May I make one quick point here? I am going to give Jst the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really does not understand that he is missing the point.
According to nearly every religious belief system, people should expect certain things-- a different life compared to non-religious at the very least. (If life is not different, what is the point of being religious?) But the facts show that the main difference is that the religious are worse off than the non-religious
. Countries that rely less on religion and belief in any gods like Sweden and Japan, are nicer places for people to live than very religious places like Mexico and India.
Jst points out that the US is a very religious country and is quite well-off. Overall, this is true, making the US an outlier. But when you look closer, the facts still hold. In the most religious states of the US, like the bible belt, people are worse off than in the more secular regions of the northeast and northwest.
In almost every way we can measure, life expectancy, education levels, divorce rates, crime rates, wages and unemployment, teen pregnancy, porn consumption, and even natural disasters the more religious Americans (people who report more church attendance, reliance on prayer, reading the bible and literal belief in the bible, etc) suffer more than the less religious Americans, who rely more on modern ideas and science to solve problems.
The remark about letting people starve for being religious is telling, but not only because of the snark value. Jst is admitting that the religious countries and regions rely on the non-religious for help
, and get it because the secular people are not only more successful, they are also caring and generous to others. Even when the others have different beliefs.
In fact, the really religious states like Texas (where people don't like to pay for government services) are subsidized by the less religious states like Massachusetts (where people pay higher taxes). We in the secular world would be even better off if we could jettison the religious places and let them rely on their gods. But we would never cut them off. We aren't like that.
This study repeatedly demonstrates that religious beliefs correlates with poor societal health by examining ever secular democracy in the world.
Oh well let's just let them starve to death because they are religious. Let's buy perfume instead.
If Satan controlled the world's governments and laws, then why do we find the poorest performing countries in terms of social health with the highest religious representation in the populations? Why aren't the countries with a less religious populace performing worse?
Because this is where he is most needed. It's sort of like the saying, "You'll never see an athiest in a foxhole."
The world does not look like what we would expect if there was god running things. Unless god is not who we think. Or else why would rational science help people more than prayer and church attendance?