After a ridiculous comment over at Le Café Witteveen, it occurred to me that a graph might help explain why the fundie-who-must-not-be-named is just pulling this crap out of his ass, as usual. I know he said Christianity specifically, but honestly, any religion is as good as any other in my books and the studies I found didn’t differentiate.
I pulled the numbers into a spreadsheet from this survey on religion for various criteria to compare against a number of different metrics for societal well-being, specifically life expectancy, self-reported happiness rank, GDP purchasing power parity, and income equality (richest 10% vs poorest 10% ratio). There were only so many countries that had numbers for all the variables, so I only included those that had numbers for all of them.
The life expectancy is in straight age for both sexes, and the metric I chose for religiosity was what percentage of the surveyed population reported that they prayed “several times a day”. In order to get the happiness and GDP numbers to fall into a 0-100, I took the happiness ranking (-5 to +5) value and I added 5, then multiplied by 10. This gives you a sort of subjective idea as to how happy the countries are, with concrete numbers that are based on the real numbers, and that scale to 100 properly. For GDP, I merely divided by 1000.
Science. It can be done by a guy and Wikipedia in an hour while watching Zombieland.