Lying Media Bastards

September 29, 2005

God, WhyHaven’t Thou Forsaken Us?

For some years now, religion has waged a relentless war on science, to such an extent that some days I’m just thankful that fundamentalists aren’t denouncing the wheel. But now, science takes the offensive:

Religious belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems…

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.

So you gotta wonder, if there is a God, and he sees all and knows all, why would he inflict himself on us? You’d think he’d say “shit, I’m causing these folks some real damage” and fuck off.

Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw the other day, “Why Be Born Again When You Can Just Grow Up?”

Posted by Jake on September 29, 2005 12:03 am

3 Comments »

  1. My wife pointed out that this might be a problem with the fallicy of “correlation = causality”. It may be that the underprivileged, or socieities in trauma are drawn to religion, whereas a society that has more might shy away from religion.

    Try this thought experiment. Take America and split it in two. In one half, give everyone free health care and education (and raise taxes). In the other half, ban religion. Which half would have the lower homicide, abortion and STD rates after a decade?

    (For the record, I’m an agnostic, a secular humanist, and a Math+Stats major. My first reaction was “Wow, cool. Burn.”, but after a bit of thought the article didn’t hold as much weight.)

    Comment by Trevor Bradley — September 29, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

  2. While I dig the implications of this study, the article is less than convincing. America is religious yet socially ill, while Britain is secular yet socially well? That’s an interesting phenomenon, but correlation is not causation. Did the study account for urban sprawl, which is arguably much higher in the States than Europe (and would provide a more plausible explanation of higher STD rates)? Maybe the study itself is conclusive, but the journalist just seemed to take the scientists’ word at face value.

    (Side note: anyone else noticed a weird fetishization of evolutionary theory exhibited by the quoted scientist? As if evolution and religiosity are these diametrically opposed entities between which there can be no resolution.)

    Comment by Robby Simpson — September 30, 2005 @ 1:05 pm

  3. Robby, I agree with you. It would be nice though. The article is definitely pretty weak. Religion may occur at a higher rate here in the US, but this article doesn’t really provide evidence for a strong correlation between religous belief and murder, abortion, suicide, and suicide. They all may occur in the same society, but that doesnt automatically mean that religion is the cause.

    Comment by ryan a — October 4, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

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