Atheism and alcoholism

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Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[1] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[2]

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[3]

Contents

Soviet Union and alcoholism

See also: Soviet Union and alcoholism

Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[4] Between 1940 and 1980, the Soviet Union had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[5]

Secular Europe and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[6]

See also: Secular Europe and alcoholism and Secular Europe and obesity and Secular Europe

From a global perspective, secular Europe is more secular than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Atheist population and Global atheism).

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe:

The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.

A country’s total per capita alcohol consumption is closely related to its prevalence of alcohol-related harm and alcohol dependence. This high level of harm hides enormous alcohol-related health inequalities between eastern and western Europe, particularly for injury deaths.

Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of frequency of drinking and amount drunk per occasion increase the risk of health and social harm, largely in a dose-dependent manner.

The risk of death from a chronic alcohol-related condition is found to increase linearly from zero consumption in a dose–response manner with the volume of alcohol consumed.

At a societal level, the European Union is the heaviest-drinking region in the world, with over one fifth of the European population aged 15 years and above reporting heavy episodic drinking (five or more drinks on an occasion, or 60g alcohol) at least once a week. Heavy episodic drinking is widespread across all ages and all of Europe, and not only among young people or those from northern Europe.[7]

Atheistic Czech Republic and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic Czech Republic and alcoholism and Czech Republic and child pornography

In 2005, the Czech Republic placed second in the world in alcohol consumption.[8]

From a historical perspective, the Czechs have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion".[9] According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the Czech population declared they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic and 10.2% followed other forms of religion both denominational and nondenominational. Furthermore, 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion.[10] From 1991 to 2001 and further to 2011 the adherence to Roman Catholicism decreased from 39.0% to 26.8% and then subsequently to 10.3%.[11]

In 2011, Radio Prague declared concerning the Czech Republic:

The Czech Republic has just received the sort of global recognition it could do without – placed second in a world ranking of alcohol consumption in a World Health Organisation study. And local alcoholism experts say problem drinking is on the increase as Czechs seek an easy solution to increased stress and other problems.

The Czech Republic was in effect given the silver medal for worldwide alcohol consumption by a recent study by the United Nation’s healthcare unit, the World Health Organisation (WHO). With an average annual per capita consumption equivalent of just under 16.5 litres of pure alcohol consumed by every person over 15, the country was only topped by the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. There the consumption figure came in at 18.2 litres. The European average is 12.2 litres.

With a bit more breakdown, the figures become even more eye watering, with equivalent pure alcohol consumption for Czech male drinkers climbing to an average 26.59 litres of pure alcohol.

The WHO ranking is based on statistics ending in 2005, but there is little to suggest the picture has changed in the last years.[12]

Atheistic Estonia and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic Estonia and alcoholism

In 2013, it was estimated that around 60,000 Estonians, 11 percent of working-age men and 12 percent of working-age women were alcohol dependents.[13]

Estonia is one of the least religious areas in the world. Merely 14% of the population declared religion an important part of their daily lives.[14]

In 2013, the news organization Postimees declared:

Around 60,000 Estonians, 11 percent of working-age men and 12 percent of working-age women, are estimated to be alcohol dependents. Less than 10 percent of them are receiving treatment for their problem. In 2011, 1,440 alcohol-related deaths were recorded in this country, of them almost 80 percent among men in whose case death from drinking mostly occurs at their most productive age.[15]

In 2007, the BBC declared:

The Estonian government plans to raise taxes on alcohol by 30% next year as the small Baltic nation of 1.3 million is struggling with a drink problem.

The BBC's Baltic correspondent Laura Sheeter examines the effects of heavy drinking in Estonia and neighbouring Finland, where Baltic booze cruises remain popular...

Heavy drinking is widespread in Estonia, which comes near the top of European Union rankings for alcohol consumption. Consumers are now free to choose from a huge variety of brands - a dramatic change since Soviet times.

On average each Estonian drinks 12 litres of pure alcohol each year - and every year they are drinking more. Experts say alcohol kills between 1,500 and 2,000 people a year - in one of the EU's smallest member states.

Some warn that if the trend continues, alcohol will contribute to an irreversible population decline.[16]

Godless Britain and alcoholism

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[17]

See also: Godless Britain and alcoholism and Britain and morality

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[18]

In addition, Britain is the birthplace of Darwinism. Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists or agnostics.[19]

Britain and alcoholism

The Telegraph reported in 2013 in a news story titled Britain has a drinking problem, and it needs help:

The cost to the NHS of alcohol is £3.5 billion a year. Though we spend this fortune on the consequences of excessive drinking, we spend a relative pittance on the causes – £91 million on treatment, compared with £2 billion for treatment of problem drug-users. Yet there are estimated to be 1.6 million problem drinkers in England, over five times more than there are dangerous drug-users. I do not underestimate the dangers of drugs, but anyone who has sat in a courtroom knows that alcohol is the bigger problem, spilling into domestic violence, family breakdown and street disorder.[20]

UK and alcohol usage

On July 29, 2014, The Independent reported:

The UK is full of heavy drinkers with bad eating habits who are ignorant, intolerant and too nationalistic – so it’s just as well that we are also very polite.

It might sound like a stereotypical list of national traits, but these are the views of more than 5,000 young adults from five different countries who were asked to give their opinion on modern Britain by the British Council.[21]

The UK website Alcohol Concern reports:

More than 9 million people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits

In England, in 2012 there were 6,490 alcohol-related deaths, a 19% increase compared to 2001

Alcohol is 10% of the UK burden of disease and death, making alcohol one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity.

An estimated 7.5 million people are unaware of the damage their drinking could be causing

In the UK in 2012-13, there were 1,008,850 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary reason for hospital admission or a secondary diagnosis[22]

Atheistic France and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic France and alcoholism

In 2013, it was reported that 36,500 French men die each year from alcohol-related illnesses, around 13 percent of the overall male mortality rate.[23]

France has the 8th highest rate of atheism in the world with 43 - 54% of the population being atheists/agnostics/non-believers in God.[24] In addition, France has the 4rth highest belief in evolution in the Western World.[25]

In 2013, The Local published the news article Alcohol report lays bare France's drink problem which indicated:

The reputation of the French for drinking in moderation appears slightly misleading after a worrying report released on Monday revealed alcohol is responsible for around 49,000 deaths in France each year - around 134 each day.

According to the report published by the European Journal of Public Health, alcohol consumption was responsible for the deaths of around 49,000 people.

Catherine Hill, one of the authors of the report summed up the findings simply by saying "the French drink too much".

The stats, based on the year 2009, revealed that three times as many French men died as a result of an alcohol relate health problem than women.

The study, carried out by the Service for Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Institue Gustave Roussy, near Paris found that around 36,500 French men die each year from alcohol-related illnesses, around 13 percent of the overall male mortality rate.[26]

In 2005, The Guardian published an article entitled France in denial over alcohol abuse, report warns which declared:

The French government has been urged in a report to "snap out of its state of national denial" and take urgent steps to "denormalise drinking".

Hervé Chabalier, a leading journalist and former alcoholic who wrote the report, said: "In this country we have always, culturally, looked at alcohol through a magnifying glass: we just see the good side, never the fact that ... drink is the third greatest cause of avoidable deaths in France."

Mr Chabalier presented his report, Alcoholism - The Simple Truth, to health minister Xavier Bertrand yesterday. He said alcohol was directly responsible for 23,000 deaths a year in France, and indirectly responsible for a further 22,000.

"A third of all custodial sentences in this country, half of all domestic violence, a third of all handicaps are due to alcohol," he said. "One French person in 10 is ill as a result of alcohol, and every day five French people die after an accident linked to alcohol." He said 5 million drank too much, and 2 million were dependent on alcohol.

The healthcare system was incapable of dealing with the plague.[27]

Atheistic Germany and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic Germany and alcoholism

In 2014, The Local published the article Alcoholism in Germany rises by a third which stated: "Research from Munich health research institute IFT released on Thursday showed 1.8 million people in Germany were alcoholics – up by 36 percent from 1.3 million in 2006. A further 1.6 million drink a lot although are not addicted."[28]

Germany is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website adherents.com reports that 41-49% of Germans are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[29] In addition, Germany has the highest rates of belief in evolution in the world.[30] In 2005, it was estimated that 70% of Germans believed in evolution.[31]

In 2014, The Local published the article Alcoholism in Germany rises by a third which stated:

The number of alcoholics in Germany has increased by more than one third to almost two million, with under-25s being particularly affected, according to a study on Thursday.

