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Posted byMD-PhD-MBA | Clinical Professor/Medicine1 month agoGilded1

A new study exploring why rich countries tend to be secular whilst poor countries tend to be religious finds that a decline in religion predicts a country's future economic prosperity, when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights.

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level 1
3.3k points · 1 month ago

Does an increase in prosperity predict a decline in religion?

level 2
2.2k points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

The Middle East would suggest no.

and from the article:

The findings revealed that secularisation precedes economic development and not the other way around. Although this does not demonstrate a causal pathway, it does rule out the reverse.

edit:

For all the people saying "the rich ones aren't religious", the study looked at the importance of religion to the country as a whole, not individuals. Same with GDP change (obviously, by definition). If you want to look at wealth distribution or whatever else, that's a whole other study that needs to be done.

edit 2:

Looking at Saudi Arabia as an example, the GDP was $117.6B in 1990 (beginning of this study) and $646.4B in 2016. That's a huge difference in GDP in 26 years, which obviously hasn't correlated with a similar decline in religiosity.

https://i.imgur.com/KxRPFHw.png

edit 3:

it seems like some people are interpreting my post as an example that goes against the conclusion of the study. Just the opposite, my point was that it fits exactly what they’re trying to say.

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38 points · 1 month ago

Until people start killing in the name of Stan Lee then I'll say fandom is better.

level 9

With all the above comments removed, your post is an interesting read

level 10

I would say r/nocontext, but there is no context to be found

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level 3

At the same time though, the middle East has a huge resource in the form of oil, a lot of other very religious countries don't have that advantage

level 4
205 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

That's exactly the point. They are rich, yet they are still religious.

edit:

Alex Bentley from the University of Tennessee, added: "Over the course of the 20th century, changes in importance of religious practices appear to have predicted changes in GDP across the world.

Apparently they didn't look at individuals or wealth distribution, but the country overall.

level 5

A small minority in the middle east are rich, the masses anything but.

level 6

"rich countries"

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level 6
96 points · 1 month ago

This actually really speaks to the bigger picture here. Most good Christians or Muslims or Jews or any religious people I know don’t make a big fuss about it, they just have a decent moral compass, pay attention to the bigger picture of their religion and probably are generous with their money and/or spend some time volunteering.

In government, this means people who work hard towards passing laws that benefit everyone and build a healthier and more effective society, but not imposing specific moral rules they follow on everyone else. Free choice is the whole point of religion right? You choose to act well, not get forced to act well by human leaders.

The Christian far right in America and theocratic leaders in many Muslim countries ignore the overarching ‘treat people well’ part and use an imaginary moral authority to try and force people to act a certain way by picking and choosing specific outdated passages to justify misogynistic, racist and just plain restrictive rules and policies.

So the counties are “more religious”, just not at all actually because if you’re actually religious you don’t impose it on everyone.

level 7

No compulsion in religion is a reasonably new concept and one that authoritarians tend to neglect to teach.

Most of your points are fair, but you seem to make the tautological assumption that religion offers the exercise of free will over governmental laws. I would completely disagree. I would argue that, similar to laws, religion imposes a restrictive, proscriptive limitation to the range of acts you feel you can engage in.

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level 7

Free choice is the whole point of religion right?

Exactly the opposite. Adhering to a religion means at most using your free will to willingly believe someone else's beliefs. Overall I would not call that a free choice.

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level 7

The Christian far right in America and theocratic leaders in many Muslim countries ignore the overarching ‘treat people well’ part...

That doesn't make them not religious. Just a different interpretation than the one you like.

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level 7
12 points · 1 month ago

Unfortunately everything you've said is just a very idealistic view of religion that simply doesn't hold up based on history nor does it actually represent what these religions teach. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happens when a single religion becomes too dominant in society. Time and again it's been shown that a society that leans more toward secularism and freedom of thought is what truly leads to freedom of religion and choice. As for economic prosperity, that's a little harder to pin down but that's what this study is for.

Unfortunately what you call outdated passages and cherry picking of scripture is actually what these religions teach. You're right that they're outdated; they don't hold up to scrutiny and they definitely don't match up with our modern value systems. But, aside from the more moderate factions, Christianity and Islam simply just don't fit in with today's society unless they ignore huge chunks of their teachings, or reinterpret them to better suit the setting.

