Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
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08-12-2012, 03:04 AM
Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion on the topic of whether there is a direct link between a countries level of social spending...i.e. existence of unemployment security, free healthcare, superannuation etc and the level of religiosity.

...also, do you think that if America instituted a fair, public health care system that it would undermine the religious movement in the country...

The way I see it...my own country, New Zealand, as well as nations such as Canada and England have very comprehensive "nanny-states"...good education, free healthcare, low-entitlement unlimited dole, public superannuation, compulsory employment benefits etc...we are all countries with higher than average levels of Atheism.
America, to my knowledge, on the other hand has a not so hot education system, private health care, few compulsory employment benefits, and limited dole...conversely America has a comparatively low level of atheists, and what seems to be open discrimination (here we just dont care).
You see the same thing in South America...most countries are predominately religious...however Uruguay which has a good social welfare system has the same level of Atheists as any Western European country.


I am currently half-way through reading a paper on the subject, published by anthony gill and erik lunsgaarde, which you can find easily on google.

Does anybody know of cases where such a theory is disproven...i.e high welfare and high religion?

Your thoughts...
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08-12-2012, 04:15 AM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
You will find that the rampant Christianity occurs in a place called the "Bible Belt", an area in which there is low education, high obesity rates, bad weather, and a lack of wealth distribution. Yes, there is a correlation between a low standard of living and Christianity.

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08-12-2012, 05:43 AM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
I would agree too. The bible belt is a perfect example.

It seems that in places where there is a low standard of living, there is also a low standard of education. And in my experience, the less educated people are, the more superstitious they are. Prone to believe all kinds of things.

It seems the human brain looks for rules and patterns to use as base for decisions. These can be delivered either by education and facts, or by hear say and superstitions.

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08-12-2012, 12:16 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
In my experience there are many who turn to religion for welfare and food...in my old church they offered free dinners to university students in an effort to draw them in. ...funny how people call it charity
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08-12-2012, 12:24 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
So with a population that is, what 76% christian...does that mean that most of america is poor and badly educated? I think not...
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08-12-2012, 12:39 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
(08-12-2012 05:43 AM)Dom Wrote:  I would agree too. The bible belt is a perfect example.

It seems that in places where there is a low standard of living, there is also a low standard of education. And in my experience, the less educated people are, the more superstitious they are. Prone to believe all kinds of things.

It seems the human brain looks for rules and patterns to use as base for decisions. These can be delivered either by education and facts, or by hear say and superstitions.
So in the USA, is each state able to institute its own welfare initiatives...or is it all controlled through social security?
I think some of it is education...I heard something about being able to pull kids out of evolution classes for religious reasons in the states...is that true??
I also think that most people will believe in whatever will help them get food...reason why communism works so well.
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08-12-2012, 01:01 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
(08-12-2012 12:39 PM)amav.eram Wrote:  
(08-12-2012 05:43 AM)Dom Wrote:  I would agree too. The bible belt is a perfect example.

It seems that in places where there is a low standard of living, there is also a low standard of education. And in my experience, the less educated people are, the more superstitious they are. Prone to believe all kinds of things.

It seems the human brain looks for rules and patterns to use as base for decisions. These can be delivered either by education and facts, or by hear say and superstitions.
So in the USA, is each state able to institute its own welfare initiatives...or is it all controlled through social security?
I think some of it is education...I heard something about being able to pull kids out of evolution classes for religious reasons in the states...is that true??
I also think that most people will believe in whatever will help them get food...reason why communism works so well.
You will find several states that teach creationism within its biology class. The United States, in this regard, is as backwards as shit.

Communism does not work well at all.

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08-12-2012, 03:11 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2012 03:20 PM by FZUMedia.)
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
"The way I see it...my own country, New Zealand, as well as nations such as Canada and England have very comprehensive "nanny-states"...good education, free healthcare, low-entitlement unlimited dole, public superannuation, compulsory employment benefits etc...we are all countries with higher than average levels of Atheism. "

If someone takes a percentage of your income, and gives it back in benefits- it's not free. A 4 year old could tell you that.

The way you present the argument for state intervention on complex socio-economic issues is just as faithfully blind as a theist; You speak of these benefits as if it falls from the sky- you literally used the word "free". So anyone that disagrees with you is against free stuff or against the poor, etc. by default. It's a form of bullying really without any degree of rational thinking.
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08-12-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
(08-12-2012 03:11 PM)FZUMedia Wrote:  If someone takes a percentage of your income, and gives it back in benefits- it's not free. A 4 year old could tell you that.
Taxes relieve the burden of the direct purchase. You know what he meant, a four year old could tell you that.

The OP's statement is a straightforward, truthful, honest, and correct perspective. As a U.S citizen who has spent plenty of time in the Bible belt, I can tell you that there is an obvious correlation between poverty and religion. Welfare relieves a lot of that poverty

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08-12-2012, 03:51 PM
RE: Social welfare as a way to undermine religion.
(08-12-2012 12:24 PM)amav.eram Wrote:  So with a population that is, what 76% christian...does that mean that most of america is poor and badly educated? I think not...
Yes, that is precisely what it means. America has one of the worst, ineffective education systems in the western world.

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