This editorial article in the Dallas Morning News claims that religion is mostly beneficial and rarely a negative force in society.
Here’s a quote:
As I see it, the impulses behind this thinking are several and, to some degree, understandable. Religion is frequently seen by secular observers as an obstacle to social progress on issues like abortion and gay rights, or as an adjunct of conservative politics in general. Meanwhile, a growing number of young adults in America identify as religious “nones,” often with little appreciation or understanding of religion. But is religion really as negative a force in our daily lives as its detractors and skeptics suggest? No.
On average, religion is a clear force for good when it comes to family unity and the welfare of children — the most important aspects of our day-to-day lives. Research, some of it my own, indicates that on average Americans who regularly attend services at a church, synagogue, temple or mosque are less likely to cheat on their partners; less likely to abuse them; more likely to enjoy happier marriages; and less likely to have been divorced.
However, there have been studies to show that atheist kids may actually be better sharers, etc.
There is also evidence that, for some people, communing with nature is a great substitute for religion (and no one ever died because of it… I don’t think, at least.)
What do you think?