Religion under the scientific spotlight

Only the least godly democracies enjoy the best overall socioeconomic conditions – as measured by the uniquely comprehensive Successful Societies Scale – in history, the much more Christian US is the most dysfunctional 1st world nation according to major indicators. The primary factor driving the strong correlation between high rates of popular secularism and better societal conditions is the tendency of high levels of economic prosperity and low levels of income disparity and poverty that are created by secular progressive policies to accidentally but consistently suppresses mass religiosity. The religious right tends to oppose effective progressive socioeconomic policies in favor of the socioeconomically Darwinistic dysfunctional policies that favor popular religiosity. No socioeconomically successful and highly religious nation has ever existed, and the antagonistic relationship between benign conditions and the popularity of religion probably make it impossible for one to come into being.

Even the US is experiencing the secularization process that has already deChristianized other advanced democracies, disproving the belief that American religion is so stable that it is integral to the national character. This effect is primarily driven by the corporate-consumer culture that encourages material values and lifestyles over religious piety and devotion. The ironic alliance between American theocons who tend to oppose Darwinian science and the Darwinistic corporate interests under the aegis of the Republican Party is correspondingly self destructive for the former, although theocons lack a viable alternative strategy.

Secure prosperity and the consumer popular culture combine with modern science that allows and encourages nontheism to form the Triple Threat to Western Faith that is overwhelming western churches that lack the resources to mount an effective counter effort.

That majorities in some western nations are atheists and agnostics demonstrates that religion is not nearly as universal and integral to the human condition, or vital for running societies, as are the language and materialism without which civilization would not be possible. It also follows that fear of death, genetics, and a profound connection with the supernatural are not primary causes of popular religiosity. For most people religiosity is a superficial psychological response to a dysfunctional and insecure socioeconomic environment in which invented gods are petitioned for aid and assistance. Because of the casual and optional nature of popular faith, religious devotion and activities are easily cast off when the middle class feels sufficiently secure in their prosperity. The example of the most secular democracies suggests that the percentage of a national population that remains so strongly interested in religious devotion that they continue to attend religious services a few times a month is in the single digits.

Popular nontheism is similarly superficial and casual in most disbelievers. This conclusion is an example of how the results of the scientific methodology used by this and other objective researchers can be discomforting to the nontheist cause. That it is apparently impossible for a first world nation to both strongly support evolutionary science and be highly religious also challenges a widespread presumption of the proevolution camp.

see link if you want to read the whole article by Gregory Paul

Now let’s see if we can get JZ and the great job creators to agree!

Paul alos says:

Many but not all of the ills that have afflicted humanity in recent centuries including imperialism, anti-Semitism, racism, industrial slavery and apartheid were developed in Christian societies well before evolutionary biology, and subsequently contaminated the scientific thinking developed in the Christian west. Racial bondage was developed and defended in the American colonies largely by Protestants, who then constructed the Jim Crow apartheid culture in which torturous lynchings were a weekly popular spectacle – all the states with laws against teaching evolution were lynching states. Some of the same states also passed eugenics laws that were widely approved by Protestants on both sides of the Atlantic. An invention of the Catholic church, anti-Semitism was further developed by Martin Luther and American theocons such as Henry Ford. These opinions and actions inspired Hitler, who felt he was doing the work of the Christo-Aryan God.

Although religion has its dark side, it is not at fault for all human ills. An example, suicide bombing as a form of anti-civilian terror was initiated in the 1970s by the Tamil Tiger rebels of Sri Lanka who were not theistic in doctrine. The tactic was subsequently adopted by Islamic extremists.

Although scientific research by myself and others (Zuckerman, Rees, Norris, Inglehart and Bruce among them) are solving many of the questions surrounding belief and nonbelief in the supernatural, many questions remain. Such as why a large minority of well-educated, science oriented persons with secure incomes continue to ardently believe in deities despite the lack of compelling evidence?

Why indeed?

Why indeed?
Fear. The obverse of the egotism coin is the inability to imagine a universe in which the ego does not exist, therefore there must be some form of afterlife, therefore it is likely that there is a god. Take away the fear and there’s no longer any need to fabricate a deity.

when i attended that talk steve had at the mensa meeting, he asked who was religious, and like 70% of the hands went up. i was gobsmacked. surely, this was a severe brain-fest. the epitomy of logic and science, and yet, god makes sense. wtf?

Hmmm, must have changed since I was a member oop north. I only knew one member who claimed to believe in a god and she died, the rest (that I knew) were all sane. There’s a discussion thread on LinkedIn (I don’t know whether or not you’ll be able to see it), but there are only a few believers there. Maybe the religious ‘packed’ the meeting where Steve spoke.

at the mensa meeting,

reminds me of a joke: How do you know someone is a member of Mensa? S/he will tell you! :smiley: