Watching a video by atheist vlogger “crazypills” I realized that I didn’t agree with everything he said, and thought, hey, I’ve got a subject for another blog post.
He seemed to think that there is little evidence that a world with no religion may not be a better place, that there was no evidence for it. Well, I think there is evidence for it, such as it is. I know of no country completely untainted by religion, but many countries are more atheistic than others. We find that, overall, they have healthier societies, whether it be in the realm of working hours or sensible laws or health care. Yet, my own country, arguably the most religious country on earth of the Christian persuasion, has delusions of empire and constant attacks on any sensible laws that exist.
To my mind, there is no doubt that a lack of religion (or other ideological fervor) can only be an improvement to society. There is a pervasive myth that religions provide a lot of human services and charity that atheists do not, and it is often the case that religions do not always provide as much charity as their members think or that atheists often are more charitable than seems obvious. For example, atheists giving to charities can be masked by the religious nature of those charities. Many charities do not keep track of the beliefs or non-beliefs of their donors.
To my mind, the best of all possible worlds is one in which laws and societal norms obviate the need for charity, since the society is egalitarian enough to remove serious need or serious problems.
I can, however, think of one reason that at least some amount of religion should remain. In my book collections, I have a great many bad mystery stories. I keep them around to remind me how not to write. Religion seems to me to be the sort of thing that would be handy to have around, just to show us how not to behave.