Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is secularism harming society?

Just the opposite, of course.

From Dostoyevsky to right-wing commentator Ann Coulter we are warned of the perils of godlessness. "If there is no God," Dostoyevsky wrote, "everything is permitted." Coulter routinely attributes our nation's most intractable troubles to the moral vacuum of atheism.

But a growing body of research in what one sociologist describes as the "emerging field of secularity" is challenging long-held assumptions about the relationship of religion and effective governance.

In a paper posted recently on the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, independent researcher Gregory S. Paul reports a strong correlation within First World democracies between socioeconomic well-being and secularity. In short, prosperity is highest in societies where religion is practiced least.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. a. It's in "Evolutionary Psychology," which combines two things right wingers don't believe in.

    b. Everything IS permitted. People have done just about every horrible thing you can imagine, while believing in God. Prison is full of believers. The cross is the #1 tattoo in jail. Religion never made anyone a better (or even worse) person than they could have been on their own.

    c. While I hold the above to be true, it is also my experience that the poor depend on not only religion, but churches, more than the affluent. If churches are helping you, you are likely to have a higher opininion of religion than college-educated, financially successful individuals.

    Sociology for the win!


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