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Does atheism help you get rich?

Gallup is a reasonably reliable polling firm so far as we know*, so their Global Index of Religion and Atheism is worth a look. Two items stand out:

1. 59% of the world said that they think of themselves as religious person, 23% think of themselves as not religious whereas 13% think of themselves as convinced atheists.

2. Religiosity Is Higher among the Poor: People in bottom income groups are 17% more religious than those in top income groups. It is interesting that Religiosity declines as worldly prosperity of individuals rises. While the results for nations as a whole are mixed, individual respondents within a country show a revealing pattern. If citizens of each of the 57 countries are grouped into five groups, from the relatively poor to relatively rich in their own countries, the richer you get, the less religious you define yourself.

Now, is that because atheism really is more adaptive than religion (contrary to the claims of many Darwinists who routinely waste the resources of science journals coming up with their pathetic little theories about the origin of religion)?

Or is it because only a person who believes nothing but that “He who dies with the most toys wins” would do the things some people do to get to the top? In that case, maybe what we are looking at – to account for the difference – is not atheism but sociopathy.

Don’t forget – lots of people at the top are religious – this is not an either-or. For example, Tony Blair, say what you want about him, became a Catholic after he retired from office. Stephen Harper, Canada’s prime minister, is a believing Christian, not just someone who goes to prayer breakfasts in the line of duty. Thoughts?

* Some polling firms must be treated with caution because they front push polls, often for politicians. For example, if you rounded up a bunch of people waiting for the bus in Toronto and asked, “Do you support instant, personal decapitation?”, five percent of them would say yes just to sound agreeable. It is most unlikely that many of the latter truly wish to have their heads cut off on the spot. Serious polling is for pros – but then so is manipulation of polling data. Judgement in assessing the results is always needed.

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One Response to Does atheism help you get rich?

  1. It seems to me that the real reason is that as you gain in wealth the less you see a need for God. As you are richer the easier it is for you to believe that your wealth can get you out of any problem that may arise. The false sense of self reliance that accompanies wealth does away with your need for (and responsibility to) God.

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