I've posted before on what I see as the relatively lower moral standards in religious countries as against those of a more secular bent. In this instance I was specifically referring to the Religion of Peace, for which pointing out comparative moral decrepitude is like taking candy from a baby.
But a study in the Journal of Religion and Society, by a researcher called Gregory Paul, tests the hypothesis that religion leads to more moral living. Specifically that it is associated with lower rates of “lethal violence, suicide, non-monogamous sexual activity and abortion”. He compared data from 18 developed democracies, and discovered that the Christian fundamentalists couldn’t have got it more wrong.
I'm glad to say.
“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 … None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction.”
Within the United States “the strongly theistic, anti-evolution South and Midwest” have “markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the Northeast where … secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms”.
Now I admit I'm biased, in that I see formal religion and obscurantism at the heart of almost every conflict in the world today - indeed as far back as we can look. And in this I define Nazism and Communism as religions – albeit non-spiritualist ones.
I must also admit that the statistical techniques used in the survey seem weak (no regression is used, for what seem to me unconvincing reasons) and the fundamental cause/effect imperative has been overlooked. By this I mean that co-relation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.
Still, it’s great to see the craw thumpers having their noses shoved in it. Only problem is, of course, that the new secular religion which has taken the place of Christianity is working out even worse for us, prostrating us before The Beast. So, as I said here, maybe we still need Christianity, even if it makes us immoral bastards!