I’ve long held that the more secular (non-traditionally-religious) a culture is the more healthy it is. It appears we might finally have some solid evidence of this. A new Pew poll report shows a very strong link between a country’s religion and wealth ().
Africa on one side, Europe on the other. In my experience you’ll rarely meet someone more religious and/or superstitious than an African. Conversely, try and find a Swede who believes in ghosts or a Biblical God. It is my belief these differences do affect a culture’s ability to thrive.
From the study:
The survey finds a strong relationship between a country’s religiosity and its economic status. In poorer nations, religion remains central to the lives of individuals, while secular perspectives are more common in richer nations. This relationship generally is consistent across regions and countries, although there are some exceptions, including most notably the United States, which is a much more religious country than its level of prosperity would indicate. Other nations deviate from the pattern as well, including the oil-rich, predominantly Muslim — and very religious — kingdom of Kuwait.
[yoda] Religion leads to superstition. Superstition leads to fear. Fear leads to suffering… [/yoda]