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Shaker

Top five reasons that people abandon religion

Only one blogger's opinion, but I think he's largely on the mark. (Especially 3).
cyberman

I can't open the link. Is it the type of list it would be practical to copy?
cyberman

I can't open the link. Is it the type of list it would be practical to copy?
cyberman

I can't open the link. Is it the type of list it would be practical to copy?
Shaker

All right, all right, calm down!

Unfortunately not - it's in a box or table so wouldn't come out right. That said, I will try to copy and paste the text and format it appropriately.
Shaker

Quote:
1. Behaviour of believers:

*    Access to news has shown people how religion gives excuses to believers to act in ways which could not be excused any other way. Religion is behind most regional conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Sudan, the Middle East, India/Pakistan, the Philippines and the developing religious tension in parts of Western Europe. International terrorism is now almost entirely religiously.
*    Religion is the excuse of choice for right-wing politicians looking to gain power on the back of community, ethnic and racial tensions, xenophobia, prejudice, misogyny, homophobia and general hate. (cf. the close link between the US Republican Party, conservative Christian fundamentalism and Christian neo-fascist white supremacist groups, and the Christian fundamentalist Creationist industry tryingto subvert secular constitutions in the USA and elsewhere.)
*    Public awareness of abuses of power and privilege by clerics and others acting under cover of religion, and the attempts by leading clerics, especially in the Vatican, to cover up these abuses whilst allowing them to continue unabated. As secularism grows, the media have become less deferential than in former, more obsequious, times and more willing to catalogue examples of abuse, especially paedophile abuse of children, fraudulent use of money donated as charity, the blatant hypocrisy of televangelists, especially in America. Disgust at the widening gap between what they do and what they tell us we should do has approached the levels of disgust felt in Middle Ages Europe at the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church and the blatant debauchery and gluttony of the priesthood which led to the Protestant Reformation. The difference being that this time the disgust has driven people to examine the very foundations of religion and to find it wanting.
*    Religion as an excuse. On a personal level, religion is used as an excuse for bigotry, misogyny, racism and simple smug condescension by people who need an excuse to elevate themselves above others and pretend to moral superiority. Religion is also used by unscrupulous charlatans, con artists, sex abusers and paedophiles to find and exploit vulnerable, gullible and credulous people. On social network sites like Twitter, religion is commonly used as the excuse for bullying, hate messages and threats of violence.

2. Science and education:

*     Science has not only given people access to social network sites where they can see people using religion as an excuse for the above and access to news so they can see the effects of religion on a world scale and the threat it poses to peace and security, it had also helped replace the ignorance upon which religion has always depended with a better knowledge and understanding of the material nature of the universe.
*     People who have received a science education can now readily see the ignorance underpinning the religiosity of those who haven't, and can even, via social networking, try to counter this ignorance with facts, hence ignorance is being dispelled even in those areas where education is lacking through lack of resource or as the policy of religiously motivated government.
*     Scientifically literate people are now discovering that finding out how the universe really works is far more satisfying and 'spiritually' rewarding than being satisfied with not knowing and dismissing it as magic and beyond our understanding whilst cringing in fear of an imaginary protection racketeer in the sky.
*     The major impact on the lives of ordinary people that science has had can be seen in marked contrast to the minimal or negative impact of religion.

3. Welfare, security and prosperity:

*     Income disparity. Various studies have shown a direct correlation between income disparity in a state and religiosity, with those at the lower tier of the social spectrum being the more fundamentalist and prone to primitive religious extremism. There is also a socio-economic link between lack of education and poverty. Hence there is a triad of poverty, social deprivation and religious fundamentalism with religion offering the illusion of hope for something better later to those who, in reality, have little hope of a better life within the status quo which their religious leaders work to maintain and justify.
*     Politicians and con artists alike have learned to exploit this false hope by selling religion in return for money and/or political power, the latter ironically dependant upon keeping the social order intact and so minimising any realistic hope of a better life for those whom politicians exploit.
*     Improved social conditions. In Western Europe, and now increasingly in recently democratised Eastern Europe, the major political post-war movements have been concerned with closer international cooperation within a European Union, social welfare, health and equal opportunities, so that now, compared to pre-war Europe, people are better housed, better educated, better fed, have more security and leisure time, enjoy freedom from war and have better health and consumer choice. In many parts of Europe ordinary people now enjoy a life-style formerly the preserve of the rich and middle classes. Consequently, the attraction of religion with its promise of 'jam tomorrow' if you accept the dry stale bread of poverty, deprivation, squalor and hopelessness of today has been reduced. At the same time, education has provided an alternate view of reality and a reluctance to settle for what we are given by our social 'superiors'.

