Letter to the Editor


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Religion is not the issue

Associate Professor Evan Fales (DI, Sept. 23) criticizes a quotation in John Hendrickson's article (DI, Sept. 21) that suggests dire consequences may happen to societies that have "forgotten God." He then goes on to say that perhaps the exact opposite occurs and suggests that Scandinavian countries may enjoy among the highest indices of social well-being in the world because their governments have socialistic tendencies and their populations have a high incidence of atheism.

He implies that there is a link between the absence of religion and a country's social well-being index. This argument, however, could be spurious because there is no proof of any cause and effect. Social well-being is more likely linked to economics, standards of living, leisure time, crime rates, and common cultural values than religion. Scandinavian countries are among the most wealthy and homogenous populations on earth.

David T. Woodley
Professor, University of Southern California

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