Friday, September 28, 2007

Brace Yourself, Europe!

Dear European Union Citizen,

The "13 Countries in 13 Days" tour from the WOTM team is well underway. They have had a few minor setbacks to the tune of stolen production equipment, minor illnesses and the like but are still "pressing on toward the mark."

I'm curious as I write this if it will dawn on them as their itinerary leads them briefly through new stops, that the countries they are visiting are some of the most non-religious nations in the world. It's no coincidence that these nations (many of which I've had the opportunity of visiting while in the military) are among the most beautiful, peaceful and advanced in the world: the per capita homicide rate, infant mortality rate and poverty level are much lower than that of our own country and their life expectancies, quality of life and even literacy rates are higher than our own.

The Christian reader is undoubtedly wondering how I draw these parallels. Here's how:

While Christians place their importance on what's to come, non-theists place their importance on what is.

That is the distilled premise for this entry; atheists live much more fulfilling lives because they have accepted and even embraced their own mortality. Materialism provides a sense of assurity and peace that no religion can posit!

While the WOTM crew is in Western Europe spreading their American brand of Christianity as the truth (the same tactics used by missionaries the world over... we're right, you're wrong) in order to make their heavenly crowns all the more lustrous and ornate, we will be here waiting patiently to offer the side of reason.

We apologize for the intrusion of Ray, Kirk and Todd into your nation but must sadly inform you that they are a fair representation of the national majority. Don't be discouraged, all hope is not lost for America... yet.

Enduringly Yours,

The WOTM Watchdog Team


Peacefully noncommittal said...

Your argument is undermined by the correlation equals causation thinking. And no, a one sentence generality of where groups place importance is not adequate support for what you’re suggesting. Could we find other religious nations that have even lower standards of living than the US? Could we find more secular nations with lower standards of living? We could in fact find both. The study of sociology is infinitely more complex than what you would lead us to believe.

I like the site and enjoy your articles, but I urge you to display more rational and logical arguments. Don’t be sucked into the WOTM trap! :-)

Former Follier said...

For the lay-reader, I felt it best to propose my premise in as simplistic a manner as possible. Since your comment has raised points which did not go unnoticed before I wrote the article, I will address them.

You are absolutely correct that there are myriad more factors that contribue to the well-being of a nation as a whole than simply its relative religiosity. Your examples are countries which are more devoutly religious yet have a wider spread base of poverty and nations which are less religious or even non-religious that have a lower standard of living.

Both unequivocally exist and for good reason:

We can look to many of the nations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East as fundamentally more devout in their religious beliefs than your average American moderate Christian yet their society suffers far worse plight than the U.S. as a whole. Several factors present themselves when looking at this dichotomy, one of which is America's relentless capitalism and commercialism. These forces drive the high standard of living we Americans enjoy and therefore keep our affluence in step with religiosity. Our supposed freedom of religion, something other nations don't even enjoy the notion of, plays a part as well.

At the other end of the spectrum, a patently atheist nation such as communist China is mired in its totalitarian government and prevents many of the advances and freedoms we take for granted. In this instance, the communist rule takes the place of a religious dogma. One needs look no further for rules and limitations when they are forcibly imposed on you.

To answer your comment succinctly, yes, I left out a great deal. However, I feel that it is a difficult job for me to relate many of the notions I have when taking my very, very broad audience into consideration. I have daily visits from middle schoolers and retirees and everything in between; there is a broad margin of understanding across these demographics, as you undoubtedly know.

Also, I try not to make the main blog read like a dissertation. I do appreciate your comment and will always respond to comments of thoughtful inquiry. Thank you very much for your continued reading!

henwli said...

They are not visiting my country, but still I feel somehow... violated.

It's disheartening to know that the way they will be rejected or not taken seriously over here will just feed their faith, reinforcing their idea that the world outside of US is a bunch of amoral sinners living in filth. This will only make them try harder. Which will make me cry harder.

Bing said...

Heck yeah! I just came across this site from Atheist Blogroll. Oh, man, I hate these guys! Heehee. Good on you, fellas.


Rachel said...

Anyone else notice Kirk Cameron didn't go to Europe with "the team"? He is mysteriously absent with out word of explaination- his name not spoken once in conection with this overseas nonsence. This is odd because it is the entire 4th season filming - not to mention they spent loads of both time and money on this trip. Could there trouble in the ranks? Maybe your crack watchdog team should investigate this huh?

NEO said...

Looks like you guys can't escape religion on your own front.

atheism is a religion anyway might as well admit to it. It's becoming more "organized" and with an an "agenda". Heck, the Humanist Manifesto is your Bible. Just a matter of time.

All people have a bent toward religion, even atheists. This story proves it.

Have a nice day.

NEO said...

Hmmm that was about Greg Epstein, if you were wondering, just do a google search. BLIGBI has an article there about him.

called Greg Epstein determined to start fight with atheists.

Have a nice day