Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous

Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous grew out of the Atheists Meetup group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We seek to provide an opportunity for those who self-identify as atheists to meet with one another for fellowship and to discuss matters of mutual interest. --Dan Nerren, moderator

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

News item from THE WEEK

This item is from the Oct. 14, 2005 issue of THE WEEK, a news magazine.

A religious society is a moral society – or so goes the conventional wisdom, said Rose Brooks in the Los Angeles Times. But in a new study in the Journal of Religion and Society, evolutionary scientist Gregory S. Paul suggests just the opposite. Paul ranked 18 “prosperous democracies” according to their religious fervency. He then correlated religious observance with various indicators of “quantifiable social health,” such as the frequency of homicides, teen pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and child mortality. The results are startling. The more religious a society is, Paul found, the more social problems it has. The U.S., which by far is the most fervent advanced nation in the world, is first in nearly all the categories of social ills. This correlation is even more vividly illustrated within the U. S., where the highest rates of abortion, murder, divorce, and teen pregnancy are not in the supposedly godless blue states. They’re in the Bible Belt, where church attendance is highest. Admittedly, “correlation is not causation,” and it’s possible that “high levels of social dysfunction fuel religiosity,” not vice versa. Still, Paul’s study provides food for thought. It suggests that “nonrational, absolutist belief systems” of any kind – Islamic, Christian, or other – have a dark side,” and actually backfire in more “sinful” behavior, not less. “It’s official: Too much religion may be a dangerous thing.


At 12:01 PM, Blogger Rusko Elvenwood said...

I would probably be chastized for making the following comment if it were in the general media, however, I think your readers may actually agree with me that: In areas where social problems are the highest there tends to be a lower level of social intelligence, hence the tendancy to have belief structures that are based on hand-me-down mythology. People who are not able to think for themselves or chose not to, are the same people who are not rational and not able to function in a sane sociological sense.


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