October 14, 2005

The Dark Side of Faith

In this study published in the Journal of Religion and Society, we see scientific data suggesting that national religiosity is correlated with several indicators of social problems (e.g., homicide, teen pregnancy, STDs, etc.). Countries with higher rates of atheism experience fewer of these problems than heavily religious countries like the United States. Even within the United States, one sees sharp differences between Republican stronghold states and Democratic states.

My favorite quote from the LA Times summary of this article: "Arguably, Paul's study invites us to conclude that the most serious threat humanity faces today is religious extremism: nonrational, absolutist belief systems that refuse to tolerate difference and dissent."

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