4. Proselytizing:

*     Religious terrorism. Following the faith-based initiatives of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, the lethal attacks in London and Madrid, and Christian terrorism in Denmark and the USA, Atheism stopped being liberal and accommodating in its approach to religion, realising that religious 'moderates' and tolerance of religion by non-religious liberals was what was giving permission to religious extremists.
*     Books like 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins, 'God Is Not Great' by the late Christopher Hitchins and 'The End of Faith' by Sam Harris built on the new understanding of evolutionary biology that had grown up around 'The Selfish Gene' by Dawkins and 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' by Dan Dennett, and said outright that religions are dangerous and should be opposed; that they have no basis in fact and are mere delusions built on a primitive view of the world. Moreover, the 'morality' they promulgate is at best no better than that of non-believers and at worst is malignant and primitive, reflecting the values of Bronze Age tribalism rather than of modern industrial democracies, and are open to exploitation by manipulative self-interest. It also inhibits the development of more appropriate ethics as society develops so increasingly detaching them from the needs of society.
*     Growing acceptance of Atheism as a mainstream view in many parts of Europe, encouraged by, for example in Britain, leading respected media personalities like Stephen Fry, Richard Attenborough, Ricky Gervaise and Prof. Brian Cox has encouraged many people to come out of the closet or to examine repressed doubts anew. In many European counties non-believers are now by far the largest majority and religions are increasingly the preserve of the lunatic fringe.
*     Activity by Atheists and Humanists on social networking sites like Twitter allow the rational, science-based view to be contrasted with the semi-literate ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, and often outright insanity, of the fundamentalists who daily swarm the Internet trying to impress someone with their ignorance and convince the world that their primitive superstition is a better explanation for the universe than that of people who learn and study, or that you should buy their latest book of recycled myths, lies and random cut & paste Bible verses if you want to go to Heaven, or even that you should just send them some money.

5. Demand for equality of opportunity and equality before the law:

*     Aspiration towards a classless society, produced in part by the growing post-war influence of American ideas in Europe, French egalitarianism, British social democracy and a Marxist view of the relationship between capital and labour and the nature of society. Close associations between the predominant church and the ruling class has associated religion with the right-wing opposition to these improvements in the lives of ordinary people.
*     Egalitarian progress. Concerted moves to remove barriers to individual progress and self-improvement, including full female emancipation, ending of discrimination in the provision of services and employment opportunities on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability. For many of these, religious fundamentalist and even 'moderate', main-stream churches, have been leading opponents, the most recent of which has been the Catholic Church's vigorous opposition to a woman's right to plan her family, decriminalisation of homosexuality and to same-sex marriage.
*     Contrast between secular democracies and theocratic despotisms. The contrast between the much-improved conditions in the West and that in many Islamic countries where women are still regarded as inferior beings with little protection afforded them in law, girls are routinely genitally mutilated in barbaric ways to prevent them enjoying sex, and homosexuality carries the death penalty, allows people in the West to see the use religion is put to in maintaining this discrimination and to compare those views with the closely similar views of Christian fundamentalists.
*     Religious anti-minority reaction. By opposing moves towards equal rights for minorities, religions have alienated one group after another and have increasingly appealed to the forces of right-wing reaction, moving into the lunatic fringes as they do so, and vacating the moderate centre-ground to be occupied by Atheism and Humanism as the more attractive ideas; ideas moreover based on rational arguments and science.
cyberman

Thanks for that. I don't know why my post appeared three times! I wasn't nagging - pretty sure I only clicke it once.
I'll have a look at that list in a sec...
cyberman

OK, well the second one just seems to be a restatement of the tired old red herring that you have to choose between religion or science. But you don't, though.

The others are largely about the behaviour of believers - starting wars, being bigots, etc. I get that this can cause people to wish to distance themselves from faith organisations, but it doesn't seem a good reason to me. As I always say, I am a Catholic because of my beliefs about Christ, not because of my beliefs about Catholics.

