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Should religion be a factor while developing Third World countries?

  • Religion has a significant impact on innovation, creativity, discovery and invention.

    It is a fact of neuroscience that creativity, imagination, discovery and innovation are nurtured in a culture of freedom. If people have to worry about what they say or think, innovation, discovery and creativity are diminished. This is akin to having a fear of taking a test. What we know from neuroscience is that fear shuts down access to the cerebral cortex and confines thought to a very narrow primitive part of the brain that is concerned with survival rather than innovation. This makes sense since survival is primary and takes precedence over innovation and even takes precedence over access to learned knowledge.

    In a guilt based-culture such as the Judo-Christian culture in the West, the power of forgiveness frees the mind to innovate, imagine, discover and create because mistakes are forgivable. In a shame-based culture such as Islam, there is no room for forgiveness and hence fear for one’s well being constantly interferes with innovative and creative thought. Consider the kid that steals a book to learn about science. In the Judo-Christian culture the kid might be required to show that he/she has learned something from the book and might be punished by being required to teach other kids about what he/she has learned from the book by serving a sentence of community service. In Islam, the kids hand could be cut off, thus permanently ending any chance of rehabilitation and any chance of growing into a useful component of the community such as becoming a professor of physics or biology. The contrast is stark: Concern for material property versus concern for human development and growth.

    It is an interesting fact that Africa was a thriving civilization in most respects equal to Europe while under the influence of the Judo-Christian culture and became a backward country after being forced to accept Islam. In fact, most underdeveloped countries are subject to the culture of Islam.

    This raises a legitimate research question: Has the shame-based culture of Islam been a significant force in retarding the world’s underdeveloped countries that live under its “rule”? In short, is the shame-based force of Islam a culture that will necessarily inhibit creativity, innovation, discovery and development where as a forgiving culture will promote innovation, creativity, discovery and development?

  • It has to be.

    There is no way to take religion out of consideration while developing third world countries. The people of these countries each have their own beliefs and tend to hold onto them tightly. If another country tries to step in and strip them from their beliefs, there will be a lot of anger, resentment, and possible retailiation. There is no reason to do that to people who have already suffered so much.

  • Religion is always a factor

    Yes, one should take into account religion when attempting to develop third world countries. Religion is a part of their lives and should be respected as such. It is important to maintain a countries overall aspect while assisting in development. Developing a country does not mean turning the company into a carbon copy of another. Religion is a part of a country's culture.

  • Keep it out, it's already done enough damage to those people.

    No, religion shouldn't be a factor while developing Third World countries. However, that doesn't change the fact that religion will be a factor while those countries are brought up to modern standards. One of the reasons so many of those poor countries are in such bad shape is that wave after wave of proselytizing missionaries exerted their influence. That's going to be hard to shake.

  • Religion is not a factor while developing Third World countries.

    The development of third world countries is measured by the development of their economies. Religion is a social issue and it is not relevant to a country's economic advancement. Also, every country already has an indigenous religion or philosophy. It is racist to assume that third world countries need a foreign religion to help them become modern.

  • No, not really.

    When developing third world countries the number one factor should be creating an area where they can live and enjoy a good standard of living in their area. We want them to be able to get education and be able to attend college, religion should come after all of that.


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