Friday, September 30, 2005

This just in: God is a sumbitch

I've been reading The End of Faith, which, although the scholarship wears a little thin at times, is a really amazing book for the ideas that it puts forth. One of those ideas is that those people most successful at living in advanced, diverse societies are those who, while they may call themselves Christian or Muslim or whatever, do not really live according to strict tenets of their faith. That is, they don't really believe that people of other faiths should be killed, that people who curse their parents should be killed, that people who work on Sunday should be killed, that people who take the lord's name is vain should be killed, that slavery is a-ok, etc.

Amazingly enough, although almost all Christians have eschewed the above rules and many others as "not meant literally," or "outdated," they do still hang onto that one little rule about men fucking men.


But I digress.

So, our story so far: religion makes it really hard to get along in this world.

True Ancestor has linked to an article on a British research study that has concluded:
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.

Of course, you can argue the metrics, the sampling, the conclusions of studies like this until the cows come home. (At which point, by the way, you will be stoned to death for cross-breeding your cows.)

But to me it's common sense.

Which kind of neighbor would you want, the atheist who treasures this life, because it is all we have?

Or the kind who believes life is a veil of tears, and our reward is in heaven?

Me, I prefer someone who doesn't think I'm going to hell.

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