Also, apart from the science one, they are to do with reasons for leaving a religion but not to do with reasons for ceasing theism.
Boss Cat

'In many parts of Europe ... religions are increasingly the preserve of the lunatic fringe' - what does this refer to?  The Church's role in the dismantling of the Berlin Wall?  The projects that are still running from the Faith in the City report?  I dunno, the Sycamore courses, which seems to have a link with reducing reoffending?  Or  do you mean people making jam for church bazaars?

The loonies!

Actually this isn't a very good list it?  I mean it doesn't look terribly original or referenced or thought out, does it.

It looks like a hackneyed rehashing of currently fashionable attitudes in some limited circles.  It looks a bit racist, not to say culturally imperialistic in some of its underlying values to be honest.
cyberman

So the complier makes a number of claims - like
Quote:
Activity by Atheists and Humanists on social networking sites like Twitter allow the rational, science-based view to be contrasted with the semi-literate ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, and often outright insanity, of the fundamentalists who daily swarm the Internet trying to impress someone with their ignorance and convince the world that their primitive superstition is a better explanation for the universe than that of people who learn and study, or that you should buy their latest book of recycled myths, lies and random cut & paste Bible verses if you want to go to Heaven, or even that you should just send them some money.


... but doesn't present any evidence, as far as I can see.

Is there any evidence at all that atheists going on Twitter is a reason for people leaving religion? Or is it just a guess? Or a hope?
cyberman

Number 3 seems to be simultaneously asserting that the religious are the poor, and that they are rich powerful exploiters.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
The others are largely about the behaviour of believers - starting wars, being bigots, etc. I get that this can cause people to wish to distance themselves from faith organisations, but it doesn't seem a good reason to me. As I always say, I am a Catholic because of my beliefs about Christ, not because of my beliefs about Catholics.

Also, apart from the science one, they are to do with reasons for leaving a religion but not to do with reasons for ceasing theism.

That's why the list refers to people abandoning religion and not theism per se, since the two aren't coterminous. The evidence coming on these days from the USA in particular indicates that an ever increasing number of people are abandoning formal religious adherence and referring to themselves as "of no religion," rather than becoming atheists (though rates of declared atheism are rising as well).
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Number 3 seems to be simultaneously asserting that the religious are the poor, and that they are rich powerful exploiters.

That's not so much generally true as true in a specific instance if you look at the USA. In any case I didn't read it like that: rather it was pointing out what the evidence already shows anyway which is that by and large, wherever you have high (and gradually increasing) material and personal security, financial stability, economic prosperity, health care, a welfare state and the rest of the things that go along with them (education; the empowerment of women and so forth), you have correspondingly lower rates of religious belief.
Shaker

Boss Cat wrote:
It looks like a hackneyed rehashing of currently fashionable attitudes in some limited circles.  It looks a bit racist, not to say culturally imperialistic in some of its underlying values to be honest.


Oh noez!!!!!one!!!!one!! *pearls*
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
Boss Cat wrote:
It looks like a hackneyed rehashing of currently fashionable attitudes in some limited circles.  It looks a bit racist, not to say culturally imperialistic in some of its underlying values to be honest.


Oh noez!!!!!one!!!!one!! *pearls*


What..?

I mean, ..erm...

What?
Boss Cat

I think he means pearls before swine, well, I can't think what else he is getting at.

I think Shaker is suggesting that his post contains pearls of wisdom which are wasted on the likes of me.

Apologies if I have that wrong, Shaker.
trentvoyager

Boss Cat wrote:
I think he means pearls before swine, well, I can't think what else he is getting at.

I think Shaker is suggesting that his post contains pearls of wisdom which are wasted on the likes of me.

Apologies if I have that wrong, Shaker.


Hmm....for some reason I thought he was making some obscure reference to knitting - but I have to admit it was a little opaque compared to shakers usual postings!
Shaker

Boss Cat wrote:
I think he means pearls before swine, well, I can't think what else he is getting at.

I think Shaker is suggesting that his post contains pearls of wisdom which are wasted on the likes of me.

Apologies if I have that wrong, Shaker.

Yes, alas you do.

