Atheism and economics

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Historically, in terms of economics and politics, atheists have tended to be on the left side of the economics/politics spectrum (See: Atheism and politics and History of atheism).

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."[1] See: Atheism and communism

Atheism and its effect on economic productivity

See also: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Atheism and sloth

Due to lower economic productivity, atheistic communism/socialism can lead to a country to eventual financial ruin or significant economic problems which is what occurred to the Soviet Union and is currently happening in secular Europe via the Eurozone financial crisis (see: Atheism and lower economic productivity).

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 (See also: Atheism and arrogance).[2][3] Vox Day has pointed out that arrogant and godless nations have often eventually experienced significant hardships.[4]

The Eurozone crisis is an ongoing economic crisis which has been negatively affecting Eurozone countries since late 2009. It consists of a sovereign debt crisis, a banking crisis and an economic growth and competitiveness crisis. Economic and societal/political instability is positively correlated to greater religiosity.[5] Economic/societal instability in Europe could cause Europe to become more religious.[6]

Many nations with a Christian heritage or who are increasingly adopting Christianity are prosperous due to the contributions that Christianity brings to science, technology, economics and a nation's work ethic (see: Christianity and science and Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism).[7] 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." A 2011 Telegraph article noted: "Either way, not a single Protestant or Germanic EU country has so far needed a bailout."[8] The Protestant Reformation started in Germany and Germany has one of the strongest economies of Europe.

The 1950s was a very prosperous time in the United States.[9] In his 1954 sermon entitled Discovering Lost Values, Dr. Martin Luther King warned about "practical atheism" which is living as though God does not exist (See also: Western ungodliness, prosperity and decadence).[10]

Below is a resource related to atheism and wealth:

Sloth in atheistic communist countries vs. Protestant work ethic

See also: Atheism and sloth and Protestant work ethic

In China, the growth in religion has accompanied China’s fast economic growth over the last twenty years.[11]

Atheism is a part of Marxist-Leninist and Maoist/Chinese communist ideology (See: Atheism and communism).

Widespread sloth in the former Soviet Union helped cause much poverty.[12][13] In the former Soviet Union, a popular joke was that the workers pretended to work and the Soviet Union pretended to pay them.[14] A study performed in the former Soviet Union found that over 50% of the work force admitted to drinking alcohol while on the job (See also: Atheism and alcoholism).[15]

In China, the growth in religion has accompanied China’s fast economic growth over the last twenty years.[16] Christianity is seeing rapid growth in China and the historian Niall Ferguson attributes this recent economic growth to the Protestant work ethic being more incorporated into Chinese society.[17] See also: Growth of Christianity in China

Eurozone crisis and atheistic ideology

See: Atheism and secular Europe's economic crisis

Secular nations with Protestant cultural legacies

See also: Protestant cultural legacies

As noted above, 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."[18] See: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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.”[19]

When atheist apologists cite various favorable economic statistics of irreligious countries which formerly had a strong presence of Protestantism (typically in Northern Europe), they generally do not mention the issue of the effects of cultural legacies.

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.[20]

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)[21][22] In addition, atheists marry at a lower rate and some atheists may have less family obligations (see: Atheism and marriage).

Atheism and economic prosperity

See: Atheism and economic prosperity

See also

References

  1. 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.”
  2. The inevitable decline of atheism by Vox Day
  3. Does atheism thrive on economic prosperity? Does religion prosper when people are desperate and ignorant?
  4. The inevitable decline of atheism by Vox Day
  5. Does atheism thrive on economic prosperity? Does religion prosper when people are desperate and ignorant?
  6. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China
  7. Another Catholic country needs a bailout
  8. 1950s in America
  9. "Rediscovering lost values" King, Dr. Martin Luther (1954). Retrieved from Globatron, July 16, 2014. Caution: Presumably copyrighted work in the U.S. until 2049 and in Canada until 2018. For fair educational use only.
  10. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  11. Poverty, prostitutes and the long, slow death of the Soviet Union: Haunting pictures show desperate struggle to survive in last days of USSR, The Daily Mail
  12. Soviet Openness Brings Poverty Out of the Shadows, New York Times
  13. You Pretend to work and Putin pretends to pay you
  14. Communism and computer ethics
  15. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  16. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  17. The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  18. Outliers & Cultural Legacies
  19. Cultural Differences in Risk Tolerance by Christoph S. Weber, IWE Working Paper No. 01-2013, ISSN: 1862-0787, Erlangen, May 2013
  20. Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking by Gary Charness and Uri Gneezy, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
  21. Why Women Don't Take Risks With Their Money by Helaine Olen, The Atlantic, Nov 14, 2012