Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

A Healthy Society is an Atheist Society?

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2007 at 3:25 am

The Paper here has some interesting conclusions. In addition to a table of the Top 50 atheist countries, it also claims the following:

In sum, countries marked by high rates of organic atheism are among the most societally healthy on earth, while societies characterized by non-existent rates of organic atheism are among the most destitute. Nations marked by high degrees of organic atheism tend to have among the lowest homicide rates, infant mortality rates, poverty rates, and illiteracy rates, and among the highest levels of wealth, life expectancy, educational attainment, and gender equality in the world.

Of course, the next sentence is interesting as well.

The only indicator of societal health mentioned above in which religious countries fared better than irreligious countries was suicide.

Of course, quotes taken out of context can sometimes be bad. You should read the entire paper. Otherwise one might jump to a correlation equals causation fallacy. The paper even warns of this.

Of course, it is essential to clearly state that I am in no way arguing that high levels of organic atheism cause societal health or that low levels of organic atheism cause societal ills such as poverty or illiteracy. If anything, the opposite argument should be made: societal health causes widespread atheism, and societal insecurity causes widespread belief in God, as discussed by Norris and Inglehart (2004) above.

Also, here’s the list of the top 50 atheist countries, in case you want to holiday somewhere a little less religious than your current locale.

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  Country Total Pop.(2004) % Atheist/actual # Agnostic/Nonbeliever in God (minimum – maximum)
1 Sweden 8,986,000 46-85% 4,133,560-7,638,100
2 Vietnam 82,690,000 81% 66,978,900
3 Denmark 5,413,000 43-80% 2,327,590-4,330,400
4 Norway 4,575,000 31-72% 1,418,250-3,294,000
5 Japan 127,333,000 64-65% 81,493,120-82,766,450
6 Czech Republic 10,246,100 54-61% 5,328,940-6,250,121
7 Finland 5,215,000 28-60% 1,460,200-3,129,000
8 France 60,424,000 43-54% 25,982,320-32,628,960
9 South Korea 48,598,000 30%-52% 14,579,400-25,270,960
10 Estonia 1,342,000 49% 657,580
11 Germany 82,425,000 41-49% 33,794,250-40,388,250
12 Russia 143,782,000 24-48% 34,507,680-69,015,360
13 Hungary 10,032,000 32-46% 3,210,240-4,614,720
14 Netherlands 16,318,000 39-44% 6,364,020-7,179,920
15 Britain 60,271,000 31-44% 18,684,010-26,519,240
16 Belgium 10,348,000 42-43% 4,346,160-4,449,640
17 Bulgaria 7,518,000 34-40% 2,556,120-3,007,200
18 Slovenia 2,011,000 35-38% 703,850-764,180
19 Israel 6,199,000 15-37% 929,850-2,293,630
20 Canada 32,508,000 19-30% 6,176,520-9,752,400
21 Latvia 2,306,000 20-29% 461,200-668,740
22 Slovakia 5,424,000 10-28% 542,400-1,518,720
23 Switzerland 7,451,000 17-27% 1,266,670-2,011,770
24 Austria 8,175,000 18-26% 1,471,500-2,125,500
25 Australia 19,913,000 24-25% 4,779,120-4,978,250
26 Taiwan 22,750,000 24% 5,460,000
27 Spain 40,281,000 15-24% 6,042,150-9,667,440
28 Iceland 294,000 16-23% 47,040-67,620
29 New Zealand 3,994,000 20-22% 798,800-878,680
30 Ukraine 47,732,000 20% 9,546,400
31 Belarus 10,311,000 17% 1,752,870
32 Greece 10,648,000 16% 1,703,680
33 North Korea 22,698,000 15% ( ? ) 3,404,700
34 Italy 58,057,000 6-15% 3,483,420-8,708,550
35 Armenia 2,991,000 14% 418,740
36 China 1,298,848,000 8-14% ( ? ) 103,907,840-181,838,720
37 Lithuania 3,608,000 13% 469,040
38 Singapore 4,354,000 13% 566,020
39 Uruguay 3,399,000 12% 407,880
40 Kazakhstan 15,144,000 11-12% 1,665,840-1,817,280
41 Estonia 1,342,000 11% 147,620
42 Mongolia 2,751,000 9% 247,590
43 Portugal 10,524,000 4-9% 420,960-947,160
44 United States 293,028,000 3-9% 8,790,840-26,822,520
45 Albania 3,545,000 8% 283,600
46 Argentina 39,145,000 4-8% 1,565,800-3,131,600
47 Kyrgyzstan 5,081,000 7% 355,670
48 Dominican Rep. 8,834,000 7% 618,380
49 Cuba 11,309,000 7% ( ? ) 791,630
50 Croatia 4,497,000 7% 314,790

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My Hero, Bill Nye

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2007 at 4:40 pm

I’ve long been a fan of Bill Nye. I’ve seen every single episode of ‘Bill Nye, the science guy’. So when I heard that Bill made some creationist Christians in Texas leave the room, I was like “Good for you Bill!”.

You can read all about it here:
Bill Nye in Waco

Note: It’s under the digg effect at the moment, hopefully it’ll come back up soon.

The Emmy-winning scientist angered a few audience members when he criticized literal interpretation of the biblical verse Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”
He pointed out that the sun, the “greater light,” is but one of countless stars and that the “lesser light” is the moon, which really is not a light at all, rather a reflector of light.
A number of audience members left the room at that point, visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence.
“We believe in a God!” exclaimed one woman as she left the room with three young children.

IN UR BEACHZ

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2007 at 3:49 am

My mom sent me an email containing these pictures of Jesus done by an artist on the beach in Maryland. My friend Jesse suggested the quote, and the LOLCat buildr on the web took care of the rest.

in-ur-beachz-dieing-4-ur-sinz.jpg