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level 7

As someone who has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia and several of the surrounding Gulf countries, that simply is incorrect. There are many citizens of these countries who are middle class or living in poverty, its not like they're all businessmen and land owners.

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level 9

I lived in the region for about 26 years before I left, it's definitely rare to see a poor or middle class Emirat but outside of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, those "jobs" aren't as lucrative or common as you might think, how many people flock to ajman or fujairah to set up business that need a local business partner, for example? I'm not disagreeing with you perse, just sharing what I experienced and saw myself :) The Gulf is great for a few years but after a while you just want out and away, or at least I did haha

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level 5
37 points · 1 month ago

Getting rich via the boon of geography is different than getting rich via a diverse and open economy that comes from an open and free society.

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PhD|Chemical Biology23 points · 1 month ago

The religious aren't rich, and the ones who are rich the religiousness is just an act

level 6

the study doesn't seem to consider individuals, but countries on the whole. They used GDP as a metric.

level 6
15 points · 1 month ago

this instantly made me think of those tv preachers. I really wish they could be outlawed. It is disgusting. They preach fraudulently and take money from the poor to fill their own pockets, mostly. It's horrifying.

level 7

My younger stepbrother is in training to be a preacher and its in one of those trashy sects that steal from their congregants. It's gross to see because he's just a common thief.

level 8
6 points · 1 month ago

it's pissed me off for SO LONG. The only person who ever stole from our office was, surprise surprise, a preacher. But it goes far beyond this. They break the law and mix church and state, knowingly. They don't pay taxes on a cent they pay for what they take from poor people and buy planes, at the higher end, for personal use. Where is the accountability? Oh well

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24 points · 1 month ago(9 children)
level 4

The crazy thing about the UAE is it's made of several emirates, with Dubai being the least religious, the rest are fairly strict on religion, especially Sharjah iirc.

level 5
34 points · 1 month ago

Yupppp. What’s hilarious is when AUS (Sharjah) students just go to Dubai—literally 30 mins away—to turn up.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai (both prosperous and with highly educated populous) are the least conservative cities (AD is a huge Emirate and includes a fairy conservative city called Al Ain).

Overall the UAE is getting less religious over time. Even the amount of Islamic Studies classes (like religion classes in the US in some schools) have reduced dramatically in the past 4 years. It’s been replaced by Social Responsibility/Community Service classes in its place.

I just wish they secularize the strate* à la Ataturk Turkey :( It’s definitely possible.

Edit: state*

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level 5

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are relatively secular, or at least more tolerant of Western lifestyles, in my experience. Sharjah is extremely traditional, which is odd considering it is basically attached to Dubai. On one side of the street is a paradise, and the other is fundamentalist and restrictive. It's very strange.

level 6

Well compare it to conservative and liberal states in the US if that'd make more sense. California and Nevada are both right next to Arizona and Utah, granted in the US it's on a muuuuuch bigger scale but it's basically the same thing, each Emirate has it's own ruler and police, and they have their own laws and are responsible for municipal issues etc.

level 7

It's a little closer than what you see in the States though. I mean literally across the street. Like if Brooklyn were secular and Queens were fundamentalist.

level 8

Yeah I get what you mean, that's why i said it's on a much bigger scale in the US. If there were enough space in the UAE it'd be exactly like the difference in states in the US.

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level 3

Is there a way to read the paper? I have much anecdotal evidence that economic prosperity caused secularisation, and I wish to see the research pertaining to ruling out the reverse.

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81 points · 1 month ago

An increase in education has adirect result in a decrease of religious/superstitious belief

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67 points · 1 month ago

Yesterday's Hidden Brain (NPR) podcast was actually on this subject, but the reason they gave was slightly more different. They explain the rise of religion as a way to accomplish social functions. For example, in a society without a proper legal system, a vengeful god can deter people from bad acts. Religion evolved over time in societies to solve problems of trust and cooperation.

level 4
27 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

That has been my casual theory on religion. It was a good stepping stone for establishing morality and order. Just looking at the bible it feels a little ad hoc in terms of SOPs to try to get people to be civilized.

level 5

Ultimately religion is a rather huge meme, in the original sense of the word. It's prevalent because those who did not spread the meme were more likely to die or have their lineages die. Since we couldn't edit our genes, we instead created ideas, memes, to transfer from one person to the other to serve as a much more flexible replacement of genetics.

