We sane people knew that, but we sane people like to have those facty-sciency thingies at hand.
We are led to believe, for example, that faith and religion are socially beneficial, that it lowers the violence of rape, murder and suicide and that it tempers juvenile misconduct. However, according to research published in the U.S. academic journal Religion and Society and as reported by The Times U.K., the opposite may be true.
Eighteen of the most prosperous democracies in the world were studied. In those countries at least 60 percent of the population accepts evolution as fact and only 10 to 30 percent believe in God. It is nearly reverse in the U.S., where a base of 60 percent do not accept evolution and anywhere from 50 to 80 percent believe in God.
The results show that in general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, rape, robbery, juvenile mortality, STD infections, teen pregnancy and abortion. As example, America’s murder rate is five to ten times higher and its rate of sexually transmitted diseases nearly 300 times higher than in secular societies; and our rates of divorce, substance abuse, social and economic inequality are off the charts. It concluded that because of the strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior, there is reason to suppose that religious belief actually does more harm than good. . . .
But from the social scientist’s perspective there is a greater likelihood that religion leads to antisocial behavior because blind faith creates a loss of intellectual curiosity and an inability to reason.
Some direct quotes from the Times article:
“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
. . .
“The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.”