Research from Munich health research institute IFT released on Thursday showed 1.8 million people in Germany were alcoholics – up by 36 percent from 1.3 million in 2006.

A further 1.6 million drink a lot although are not addicted. In total 7.4 million people drink more than the recommended amount.

The study also looked into smoking addiction and found 5.6 million Germans were addicted to tobacco and 319,000 were dependent on illegal drugs.

“The high prevalence of mental disorders caused by alcohol and tobacco makes the urgency of implementing effective preventive measures clear," according to the study.[32]

Communist East Germany and alcoholism

Under atheistic communism, East Germans spent more on alcohol than any other Europeans.[33]

See also: Communist East Germany and alcoholism

Communism is a left-wing materialistic and often violently atheistic ideology created to justify the overthrow of Capitalism, replacing free market economics and democracy with a "dictatorship of the proletariat". See also: Militant atheism and State atheism

Communist East Germany and alcoholism

According to the German news website Deutsche Welle:

Alcohol was the drug of choice in East Germany, where it was consumed at the workbench, in the office and at party headquarters, according to a new book. East Germans spent more on alcohol than any other Europeans.

Whatever the occasion - a holiday, a company party, International Women's Day or the Day of the Republic on October 7 - drinking alcohol to excess was the norm in the GDR. Historian Thomas Kochan gets to the bottom of East Germans' relationship with alcohol in his new book, "The Blue Strangler - Drinking habits in the GDR."[34]

Godless Australia and alcoholism

The Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) report indicated that 20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm.[35]

See also: Godless Australia and alcoholism

After WWII, Australia has become a very secular country.[36]

In the 2011 Australian census, 22.3% of Australians (or 4,796,787 people) identified themselves as having "no religion" which was more than 3 percent higher (and 1,090,232 people more) than in the 2006 census and was the second largest category.[37] Another 2.014 million (9.4%) were in the "not-stated or inadequately-defined" category: thus more than 31% of Australians did not state a religious affiliation in the 2011 census.[38]

In November of 2013, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation indicated:

ANCD chairman Dr. John Herron says the report shows more work needs to be done to tackle the problem.

"The level of alcohol-related damage occurring in our communities is simply appalling," he said.

"The health, social and economic costs associated with alcohol use simply cannot be allowed to continue at the current level."

The report found 20 per cent of Australians are now drinking at levels that put them at risk of lifetime harm from injury or disease.

ANCD report key findings:

Almost 1 in 8 deaths of people aged under 25 is due to alcohol

60% of all police attendances (including 90% of late-night calls) involve alcohol

One in 5 hospitalisations of people under 25 are due to alcohol

20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm

Almost two thirds of 18-29 year olds drink "specifically to get drunk"

One in four Australians reported being a victim of alcohol-related verbal abuse.[39]

Godless Finland and alcoholism

In 2009, IceNews reported: "Until now, the Danes have most often been the booziest Northerners; but things have changed. The latest results show that each Finn drinks 10.4 litres of alcohol per year compared to 10 litres for the Danes..."[40]

See also: Godless Finland and alcoholism

According to a 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, 33% of Finnish citizens "believe there is a God". (In 2005, the figure was 41%).[41]

In 2009, IceNews reported:

Until now, the Danes have most often been the booziest Northerners; but things have changed. The latest results show that each Finn drinks 10.4 litres of alcohol per year compared to 10 litres for the Danes...

The recent increase in alcohol consumption is apparently particularly noticeable among the older generation. Deaths from alcohol-related illnesses have increased.[42]

Atheistic Denmark and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic Denmark and alcoholism and Atheistic Denmark and child pornography

In 2005, Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[43] Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[44]

"Denmark has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Northern Europe."[45] As a result, there is risk of increased morbidity and mortality in the population."[46]

The Danish news organization Jyllands-Posten wrote in 2011:

Denmark has been criticised for its dangerously high rates of teen drinking in a new World Health Organisation (WHO) report.

