"Using standard assessments of national corruption, Hamid Yeganeh & Daniel Sauers of Winona State University, USA, have found that countries with the most religious people also have the highest levels of corruption"
Brief article. The concluding quote,
"Considering the variety of corruption measures, the reliability of data, and the large number of included countries, we have to conclude that religiosity not only does not impede corruption but tends to promote it… Based on the above-mentioned arguments, we may conclude that while religiosity provides guidance on morality, some of its characteristics practically promote corrupt business behavior"
I think we all knew this. We see so much hypocrisy in religious and religious-political "leaders". In the US, states where religion rules are also states with more violence, poverty, and other social problems. Religion, like STDs, is the gift that keeps on giving, and not in a good way.
(bolding is mine)
Dennis, I so agree with you!
I mean, I agree with you about the we vs. them mentality and intention to win political victory. Yes, separation of religion and politics is the issue.
Excellent article. I fail to see how religion provides guidance on morality, given the written words from the old and new testaments, quran, and from eastern traditions. It is so easy to see the brutality, jealousy, greed, slaughter of innocents, and intolerance written in sacred scriptures of all kinds. It is all written down for anyone who is willing to read them. Preacher/teacher/people who need to feel worthy of being heard, who "translate" the words of Bronze Age people trying to apply the principles to 21st century reality are deluded. When delusion leads dependent people who want to deny reality, one gets a deadly, violent, class-creating society not worth having.
I love Hitch's almost last statements:
” . . . we have the same job we always had, to say, as thinking people and as humans, that there are no final solutions, there is no absolute truth, there is no supreme leader, there is no totalitarian solution that says that if you will just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you would just give up, if you will simply abandon your critical faculties, a world of idiotic bliss can be yours. We have to begin by repudiating all such claims – grand rabbis, chief ayatollahs, infallible popes, the peddlers of mutant quasi-political worship, the dear leader, great leader, we have no need of any of this.”
~ Christopher Hitchens
We begin by repudiating all such claims, and all those who preach, teach, and speak them. We have no need of any of this.
Religion needs to be stopped. The world would so much better without it.
You are SO right! Actually, with all the contradictions and just plain inanity in the bible and Koran how could it NOT be so? Worse, we have all these politicians trumpeting their religious beliefs to get elected, and with Silly Season starting it's only going to get worse yet.
If you have "faith" in someone you suspend critical thought. The suspension of critical thought then can leave the individual free to indulge in any unsavoury activity because they know that they are more likely to get away with it. This can be corruption, sexual activity, aggression, or any other matters of life and death. Many people in positions of authority can abuse their power be they politicians, religious leaders, doctors or news broadcasters, but when you combine religion and any of these you multiply their scope of activity.
"If you have "faith" in someone you suspend critical thought."
Oh NO! Having faith in someone does not imply suspension of critical thinking. I put my faith in people with whom I set very high standards, and if they violate them, I must hold them accountable. I must confront them and tell them what I don't like, how it affects me, and what I want them to do to correct their lack of judgment or mischief.
If I see someone being hurt by another, or if I am negatively impacted by another, I don't remain silent. What good am I if I don't stand up? Who benefits by remaining silent in the face of some violation of some ethical, financial, domineering norm?
Sure, people can say something is none of my business, but if someone is being harmed by another it is my business.
We face a tragic situation with a beloved neighbor across the street. His nephew hit and run and killed two people in Vancouver, WA and his girlfriend and mother shielded him. My neighbor saw to it that his nephew turned himself in. We told our friend that we stood with him as he had to confront his nephew. There was nothing else he could do, nor could we. A crime was committed, and the young man ran. Well, he must be held accountable and responsible.
We are all busy and don't have time to confront political figures, or religious leaders, or professionals, or news people, however, if we don't speak up in challenge to wrongdoing, who will? If we don't stand on principles, how can we complain when others do not either.
The awful sexual crimes that take place in religious communities is nothing new. It is interesting to me that the big fuss didn't start until little boys were victimized. Well, let's stand with those little boys and girls and challenge the abusers and those who harbor them. Name them for what they are.
Te same goes for family violence. For centuries husbands and fathers could abuse their family members without being held accountable and it is time we stand up to them. It is also time to stand up to mothers and women who sexually or physically abuse children.
No, having faith in someone is not an excuse to stop thinking critically.
I hope your neighbor's family weathers this tragedy OK. It was the right thing to do, for the young man to turn himself in. And right for his family to encourage him to do so. I think in the long run, it's also better for him, to know that he did the right thing and faced the consequences. But very hard at the moment.
Oh yes, my heart just breaks for Ben and Lisa, they are such loving, compassionate parents and neighbors. I know of no finer father than Ben and to take on the role of guide for his nephew is very hard on him in this situation. I feel sorrow for the family of the two women, as well. I can't imagine living with hit and run; With deaths involved, I can't imagine leaving the scene.
I didn't know about the two women, until Ben made preparations to go to Vancouver and confront his nephew. He and Cary are best friends. Cary and I reassured him we stood with him as he dealt with the issues.
I don't disagree with anything that you said above, but want to make a semantic, perhaps pedantic, point about the use of the word 'faith'. When the word is used in the context of religious discussion it usually means belief in something for which there is no evidence, though I don't think that's how you used it. That's not the same as confidence or trust, which are evidentially based, or hope, which is aspirational. It means pretending to know something that you don't, or just making shit up.
I don't have faith that my wife loves me; I trust because of evidenced based confidence that she does, and hope that she will in the future (actually, I was wrong about that, but that's another story).
I think it important to isolate the word 'faith' because that insistence on belief without evidence is the foundation for whatever perverse silliness religious belief takes. Someone can have any sort of religious tradition without necessarily hurting anything. This describes almost everyone I know. But when they have faith -- when they pretend to know something that they don't -- they are divorcing themselves from reality and being intellectually dishonest. That cannot be good for society.
Oh yes! I see your distinction.
Faith isn't so much a pretense to know something, in my opinion, it is not letting in any information that counteracts facts. When dealing with family violence couples, sometimes it is very difficult for a woman to let in the information that she does not have to tolerate intolerable behaviors. I also encountered that with a husband who was being beaten by his wife. He just couldn't see that she was committing an assault.
It was wrenching to see the boys at the boys' ranch, where I worked for a while, that their families were in need of healthy change. The boys made excuses, denied any assault took place, and deluded themselves into thinking theirs were healthy families. It was almost necessary to get the parents to understand before the boys did.
In these cases, would you call that faith or trust?
When trust is broken, there is a break in the relationship. The woman, man or child would change their perception of what happened and be open to options.
I guess, given this analysis, "If you have "faith" in someone you suspend critical thought" is a correct statement.
I love it when someone points out a need to rethink my statement. Thanks to both of you.