The Times of London reports that societies are much worse off when they have "God on their side." This is because they don't really have God on their side (which assumes that God takes sides), it's because of the kind of POLITICIANS that claim to have God on their side, like the recently embarrassed Tom DeLay. Every cruel dictator who has ever lived has claimed to be doing the will of God and some of them probably even truly believed that they were.
Ruth Gledhill reports that fundamentalist belief is behind high murder rates, sexual promiscuity and suicide. A new study on the belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to its social problems and challenges the idea that religion is necessary for morality.
It compares secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where most people profess to believe in a creator, rather than evolution, although this may just be an example of the "squeaky wheel syndrome" of people saying what they feel is expected of them, rather than what they actually believe. Certainly fundamentalist Muslim countries, with their suicide bombers who kill thousands of innocent civilians, do not fit the ideas that most of us have about morality.
A few years ago, philosophers talked about the need for secular humanism, which would be Christ-like compassion for other people irrespective of religion, but they were shouted down by the fundamentalists in our society.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
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