The report presents the drinking habits of Europeans on a nation-by-nation basis and makes specific policy recommendations to countries – like Denmark – where high alcohol consumption is linked to high rates of disease and alcohol-related accidents.

In respect to Denmark, WHO researchers worried especially about how early Danes begin drinking and how much they drink. The latest studies show that on average Danish youth drink nearly twice as much alcohol as other Europeans their age.[47]

In 2008, a medical journal article entitled Alcoholic cirrhosis in Denmark – population-based incidence, prevalence, and hospitalization rates between 1988 and 2005: A descriptive cohort study reported that "Denmark has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Northern Europe."[48]

The abstract for the medical journal article Acceptance and expectance: Cultural norms for alcohol use in Denmark which was published in 2011 indicates: "Alcohol consumption levels in Denmark are high with the risk of increased morbidity and mortality in the population."[49]

Atheistic Netherlands and alcoholism

In 2014, The Guardian reported on a Dutch pilot program where alcoholics were given beer in exchange for light work collecting litter, eating a decent meal and sticking to their schedule.[50]

See also: Atheistic Netherlands and alcoholism and Netherlands and child pornography

In 2005, the Netherlands was ranked the 13th most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reports that in 2005 39 - 44%% of the Dutch were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[51] The Netherlands also has the 11th highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[52]

According to the The European Alcohol Alliance:

Drinking alcohol is nowadays deeply rooted in the Dutch society. Alcohol consumption rose dramatically in the Netherlands from about 2 litres of alcohol per capita a year in the early 1950s to over 9 litres in the late 1970s. Per capita alcohol consumption peaked at 9.4 litres in 1979. While consumption decreased slightly throughout the 1980s, it started to increase again in the '90s, reaching 8.2 litres of alcohol per capita in 2000.[53]

In 2014, The Guardian reported in an article entitled Dutch scheme aims to reintegrate alcoholics by giving them beer:

In a pilot project that has drawn attention in the Netherlands and around the world, the city has teamed up with a charity in the hope of improving the neighbourhood and possibly the lives of the alcoholics – not by trying to cure them, but by offering to fund their drinking outright.

Participants are given beer in exchange for light work collecting litter, eating a decent meal and sticking to their schedule.[54]

Atheistic Sweden and alcoholism

See also: Atheistic Sweden and alcoholism

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[55] Government reports state that one in four retirees consumes alcohol at a hazardous level, defined as three bottles of wine per week for a man and two bottles for a woman. Between 1998 and 2006, this number increased 50 percent.[56]

Sweden is one of the most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[57] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations (see: Atheism and bestiality and Evolutionary belief and bestiality).[58]

According to Narconon International:

Between the late 1990s and 2007, the number of young women (16 to 24) who were admitted to a hospital for alcohol-related illnesses increased 119 percent. In the same time, the figure for men only increased 32 percent.

Government reports state that one in four retirees consumes alcohol at a hazardous level, defined as three bottles of wine per week for a man and two bottles for a woman. Between 1998 and 2006, this number increased 50 percent. And since alcohol-related snowmobile deaths have also been on the rise, the government has considered a law that snowmobiles must come with a breath analyzer that must be used before the vehicle will start.

It is interested to note that not only are the liquor stores in the country all owned by the state, until recently, the liquor manufacturer that produced Absolut vodka was also owned by the government of Sweden.[59]

Atheistic China and alcoholism

In 2013, the the World Health Organization (WHO) reported: "High-risk drinking behaviour has reached epidemic proportions in China."[60]

See also: Atheistic China and alcoholism

China has the world's largest atheist population.[61][62]

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported:

In China, alcohol consumption is increasing faster than other parts of the world. Data from recent decades show a steady increase in alcohol production and consumption and in rates of alcohol-related conditions. These dramatic increases, noted after the 1980s, stem from China’s fast economic development and the parallel rise in average income level.

