Secular or religious. What countries tend to thrive more? And why?

Posted by: reece

Opinions would be great.

  • Secular countries.

  • Religious countries

65% 17 votes
35% 9 votes
  • Look at any arab country. (Except for UAE). Then look at Norway, Sweden Finland, who aren't as religious. Even the U.S isn't radically religious. The only bad secular country in the world right now would be North Korea, but there a special "case".

  • Iran, Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries are corrupted and third-world countries. South Korea and Japan on the other hand are developed and rich and they tend to be more secular.

  • It's pretty obvious that the secular countries are doing much better for themselves. However that's most likely because people living in poorer, less hospitable countries turn to religion to feel good about themselves even though they live in a pretty bad place.

  • Sweden, the Czech Republic, Japan...

  • Generally secular countries tend to be more open to scientific discoveries while religious nations tend to repress large groups of people. Religious nations also tend force people into roles based on their teachings instead of giving them the freedom to do what their good at.

  • duh..

  • History shows this to be true

  • America is founded on Christian principles.

  • It doesn't really matter that much. I just picked this one for notifications.

  • Is there a correlation between the fact that as religion is pushed out of popularity in the US that our prosperity also happens to be trending down? Maybe theyre related? Who knows.

  • The rise of Christian faith has been related to nation's prosperity historically. First, Europe with its Christian belief built an empire (abused the power though), then the United States, with its Christian principles at its beginning. Then China, which although it bans Christianity and any other religion, still has many underground believers and is experiencing a rise in Christianity. When Christianity declines, the nation does the same. Look at what happened to Europe in the last few decades: now it is struggling to keep itself from defaulting (except maybe Germany).

