Societies worse off 'when they have God on their
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing
towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according
to research published today.
According to the study, belief in and worship
of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually
contribute to social problems.
The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to
provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.
It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such
as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than
the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider
Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.
Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that
religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates
of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits
of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”.
But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute
to its ills.
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