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Reply #25: You're right. [View All]

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-20-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. You're right.
Knocking down religion would probably do more to decrease social problems in the US than almost anything else we could do.

Journal of Religion and Society
Volume 7 2005
ISSN: 1522-5658

Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look

Gregory S. Paul


Conclusion

<20> The United States deep social problems are all the more disturbing because the nation enjoys exceptional per capita wealth among the major western nations (Barro and McCleary; Kasman; PEW; UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). Spending on health care is much higher as a portion of the GDP and per capita, by a factor of a third to two or more, than in any other developed democracy (UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). The U.S. is therefore the least efficient western nation in terms of converting wealth into cultural and physical health. Understanding the reasons for this failure is urgent, and doing so requires considering the degree to which cause versus effect is responsible for the observed correlations between social conditions and religiosity versus secularism. It is therefore hoped that this initial look at a subject of pressing importance will inspire more extensive research on the subject. Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U.S. is so inefficient that it is experiencing a much higher degree of societal distress than are less religious, less wealthy prosperous democracies. Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms (Aral and Holmes; Beeghley, Doyle, 2002). It is the responsibility of the research community to address controversial issues and provide the information that the citizens of democracies need to chart their future courses.


Full article at: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html
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