A recent national survey of drinking in China revealed that 55.6% of the men and 15.0% of the women were current drinkers. Among respondents who endorsed alcohol consumption, 62.7% of the men and 51.0% of the women reported excessive drinking, 26.3% and 7.8%, respectively, reported frequent drinking, and 57.3% and 26.6%, respectively, reported binge drinking. These figures show that China has experienced dramatic increases in the consumption of alcoholic beverages since the late 1970s and even the 1990s. High-risk drinking behaviour has reached epidemic proportions in China.[63]

In 2011, The Guardian reported that there is a rise in binge drinking in China.[64]

Atheistic Japan and alcoholism

According to a Japan Times article on Japan's drinking problem, "alcohol is glorified for being an integral part of Japanese culture."[65]

See also: Atheistic Japan and alcoholism and Atheistic Japan and child pornography

Japan is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[66][67] In 2014, Japan Times reported in an article entitled Dealing with addiction: Japan’s drinking problem:

...alcohol is glorified for being an integral part of Japanese culture.

Indeed, the country’s liberal attitude toward drinking means that alcohol can be found almost anywhere at any time of day. It is not uncommon to see salarymen passed out on benches, women swaying from side to side on their walk home or piles of vomit (jokingly called “platform pizza”) at train stations.[68]

The 2012 article On Drinking Too Much in Japan declares:

Japanese researchers suggest that there are 2.4 million alcoholics in Japan, and that only 22,000 of them are seeking treatment...

According to one study:

“Sixty percent of problem drinkers are salaried businessmen who claim that getting drunk with clients or coworkers is part of their job and a mark of company loyalty. To refuse a drink from the boss is a terrible insult that can damage a career. And although alcohol consumption is now decreasing in most industrialized countries, it has quadrupled in Japan since 1960.”

The typical Japanese person consumes 6.5 liters of alcohol per year. The typical Japanese person also contains about 6.5 liters of blood...

Japan is sixth in the world for beer consumption...[69]

Nontheistic Thailand and alcoholism

In 2014, the broadcaster Thai PBS reported that the World Health Organization ranked Thailand 1st among ASEAN countries in alcohol consumption.[70] In 2008, the Chiangmai Mail reported "Alcoholism in Thailand ranks 5th highest in world".[71]

See also: Nontheistic Thailand and alcoholism and Nontheistic Thailand and child prostitution

In Thailand, the nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism is prevalent.

Alcoholism and Thailand

In 2014, the broadcaster Thai PBS reported that the World Health Organization ranked Thailand 1st among the The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in alcohol consumption.[72]

In 2008, the Chiangmai Mail reported:

“No Alcohol” campaign during Songkran hits problems

Alcoholism in Thailand ranks 5th highest in world

CMM Reporters

The “Enjoyment, Safety, No Alcohol” campaign which ran during the recent Songkran festival in Chiang Mai had some difficulty getting its message across to a large proportion of the revellers, according to the manager of the campaign, Teera Watcharapranee. He reported that, although some success had been achieved, a significant obstruction had been caused by the perception in Thai society that a good time could not be had without drinking alcohol. The average drinker consumes approximately 13.59 litres of pure alcohol per year, the equivalent of 220 litres of, say, Chang beer. This trend results in a high level of road accidents, more than 50% of which are caused by drink-driving. Statistics from the years 2005-2007, according to the Global Road Safety Partnership, put the overall cost of these accidents as averaging 2.8% of Thailand’s gross domestic product, and 60% more than the total government expenditure on health. Road deaths per annum during that period are recorded as being at least 12,000, but, because of possible under-reportage, may have been as high as 20,000.[73]

Growth of nonreligious alcoholics support groups in the United States

See also: American atheism

In 2014, the NY Times reported that there was a boom in the growth of nonreligious alcoholics support groups in the United States.[74] The Pew Research Center reported in 2013: "The number of people who identify themselves as atheists in the United States has been rising, modestly but steadily, in recent years. Our aggregated data from 2012 show that 2.4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6% in 2007."[75]

Irreligion, generations in the United States and alcoholism

See also: Irreligion, generations in the United States and alcoholism

Irreligion, baby boom generation and alcoholism

The Christian Chuck Norris, who is a member of the Silent Generation and a critic of atheism.[76].[77] Norris encourages people to drink responsibly and avoid excess drinking.[78]

See also: Irreligion, baby boom generation and alcoholism

The baby boom generation was born between the years 1946 and 1964.

