Does Religious Belief Hinder Social Progress: An Analysis

From the data I downloaded from Social Progress Imperative, and the data I collected myself, I plotted a graph to measure the relationship between a nations social progress, and the extent to which its populace is religious.

Once plotted, this graph produced a negative correlation, and pointed towards the fact that the higher the percentage of religious followers in a nations populace, the lower the social progress of that nation tended to be.

As I stated in my initial post, this does not show causation, but it does show a clear, albeit weak, correlation.

Following on from that initial discovery, I think it is time we analysed the graph in a little more detail.

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Does Religious Belief Hinder Social Progress?

How can we improve the society in which we live? How can we make our lives measurably better? Such questions have been asked for hundreds of years, and unfortunately for those hundreds of years, people have been delivering the wrong answer.

As Michael Green says in his exquisite TED Talk, we have been obsessed with the “fetish” we call Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for far too long. Rather than measuring real developments which improve real peoples lives, we instead choose to focus our attention on wealth creation. Rather than measuring our society on how many children we have helped to educate, or how many nurses have saved lives, we instead look at how much money we have made.

If this money is not going to be invested in worthwhile causes, it is money for the sake of money. “Progress” for the sake of progress. A society going nowhere fast.

Continue reading “Does Religious Belief Hinder Social Progress?”