Thursday, 4 December 2008

Religion makes us bad...

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!


Anonymous said...

The silly thing about these kind of reviews is their refusal to deal with th race factor. In particular, their failure to account for black/white/Mexican differences.

If "Northeast" means Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts, as compared to St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami, for example, the race factor will confound their results.

Robert said...

Dear Savant,
It is sad to see you so misled by your bias.Crime statistics of the USA show that violent crime is strongly correlated with race and ethnicity.
Having lived for many years on the Arabian Peninsula I can assure you that a midnight stroll is not the nightmare experience that one has in most of Europe and America.

Anonymous said...


The South is full of BLACKS. Mississippi and South Carolina are roughly 35% black. Georgia is about 25% black. Tennessee is 16% black. Lousiana is VERY black.

Northeastern states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts are less than 10% black, with Vermont and Maine and New Hampshire being hardly black at all. Many jobs in the south have been outsourced in the the last 20 years.

You will not find much alcholism among white Protestants, I assure you. I live in the American South. Our problems are in order of decreasing troubles: black, hispanic, with kurdish and asian gangs rounding out the bottom.

Its not as if many lower-class whites would not turn to crime and other anti-social activites if they could, but prison here is a living hell for whites............who instinctively know they will be outnumbered badly in there and raped, beat, etc. So even "white trash" whites generally try and stay on the "right side" of the law, even if they resent it. They become "working poor" before they turn to welfare-ism and criminality.

However, their life's chances are getting dimmer and dimmer as more and more factories close shop and go to China, and more tech help in insourced from Pakistan and India, leaving tech-school trained and low-skilled whites with little gainful employment to do. Many "double up" and work an evening job or get a weekend job with both spouses working to support THEIR ONE KID.

Our elite in America have made their choice clear............they HATE AND DESPISE the white middle and working classes and are doing every thing possible to stiffle their birthrates, get them to interbreed with the "new" Americans, and harm their life-chances by every social and educational (its very hard for a white male to get a scholarship to our increasingly expensive colleges unless he really is a brainiac or athlete), and psychological (you ought to read our history'll be made to know you are the bad guy endlessly, and watching our commercials would make an alien think that white males are impossibly stupid and emotionally retarded) way possible.

They are winning.

A study "designed" like this one was made to be deceptive from the outset. Any American who has been to these places (the Northeast or the South) knows that the South if full of dysfunctional blacks, many many of whom that were raised in churches, but bought in to the MTV-sold "thug" "rapper" lifestyles (very intentional in my opinion on the part of the elite), and thus take on underclass social folkaways.

Lumping this subset in with white protestant non-drinking babtists, and "speaking-in-tongues" Church of God and uber-conservative Church of Christ types is profoundly deceptive.

Even after all the social "warring" upon them, the white protestants in the south still breed at slightly above replacement birthrates. One reason that their divorce rates might not have the expected difference from Northeastern Secular Liberal divorce rates IS BECAUSE THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIANS ACTUALLY GET MARRIED AND NOT SIMPLY COHABITATE. You cant have a very high divorce rate when many people just shack up or delay marriage until their late-30's, when they have to have their one kid or not have one at all.

Anonymous said...

I hear what these people are saying, but isnt it true that blacks are even more religious than whites?

SAVANT said...

These are very good comments. Big Bill and Teacher Paris of course raised a very relevant point - the race/ethnic aspect.

Anonymous makes some great points and I think I'll make a separate post out of this once a more comments have come through.

Anonymous said...

I've read this paper just now. Academically it shows many flaws and the conclsuions drawn dont stand up in my view.

Pius XII

Anonymous said...

But remember that the crime rate in secular countries like Scandinavia is almost totally from ethnic minorities, manly Mulsims, who are very religious. So it cust both ways.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:48

Blacks may go to church in decent numbers, but I think this is irrelevant with regards to their violent nature. The world over, whether worshipping God, Allah, voodoo, etc the black man is violent. I think it has little to do with religion.

Anonymous said...

I think you also need to take into account the fact that secular societies have very mature political and social systems, which obviously makes them score better.

SAVANT said...

anonymous 10.44. the question then though is 'why do they have more advanced systems?' Is it becuase they became secular? It's plausable to say yes.

Anonymous said...

Who can argue with the Christian message? Its only the ABUSE of it that causes the probelm.


Anonymous said...

Jenny, problem is, all religions claim that their message is being abused. They 'doth protest too much'