According to the James Dobson‘s of the world, secular humanism inevitably leads to moral turpitude and societal decay. Strangely however, the opposite seems to be true. Take Norway as a case-study…
Rev. Rick Mason notes that atheism is on the rise. He blames Christian fundamentalism. Certainly the ineptness, dishonesty and lack of ethics of the overtly God-fearing Bush administration may be turning people off on God.
A case study shows what this could mean for America. Norway has embraced secularism at the expense of its Christian roots. A 2005 survey conducted by Gallup International rated Norway the least religious country in Western Europe.
In Norway, 82.9 percent of the population are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (they are automatically registered at birth and few bother to be unregistered). However, only approximately 10 percent regularly attend church services and identify themselves as being personally Christian.
A 2006 survey found: 29 percent believe in a god or deity; 23 percent believe in a higher power without being certain of what; 26 percent don’t believe in God or higher powers; 22 percent have doubts.
Depending on the definition of atheism, Norway thus has between 26 percent and 71 percent atheists. The Norwegian Humanist Association is the world’s largest humanist association per capita.
And what has secularism done to Norway? The Global Peace Index rates Norway the most peaceful country in the world. The Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living, has ranked Norway No. 1 every year for the last five years.
Hmm… peace, good healthcare, good ecuation, and less poverty. My gosh, that reeks of immorality and societal decay! *scoffs*
Seriously though. Yes, there are a myriad of ways to get to those ideals of a peaceful, healthy, educated, and happy populace, and (a)theism doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with it. But common-sense, reality-based approaches such as humanism would be a lot more successful at moving our society in that direction than superstition and authoritarianism, which are ingrained in the theistic alternatives. And currently, with the religious ‘litmus test’ that dominates American politics today, in a largely ignorant society, reality-based approaches won’t get you elected.
(Hattip: Brent on The Horrors of Secular Norway)