Does Wealth > Religion?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by wooly, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. wooly

    wooly I am the woolrus

    I saw this map showing relative religious importance by country and i found it very interesting.


    As you can easily see, the richest countries of the world seem to be the least religious, while the poorest countries are the most religious. When compared to this map showing countries' wealth, it's pretty much the same map just with different colours. Dark purple = light red, dark red = light purple/white. (effect is also very evident if you put one image in negative colour)


    Now this raises a few questions for me.

    1. Religion is often a pursuit of happiness. Wealth seems to eliminate the need for religion. Therefore, does money = happiness?

    2. Religion seems to be less important in wealthier countries where there is more education and people have a better understanding of the world. Therefore is religion a sign of naivety/lack of understanding?

    3. And finally... Is money more important than religion?

  2. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I haven't really viewed religion as pursuit of happiness so equation wouldn't make sense to me. However, as for the second observation "wealth seems to eliminate the need for religion", I can imagine why people in poverty would be more inclined towards religion because of the message of hope that it sends.

    Seems like to accept the conclusion, we have to equate wealth = better understanding of the world. Yes they have more access to education but that's all, haha. Anyway, how do you account for rich people in wealthy countries who are religious? Or scholars who are religious? And weren't the wealthier countries the ones responsible for spreading religion (like Christianity) to poorer countries?
    Do you think people necessarily choose between the two? Most I heard people say is that they're not mutually exclusive, which makes both evil, haha.
  3. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    That's interesting. I've never seen it before, but it's exactly what I would suspect It's a Biblical concept:

    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
    —Matthew 6:24

    I have been every shade of purple that's on the second map in the last 5 years. Well actually, the top 4 shades. Its much more difficult to worship God in the good times compared to the bad.
  4. wooly

    wooly I am the woolrus

    That's an interesting way of seeing it. Maybe wealth eliminates the need of 'hope' or a faith in a higher power to provide, making religion almost pointless in a way?

    haha i know there are plenty of "educated" people that have no idea how the world works! *cough* MTV generation *cough* :p but in general people who live in wealthier, developed countries do have a better understanding of the world. Science, cultures outside of their own, all that jazz...

    I realise that there ARE rich religious people, and that people don't HAVE to choose between the two. I don't plan to account for them, i'm just speaking about majorities and statistics, and these statistics show that on average the richer people are the less religious they are. For me this has to suggest that money and religion are two contrasting things.
    haha that's quite an apt passage! Seems that people have known that money and religion have trouble surviving together for a long time! :p
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  5. kcdad

    kcdad Registered Member

    You data is misleading... what is "importance of religion"?

    If you are measuring religiosity, which actually has a measurement, The United States is the most religious nation in the world.

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