Sunday, August 29, 2010

Turning 'back' to god is a terrible idea ... and I have proof

"What do you say we give the whole ‘let's turn back to God’ thing a try and see what happens?”`Glenn Beck on Fox News Sunday

One would assume that if becoming a more 'godly' country contributed to a country's success ... that the most religious countries would be the most well off, right? I mean that is the logical extension of his premise, is it not?

However, the FACTS say that's entirely incorrect. This Gallup Poll clearly shows which countries are the most religious.

... and this Quality of Life Index from International Living shows that not a single one of the top 11 most religious countries are anywhere near the U.S. (or for that matter some of the most 'godless' countries on the planet).

At the very least, there's no correlation whatsoever between how religious a country's population is and their quality of life. At most, sorting that Quality of life index by "Freedom" one might find it significant that the top 11 most religious countries are all pretty far down on the list.

So, there's some pretty solid data that suggests religion isn't going to save America. I have some anecdotal evidence too, because I think in terms of what Mr. Beck is talking about it's pretty relevant.

If the supposition is that we need to "return to god" then one must ask: what happened when we "turned to god"? Of course Western Civilization "turned to god" long before the inception of the United States so we need to backtrack a little. Christianity got it's foothold on the western world in 312 when the it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. About 150 years later the Roman Empire was finished and humanity found itself in the dark ages, which lasted for about 500 years. It took us another 400-500 years and the Black Plague to claw our way out of that quagmire until the renaissance when we started studying the natural sciences again. Which was a huge boon, and in only about 200-300 years we reached the enlightenment and we as a species proudly proclaimed: Reason [not god] is the only source of legitimacy and authority!

That brings us up to about the 17oo's, and then ... late in the 18th century, a group of unruly misfits in the British Colonies said: "Hang on a minute. that asshole is saying that he's our king, and thereby claims the right to tax the everliving snot out of us ... because god says he's in charge ..." And the Colonists, being rational people raised with enlightenment philosophies said "because god says so just isn't good enough".

And then ... Rail roads, electricity, the germ theory of medicine, the industrial revolution, extending the human lifespan by almost double, decreasing the infant mortality rate since 1800 in America from over 16 out of every 100 births to just 7 out of every thousand, nuclear power, space travel, the technological revolution, calculating the age of the universe ... all in about 230 years. We, as a species have done and learned more than our ancestors ever thought possible; and we did it all in the past few hundred years as compared to the several thousand years since the inception of organized religion.

All we ever had to do was lose faith. So ask yourself ... even if you believe in god, would you really want to 'turn back'?