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mwedwards says2015-06-15T16:50:06.4824726-05:00
I think it depends. America is pretty religious, but it's also very advanced. On the other hand, well, what country would be considered secular? China? I really don't know. Also on the question of thrive, that could include several things such as the economy, public health, education, etc.
reece says2015-06-15T16:56:42.7248353-05:00
@tajshar2k Kim Jong-un...
reece says2015-06-15T16:56:53.9890838-05:00
...Is their god. I couldn't type it down in one comment.
tajshar2k says2015-06-15T16:57:10.9021580-05:00
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T17:15:45.5100434-05:00
They don't see them as literally being a god. If you believe in god or any religion in North Korea, you'd be shot.
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T17:22:38.2783811-05:00
@mwedwards China is secular, the majority of Chinese citizens tend to be non-religious if i'm not mistaking.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T18:00:08.5372735-05:00
That's what I thought. Thanks!
hect says2015-06-15T18:19:18.5204812-05:00
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hect says2015-06-15T18:20:01.8789110-05:00
mwedwards says2015-06-15T20:40:32.5722406-05:00
@hect: I must apologize, but what?
Texas14 says2015-06-15T20:56:17.5529391-05:00
You can have a successful religious country. Just look at the U.S.
tajshar2k says2015-06-15T21:01:49.1910451-05:00
The U.S is not religious. Its more moderate to liberal when it comes to religion.
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T21:34:40.7107036-05:00
Texas, are you aware that seperation of church and state exists?
mwedwards says2015-06-15T21:44:09.8876491-05:00
@tajshar: about 71% of U.S. citizens are Christians, whereas agnostic and atheist is about 23%. The other percent is made up of other religions. The point I am getting at is that the U.S. is actually pretty religious.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T21:48:02.5708178-05:00
@triangle.128k: The question has nothing to do with whether or not the religiousness of a certain country has any effect on the government. So therefore the whole church and state thing doesn't really matter, although it sounds like it does.
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T21:48:38.4156130-05:00
Most people follow a religion but there's seperation of church and state. This means in theory, US is supposed to have a secular government uninfluenced by religion.
GottaGorillaForSale says2015-06-15T21:54:37.7540130-05:00
True but I'd say that America has more developed into a secular nation rather than started as one. America's founding fathers were very religious.
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T22:06:09.9528224-05:00
Many were religious, but nearly none of them wanted religion to impact the government.
triangle.128k says2015-06-15T22:06:58.3034625-05:00
Many of them strongly advocated for church state seperation and religious freedom.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T22:08:42.0249227-05:00
@triangle: Oh yeah I totally understand that. What I am saying is that the U.S. is more religious country, and we are developed. I realize that there is a separation, however that does not mean that the religion of congressmen and congresswomen do not impact how they choose to run the country. The separation more has to do with how much the church as an institution impacts the legislative process. For ex. If congress passes legislation supporting gay rights, the church can not touch that. They can disagree with it, but they have no power in the government. (I think anyways)
GottaGorillaForSale says2015-06-15T22:10:15.9493317-05:00
Separation of church and state was meant to prevent the government from issuing a state religion like the British had back at home. And religion has impacted the government of America. This is apparent on our money, our pledge of allegiance, and even our national anthem.
GottaGorillaForSale says2015-06-15T22:14:37.9060503-05:00
And besides, we're talking about whether or not a secular or religious country is more successful than the other, not just their governments. And based on that we must consider whether the people have been religious, and in America they certainly have.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T22:21:34.5212143-05:00
Oh. Ha! Ignore EVERYTHING I said about what separation of Church and State was. I apologize for my lack of competence. Now, I have actually decided to research it (I should have done this earlier) and guess what? Separation of Church and State is found nowhere in the Constitution, or really any other founding legislation. Yeah!
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-06-15T22:47:47.4514777-05:00
@mwedwards: We're about as secular as you can get.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T22:55:20.8597816-05:00
I think China is about as secular as you can get.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-06-15T22:56:27.9172265-05:00
@mwedwards: Yeah, exactly.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T22:59:00.8951501-05:00
Oh HA! I'm sorry, I'm an American.
mwedwards says2015-06-15T23:01:00.6031150-05:00
*forehead slap* geez I'm an idiot. I see what you're saying now. Sorry.
Diqiucun_Cunmin says2015-06-15T23:13:29.8855240-05:00
@mwedwards: Oh, it's OK. :P I guess it's my fault that I didn't make it clear I was responding to your first post.
58539672 says2015-06-16T09:27:40.8871950-05:00
If by religious you mean a religious state (meaning their is an actual state religion and often has the head of state required to being a member or the leader of the particular church), then the UK, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Argentina, Costa Rica, Israel, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and nearly all the middle eastern countries are religious states. About 40 of the 192 nations on this planet are religious states and they vary widely in terms of prosperity.
