Do Democracy, Mass Education, and Economic Prosperity Weaken God Belief?


Prometheus Unbound

Michael Shermer thinks so, and he has some data that supports him. Writing at Scientific American, here he is on democracy and mass education:

One factor [in the decline of God belief internationally] is the dramatic spread of democracy around the globe over the past half a century. Most people surveyed agreed that democracy is a good form of government, with no differences across religious faiths. One of the features of a democracy is the disentanglement of the sacred from the secular because in religiously pluralistic countries no one can legitimately claim special status by faith membership. Democracies also have higher literacy rates and mass education that lead to a tolerance for the beliefs of others that, in turn, lowers the absolutism most religions in the past required, thus undermining the truth claims of any one religion over others.

And here he is on economic prosperity and God belief…

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