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Sunday, November 5, 2017

IS RELIGION GOOD OR BAD?

On Sundays, I tend to explore an aspect of religion.  But, before delving into Sabbath matters, I want to mention two things.

At 2AM this morning, most of the USA changed the time to 1AM, giving you one more hour of sleep.  Think FALL BACK (go from 2AM to 1AM) IN THE FALL, and SPRING FORWARD IN THE SPRING.  This screws up Hawaii, for we don't bother with this dubious change.  We suffer, for take TV guides. SPECTRUM (my cable company) messed up, and the NFL football game on KGMB between the Titans and the Ravens, was listed to begin at 7AM, but did not start until 8AM.  I wonder when they will make this FALL BACK adjustment?

Shalane Flanagan became the first American female to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years.  She defeated three-time defending champion Mary Keitany (won the past 3 years--and blew away the competition this year in London, with a women's world record of 2:17:01, where #2 arrived more than 3 minutes and 34 seconds later) of Kenya by more than a minute, finishing in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 53 seconds.  Ms. Flanagan of Massachusetts is 36 years old.  Ms. Keitany, 35.  

The male victor was Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya in 2:10:53.  He is 24.  The last U.S. born American to win this marathon was Bill Rodgers in 1979.  Marcel Hug of Switzerland, in a wheelchair, won in 1:37:17.  Not sure if this race broke the all-time largest marathon of 51,394 set last year here (New York City).  Early estimates at this time indicate that more than 50,000 participated.

Returning to the topic of the day,

Last month, Ipsos Group, a French global market research and consulting firm, surveying 23 countries, announced:
  • 49% believe that religion does more harm than good
    • European countries are in the 60+% category
    • USA  39%
    • Japan  26%
  •   38% say their religion defines them as a person
    • India  70%
    • USA  49%
    • Japan  14%
  •   74% are comfortable being around people of different religions
    • South Africa  90%
    • USA  88%
    • Japan  58%
  •   16% lose respect for non-religious people
    • India  46%
    • USA  19%
    • Japan  10%
    • Hungary  6%
  • 32% think that religious people make better citizens
    • India  62%
    • USA  45%
    • Japan 11%
  • 50% feel religious practices are an important factor in the moral life of the country
    • India  78%
    • USA 66%
    • Japan 15%
You can click on the survey for details.  I should note that:
  • 17,401 interviews were made
  • Aside from Turkey, there was no Middle East country involved, nor China
For further clarification:

David Elliott
Director, Ipsos Public Affairs AUS
david.elliott@ipsos.com +61 (02) 9900 5159
Lucy Hedt
Project manager, Ipsos Public Affairs AUS
Lucy.hedt@ipsos.com +61 (03) 9946 0832 

Ipsos was founded in France in 1975 and employs more than 16,000 people.

So what does this report mean?  It has been said that geography determines your religion:


I would be more specific and indicate that your religious beliefs are heavily influenced by your upbringing.  Later logic is almost irrelevant.  Yet, within these distinctions, something else is at play.  But what?

Clearly, if you live in India, be religious.  If in Japan, religion is not all that important.  I was very much surprised to learn that just about half of those surveyed felt that religion did more harm than good.  However, looking closer at the parameters, that determination could well have been because European countries were over-represented, and they have recently had serious immigration problems.

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