It was a reference to the phrase "pearl-clutching" which conjures up the image of an elderly twinsetted lady having an attack of the vapours and clutching her pearls at something considered dreadfully shocking - in this case, it was a sarcastic reference to the lazy and entirely unevidenced allegation that the link I provided:

Quote:
looks a bit racist, not to say culturally imperialistic in some of its underlying values to be honest.


To wit:

Boss Cat

It's nice to know you DON'T think your pearls of wisdom are wasted on me (or do you?).

I'm quite old, I'm 54, though (without boasting) am often taken to be much younger.  I don't wear twin sets, although I'd like to but I'm not very smart really, I'm a bit of a slob.  I can't afford real pearls but I am wearing rather a nice necklace at the moment.

I would bet a pound to a penny that you aren't an elderly lady clutching at pearls either, and I don't think for one minute you are shocked or even surprised that anyone could think the values underpinning these five reasons are elitist.  

Your statements, linking sophisticated lifestyles with lower rates of religious belief, you don't give us the evidence.   Isn't that lazy? Is the evidence conclusive?  Does it take into account the nature of the beliefs?  Is it in all places at all times?

I think that's a pretty elitist view, that religion is confined to the culturally, economically, politically backward.  Not to mention the 'lunatic fringes'(?).  It writes off the experiences of most of the world's population - those who aren't part of the liberal metropolitan western elite.

Do you think atheists might have their own lunatic fringes?
Shaker

Boss Cat wrote:
Your statements, linking sophisticated lifestyles with lower rates of religious belief, you don't give us the evidence.   Isn't that lazy?

I completely agree with you that it was lazy of me to have assumed and to have taken for granted that all and any other members woud have seen/known/been aware of/been familiar with the sort of sociological evidence that I've seen, yes. I fully admit the point.  

Quote:
Is the evidence conclusive?

To my mind, yes, it is.

Quote:
Does it take into account the nature of the beliefs?

I think so, yes.  

Quote:
Is it in all places at all times?

Human nature being the fickle beast that it is, I'm not aware of any evidence for any thing which obtains in all places at all times - creationists for example will flatly deny the near-unanimous consensus of the scientific community on the truth of evolution. If you're after unanimous agreement on some truth which is considered true in all places at all times, then I'm afraid you'll be chasing a chimera.

Quote:
I think that's a pretty elitist view, that religion is confined to the culturally, economically, politically backward.

'Elitist' however doesn't equal 'wrong': and moreover I'm always automatically extremely suspicious of those who use terms such as 'elitist' (and 'liberal western metropolitan elite' and the like, of which I am definitely not a member) because I interpret it as a diversionary tactic - a means of what's now regarded as tone-trolling: of swerving the really important issues away from the central points onto the less vital subsidiary areas.
Boss Cat

Well, give me this conclusive evidence then!  Evidence is conclusive to your mind, but might this not be a case of confirmation bias?

The thing is, you say you think we would be aware of the evidence you have seen.  Well, unless you tell us what you have seen how would I know?  Citations please!

I have been presented with some evidence that might be what you are referring to, but the quality of this research that I have seen is derisory.  I am also aware of research that is much less clear cut or contradicts your assertions.

I am no expert here, it might be that you have some more recent research to hand than the trash I have been presented with.  But even if you are right then it begs other questions, other research and leads us into other areas.  

As for your last bit: you can interpret what you like as what you like, but if you expect to be taken seriously then you need to make a stronger argument than Ooh I don't like that that's trying to avoid the point.  

You are right on one thing, elitist does not equal wrong; in fact I am unashamedly elitist in some ways and I think elitist can, in some areas in some ways be a very positive thing, particularly if it linked with some old fashioned things like responsibility and duty.  But in the context I used it, referring to your dismissive attitude towards most of the world's population I think it's linked to some very nasty things.

And if you want to dismiss talk of liberal metropolitan elites then engage with the ideas.  Don't just call it diversion; it isn't, it means something.  And something very important looking at recent election results.
Shaker

Boss Cat wrote:
Well, give me this conclusive evidence then!  Evidence is conclusive to your mind, but might this not be a case of confirmation bias?

The thing is, you say you think we would be aware of the evidence you have seen.  Well, unless you tell us what you have seen how would I know?  Citations please!

I have been presented with some evidence that might be what you are referring to, but the quality of this research that I have seen is derisory.  I am also aware of research that is much less clear cut or contradicts your assertions.