In 2011, the Pew research foundation reported concerning the United States:

Younger generations also are significantly less likely than older ones to affiliate with a religious tradition. This pattern began in the 1970s when 13% of Baby Boomers were unaffiliated with any particular religion, according to the General Social Survey. That compared with just 6% among the Silent generation and 3% among the Greatest generation.[79]

Alcoholrehab.com reported in their article Generational Trends in Substance Abuse:

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are the population that was born between the years 1946-1964, after World War II. So many babies were born during this generation that they are having major impacts on society as they age. Substance abuse among baby boomers is different from earlier generations. Baby boomers are the first generation to have multiple addictions to illegal drugs and alcohol. Prior generations were mainly addicted to alcohol and some legal medications. Alcohol abuse among baby boomers can be both binge drinking and heavy alcohol use. Baby boomers also have a higher rate of alcohol abuse than earlier generations.[80]

Irreligion, Generation X and alcoholism

See also: Irreligion, Generation X and alcoholism

Generation X is made up of individuals born between 1966 to 1980.

Using data from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), Barry A. Kosmin & Juhem Navarro-Rivera reported:

Generation X became more secular and also less Christian (85% in 1990 v. 75% in 2008) as it aged and grew in size. However, the proportion of the cohort identifying with Other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions hardly changed. So the secularizing change mainly occurred at the expense of Catholic self-identification which fell from 33% in 1990 to 26% in 2008.[81]

Alcoholrehab.com reported in their article Generational Trends in Substance Abuse:

Generation X, or Gen X, is the generation that came after the baby boomers. Gen X ranges from the early 1960s to around 1982. Gen X is also known for a high rate of alcohol abuse, like the baby boomers. Gen X is less likely to binge drink than younger generations. In addition to heavy alcohol use, Generation X is associated with illegal “club drug” and marijuana use.[82]

Irreligion, millenials and alcoholism

See also: Irreligion, millenials and alcoholism

The Pew Research Center defines "adult Millennials" as those who are 18 to 33 years old, born between 1981–1996.[83]

In 2010, the Pew Research Forum reported concerning the millenial generation:

By some key measures, Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans...

Compared with their elders today, young people are much less likely to affiliate with any religious tradition or to identify themselves as part of a Christian denomination. Fully one-in-four adults under age 30 (25%) are unaffiliated, describing their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic” or “nothing in particular.” This compares with less than one-fifth of people in their 30s (19%), 15% of those in their 40s, 14% of those in their 50s and 10% or less among those 60 and older. About two-thirds of young people (68%) say they are members of a Christian denomination and 43% describe themselves as Protestants, compared with 81% of adults ages 30 and older who associate with Christian faiths and 53% who are Protestants.[84]

Alcoholrehab.com reported in their article Generational Trends in Substance Abuse:

Generation Y

Generation Y is the generation of people born from the early 1980s to around the year 2000. Other terms for this generation are millenials and echo boomers. Gen Y is prone to alcohol and illegal drug abuse. Gen Y is more likely to binge drink than older generations. This is primarily because binge drinking is socially acceptable to Gen Y.[85]

Atheist Americans, gender and alcoholism

The atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers giving a presentation to a group that is likely largely made up of white males.[86][87][88] In June of 2010, PZ Myers commented that atheist meetings tend to be significantly more attended by males.[89]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)

See also: Atheist Americans, gender and alcoholism

A 2009 article in LiveScience.com entitled Women More Religious Than Men reported: "A new analysis of survey data finds women pray more often then men, are more likely to believe in God, and are more religious than men in a variety of other ways...The latest findings, released Friday, are no surprise, only confirming what other studies have found for decades. [90] In 2007, the Pew Research Center found that American women were more religious than American men.[91] See also: Atheism and women

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Men are more likely than women to drink excessively. Excessive drinking is associated with significant increases in short-term risks to health and safety, and the risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Men are also more likely than women to take other risks (e.g., drive fast or without a safety belt), when combined with excessive drinking, further increasing their risk of injury or death.

Approximately 63% of adult men reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. Men (24%) were two times more likely to binge drink than women during the same time period.

Men average about 12.5 binge drinking episodes per person per year, while women average about 2.7 binge drinking episodes per year.

Most people who binge drink are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.