58539672 says2015-06-16T09:34:26.4169935-05:00
However, if your referring to countries with a lot of religious people, then the US, Russia, Brazil, India, Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Peru, and Italy are all near the top of the list.
dmussi12 says2015-06-16T10:05:41.7446568-05:00
I'd say that secular countries lack a lot of variation. They are all at least adequately good, whereas religious countries range from good to absolutely terrible. I don't think there is a correlation between religiosity and prosperity, but rather prosperity tends to secularize.
triangle.128k says2015-06-16T11:28:59.0062060-05:00
@Diqiucun_Cunmin China is actually a good example of this, China is advancing faster than nearly all other countries.
triangle.128k says2015-06-16T11:29:35.1502512-05:00
The only problem I have with China is their strict government.
58539672 says2015-06-16T19:12:11.8613553-05:00
Most of the poorest, most impoverished nations on the planet are secular. Most of the wealthiest are also secular. Religious ones are scattered throughout the entire list, from the top to the bottom. Their is really no impact that religion plays in a nations prosperity. That is determined by things like geography, resources, and institutions.
Mister_Man says2015-06-16T20:17:55.2115250-05:00
I don't think religion has much of an impact on the growth of a country, I mean look at America for example, however a lot of poorer countries tend to turn to religion for hope and faith and something to look forward to after death, as well as something to give their life meaning and to feel loved. Although this may hold that country back, it's usually poor (due to geographical location, agriculture, poor weather conditions, etc.) to begin with, so I wouldn't necessarily say religion causes impecuniosity or destitution, but countries that typically have those characteristics turn to religion and are generally religious.
reece says2015-06-16T20:36:38.1139928-05:00
Mister_Man, More then 60% of phd's in the US are foreign born.
reece says2015-06-16T20:39:06.6225472-05:00
The US has to import educated minds to keep ahead.
dmussi12 says2015-06-16T20:41:36.8441375-05:00
The US has been importing talent for a while, it's kind of what we do. I don't think that's much of a point of criticism, but it is still important to this question.
Mister_Man says2015-06-16T20:49:19.6414862-05:00
I didn't know the number was that high :P but yeah, okay ignore the part about murrica.
reece says2015-06-16T20:51:04.6170560-05:00
@dmussi12 Do you think religion infringes on education? If so, don't you think the percentage would be much lower?
reece says2015-06-16T20:52:16.5500393-05:00
.. If the US wasn't as religious.
mwedwards says2015-06-16T20:58:58.7093381-05:00
@reece: Wait, are you saying that religion has a negative impact on education? Because if so, how in the world have the religions of America impacted the education system. (if that is not what you are implying, then I apologize for questioning it)
reece says2015-06-16T21:11:31.2414391-05:00
These all infringe on education in one way or the other 1. The discouragement of rational, critical thought 2.Vilification of homosexuality, resulting in discrimination, parents disowning their children, murder, and suicide 3. Women treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings, 4. Children growing up to hate and fear science and scientists, because science disproves their parents’ religion – leading to appalling scientific illiteracy 5. People aren’t making the most of this life because of their belief in an afterlife 6. People dying because they believe their faith makes them immune to snake venom, or other lethal aspects of reality 7. People dying – and letting their children die – because their religion forbids accepting medical help 8. Psychological and physiological conditions blamed on demons, preventing believers from seeking medical care for themselves and their children 9. People disowning family members for leaving their religion 10. Women having septic abortions—or being forced to have unwanted children they resent—because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible 11. Censorship (often destructive) of speech, art, books, music, films, poetry, songs and, if possible, thought 12. Children spending the period of their lives when the brain is most receptive to learning new information reading, rereading, and even memorizing religious texts. I could just keep on going.
dmussi12 says2015-06-16T21:31:31.3100644-05:00
No you're completely right (though many schools here remain as secular as they should be). I'm pointing out that the US is able to remain successful because they get so many skilled workers from out of country. We thrive, but we thrive for different reasons. A different means to the same end does not discount that means. The poll's not about the success of people born here, but success overall.
reece says2015-06-16T21:39:37.0991359-05:00
@dmussi12 I think the the education of the population is more important than the import of talent. Yes, america is doing okay compared to developed countries but wait until the talent goes home.
reece says2015-06-16T21:49:31.8155903-05:00
Do you know how the silicon valley's in India and China came to be?
mwedwards says2015-06-16T22:15:32.9658959-05:00
