Religious belief leads to more dysfunctionalism , not less

In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a "shining city on the hill" to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health. Youth suicide is an exception to the general trend because there is not a significant relationship between it and religious or secular factors. No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction.

 "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies, "  by Gregory Paul, The Journal of Religion and Society. 

Full article:


  1. Actually, I think he has it the wrong way round. People are not dysfunctional because of religious belief. They are poor, crime-ridden, and unhealthy and therefore turn to religion as a possible answer to their miseries. It bears out my repeated point that fundamentalism/born-again “Christianity” goes hand in glove with unrestrained capitalism and is part and parcel of the system. If Falwell and the others did not exist, the advocates of capitalism would have to invent them. “Leave us alone to make obcscene fortunes and in return you will sit on the right hand of Jesus. Don’t worry about this life – think about the joys of the next” .
    I invite you to read the following:

  2. Re: a correlation between religion and national dysfunction: statistitions point out that a correlation does NOT necessarily infer cause and effect.
    ‘Chritianity going hand in hand with unrestrained capitalism’ maybe true of the USA according to your percetpion but is a travesty of the gospel where the Founder suggested that we ‘lay up treasure in Heaven – not here on earth where mote and rust currpts.” and if you are ‘filling your barns’ with grain and the equivilent goodies, then beware -“This night, your soul may be required of you”… i.e. you are wasting your time. He was alsways going on about providing for the poor….And ‘Honour your father and mother, actually m,eant ‘provide for them in their old age’

  3. I agree with you, but then you adhere to the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus seemed to believe in the old Jewish idea of “good works”, something even atheists can agree with, presumably. However, Paul seems to have reinterpreted what Jesus said. In fact, some people believe that he either invented his own religion or didn’t actually understand what Jesus said. Paul specifically said that good works would get you nowhere. Instead you simply had to believe in Jesus, that’s all. This has been taken up, as far as I can see, by the religious right. If doing good works don’t matter, then by inference nor does doing bad works. You’ll still end up sitting on the right hand of Jesus.
    Dangerous stuff in the wrong hands! Could justify anything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.