Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Religion breeds corruption?

Take a look at this study: Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look, by Gregory S. Paul.

And here's a newsreport about it:


The probligo said...

Al, I have a number of major problems with the article you refer to.

The greatest of these is that the author seems to have an automatic relate between "religiosity" and Christianity. The best illustration is the sentence that starts "The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia ..." Now, try telling a Japanese person that theirs is a "least theistic democracy" and you may well have a debate on your hands. The problem is that the largest religion in Japan is Bhuddism. That is a system of belief, it is organised and codified, it has a very strong social place - everything in my mind that makes it a religion even if it is missing a "god".

I have an equally large argument with people who make judgements on a society on the basis of "statistical morality"; the number of births out of wedlock for example. Such measures are specious in the extreme.

To keep it short, and because I have supper ready, I think that the author has a snit against US/Christianity. Perhaps his mother was frightened by Billy Graham.

I wait TF's contribution with interest.

Al said...

You point out an important blind spot I apparently have. I'll consider that seriously.

T. F. Stern said...

“I wait TF's contribution with interest.”

My input will be limited since I’ve not seen the actual report, only the short video clip.

I would add that statistics are what ever you wish to make of them depending on your point of view, malleable to the point of being useless at times. There are many who associate cause and effect without being able to actually link the steps along the way and by so doing, the conclusions are without merit; I would tend to lean my thoughts in this direction on this particular report.

Human interaction is complicated at best, this study would ask us to simplify an unmanageable number of variants, to include religious beliefs, as if it were a hurricane. Based on statistics which may or may not hold value; such huge leaps of supposed logic are no different than the global warming doomsday modelers who go about shouting how the sky is falling. No thank you, I’ll let this fool keep the spot light alone.