@reece: Ok, I think that number 1, 2, 4, 11, and twelve are the only ones that could have a very vague effect on the education of America. 1: Quite the opposite, now that some science "opposes" religion, religious youth now must do more in depth studying so as to defend their position. This means that will study both sides more than the average atheist who believes solely that the science refutes religion. 2: I suppose I can understand this. As a Christian I personally do not think that God wants us to put down homosexuals or bully them. But then what you fail to do is explain how the bullies are able to get past the fact that bullying is an enormously punishable offense today in schools. You are now assuming that a bully will be able to attack an individual without consequence, and that is not right. 4: Again like I said in number 1, that is just not true. To defend our positions we must become very scientifically literate so as to adequately defend our views against the opposing side. I would also like to point out that 33% of U.S. scientists do believe in God, and 18% believe in a higher power. So to say then that religion stops people from becoming scientists, is just not supportable. 11: You know, I really can not think of any examples of this. If anything the censorship is coming on the opposing side because as we ALL know, schools do not teach creationism, they just don't. 12: Memorizing verses is a good thing. When you memorize that actually helps your memory, because you are actively practicing and learning different techniques to help you memorize those verses. Therefore you can get more out of school. As for the others? Well 3 only applies if women are showing to score significantly lower than men. (by the way they score higher in almost everything) 5: I find it more likely for a secular person to be much more careless with their life and life choices because they believe that in the end the chance of Hell is non-existent. Plus several religious texts do not support things such as laziness or procrastination. 6: I can not think of a single example of this in America, much less the impact on education. 7: You know I am seeing a common them here. A good majority of these are anti-religious arguments, but they don't really have to do a lot with education. Anyways, this is just not true, even if you could give me examples this does not even compare to the numbers of other forms of death. 8: Extremely rare, basically non-existent here in America. No impact on the education system. Even then though if the child went to school this condition could be pointed out and maybe solved. When it comes to demons, well, most at this point know that there is a difference between the common cold and a possession. 9: Eh. No impact. Highly unusual. Cases where this happens is usually when the parents and said child are separated. Like, the child is over 18 and out of the house. 10: You know that if society followed the more religious view of not performing the act of having children before marriage, this wouldn't be a problem. So yeah.
reece says2015-06-16T22:22:20.7133039-05:00
@mwedwards Their vague for a reason. They can all vary.
reece says2015-06-16T22:22:58.5260642-05:00
They have a negative impact either way.
reece says2015-06-16T22:25:13.8957457-05:00
"I would also like to point out that 33% of U.S. scientists do believe in God, and 18% believe in a higher power." source?
mwedwards says2015-06-16T22:29:01.0302353-05:00
@reece: Absolutely! The PewResearchCenter did a study in 2009 that found this.
mwedwards says2015-06-16T22:30:03.4525722-05:00
@reece: Also I realize that my vocab is a little off, but I think you get the jist.
reece says2015-06-16T22:40:09.3314870-05:00
The American Association for the Advancement of Science only has 126,995 members in it compared to the 3.5 million scientists and engineers the US has. Also The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international entity.
mwedwards says2015-06-16T22:41:16.8027845-05:00
@reece: You are welcome to provide a counter study.
reece says2015-06-16T22:50:22.8612977-05:00
@mwedwards So you're not going to defend your stance? Are you going to pull a... 'mine isn't good but yours isn't good either'? That's the sort of typical logic religious people present.
imabench says2015-06-16T22:51:55.0062610-05:00
mwedwards says2015-06-16T23:24:49.8167123-05:00
@reece: Oooo spicy ;) Well although I can not find any numbers on exactly how many of the members are American, I can tell you that it was founded in the 1800s here in America and has been growing ever since, so I would assume that the majority of the members are American. Also the areas of science that the organization has scientists for include biology, chemistry, physics, cosmology, geosciences, and others. The point here is that they don't skip on groups that would have more or less secular/religious individuals. Furthermore the main people, executives and such, are all American. This means that there are generally more Americans otherwise there would be more representation. "Are you going to pull a... 'mine isn't good but yours isn't good either'? That's the sort of typical logic religious people present." Geez, you don't really like us do you? If I may ask, other than this, what else have I done that you would deem "illogical?" Were my comments on your list not justified?
mwedwards says2015-06-16T23:26:41.1999691-05:00
@reece: Also, from the comment I put in question, your statement assumes that you have a counter. I would like to hear it. "Are you going to pull a... 'mine isn't good but yours isn't good either'?" You really need to provide a counter to make this a supportable statement.
reece says2015-06-17T00:35:45.3028685-05:00
@mwedwards My point is "33% of U.S. scientists do believe in God, and 18% believe in a higher power." 126,995- is definitely not 33% of U.S. scientists. So how many scientists actually took the test? Or don't you know that either? I just wanna see if my counter is better? Be careful, i might have a trap card.
mwedwards says2015-06-17T00:50:05.5814120-05:00
@reece: :) The consensus was taken from the 126,995 scientists. I assume you know how consensuses work. "So how many scientists actually took the test?" I am curious of the test. "Be careful, i might have a trap card." Sure, I'll spring the trap. ;) Give me your worst.
reece says2015-06-17T01:18:01.9716333-05:00
@mwedwards There needs to be Study's done. Keep in mind that more then 60% of phd's in the US are foreign born.
mwedwards says2015-06-17T01:28:33.8130181-05:00
@reece: "There needs to be Study's done." Ok...So you are saying that there are no other consensuses. I don't understand the point you are trying to make. Also on the phd thing, I would like a source of that please, I am skeptical of this.
