"God, man and growth"

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Covertibility, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Interesting article over at The Economist : http://www.economist.com/finance/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2208914

    "The most striking conclusion, though, is that belief in the afterlife, heaven and hell are good for economic growth. Of these, fear of hell is by far the most powerful, but all three indicators have a bigger impact on economic performance than merely turning up for church. The authors surmise, therefore, that religion works via belief, not practice. "

    "A century ago, Max Weber, a founder of sociology, observed that the Protestant work ethic was what had made northern Europe and America rich."
  2. maxpi


    The work ethic might be a part of it. The worst situation for prosperity is where you have to watch your back all the time. If people are brought up with no moral guides then it is likely that you will be less productive because you have to deal with those people more than minimally. The best situation for general prosperity is one of care, cooperation and respect for others. Christianity and Judaism foster both of those qualities and Christians and Jews are pretty much what you think of when you think prosperity. Islam doesn't do as good of a job in that regard because it fosters self-attacking in a society, the worst infidels are the ones that won't join in your Jihad, etc. blah, blah, die for God, etc. Islamic societies are second tier for that reason and can't hope to attain much better than that perhaps. Worst case is where everybody is a criminal and trying to get the other guys' stuff. There can be almost no productivity in a situation like that.

  3. yes, i totally agree with the author's sentiment. please see my previous post on a similar matter :