I am no expert here, it might be that you have some more recent research to hand than the trash I have been presented with.  But even if you are right then it begs other questions, other research and leads us into other areas.


I'm thinking particularly of the work of the sociologist Prof. Phil Zuckerman of Claremont College in California. I know his work predominantly through his book Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment, which obviously I can't simply show you, so I'll go looking for links on the Web to his findings with which I can furnish you. With regard to the point at hand (i.e. that better social conditions, better education, better opportunities for all, women especially, broadly equals lower rates of religious belief) he had this to say which you can regard as a capsule summary of his work as a whole:

Quote:
People who believe in irrational things will rarely change their minds by listening to rational arguments. And yet atheists expel so much sweat constructing philosophical, scientific, or logical arguments against the existence of God. Think this will change people’s minds? Perhaps. But only rarely. What really lowers levels of religiosity, the world over, is living in a society where life is decent and secure. When people have enough to eat, shelter, healthcare, elder-care, child-care, employment, peacefulness, democracy — that’s when religion really starts to lose its grip.
Boss Cat

Oh right and you assumed everyone reading your post would have read that book, did you? It's hardly the one everyone's reading on the tube, is it?  

The thing is, this is a book, and a book with a point to make, and quite a strong one.  Now I assume he draws on research but having read that quotation (admittedly out of context, but it's one you chose as encapsulating his postion) I would have some questions about the quality of that research, the methodology of the research and the breadth of the research. And did he compare like with like, and longer term trends?

There is some truly dire stuff around which he could have drawn on. I'm not saying he did, I don't know.  This isn't an academic book, by the looks of it, and it probably doesn't pretend to be.   But it doesn't seem as though it's a considered review of a range of research either.
Boss Cat

I've googled this guy; now he obviously has some academic credentials but he does seem to have an agenda, doesn't he?   And his choice of countries seems interesting.  He is concentrating on Sweden and Denmark. But for every Sweden there is an Albania (a non religious state if ever you want one, more so than Scandinavia).  For every - I dunno, Pakistan - there is a Malta.  And most of us are somewhere in between.

And does he look within societies, or at wider issues affecting the morale of a country?  It's quite crude research, isn't it?

Now he and you might be right, or partially right at least.  This is quite a new area for study and research.  But I think to assume that a) everyone knows this and b) all research says the same and c) straightforward comparisons equals good research is a bit naive.
Shaker

Boss Cat wrote:
I've googled this guy; now he obviously has some academic credentials but he does seem to have an agenda, doesn't he?

I didn't expect the 'shoot the messenger' ploy! I would like to think that as a Professor of Sociology his agenda is in finding out the truth of whatever area of research he's studying.

Quote:
And his choice of countries seems interesting.  He is concentrating on Sweden and Denmark. But for every Sweden there is an Albania (a non religious state if ever you want one, more so than Scandinavia).

But Zuckerman draws a sharp distinction between the state atheism of Albania and what he has termed the organic atheism of the Scandinavian nations and the Netherlands, etc. This latter is, if you like, natural atheism - where religious non-belief simply grows of its own accord and isn't officially imposed (usually as part of Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist tyranny as in Albania and North Korea).

Zuckerman is quite clear about the direction of causality here:

Quote:
... countries marked by high rates of organic atheism are among the most societally healthy on earth, while societies characterized by nonexistent rates of organic atheism are among the most unhealthy. Of course, none of the above correlations demonstrate that high levels of organic atheism cause societal health or that low levels of organic atheism cause societal ills. Rather, societal health seems to cause widespread atheism, and societal insecurity seems to cause widespread belief in God
Boss Cat

Shaker, there are two issues here.  The is the original issue in which you said it was lazy of me not to evidence my opinion.  I pointed out that neither did you, what on earth are you talking about? which you acknowledged but excused on the grounds that you assumed we would all be familiar with the evidence.

Now that is just moonshine, and you know it.  I am familiar with some very poor evidence (and  my own inner jury is very much out on Zuckerman) for reasons I will make clear later).  But why would you expect us all to be familiar with Zuckerman specifically?  Now you are familiar with him because you are very interested in polemics against religion.  You look them up.

Sometimes, when I am bored, I google that type of thing, and the research is not nearly as clear cut as Zuckerman suggests (more later).    But that's largely irrelevant: the fact is that if you demand of me that I provide evidence and suggest that I am being lazy if I don't then decency would expect that you lead by example.  It's your thread.  If it were a 'provide the evidence' thread you would have a point.