It is estimated that about 17% of men and about 8% of women will meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.[92]

Atheist Americans, race and alcoholism

Richard Dawkins
According to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to the New Atheist Richard Dawkins' message.[93]

See also: Atheist Americans, race and alcoholism and Western atheism and race

According to CBS News, in the United States, whites and Native Americans are more likely to be alcoholics than other ethnic groups.[94]

The atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”[95]

The atheist community has not had significant outreach to racial minorities within the Western World whereas Christians have done this (particularly among the poor).[96] See also: Atheism and uncharitableness

An atheists' conference was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The conference, sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism, drew members from all the major atheist organizationsin the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."[97] According to the web traffic tracking company Quantcast, white males appear to be the group of individuals who are most receptive to Richard Dawkins' and atheist Sam Harris' message.[98][99]

Irreligion, alcoholism and domestic abuse

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence

According to the World Health Organization, "Evidence suggests that alcohol use increases the occurrence and severity of domestic violence".[100]

Irreligion, alcoholism and domestic violence

Research suggests that irreligiousity is a causal factor for domestic violence.[101]

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence and Secular Europe and domestic violence and Atheism and women and Atheism and rape

The abstract for the 2007 article in the journal Violence Against Women entitled Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence indicated:

The authors explored the relationship between religious involvement and intimate partner violence by analyzing data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. They found that: (a) religious involvement is correlated with reduced levels of domestic violence; (b) levels of domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; (c) the effects of religious involvement on domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; and (d) religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence, and this protective effect is stronger for African American men and women and for Hispanic men, groups that, for a variety of reasons, experience elevated risk for this type of violence.[101]

A September 9, 2012 article at Atlantic Wire wrote about the noted atheist John Lennon:

But people have mostly forgotten that Lennon was also physically abusive towards women. "I used to be cruel to my woman," he said, citing the lyrics to "Getting Better" in a Playboy interview near the end of his life. "Physically—any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women." In his biography The Lives of John Lennon, Albert Goldman also maintains that Lennon was guilty of spousal abuse.[102]

A 2010 Scientific American column article indicates concerning domestic violence that "Women suffer close to two thirds of the injuries... In addition, women and men differ in the severity of their actions; women are more likely to scratch or slap their partners, men more commonly punch or choke their partners."[103]

For more information, please see:

Atheists have a higher suicide rate than theists.[104][105]

Atheism, binge drinking and suicide

Binge drinking is a potent risk factor for suicide.[106] Atheists have a higher suicide rate than the general population.

Militant atheism, alcoholism and anger

See also: Militant atheism, alcoholism and anger

Alcoholism had been linked to poor anger control both as a cause and effect of alcoholism.[107][108][109]

On January 1, 2011, CNN reported:

People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image - that is, what they imagined God might be like - said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers.[110]

Various studies found that traumatic events in people's lives has a positive correlation with "emotional atheism".[111]

Vox Day declared:

...the age at which most people become atheists indicates that it is almost never an intellectual decision, but an emotional one.[112]

The Christian apologist Ken Ammi concurs in his essay The Argument for Atheism from Immaturity and writes:

It is widely known that some atheists rejected God in their childhood, based on child like reasons, have not matured beyond these childish notions and thus, maintain childish-emotional reactions toward the idea of God.[113]

Although anti-theists, militant atheists and New Atheists give the general public the perception that atheists are exceedingly angry individuals, research indicates that the atheist population as a whole is not angrier than the general population (see: Various types of atheists/non-believers and anger).

Jesus Christ and Christendom have emphasized the important of forgiveness and in the last few decades mental health specialists have increasingly seen the importance of forgiveness to alleviate anger and other emotional problems within individuals.[114]

The atheist Christopher Hitchens was known for his excess drinking and chain-smoking.[115][116]

Historically speaking, atheists have been the biggest mass murders in history (see: Atheism and mass murder and Abortion and atheism).

For more information please see: Atheism and anger

Atheism, heavy drinking and weight gain

A significant portion of the atheist population has problems with obesity (see: Atheism and obesity and Secular Europe and obesity and Atheistic China and obesity).

Research indicates that heavy drinking may contribute to obesity. For example, a study found that frequent, light drinkers (3 to 7 drinking days per week, 1 drink per drinking day) had lower BMIs than infrequent, but heavier drinkers.[117]

Atheism, alcoholism, binge drinking and brain damage

See also: Atheism and intelligence

Alcoholism causes cognitive impairment.[118]

A 2012 study suggests that a habit of binge drink risks serious brain damage including increasing memory loss later in adulthood.[119][120]

Currently, there is a downward trend in intelligence scores in secular countries (see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries).

