Religious Belief and Societal Health: New Study Reveals That Religion Does Not Lead to a Healthier Society
Provonsha, Matthew, Skeptic (Altadena, CA)
IT IS COMMONLY HELD THAT RELIGION makes people more just, compassionate, and moral, but a new study suggests that the data belie that assumption. In fact, at first glance it would seem, religion has the opposite effect. The extensive study, "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies," published in the Journal of Religion and Society (http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/ 2005-11.html) examines statistics from eighteen of the most developed democratic nations. It reveals clear correlations between various indicators of social strife and religiosity, showing that whether religion causes social strife or not, it certainly does not prevent it.
The author of the study, Gregory S. Paul, writes that it is a "first, brief look at an important subject that has been almost entirely neglected by social scientists ... not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health." However, the study does show a direct correlation between religiosity and dysfunctionality, which if nothing else, disproves …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Religious Belief and Societal Health: New Study Reveals That Religion Does Not Lead to a Healthier Society. Contributors: Provonsha, Matthew - Author. Magazine title: Skeptic (Altadena, CA). Volume: 12. Issue: 3 Publication date: Fall 2005. Page number: 26+. © 2009 Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.