Religion Harms Society

Religious belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.


It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

And I especially liked

The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.

From the Times


  1. Well, this article mostly presents an “ashtrays give lung cancer” kind of argument. That said, the fact that religions (or their generalisation, ideologies, cf. the USSR for a very good example) do harm society is pretty much an important point that need to be put forward and explained, regardless of how politically uncorrect it might be. And not only does it harm society internally (by dismissing pragmatism, objectivity and science and preferring coercition, intolerance, and promoting uniformisation of the citizens), but externally as well (by favoring racism, xenophobia, jihads, justifying wars to bring enlightened forms or governments or missionaries, etc.)

    Currently, I’m reading novels by Alexander Zinoviev, a soviet dissident who was forced to exile. He describes what’s wrong in sovietic countries, but in such a deep way that his books (written during the 70s) recall me sometimes today’s USA.

  2. This is a ridiculous article. How does religion harm society? By teaching morals and values? By teaching right and wrong? Since when is having God in your life a bad thing? Religion teaches love and compassion, intolerance. I do agree on the one point of Jihadism, because that is harmful. But chrisianity? Believing in and following Christ is harmful to society? A man who helped the poor and was friends with those no one else wanted to be associated with? Yeah, I can see how that’s “harmful”.

  3. ell,Did you read the article? It doesn’t try to explain why it might happen, it just reports the results of the survey which says that societies with the strongest religious beliefs also have the highest incidences of murder, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion.Now that might seem strange to you. I can see how you might think that a religious society should have less of these things. But the facts seem to go against that. I guess it just shows that saying that a country is deeply religious isn’t the same thing as all of its citizens actually following the tenets of its religion.As Rafael points out, it’s all a bit of an “ashtrays cause cancer” argument, but it’s interesting precisely because the facts seems to defy the expected results.

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