A minority of New Hampshire residents see religion as being important in their daily lives (46 percent) in contrast to a large majority of Mississippians (85 percent). How can such huge differences be explained?
Why do religious beliefs vary so broadly? I'm not talking here about the near-cosmic diversity in the content of religious belief. Rather, I'd like to consider why some individuals seem fervently devout while others seem devoid of any superstition.
The perceived importance of religion (or religiosity) declines predictably with development (however measured), allowing one to predict how long it will take for religion to become unimportant for the majority of the global population. It will take approximately a quarter-century.
Do people's politics really say that much about who they are, though? Certainly, political affiliation is related to people's beliefs about social issues and the role of government in people's lives. But, does political affiliation predict other aspect of people's behavior?
The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year, but it also can be the most stressful for people in their 50s and beyond. There are joyous occasions with family and friends, to be sure, but there also are the constant demands placed on your time, energy and financial reserves.
For a developed country, the U.S. is extraordinarily high on religion. Thus 65 percent of Americans say that religion is important in their daily lives compared to just 17 percent of Swedes, 19 percent of Danes, and 24 percent of Japanese.
Is the loss of religious belief something fear? Contrary to the claims of religious leaders, Godless countries are highly moral nations with an unusual level of social trust, economic equality, low crime and a high level of civic engagement.