If you look at a lot of things religion tells you not to do, many of them also have realistic health reasons behind it, at least at the time of their creation. Not having sex with animals is an obvious one due to the severe diseases you can catch from doing so. It may be controversial to say this, but circumcision may have as well since washing wasn't exactly common. Then you have the ones that tell you not to kill people. Societies which practiced all these things were more likely to survive than ones who didn't at the time. Survival of the fittest through memetics rather than genetics.

It's not that societies all developed these ideas or religions, it's that the ones that didn't died off.

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In addition, if you are successful/well-off, why would you need religion? If you are poor and things suck, you are looking for hope.

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level 2

i don't think any of this predicts anything. many historical events contradict this study. seems like their taking a tiny snap shot of the current age and applying it to everyone all the time.

there are way more factors that go into how religious a people are, like what religion, peace and stability, liberties allowed by government...

i don't see how this conclusion can ever be made. this study is more like a survey than an actual study.

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level 2

The study says it's the other way around.

level 3
16 points · 1 month ago

/u/Al89nut is asking if the converse is true as well.

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level 2

Does an increase in personal choice predict a decline in religion?

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level 1
1.2k points · 1 month ago

I wonder if they would have gotten other results if they looked at different time periods?

level 2

Wondered the same thing! Have to wonder if this is a more modern correlation. Looking back 100 years is a drop in the bucket in human history.

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[deleted]
306 points · 1 month ago

I feel like 100 years is a pretty comprehensive look at post industrial revolution society, especially with communication blowing up in the last 30 years

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117 points · 1 month ago

People have only been secular in large numbers in the last hundred years. Before science, God was the only thing that made sense.

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68 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Absolutely untrue. There have always been secular people, for literally thousands of years

level 5

Fun fact: Greece, for all its faults, is believed to have had an active secular culture (not near the masses, but active) before Rome's invasion.

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level 4
17 points · 1 month ago

People have only been secular in large numbers in the last hundred years

This is definitely not true. There's large secular societies throughout the Bible.

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level 4

Yeah this is true. Although science was around, churches still had their fingers in the government for ages. It's only been about 200 years since the church and government separated in North America.

level 5

But has it really though. Look at all the ways laws have been based on faith views. Abortion, marriage, adoption, LGBT rights, women's rights, and more have been regulated based on religious views, or have been fighting to get them to religous views. Even if the supreme courts have decided that they are unconstitutional.

level 6
47 points · 1 month ago

Laws in a free state are made by the people. If the people are largely religious the laws will be influence by that.

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level 4

China's always been pretty secular, hasn't it? Ancestor veneration isn't quite the same thing as, say, Christianity and philosphies like Confucian thought are even more different.

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level 2

Probably looking at wealth distribution would be more relative to time, wouldn't it? It's kinda like comparing this study with the Middle East today, or in some ways the US, all of the money is at the top, and not really shared across the culture. Also, the last part of the title says the most I think:

when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights

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level 2

I imagine they would. Look at the Catholic states pre-enlightenment, such as Spain exploring and exploiting the New World, or the various Islamic Caliphates. For a time, Baghdad was one of the largest cities in the world.

I think more than likely that this research shows that European and Western countries are wealthier, with a few secular outliers like China, Japan, and Korea. It's really more just a coincidence of history, rather than any sort of conclusion about religion and its influence on wealth.

level 3

I'd be curious to see how religious empires were during their growth versus their decline. It seems like the growth periods might be self-fulfilling (this worked because of me) while the decline is triggered from a stretch of bad luck and/or poor decisions leading to a period of seeking help from a higher power.

It's a bit like the saying everyone is a genius in a bull market.

No evidence; just a hypothesis.

