Saturday, November 15, 2008
Does Religion make you a nicer person?
Or, equivalently, does atheism make you mean? Superficially, perhaps...but probe a little deeper and you find exactly the opposite. For example, countries like Denmark and Sweden where God plays almost no role in public or private affairs (the Danes and Swedes don't go to church or pray in the privacy of their own homes; they don't believe in God or heaven or hell). But, by any reasonable standard, they're nice to one another. They have a famously expansive welfare and health care service. They have a strong commitment to social equality. And, even without belief in a God looming over them—they murder and rape one another significantly less frequently than Americans do. And we know that the US is considerably more religious than other Western countries and a self-proclaimed atheist has about as much hope of getting elected President as Osama bin Laden. This and more, here.