Atheism and economic prosperity

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The atheist and Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history."[1]

Francis Bacon argued that atheism was partly caused by:"Learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men’s minds to religion."[2] See also: Atheist indoctrination and Atheism and historical revisionism and Atheism/Christianity and economic diversity and Atheism and economics

Although the United States with its tradition of religious freedom and a strong work ethic has experienced high levels of prosperity and religiosity, often prosperity is inversely proportional to religious belief due to men's arrogance when they become wealthier.[3][4] Vox Day has pointed out that arrogant and godless nations have often eventually experienced significant hardships.[5] See also: Atheism and lower economic productivity

Irreligious countries with Protestant cultural legacies

See also: Irreligious countries with Protestant cultural legacies

The atheist and Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history."[6]

Countries with Protestant cultural legacies have high levels of economic/social development (See also: Protestant cultural legacies and Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism).

Effects of cultural legacies

The website Cultural Front notes:

In chapter 6 of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell highlights cultural legacies. He opens with disturbing descriptions of how longstanding cultural patterns and beliefs influenced violent conflicts among generations of families in Kentucky during the 19th century.

The compelling research findings concerning long-term and deeply held values led Gladwell to the conclusion that cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them. He goes on to note the possibilities of “taking cultural legacies seriously” in order to learn “why people succeed and how to make people better.”[7]

Protestant missionaries and economic/societal development

See: Protestant missionaries and economic and societal development

Atheist apologists and countries with Protestant cultural legacies

Various atheist apologists point out countries with high levels of economic/social development, especially in Nordic countries, without mentioning the Protestant cultural legacies of these countries.

Atheism and communism

See also: Atheism and communism

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[8]

As far as communist states, atheism has been an integral part of their ideology (see: Atheism and communism).

Politically, atheists tend to lean left in terms of their political ideology (Atheism and politics).

Long term, communist states and socialist states frequently have economic/productivity problems (see: Soviet Union and Eurozone Crisis and Atheism and sloth).

Atheism, Protestantism and economic risk taking

As far as economic risk taking behavior, Protestants and atheists tend to be less risk averse than people with other religions or denominations.[9]

Part of the reason why atheists may be less risk averse in terms of economic behavior is that a majority of atheists are men and women tend to be more economically cautious (see: Atheism and women)[10][11] In addition, atheists marry at a lower rate and some atheists may have less family obligations (see: Atheism and marriage).

Travis Wiseman and and Andrew Young research

Pacific Standard Magazine declared:

American prosperity is often attributed, at least in part, to the Protestant work ethic. According to this school of thought, our religion-inspired productivity contributes greatly to a growing economy.

Newly published research questions whether that truism is actually true. Using state-level data, it finds an inverse relationship between the practice of religion and what the researchers call “productive entrepreneurship” — that is, entrepreneurial activity that genuinely leads to economic growth.

And in a surprise kicker, two economists report this desirable type of entrepreneurship is associated with a greater percentage of atheists and agnostics in a state’s population.[12]

(see also: Religion: productive or unproductive?)

A valid criticism of the research is that it ignores the cultural/socioeconomic legacies of the residents in the areas involved. For example, a geographic area inhabited by residents who have come from areas of the world with centuries of low economic development typically may change its level of economic productivity level slowly.

Another valid criticism is that rural areas often have lower frequencies of being of major entrepreneurial centers compared to major cities. Rural Americans tend to be more religious. Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation indicates: "It’s still lonely being an atheist in rural America."[13]

Furthermore, capitalism requires capital and populations with lower levels of accumulated generational capital wealth is at an disadvantage. The African-American population endured slavery in agrarian areas of the American South, Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination throughout the United States for an extended period. In the United States, blacks have the highest rate of religiosity (See also: Western atheism and race and Black atheism).[14] The ethnic/cultural and socioeconomic histories of states need to be considered.

The research of Travis Wiseman and and Andrew Young research neglects effects of evangelical Protestantism on atheistic China

China has the world's largest atheist population.[15][16]

In recent years, it has seen an explosive growth of Evangelical Protestant Christianity and rapid economic progress (see: Growth of Christianity in China and The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China)

In addition, China has the world's largest atheist population.[17][18] In recent years, it has seen an explosive growth of Evangelical Protestant Christianity and rapid economic progress (see: Growth of Christianity in China and The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China).

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website RN reports:

The reason for this rise in Asian Christianity is as varied as the region is diverse. However for South Korea, China and other economically vibrant neighbours contributing to the rise of the Asian Century, German sociologist Max Weber got it right. Christianity is like the spiritual backdrop to the market economy.

Christian business people in China ‘think that the Protestant work ethic is particularly suitable for this market economy,’ claims Professor Fenggang Yang, sociologist at Purdue University in Indiana.

‘The market economy [in China] is sometimes associated with a high ratio of corruption—doing business without rules or regulations, or when those regulations cannot be enforced,’ he says.

Contrary to the belief that modernism breeds secularism, Yang posits that the rise of the Chinese entrepreneurial class has created a demand for internal rules—morality, ethics and spiritual certainty—all the elements that make up religion’s job description.

The demand for this religious foundation is certainly formidable. Beijing controls Christianity by sanctioning only a set number of churches, yet underground or ‘house churches’ keep popping up, like Bible studies groups that gather at McDonalds, recounts Yang.

Buddhism, Confucianism and other great religious and philosophical traditions indigenous to Asia also provide the same spiritual bedrock, and overall, religion is on the rise in China. However Christianity can claim more converts because of its association with other key aspects of a modern life like better education, individual freedom, equality and democracy says Yang.

Sebastian Kim of York St John University in the UK concurs. Unlike other Asian countries, Koreans, not foreign missionaries, planted the first seeds of Christianity in Korea. Yet, it was western missionaries who brought with them hospitals, schools and other social institutions that helped transform Korea.[19]

See also

External links

References

  1. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  2. Francis Bacon, Of atheism - essay
  3. The inevitable decline of atheism by Vox Day
  4. Does atheism thrive on economic prosperity? Does religion prosper when people are desperate and ignorant?
  5. The inevitable decline of atheism by Vox Day
  6. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  7. Outliers & Cultural Legacies
  8. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  9. Cultural Differences in Risk Tolerance by Christoph S. Weber, IWE Working Paper No. 01-2013, ISSN: 1862-0787, Erlangen, May 2013
  10. Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking by Gary Charness and Uri Gneezy, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
  11. Why Women Don't Take Risks With Their Money by Helaine Olen, The Atlantic, Nov 14, 2012
  12. [Atheism Linked to Economic Innovation, Productivity] by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard Magazine
  13. Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide, CNN
  14. Gallup: Blacks Most Religious Group in U.S.
  15. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  16. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  17. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  18. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  19. The rise of Christianity in Asia by Masako Fukui, Australian Broadcasting Corporation's website RN