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level 3

Catholic spain might be an outlayer. I can obivously not come up with a comprehensive study, but from what i remember, a lot of "golden ages" came along with a culture of tolerance, inclusion of minorities and a certain respect of personal freedom (for traders and entrepeneurs at least), which then of course make foreign trade easier (all of this is relative to their contemporaries of course). Examples just from my memory: The Abbasid and Ayyubid Califate, early Al-Andalus, Tang China, Early Ming China (Yongle era), Early Roman Empire, Hellenic successor kingdoms, Sassanid Persia, Post-Independence Netherlands, ....

level 4

In general, sound economic policy produces sound economies.

The free flow of labor and ideas is sound economic policy.

level 5

Sure. And rationalism is much better at recognizing sound policies than dogmatism of any kind. Its not a big surprise that things get better if you do not decide your state policies on the base of a bronze age book.

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level 1

Economist by education and trade (quant analyst) here. As others have noted, the lead researcher explicitly stated that the relationship is not causal and mentioned the importance of individual rights and freedoms as a factor. The comments attacking the clickbait title seem to take some offense to the secularism portion.

However, it is important to note that a strong correlation between two things suggests that there are shared causal factors. It is ridiculously improbable for correlations to occur between completely unrelated things, especially when given a substantial window of data. In other words, the distinction doesn't matter as the fact is; secularism precedes/predicts economic growth.

I'd further note that the stress on individual rights and freedoms is likely for clearer interpretation of the research as, without such a note, data from unsuccessful centralized governments and economies may increase spuriousness.

In regards to comments stating that Western economic growth began at a time where people were still religious:

Preceding secularism is the liberalization of the governing/educated class. This has already began in the Middle East, where the governing/upper class often feigns religious devotion. Yes, Europeans were still very religious during the colonial era. However, the wealthy and educated had begun to indulge in things prohibited by the church in a much more open manner than during the Middle Ages. People also began to look to science rather than take the word of the church and Bible as the one truth. Most importantly, religion no longer had absolute dictation of the law - which is secularism. Drifting away from something like religion doesn't happen overnight.

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level 1

While I'm always happy to read social science studies of these types of topics, to me (as a professional historian) this is obvious and at the same time an oversimplification.

Historians already know this.

In fact, historians have known (and argued) about this for more than one hundred years. (The relationship between secularization and capitalism has been researched by cultural and economic historians for 200 years now; and it is the driving theme behind Max Weber's famous book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirt of Capitalism, published well over one hundred years ago, and itself sparking a century of pretty intensive research.

So, I guess what is "new" here is the numerical data? As well as the sheer quantity of countries included in the study? (which is where the oversimplification comes in... how much are these different countries truly comparable in this superficial way?)

level 2

Newton said he was standing on the shoulders of giants. All research is based on existing research.

level 2

This, the oversimplification of historical and social procesus, sometimes plainly making it aside, and the intention of Prediction is predominant in this kind of statistics studies.

While reading the article and the coments, I got the feeling that the researches just forget the long development of capitalism, religion and globalization since the XVI to present what they believe to be a good answer.

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level 1
MD-PhD-MBA | Clinical Professor/MedicineOriginal Poster293 points · 1 month ago

The title of the post is a copy and paste from the subtitle, first and fifth paragraphs of the linked academic press release here :

The study, published in Science Advances, has shown that a decline in religion influences a country's future economic prosperity.

While it is well documented that rich countries tend to be secular whilst poor countries tend to be religious, it is still unclear if secularisation causes wealth or the other way around?

Furthermore, the findings show that secularisation only predicts future economic development when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights. Countries where abortion, divorce and homosexuality are tolerated have a greater chance of future economic prosperity.

Journal Reference:

Damian J. Ruck, R. Alexander Bentley, Daniel J. Lawson.

Religious change preceded economic change in the 20th century.

