Dub Not Dubya

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
I'm sorry, but this is almost too stupid for words: Fear of Hell Might Fire Up the Economy. I'm not going to even bother to read the report because I am just incredulous that such "research" is even being done. Moreover, a quick glance at the chart on their page suggests contradictory evidence that they just ignored. Still, it was very interesting to find that only 53% of people in Ireland believe in hell, compared to 71% in the U.S. And only 25% in Portugal, 12% in Iceland, 9% in Latvia....really, these numbers are just all over the map (no pun intended). Exploring the reasons for differences in belief by country would be much more interesting and maybe even useful research than this bogus economic theory.

As is often the case, the ones making the most sense in this story are the atheists. Reuters reports that:
Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists Inc., called the study the latest gimmick from the religious establishment to drum up government support.

"Religious people cannot rely on their theology to promote what they do so they turn to other things," she said.

"I cannot imagine what the belief in mythological beings or things that don't exist can do for business. What about the pornographic industry? That is probably very good for growth."