This article was pumped out by the Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review.
The subtitle snaps and crackles: "The least religious nations," it says, "are also the most healthy and successful"!
Of course we all know that by "religious" they mean "god worshipping." Unfortunately for the world, few know beans about the Goddess.
What are societies like when faith in God is minimal, church attendance is drastically low, and religion is a distinctly muted and marginal aspect of everyday life?Go HERE to read the whole article.
Many people assume that religion is what keeps people moral, that a society without God would be hell on earth: rampant with immorality, full of evil, and teeming with depravity. But that doesn't seem to be the case for Scandinavians in those two countries [Sweden and Denmark]. ... their overall rates of violent crime — including murder, aggravated assault, and rape — are among the lowest on earth.
So the typical Dane or Swede doesn't believe all that much in God. And simultaneously, they don't commit much murder. But aren't they a dour, depressed lot, all the same? Not according to Ruut Veenhoven, professor emeritus of social conditions for human happiness at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Veenhoven is a leading authority on worldwide levels of happiness from country to country. He recently ranked 91 nations on an international happiness scale.... According to his calculations, the country that leads the globe — ranking No. 1 in terms of its residents' overall level of happiness — is little, peaceful, and relatively godless Denmark.
[R]eligion ... can often be one of the main sources of tension, violence, poverty, oppression, inequality, and disorder in a given society. ...many of the most religious and faithful nations on earth are simultaneously among the most dangerous and destitute. ... the majority of the most irreligious democracies are among the most prosperous and successful nations on earth.
I simply wish to soberly counter the widely touted assertion that without religion, society is doomed....
The claim that without religion, society is doomed deserves to be challenged because, aside from being poor social science, it is a highly political claim that is regularly promulgated by some of America's most popular and most influential Christian conservatives. Those individuals do not represent or speak for the majority of believers in America, but together they do constitute a formidable and uniquely zealous chorus that reaches the hearts and minds of millions of people on a regular basis.
...Ann Coulter, the Christian conservative media pundit, who has written in one of her best-selling books that societies that fail to grasp God's significance are headed toward slavery, genocide, and bestiality, and that when Darwinian/evolutionary theory is widely accepted in a given society, all morality is abandoned.
But the fact still remains that it is not the most religious nations in our world today, but rather the most secular, that have been able to create the most civil, just, safe, equitable, humane, and prosperous societies. Denmark and Sweden stand out as shining examples. The German think tank the Hans-Böckler Stiftung recently ranked nations in terms of their success at establishing social justice within their societies; Denmark and Sweden, two of the least-religious nations in the world, tied for first.
Phil Zuckerman is an associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College. This essay is adapted from his book Society Without God (New York University Press, 2008).
Thnx to bruno tessa for the foto. Go HERE to see more of his work.