Atheism and illegal drug use and drug addition

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[121][122][123]

See also: Atheism and drug addiction

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[124][125][126]

According to Science Daily:

Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective factor against addictive behaviour. This is the conclusion reached by a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.[127]

Irreligion/religion, alcohol abuse and self-control studies

See also: Atheism and hedonism and Atheism and gluttony and Atheism and obesity and Jesus Christ, the apostles and the Mediterranean diet/Mosaic diet

Religion and self-control studies

See also: Atheism and health

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[128][129] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[130][131] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[132] [133] See also: Atheism and hedonism

Religion, self-control and lower levels of alcohol abuse

The prestigious Mayo Clinic found that that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.[134]

See also: Atheism and health

The journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications declares:

Next, C. Walker et al. (2007) found that religiousness (measured with a multi-item scale that included items related to the self-rated importance of religion) was negatively associated with self-reported substance use (i.e., an index that encompassed measures of cigarette smoking, drinking beer or wine, marijuana use, and heavy alcohol consumption) in two different cross-sectional data sets: a sample of 1,273 middle-school students and a sample of 812 high school students. The negative association of religiousness with substance use in both samples was significantly mediated by a latent variable measuring good self-control.

Finally, Desmond et al. (2008) found that self-control partially mediated the cross-sectional associations of a three-item self-report measure of religiousness (the mean of self-rated importance of religion, frequency of church attendance, and frequency of prayer) with alcohol use and marijuana use in the Add Health data set (a study of students from a nationally representative sample of 132 U.S. middle schools and high schools). These mediational effects obtained even when controlling for participants’ sex, age, race, parental education, socioeconomic status, family structure, students’ grades, associations with delinquent peers, attachment to their schools, religious denomination, and several other variables.[135][136]

Study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

A medical journal article in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs entitled Mediation of Family Alcoholism Risk by Religious Affiliation Types contained an abstract which indicated:

Religious affiliation is inversely associated with alcohol dependence (AD). Our previous findings indicated that when a religious affiliation differentiated itself from cultural norms, then high-risk adolescents (those having parents with alcoholism history) raised with these affiliations exhibited fewer AD symptoms compared with adolescents of other religious affiliations and nonreligious adolescents. The first of two studies reported here provides a needed replication of our previous findings for childhood religious affiliation using a different sample, and the second study extends examination to current religious affiliation...

Current results indicate that religious differentiation is an inverse mediator of alcoholism risk for offspring with or without parental AD history and regardless of the influence of other religion variables. Results replicated our previous report on religious upbringing between ages 6 and 13 years and indicated an even stronger effect when current differentiating affiliation was examined.[137]

Atheism, alcoholism and moral/emotional/social intelligence

The Apostle Paul taught that drunkards do not inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

See also: Atheism and the theory of multiple intelligences

The Apostle Paul wrote concerning drunkards and becoming free of enslavement to a drunken lifestyle:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. - I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)

The Bible indicates that excess alcohol use is a sin.[138] In short, the root cause is related to a person's spiritual condition and character.[139]

Many troubled people turn to alcohol as a means to escape their personal problems rather than relying on the power of God.

Christian author Sue Earl wrote:

Is God absent in heaven? Has God become indifferent and cold like some men, who have totally destroyed their sense of feel, or is God suffering with the sufferers? Mankind tries to deaden pain with drugs, alcohol, escapism, but if we attempt to deaden the pain we become indifferent and lose the ability to love. God is not an arbitrary force or blind fate of destiny who has no feelings. God is love. Love has a cost — suffering. God cared so much about people's sufferings that He sent Jesus to suffer and die for mankind. Not only did Jesus suffer when He died, God suffered. Christ's suffering reveals a passionate and loving God. For God to be man's redeemer, He had to be involved in Jesus' death. God made atonement and took away sin.[140]

Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) wrote:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[141]

Social science data and historical data point to atheists lacking moral character and often having personal problems as can been seen via the articles below:

See also

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