But the whole five reasons things aren't evidenced and to do you justice you never intended them to be - you state that in your OP. That's fair enough, they are presented as opinion, a discussion point.  But if you expect evidence from anyone who disagrees with you then it looks very much if you are presenting opinion as fact, or even worse from your point of view, confusing opinion with fact.

As an aside, you might dismiss phrases like liberal metropolitan elites but this has always been a problem for the left from the beginning, and is recognised within the left. Left wing thought has in academia among the upper middle classes and never recognised the aspirations or interests of ordinary people; so Virginia Woolf, for example, might trumpet free love (and she and her friends could afford it) but thought her servants nuisances and moaned about their ineptitude.   Of course, the problem of the right is that is associated with being a bit of a Philistine.  Although there is a strong tradition of thought on the right there has been a more pragmatic than idealistic core (in itself a philosophical position, perhaps;I thought that was evident in the latest proposals in the CJS discussed this morning, but I was only half listening, getting my son to school).

As for Zuckerman; look he might be a professor of Sociology (that is the most atheistic discipline, I think, or so it said in New Society a couple of weeks ago) but the book you cite is not academic.  It is a polemic and tells us little about his research but a lot about his interpretation of his research.  He has an agenda; in fact his job and his reputation rest on him pushing that agenda.  Not to say he isn't honest, but it is good to be aware of where people are coming from, especially when looking at research findings.

So let's look at what he says.  Now I gree with him, that economic prosperity is linked with less religious activity, overt activity at least.  But this does not always go hand in hand with increasingly liberal and tolerant attitudes.  I am not a classicist but I thought one of the five factors identified by Gibbon for the decline of the Roman Empire was decline in religion (and I don't think that was linked with a particularly liberal regime, despite a degree of licence among the upper classes).  We might also link this with city dwelling, as opposed to rural living, in which by its nature the place of worship will play less part in social and everyday life.  Are we convinced that material wealth is always going to bring with it more liberal attitudes?  Security does, of course; liberal attitudes are a bit of a luxury (and I would say a duty if you are secure enough but then I'm old fashioned like that).  Really?  Do you know how many richer countries rely on a lot of people working very hard for not very much?  In the past?  Even now?

The countries you mention, Sweden and Denmark and the Netherlands and Britain come to that.  They have something else in common, don't they?  And there is evidence linking that thing with more happiness among the population, and more willingness to have women in positions of authority.  And that thing has its basis in the Scriptures (a Jewish invention I believe!) and very strong links with religion.  Can you guess what that is?

And what about the USA?  Or how about the Aboriginies, who lived generally peaceful and productive lives for millenia on the most hostile land on the planet with a very strong animist faith underpinning their lives.  OK they were torn apart by the post Enlightened Europeans but let's face it post Enlightenment Europeans have done a pretty good job of tearing themselves apart too.

And if Zuckerman is right - if these things do follow each other like night follows day.  What then?  Is that going to lead to no religion, or a different type of religion?  What does history teach us?  What about what happens within societies?  Within societies religious people seem to be happier, to live longer, to be more successful in evolutionary terms (is evolution on the side of spirituality or not?  Is it a new kid on the block or something that's dying out?).  Or does it just prove that when the going is easy people get a bit arrogant and it's in the tougher times that they realise the importance of what they've lost.  

Oh I don't, know, I haven't read the book.  But thanks for the evidence.  On what I've seen it doesn't work for me, but perhaps it might for others.  Perhaps your OP is right. It just doesn't work for me.  For the reasons I've given.
cyberman

Boss Cat wrote:

The countries you mention, Sweden and Denmark and the Netherlands and Britain come to that.  They have something else in common, don't they?  And there is evidence linking that thing with more happiness among the population, and more willingness to have women in positions of authority.  And that thing has its basis in the Scriptures (a Jewish invention I believe!) and very strong links with religion.  Can you guess what that is?.


Ooh! Ooh! *thrusts hand into the air* I know! I know!
Boss Cat

You clever little iron man you!

Bit simplistic, though eh?

I have my own theory that places with crap weather are better at inventing things and creating a good standard of living.  People blessed with better weather have more fun things to do with their time.

Not that I've done any research!

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