Is religion good for society?

The Pope’s answer for better behavior is to hit our children – with “dignity”. Does the religious practice of child-beating (Proverbs 23:13-14) make better societies? Let’s see.

USA, 1950: only 4% of people were non-religious. Today, 23% are non-religious. A third of American youth are non-religious, so the trend will continue to grow. Crime rates have been steadily dropping in USA – doesn’t look like religion makes people better behaved. In fact, only half of one percent of the American prison population has been atheistic, since the 1990s. So: 99.5% of American convicted criminals are religious. So much for the Pope’s dignified thumpings.

The largest ever study of religion and family life in USA found a higher ethical values and moral standards among the non-religious. Another study has found more racism and intolerance among the religious. Meanwhile, the least religious nations (such as Sweden, Denmark, Japan and New Zealand) have the lowest crime rates in the world.

Some good links to follow up: HERE,  HERE, and HERE.

There are plenty of good places to learn about good parenting. Religious institutions do not often seem to be among them.


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3 Responses to Is religion good for society?

  1. Chantal Destrooper says:

    Your article goes to the core of the matter.
    Among the many layers of culture that obscure our true nature, religion is one of the most insidious . It is often based on the metaphysical illusion of another, posthumous world where final revenge and reward are granted. Let this life be “a vale of tears,” and let the mighty of this world exploit their power lust at will. In the end, believers and followers of the faith will be “saved.”
    Illusion is the inseparable companion of desire and, as such, it is engrained in human nature. Both desire and illusion make our life worth living. We become actively involved in our own future by learning progressively to be autonomous and accountable for our actions.
    How astute and cruel of religious authorities to confiscate all individual illusions and centralize them in one common illusion thus subjugating all desires to a set of religious dogmas and arbitrary moral rules. How efficient and easy it is to put people’s life on hold “for the common good “. A good recipe for tyranny and domination through history. That’s where all religions, often in alliance with the mighty of this world ,can easily deviate from some of their most valuable principles such as the practice of justice and compassion.
    Education, at its best, takes the opposite direction by helping the child explore his or her desires and illusions, tapping into the infinitely rich natural resources of all human beings, providing tools, and raising consciousness. Education can empower each child
    to find a distinctive way, rather than “the way,” to a fulfilled life, without harm to self
    or others.
    Education is indeed a dialogue from heart to heart where love and trust dissipate prejudice and fear.

  2. Patrick Butler says:

    “Desire and illusion make life worth living”. I love this sentence and fully agree with it. May we break from the bonds of dogma and find our deliverance in the scriptures of the heart.

  3. Patrick Butler says:

    Chantal’s comments are more powerful and timely than ever as 2015 comes to an end.

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