What's new
US Message Board 🦅 Political Discussion Forum

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Religion fosters bad behavior

CharlestonChad

Baller Deluxe
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
126
Points
48
Location
Charleston, SC
God would be an atheist: Why can't we all be Japanese?

Religion fosters bad behavior

COLUMN By MARTIN FOREMAN
First published Nov. 12, 2005


Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and sexual behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God.

Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

(Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.)

Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low -- around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year.

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.

All this information points to a strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior -- a correlation so strong that there is good reason to suppose that religious belief does more harm than good.

At first glance that is a preposterous suggestion, given that religions preach non-violence and sexual restraint. However, close inspection reveals a different story. Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws.

All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves.

The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die. And hence a health care system which looks after the wealthy rather than the ill.

As for sex… Faith encourages ignorance rather than responsible behavior. In other countries, sex education includes contraception, reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Such an approach recognizes that young people have the right to make their own choices and helps them make decisions that benefit society as a whole. In America faith-driven abstinence programs deny them that right -- "As a Christian I will only help you if you do what I say". The result is soaring rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Abstinence programs rest on the same weak intellectual foundation as creationism and intelligent design. Faith discourages unprejudiced analysis. Reasoning is subverted to rationalization that supports rather than questions assumptions. The result is a self-contained system that maintains an internal logic, no matter how absurd to outside observers.

The constitutional wall that theoretically separates church and state is irrelevant. Religion has overwhelmed the nation to permeate all public discussion. Look no further than Gary Bauer, a man who in any other western nation would be dismissed as a fanatic and who in America is interviewed deferentially on prime time television.

Despite all its fine words, religion has brought in its wake little more than violence, prejudice and sexual disease. True morality is found elsewhere. As UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot concluded in his review of Gregory Paul’s study, "if you want people to behave as Christians advocate, you should tell them that God does not exist."

I might express that another way. The flip side of Monbiot's argument is that God would be an atheist...

Martin Foreman is the author of "God would be an atheist," a syndicated print column. For information about syndicating this column, visit www.godwouldbeanatheist.com to contact the author.
 

Annie

Diamond Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
50,848
Reaction score
4,826
Points
1,790
CC where did your post come from? Your link was generic. Is the post original to you?
 

Said1

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
12,093
Reaction score
947
Points
138
Location
Somewhere in Ontario
Wow. That article is so bad, in so many ways.

Tell me Chad, what do you actually know about Japanese family values, culture, cosmology etc, etc?

Can you find the statistical errors....per 1000 girls? :laugh:

I'm going to read the study, did you?
 

Said1

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
12,093
Reaction score
947
Points
138
Location
Somewhere in Ontario
From your article
Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world.

Your article failed to mention that although the crimes PTP are seemingly low, they are still higher than Europe and that of a combined North American.

Your article also didn't differentiate between crimes in the US and Japan. That is, specific crimes were not mentioned with respect Japan and were with the US.


The Japanese crime rate is 0.340%, which is similar to the Asian average of 0.314%, but about 10 times higher than that of Western countries, with Oceanians at 0.0044%, Europeans at 0.042% and North Americans at 0.029%.

If you want a better break down of crimes, see the following link.


http://www.jref.com/society/foreign_crime_in_japan.shtml
 

Annie

Diamond Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
50,848
Reaction score
4,826
Points
1,790
From your article

Your article failed to mention that although the crimes PTP are seemingly low, they are still higher than Europe and that of a combined North American.

Your article also didn't differentiate between crimes in the US and Japan. That is, specific crimes were not mentioned with respect Japan and not with other countries.




If you want a better break down of crimes, see the following link.


http://www.jref.com/society/foreign_crime_in_japan.shtml

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Said1 again.

Dang it!
 

Nienna

VIP Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
4,515
Reaction score
334
Points
83
Location
Ohio
I got her, Kathianne, althought mine isn't worth as much as yours. :)
 

Dr Grump

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
31,007
Reaction score
6,155
Points
1,130
Location
From the Back of Beyond
From your article

Your article failed to mention that although the crimes PTP are seemingly low, they are still higher than Europe and that of a combined North American.

Your article also didn't differentiate between crimes in the US and Japan. That is, specific crimes were not mentioned with respect Japan and were with the US.

If you want a better break down of crimes, see the following link.

http://www.jref.com/society/foreign_crime_in_japan.shtml

You do realise your link was talking about the crimes committed by Americans IN Japan. Not the American crime rate itself...
 

Said1

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
12,093
Reaction score
947
Points
138
Location
Somewhere in Ontario
You do realise your link was talking about the crimes committed by Americans IN Japan. Not the American crime rate itself...


Yes. And you do realize it wasn't exclusively talking about American crime rates. There were several nationalities mentioned, including Japanese people. I thought the cultural break down was interesting, inlight of the posted article and gives a real number in relation to crime in Japan, committed by Japanese, instead of the overall rate. However, on second thought, I can see how it might be misleading.............

And yes, I do realize there are more Japanese people in Japan than firiners. :)
 

Bullypulpit

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
382
Points
48
Location
Columbus, OH
Religion only causes bad behavior when some yahoo insists his/her religion is the only one true path and everyone else is chock full o' BS. Trouble ensues.
 

Annie

Diamond Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
50,848
Reaction score
4,826
Points
1,790
In spite of coming too close to a Bully post, bottom line, gotta get along with all but the Islamonazis. Even the left wants them gone, though they are too pc to say so. They may kill us yet.
 

Bullypulpit

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
382
Points
48
Location
Columbus, OH
In spite of coming too close to a Bully post, bottom line, gotta get along with all but the Islamonazis. Even the left wants them gone, though they are too pc to say so. They may kill us yet.

No, I'll say it...They need to be gone...very gone. Personally I'm more worried about getting hit by a car while I'm riding my bicycle than being killed by a terrorist.
 

USMB Server Goals

Total amount
$295.00
Goal
$350.00

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top