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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:47 am 
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Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Atheist nations are more peaceful

The 2009 Global Peace Index has just been released. It's basically a ranking of how turbulent and warlike a country is.

They put it together by assessing 23 criteria, including foreign wars, internal conflicts, respect for human rights, the number of murders, the number of people in jail, the arms trade, and degrees of democracy (Guardian).

You can see a world map of peace at the Vision of Humanity website, and also take a look at country rankings for 2009, as well as earlier years.

New Zealand came top this year. Hmm, New Zealand is a pretty secular country. In fact, if you eyeball the rankings, the top few countries are all pretty secular.

What I've done in the figures here is to take data from the World Values Survey on the percentage of people in each country who say they are a committed atheist, and also on the percentage of people who say that they go to a religious service at least once a month.

Then I split the sample into two equal groups, based on their score on the Global Peace Index. The ones in the 'Peaceful' group are countries with a GPI score less than 1.8.

Sure enough, peaceful countries have more atheists and fewer regular worshippers. The difference is highly statistically significant - in other words it's real, not just a chance finding.

Now, there are several possible reasons for this. It could be that people living in turbulent countries turn to religion, or it could be that religion is not a good way to structure modern society.

Whatever, it's another blow to the idea that secularization leads to social meltdown. Atheist countries are, in fact more peaceful.

--Source


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:05 am 
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Quote:
Atheist countries are, in fact more peaceful.

Simple examples:
Have we forgotten the former USSR and Eastern Europe? (before the Communist curtain fell)
Have we forgotten China, what the Cultural Revolution was for? And even today?
Let's not confuse countries whose Constitutions were secular with countries that declare belief in anything is inadmissable yet forgetting how that non-belief is in fact the flip side of the same coin, and atheism is a form of belief and way of life, whether viewed from the ten directions or one angle.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:05 am 
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Greetings,

It's not surprising given the number of wars that happen "in the name of God".

Metta,
Retro. :)

_________________
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes

Dhamma Wheel (Theravada forum) * Here Comes Trouble


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:27 am 
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thornbush wrote:
Let's not confuse countries whose Constitutions were secular with countries that declare belief in anything is inadmissable yet forgetting how that non-belief is in fact the flip side of the same coin, and atheism is a form of belief and way of life, whether viewed from the ten directions or one angle.


Hi Daka la,

In fact, I consider athiesm to be a religion. But that's just my personal opinion.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:29 am 
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retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings,

It's not surprising given the number of wars that happen "in the name of God".

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro,

I had the same thought.

:namaste:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 pm
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thornbush wrote:
Quote:
Atheist countries are, in fact more peaceful.

Simple examples:
Have we forgotten the former USSR and Eastern Europe? (before the Communist curtain fell)
Have we forgotten China, what the Cultural Revolution was for? And even today?
Let's not confuse countries whose Constitutions were secular with countries that declare belief in anything is inadmissable yet forgetting how that non-belief is in fact the flip side of the same coin, and atheism is a form of belief and way of life, whether viewed from the ten directions or one angle.


Indeed.

"Chairman Mao at his last meeting with me told me that religion is poison" - His Holiness Dalai Lama - The Story of Tibet.

Overall, historians believe that around 43 million people died under Mao's rule.


"For a truly religious person there is never any basis for quarrel or dispute. Yet it is a fact that there have been so-called religious wars. However, the people involved in these were not practising religion but were merely using religion as an instrument of power. The actual motivation was selfish, not spiritual."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/When_the_Ironbird_Flies_by_His_Holiness_Dalai_Lama


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:57 am 
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I didn't know a secular country = athiest country.

Secularism is itself nothing new and most of the "golden ages" of civilization were multi-religious, multi-ethnic where the rulers had ruled over diverse groups and did not establish a state religion.

New Zealand for the most part is a Christian country and so are most European nations, meaning most of the population get baptized and get married in a church, just because the government is secular doesn't mean it's athiestic.

I don't know of any atheistic country. Most countries have populations with faith in some form of diety or other.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:17 am 
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thornbush wrote:
Quote:
Atheist countries are, in fact more peaceful.

Simple examples:
Have we forgotten the former USSR and Eastern Europe? (before the Communist curtain fell)
Have we forgotten China, what the Cultural Revolution was for? And even today?
Let's not confuse countries whose Constitutions were secular with countries that declare belief in anything is inadmissable yet forgetting how that non-belief is in fact the flip side of the same coin, and atheism is a form of belief and way of life, whether viewed from the ten directions or one angle.


Agree wholeheartedly. Not to mention Pol Pot, who gave up Buddhism and took up athiestic communism and started mass murdering.

Indeed, it is adherence to wrong views that wars are started. Instead of people working on themselves and improving and developing their minds and bodies, they like to force their views down other people's throats by judging others.


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