Science Advances, 2018; 4 (7): eaar8680

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar8680

Link: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/7/eaar8680

Abstract

The decline in the everyday importance of religion with economic development is a well-known correlation, but which phenomenon comes first? Using unsupervised factor analysis and a birth cohort approach to create a retrospective time series, we present 100-year time series of secularization in different nations, derived from recent global values surveys, which we compare by decade to historical gross domestic product figures in those nations. We find evidence that a rise in secularization generally has preceded economic growth over the past century. Our multilevel, time-lagged regressions also indicate that tolerance for individual rights predicted 20th century economic growth even better than secularization. These findings hold when we control for education and shared cultural heritage.

level 2
[deleted]
111 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

respect and tolerance for individual rights

This seems to coincide with the highly influential work of economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, who find that the expectation of rights which shall not be infringed is essentially the basis upon which consistent economic growth has occurred and is the defining feature of inequality between nations, ie rich nations have them and poor nations do not.

level 3
9 points · 1 month ago

that the expectation of rights which shall not be infringed is essentially the basis upon which consistent economic growth has occurred and is the defining feature of inequality between nations, ie rich nations have them and poor nations do not

You seem to be describing a working legal system rather than a 'respect and tolerance for individual rights'

There are plenty of examples of rich nations having almost non-existent individual rights - including weaker property rights - especially if you don't gloss over the pre-WWII world. But I can't think of many that didn't have working legal systems.

level 4
[deleted]
7 points · 1 month ago

I am not doing a good job of explaining their work but it is more specific than a working legal system. There are nations who have working legal systems which nonetheless do not offer legal protections equally across all members of their society.

Additionally, it should be said that 'consistent' is an important qualifier for their findings, as there are plenty of instances of states which have achieved temporary growth through non inclusive means.

level 5
7 points · 1 month ago

There are nations who have working legal systems which nonetheless do not offer legal protections equally across all members of their society.

And plenty of examples throughout history of very rich nations consistently not offering legal protections equally across all members of their society, especially when you include colonies, and in fact being worse in many areas of 'human rights' than their predecessors.

level 6
[deleted]
7 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

The book specifies that inclusive institutions create growth, it does not require that a nation consist solely of inclusive institutions in order to grow, just that the more they are, the more they grow.

It talks quite a bit about colonialism and analyzes its outcomes, showing that places where the colonists sought to extract wealth from native populations (which was generally anywhere that they could do so) are poorer today than where colonists were forced to build and cooperate with natives. Thus, colonized places with the most natural resources seem to be poorer than those without because their human resources were plundered, not because their natural resources are gone.

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15 points · 1 month ago(5 children)

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323 points · 1 month ago

So they find that an increase in secularism predicts prosperity, but only when accompanied by tolerance for individual freedoms.

So they have one factor (secularism) that sometimes does and sometimes doesn't predict prosperity. They have another factor (tolerance for individual freedom) that always predicts prosperity.

It seems like the headline should be about individual freedoms, not religion. That would also be an incredibly common sense and uncontroversial claim, so you'd have a much lower clickbait factor as well. Ahh... decisions decisions.

Anyone with a passing knowledge of world history recognizes that there are secular societies that have been very prosperous and some that have been dirt poor and abusive. There have been religious societies that have been very prosperous and free, and some that have been dirt poor and abusive.

level 2

How does the second factor ALWAYS predict prosperity? It only always predicts prosperity in more secular societies according to the headline. They didn't give that statement a scope that reaches beyond the first factor.

level 3

Countries that are rich in natural resources (with exceptions, of course) tend to reply on their resources for their economic output. Countries that rely on their citizens for their economy (like a degree in engineering or something) tend to want their citizens in the best position possible to produce more resources. There for countries increasing rights means that country is in the future going to be relying on their citizens, rather than their resources.

level 4

That's fine, and could very well be true, but unless that was what was measured in the research they can't simply claim it to be true. They aren't here to make statements summarizing others work. They're here to present the facts of their own work.

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level 1

Clickbait title.

The authors fully acknowledge that the link between secularism and economic development is likely not causal. Given that there are very robust theories for why this correlation may show up (secularism tended to come as a byproduct of liberal movements that also backed secure property rights and a stronger legal state) it would be quite silly to assume it was causal.

level 2
305 points · 1 month ago

And the author's own title also does not make that claim - they simply say religious change precedes economic change, not that it causes it.

