conflicts with religious belief - the list goes on.

If we, as a country wish to handicap our scientists and researchers with the constraints of outdated religious mythologies while the rest of the first world nations forge ahead? Why should we be surprised if our capacity to compete is diminished? Why should we be surprised when we find our technical jobs being outsourced to countries with more highly skilled and better qualified individuals?

bamadog
12-02-2007, 01:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> First, I don't think the author came anywhere near proving this point.

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

Question: American Blacks describe themselves as being "religious". Yet they have much higher rates of murder, drug abuse, abortion, illegitimacy, than the general population. Does being religious cause these behaviors? If so, how?

<font color="blue">I suppose that if we accept your statement that "American Blacks describe themselves as being "religious"" as somehow encompassing all blacks in America (which I highly doubt) - then the real question is not 'how does being religious cause these behaviors?" But if religion does indeed provide the moral compass that it claims - then why isn't it working to help prevent "much higher rates of murder, drug abuse, abortion, &amp; illegitimacy, amongst that particular "religious" (your term) group?</font color>

Did you answer my question? Try again.

I said that for a "dysfunctional" society, there sure are a lot of people trying to move to the US. I think you'll find that immigration rates from Germany and Great Britain to the US are higher than vice versa.

<font color="blue">Interesting - and this co-relates to secularism versus god-belief? How? Should I assume that these are all 'non-believers' fleeing their secular societies for sanctuary here amongst the believers? That by implication these higher rates of immigration into our country as opposed to out of our country belies any argument that religious belief is not the bastion of guaranteed good behavior and high morals that the research mentioned in my OP disputes?

Nope, too grossly over simplified to suit me. There are many reasons for immigration - economic opportunity is certainly one.

And there are many reasons for crime. By your reasoning murder rates should be extremely high in monasteries.

Perhaps these immigrants you mention are not well equipped to compete in their societies so they come here looking for a chance to take jobs from our citizens instead? It's possible - and certainly wouldn't have much to do with issues like religious belief versus non-belief.

I also pointed out that the secular European nations don't reproduce at anywhere near replacement rate. They are, in effect, dying societies. What does it say about a society which has lost the will to procreate? How can we call them successful?

<font color="blue">Lower birth rates = "lost the will to procreate?" Buwahahahahahahah! This must mean that third world nations with extremely high birth rates and rampant poverty are (in spite of all signs to the contrary) wildly successful! </font color>

Your conclusion, not mine. But a society which cannot sustain itself, can hardly be considered successful or enlightened.

Further, they have higher unemployment rates, higher suicide rates, higher illegitimacy rates, and are less productive than us.

<font color="blue">According to the OP:</font color><font color="red"> "The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

Mr Paul said: “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.”

He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added." </font color>

Yes and he offers no data to support exactly how belief in God "causes" any of these ills. Perhaps other factors are at work.

<font color="blue">But you're suggesting that "higher unemployment rates, higher suicide rates, higher (and) illegitimacy rates, and (the fact that they) are less productive than us" is the true measure of dysfunction? Am I understanding you correctly? Please tell me more and if you can, supply some supporting data to confirm your statement(s). </font color>

I never said that. But these social ills are more prevalent in, the supposedly, more evolved societies of Europe.


If you didn't want to discuss the article, why post it?

<font color="blue">With you 'discussing' anything always transcends the norm. As in our last thread where you completely misread the OP and railed endlessly at the author of the website until it was brought to your attention that you had missed my one and only question. Funny, but Deeman didn't miss it. Nor did anyone else - but you did. Then, when pressed, in order to save face, you took a quote out of context from one of your prior posts and pretended that you actually HAD! LOFUCKINGL!

Good luck with this one, doggie. </font color>

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bamadog
12-03-2007, 02:39 PM
IF,"RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today."

then why does the most God-believing state in the US, Utah, have a murder rate less than 1/3 the national average?

bamadog
12-04-2007, 03:35 PM
If...

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

then why does Israel, one of the most God-believing societies on earth, have a murder rate about 1/4 the US average? And this rate is lower than many of the secular European nations cited in the study.
Puzzling, isn't it?

Wally_in_Cincy
12-08-2007, 02:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bamadog:</font><hr> IF,"RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today."

then why does the most God-believing state in the US, Utah, have a murder rate less than 1/3 the national average?
<hr /></blockquote>

Good point.

I see nothing in the OP that correlates religion and societal problems described.

It's like going deep-sea fishing and saying your sunburn was caused by the fish.

moblsv
12-08-2007, 02:17 PM
conclusions from single data points can say anything.

"Utah is the most depressed state in the country, according to a nationwide study released Wednesday.
...
Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey are the healthiest states in terms of depression and suicide. Along with Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and West Virginia are the least, according to the study."

bamadog
12-08-2007, 05:10 PM
"The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

What could possibly be more "dysfunctional" for a society than the inability or unwillingness to reproduce?
Many of these secular European nations fertility rates are at, what demographers call "the lowest low", the point from which no human society has ever recovered.

The whole premise of comparing these aging, dying, secular, socialist nations with the young, expanding, vibrant superpower, the US, is flawed. Giving this comparison a religious twist is ludicrous.

We will be around long after they are only names in the history books.