Carol Platt Liebau: Better Off Without God?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Better Off Without God?

Here is one of the silliest articles I've read in a long time. Apparently, an "academic" has published a study claiming that "belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems."

Of course, there's no explanation of how religious belief contributes to social problems. Instead, the study concludes:

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 in the prosperous democracies.

Is that the best they can do? Earth to academic: Correlation isn't causation.

In a nutshell, the study is an exercise in US bashing that goes like this: The U.S. is more "dysfunctional" (whatever that means) than the more socialist Western democracies the study's author clearly admires. The U.S. is also more religious than the other democracies. Hence, the religion is contributing to the social problems that the academic identifies.

Even the premise of the study is flawed, i.e. that the U.S. is more "dysfunctional" than other countries. According to whom? Clearly, the immigrants who choose overwhelmingly to come here -- rather than the more left wing paradises of Western Europe -- don't agree. And couldn't one argue that Christian values have something to do with Americans' unparalleled generosity to the other nations who are supposedly so much more "functional" than we?

While we're at it -- how can the author be sure that the U.S.'s alleged dysfunction wouldn't be worse without our religiosity?

It's amazing any paper even gave space to this agenda-laden garbage. Looks to me like the paper -- and the academic -- had better get the planks out of their eyes.

5 Comments:

Blogger cookie jill said...

Carol -

We have had more bloodshed, terror and heartbreak because of "God" or rather because somebody's "God" is better than someone elses.

So, yes. In some ways I believe that we would be better off without God. It would certainly cut down on the killing and hypocracy.

Better, yet...I say we get rid of the "Televangelists" who claim they talk to God....and make deals with bloodsheding dictators and escape paying taxes. Churches are now corporations, they are no longer places of worship....We only worship at the alter of the almighty dollar now.

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/rr/blrr_rob_taylor.htm

11:39 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Jill, don't blame G-d. The problems that you address are more aptly blamed on people's misuse of the teachings of G-d.

If we just concentrate on the Message -- things do get better!

6:57 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

When I was a boy, I loved candy. The first fight I ever got into (that I can remember) was about a delicious piece of caramel.

I would submit that caramel is the most evil, vile substance to ever scar the earth. It leads to greed, to rudeness, to overt territorialism, and ultimately to violence. Caramel is contrary to the vision that every right-thinking American should have for a better future.

We as a nation would be much less dysfunctional if we abolish all the caramel.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, if you really read the Bible with an open mind, you will find an orderly set of rules bringing about civilization in a barbaric time in our history. The old testiment, the angry God, brings the basic rules to men of the time. Later in the new testiment, Jesus speaks of a kind God and of the love of your fellow men. It was a time then to crank it down another notch. In 610AD when Mohammad received his revelations, they came from the old testiment, and not from the teachings of Christ. When he started this war in 622AD, and yes it has been going on for 1400 years, it was a war of hate for all who would not accept his as their prophet. Now lets get back to how bad Christian nations, like us, really are. I am not really a believer in anyones God, but I do know good from evil.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I'd be willing to beat that higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator also highly correlates with a better standard of living, an intact family life, faster technological acceptance, a love of baseball and the likelihood of being born in a country whose founder was named George Washington.

Indeed, correlation isn't causation.

10:50 AM  

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