As you say, that could easily be because they are caused by the same sources, but religion changes faster than economics.

level 3

If religiosity R and the causal variable V are so strongly colinear predictors of quality of life Q, the distinction may be irrelevant. If R and V always vary together, and V leads to an improvement in Q, then it's certainly worth seeing whether changing R directly pulls V, and by extension, Q.

level 4
41 points · 1 month ago

I hate religion as much as the other guy, but even clickbaity version

when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights.

seems to partially at least answer this question.

level 5

It's almost like having a liberal progressive and educated society leads to economic prosperity

level 6
48 points · 1 month ago

If I were to guess, "educated" beats "liberal" or "progressive" by a wide margin here, but I can't really provide any quality backup for that opinion.

level 7
21 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

That assertion came from the whole

When accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights

Also evidenced by trends in America where liberal west and east coast states are generally better off ecpnomically than conservative ones (with the exception of major oil producing conservative states).

However on second thought, the Nazis were pretty damn successful and were anything but tolerant and progressive, but were highly educated. Although its clear how that worked out for them in the end.

level 8
9 points · 1 month ago

I'd point at today's China more than anything. Although analogies to Nazis can be drawn, there's much more going on. Unfortunately we'll need about 20 more years to know how it actually goes.

On the other hand we have fair share of liberal (by our norms) "primitive" tribes that lack education and they generally aren't in the best spot economically - if I recall correctly, they were fairly happy however. Same can be said about Native Americans.

Again I seriously lack anything more than anecdotes and intuition, but spending more resources on answering "how?" seems to provide answers that work. In capitalist society that's usually "how to get richer?", but "how to maintain and control people?" or "how to exterminate people?" can be answered as well. "How to better answer 'how?' questions?" is up there too and traditionally it's asked by the same people who ask "why?" questions.

I can't judge how much i'm caught in narratives of particular societies however.

level 8

I personally wouldn't define success as running the country for 10-15 years before a total catastrophic collapse that kills literally millions of Germans and destroys the German economy.

level 9

Well they did declare war on a bunch of countries, so that sort of played into things.

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level 7

"educated" beats "liberal" or "progressive"

True, but education and liberal leaning are somewhat correlated. Even in deep red states, cities with a major college or uni almost universally lean liberal.

Now, whether this is due to the education itself or simply due to being in close proximity with people of different economic and ethnic backgrounds I can't say. Probably a little of both, but I'd be interested to see the correlation there.

level 8

Even in deep red states, cities with a major college or uni almost universally lean liberal.

That's because people who are younger are more liberal, and most people in a college town are younger.

There's also some selection bias going on, since most people who attend college are more intelligent than average. It's not that the college made them more intelligent, but if they're already more intelligent they're more likely to go to college, whereas the pool of people who didn't go to college includes people who are smart enough but decided not to go, as well as people who lack the intellect to do college level work.

There was a study a while back that showed that people who were accepted to Ivy League schools tended to have higher earnings even if they decided not to attend those schools. It's most likely because those schools tend to select students who are already much smarter that the average high school student.

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level 3

Seems to me both events follow education.

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level 2
21 points · 1 month ago

But the title doesn't say it's causal?

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level 2
8 points · 1 month ago

What is most likely is that secularism ends up being a spectrum and only after sufficient momentum will any number of people publicly identify as such. This skews perception and reality and introduces the possibility that liberal policy has a lagging effect.

We can't forget that intolerance for individual freedom included a distaste for public secular figures.

level 2

Is there a word for inter-causal, where two events cause each other to advance forward?

level 3

Mutual causality, perhaps. The term "symbiosis" typically refers to living things in context, but it's also a good one.

level 3

Symbiotic?

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level 2

Yes, seems like it's more that when people get more social freedom they tend to become more productive and less religious.

level 3

You are describing a causal relationship, whereas the authors of the study point out that the relationship is most likely not causal, only predictive.

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level 1
BS|Kinesiology29 points · 1 month ago

Wouldn't increasing respect and tolerance for individual rights do this regardless?

level 2
[deleted]
7 points · 1 month ago(1 child)

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level 1

The decline of religious authoritarianism has always been correlated with the freedom of movement, trade and labor. Nothing new here. One to the major reasons the Dutch where the front on capitalism and had such an early Golden age was because they are one of the first documented places that did not discriminate against religion, race or sex as long as you were productive.

level 1
[deleted]
27 points · 1 month ago(3 children)
level 2
[deleted]
9 points · 1 month ago(0 children)

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level 1

The "when it is accompanied by" bit tells the tale. That's the cheese, not the decline of religion.