reece says2015-06-17T01:42:00.6649163-05:00
@mwedwards There are others but their just as bad as your one. They all only look at one scientific organization. It's 50-70% depending 1. 2. 3.
mwedwards says2015-06-17T02:05:24.5203130-05:00
@reece: Video: The video did not address the root cause of why the education system is lacking nor did it put into question the impact of religion on it. Site 1: I was getting an error on it, so I can't comment on it. Site 2: The 60% figure accounts for all graduates of math, science, engineering, etc. Not just for PHDs. Also if you look down a few lines you will see quote "33% of all U.S. PhD.S in science and engineering are now awarded to foreign born graduate students (2004)." That is very different from the 60% which accounts for graduates overall, but not PhDs specifically. "There are others but their just as bad as your one." Ok, let me quote you again. " Are you going to pull a... 'mine isn't good but yours isn't good either'? That's the sort of typical logic religious people present." SOOOOO....Now you are pulling the EXACT same tactic that you accuse religious people of doing? I mean, what is this? You have not even challenged mine, much less provide a counter, then you have the audacity to say that the others were "just as bad as your one." Come on, give me a break.
reece says2015-06-17T02:23:33.2726736-05:00
@mwedwards You just asked for the sources to what i stated. You didn't ask for the root course of it. The reason for why i said that more then 60% of phd's are foreigners is because i would find it better if the study's didn't include them. I didn't say they were just as bad as my one. I didn't even give one. I admitted they should do proper study's on it. So can you tell me how i'm pulling the same tactic? I wasn't even challenging yours.
reece says2015-06-17T02:24:00.0821657-05:00
You seem a bit irritated
mwedwards says2015-06-17T02:37:04.7938874-05:00
*sigh* "You seem a bit irritated" yeah, it's like 2 in the morning where I live, I need some sleep. At this point I think the arguments we are both trying to convey to each other are just not the same. Like, I feel like we are talking about two different things here. But even then I could go on and on, you could go on and on, but to what end. Geez I really am tired. Well, thank you for the great back and forth, and I hope we can do it again sometime. Goodnight! (or morning or evening ;)
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-06-17T14:57:29.0519719-05:00
@mwedwards Yes it's funny. Most on the Secular side would claim that the US is not very secular at all in fact, everywhere outside of this argument. When it comes to asking where all the prosperity came from ... "It came from our being Secular of course." *shakes head*
reece says2015-06-17T16:06:13.8775754-05:00
@FreedomBeforeEquality It's not very secular compared to developed countries...
emporer1 says2015-06-17T19:06:04.5270839-05:00
Define thrive. "Secular" and "Atheist" "advancements", like marijuana legalization and theories about men coming from monkeys isn't exactly trivng in my opinion. I understand atheism but really... You think you're ancesters were apes. I believe in evolution but not evolution of ape to man. Or bacteria to fish. Fish to amphibian that one is proven to happen due to lobe finned lung fish. But that one still happens now, unlike apes becoming neadrathals becoming men and women. Evolution works by helping creatures increase their physical ability to survive not by compleatly altering the mind of te creature to make it ten times smarter while devolving all of the physical defences it has built up. Anyway I'm way of topic now. Depends which religious country.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-06-18T09:43:03.7839171-05:00
Emperor1, youre looking at it after thousands of years of evolution. Those evolved found a niche where they were able to do much better than all the iterations in between. Thats why you won't see a complete succession of evolved species existing today to show the links between bacteria and fish (for example). The one that was a fish excelled at being a fish, the one that was bacteria excelled at being bacteria, more so than any of the half-developed ones in between.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-06-18T09:47:18.0482785-05:00
It's not very secular compared to developed countries... And yet is the most developed, developed the fastest to it's point the most recently, and is one of the greatest civilizations of all time. All of the greatest were. If there were a top list made of greatness, countries like Iceland and Australia do not fall on it. Ever wonder why?
reece says2015-07-20T01:45:22.0584450-05:00
@emporer1 By the way, we are apes. We share a great majority of our DNA with our ape cousins. You believe in evolution but not "ape to men"? What do you believe our ancestors were?
58539672 says2015-07-20T11:24:36.7417627-05:00
@reece We also share 40% of the same DNA with a banana. Humans did not come from apes, we share a similar ancestor. Go back far enough and most living things on this planet are related.
reece says2015-07-20T11:32:16.7496837-05:00
@58539672 And we share 82% with dogs, 80% with cows, 69% with rats, about 77% with mice, 60% with chickens. It just shows the evolutionary tree. The animals that I've just mentioned have only been around for a short time. There are far older plants than bananas.
reece says2015-07-20T11:33:43.7258958-05:00
By the way it's 50%
triangle.128k says2015-07-20T11:37:00.9537483-05:00
I came across an article somewhere saying that most of our DNA is useless.
reece says2015-07-20T11:37:32.9337483-05:00
@58539672 We are great apes and so is our CLOSE ancestors.
reece says2015-07-20T11:38:39.3585483-05:00
@triangle.128k It's called junk DNA. And it's not necessarily useless.
FreedomBeforeEquality says2015-08-21T18:53:24.6914896Z
Probably just generates chemical compounds used by most living things. Certain life essential proteins and such.

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