Sociology is Concluding Religion is Unhealthy for Society

Evolutionary Psychology has posted a paper that concludes societies who lack religion are happier and more prosperous than those whom have religion. It certainly is something that most of us here have always known, but now we have a study to point to. Giggidy!
The article that pointed me to the paper is found here. The sociologist that wrote the paper isn't hesitant to point out the obvious. Religion is damaging to society rather than an assistance. "Popular religion, is a coping mechanism for the anxieties of a dysfunctional social and economic environment." says Gregory S Paul Americans are particularly ethnocentric. As a whole we believe that the laws of the US are based on the Bible. The 10 commandments are a common assertion as the basis for our laws. The fact is that US law was originally based on Old English Common Law and modified where need be. The two ten commandments of no theft and no murder are common to virtually all societies, and can even be found in the animal kingdom. Congratulations Christians, you bring nothing above and beyond the animal kingdom in terms of morality.
Atheists commonly push forth human rights for all. Christians have fought gay rights, brought forth slavery, and defended it with the worst war in US history, the Civil War. We support Science to end suffering in the form of stem cell and teaching evolution at young age to further understanding. Christians have fought science from Copernicus to George Bush.
America... we are no longer the richest country in the world. Personal wealth in terms of savings, we rank near the bottom by every measure. We don't have the lowest crime. Our Abstinence Only Education is being cancelled because it's ineffective. The Netherlands has the lowest Abortion Rates in the world. In the US 45,000 people a year die for lack of health care. By what measure is religion good for society?
Christians, I'm calling you out on the carpet. List the benefits of your religion for society. Monarchies? What have you wrought that we should be respectful of? You may say Charity. I point you to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Maybe you'd like to compare them to the Waltons? Gates and Buffet are non-believers by the way.
I agree with Mr. Paul. It's time we call out society for it's religious dogma and it's lies. I for one will strive to change the views of anyone whom spouts off lies. You now have the tools in the links here. Religion stifles society from knowledge (read about the Library at Alexandria) to research. They bring us death in the form of terrorism and encouraging us to war with other nations (remember the fight against Communism?). Virtually everything horrible in our history (US) has a solid religious tie. Thank you religionists... it's time to recognize your contribution and sit down.

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Comment by Galen on November 29, 2009 at 3:09am
Comment by Dave G on November 29, 2009 at 11:37pm
Yeah, what Nelson said. :)
Comment by Leo on November 30, 2009 at 12:08am
The author of the paper is not a sociologist, and judging from his CV he doesn't even hold a degree. He is an illustrator and a freelance paleontologist. Seems he did some work for the Jurassic Park movie as well, but I won't hold that against him.

This paper is a rehash of one he did in 2005 which was just as bad in the area of data analysis. It was even critiqued in the journal in which it was published.

Correlation does not equal causation.

Stating that you are not trying to show causation through the data analysis does not allow you to use poor data or data analysis techniques.

The 2005 paper

Critiques of the original paper.

If the current paper gets more press, I'm sure it will get critiques as well since the data and data analysis is just as bad.
Comment by Gaytor on November 30, 2009 at 12:52am
Your point may be valid Leo. Your points about his standing are noted in the article. The Data Techniques are not however, and that might be something to consider. He could have also re-addressed these issues. Without knowing, we are left at an impasse.

To be fair on all sides, the Paul has an axe to grind. Gallup could simply be defending and really throws out a strawman in American not being "really" Christian. He's written many books on religion. The Statistician also acknowledges his Christian Foundation and impetus for looking into the data.

Hopefully someone will give it a impartial peer (even if peer is a stretch) review and if it's demonstrably false they publish their findings. If you find it, please post again, and thanks for the links.


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