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level 1

Or is it just respect and tolerance for individual rights? :-\

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level 1

The largest and most profitable nations were religious empires. There’s too many variables here. Europe is rich off many factors. The Middle East, Africa, and the Orient have history that shows why they’re not on par. Be it from war, conquest, disease or something else, I hardly see religion as the cause or root.

For example: the Soviet Union had no religion, and they never prospered. That itself, however, can be argued for the pains of what Communism wrought in the east instead of religion entirely.

level 2
[deleted]
5 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

the Soviet Union had no religion, and they never prospered

  • 1957: First space sattelite, Sputnik.

  • 1961: First Man in Space - Yuri Gargarin.

  • 1971: First Space Station - Salyut 1.

  • 1986: First permanent space station in Earth orbit, the MIR orbit from 1986 to 2001

  • First man-made objects (probes/rovers) on Moon, Venus, Mars

  • One of the worlds highest literacy rates.

  • Largest Weapons manufacturer of its time. Ranging from assault rifles to intercontinental ICBM's.

level 3

You forgot 1963: First Woman in Space - Valentina Tereshkova

A full 20 years before the US.

At the same time though, people struggled, hard!

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level 1

I think using something like the (change in) distribution of wealth would be interesting, as it would highlight whether the growth was due to the 1% benfitting or from the masses earning more money. Personally I'd say the latter but it would be interesting to see a study on it.

level 1

The findings revealed that secularisation precedes economic development and not the other way around. Although this does not demonstrate a causal pathway, it does rule out the reverse.

The disclaimer stating that our research does not support our preconceived notions however it is a social science so we are okay.

level 1

This seems like a dubious claim, as the greatest gains in American economic prosperity occurred during a time when people were generally more religious.

level 2

But that was a special kind of religion. A sociologist named Max Weber wrote interesting stuff about the rise of rational thought and capitalism through calvinism in America. It is definately worth a read.

A tldr would probably be that the uncertainty of salvation tought in religions was too much for people so they set up their beliefs in a way that worldly belongings and prosperity were a sign for the diligence and hard work of that person, therefore making him/here more suitable to go to heaven. Competition under calvinists to be the number one spot in heaven catapulted the US economy and it helped create a more capitalist world which we live in today because people adapted to the mindset

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level 2
15 points · 1 month ago

A single data point to the contrary (America as opposed to other countries) doesn't necessarily invalidate the conclusion. Things like this are trends, not absolutes.

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level 2
[deleted]
36 points · 1 month ago(42 children)
level 3
48 points · 1 month ago

a decline in religion predicts a country's future economic prosperity, when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights.

Maybe I'm getting my enemies of America mixed up, but I don't think many of those regimes cared much about individual rights.

level 4

It’s like people aren’t even reading the article before they comment!

level 5

That qualifier jeopardizes the entire study though. You can't introduce a confounding variable in your own conclusion.

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level 1
[deleted]
43 points · 1 month ago(2 children)

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level 1

Reddit: "religion bad"

634k upboats

level 2
[deleted]
6 points · 1 month ago

I like religion actually

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level 1

when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights

Seems like a large caveat that is difficult to define.

level 1
17 points · 1 month ago

Or how about just "respect and tolerance for individual rights" "predicts a country's future economic prosperity."

level 2

That assumes that those things are separate from religion, which they technically aren't (even if one could say they typically are).

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level 1
5 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Furthermore, the findings show that secularisation only predicts future economic development when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights. Countries where abortion, divorce and homosexuality are tolerated have a greater chance of future economic prosperity.

this explains why communist countries were so shit

ie communist Romania or Poland

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level 1
16 points · 1 month ago

Stay in school kids so that one day you'll be able to decipher between causation and correlation and not be fooled by clickbait crap "studies" like this.

level 1

Misleading title is misleading.

level 1

r/science, the narrative sub

level 1

Another ‘chicken or egg’ study with a clickbait title

level 2
21 points · 1 month ago

The article addresses that issue, and concludes that prosperity follows secularism, not the other way around.

level 3

Eggs predate chickens as reptiles and fishes used them far before birds come along

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level 1
7 points · 1 month ago

Have they found out that most of these rich countries have the foundations of their richness and ethic in the times when they were very religious?

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