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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Happiest Countries

Why do the people of these countries think they are happy? Why isn't the USA in the top ten? [World’s Happiest Countries In 2013, According To The UN]

I recently visited #1, #2, #5, #7 and #9 and I can confirm that the citizens of those countries do, indeed, think they are happy. I also visited #17 a few months ago and the citizens of that country do not seem happy. It's probably worse today than it was a few months ago.


  1. No coincidence that the more atheist societies are the happiest :)

    1. Yes...freedom from religion, sexual liberation as well as an easy access to dope to numb their conscience sure make some people happy...;)

    2. Conservative religious communities have lots of teen sex, teen pregnancy, unwed mothers, adultery, prostitution, child molestation and drugs, drugs, drugs. The Bible Belt in the US is meth-land, and Palin's daughter got knocked up before she was married.

      They just pretend these things don't exist. No gays either. How's lying and concealment working out for you?

    3. There's more dope and unwanted pregnancies in your land Louise than in Scandi - check stats

    4. Yes, and while on the subject of happiness, a typical response from a conservative religious family, upon finding out their children are gay or atheist or pregnant as a teenager or otherwise doesn't fit community expectations, is disappointment, slut-shaming and ostracization etc.

      This, quite obviously, doesn't make people happy at all.

    5. Where did I say that freedom from religion only applies to atheists? It also applies to religious hypocrites. It also applies to people who lost faith in religion and even in God often because of liars and manipulators like you, who think that evolution is easy. And abiogenesis is almost as easy. If you take a wheel off a bike and stick it in yours ass, it can still have a function. That is you whole lying paradigm-make the reality unreal, and the unreality real. You are lying to yourself. That’s all.

    6. Joe Pereira,

      "There's more dope and unwanted pregnancies in your land Louise than in Scandi - check stats"

      Oh yes, because Scandis prefer alco-hole and the other-hole. You should know something about that...Check the stats from your land.

    7. Where did I say that freedom from religion only applies to atheists?
      Why are you asking that, nobody even implied this.

      Though it should be said, only a truly secular society can guarantee religious freedom. When one religion gains enough power, it usually becomes state sanctioned that everyone must follow this religion, and other faiths are discriminated against.

      Christopher hitchens had a great line about this, when Thomas Jefferson wrote about the wall of separation between church and state, he was responding to a christian religious group being persecuted by another christian religious group for being the wrong kind of christian.

      It also applies to religious hypocrites. It also applies to people who lost faith in religion and even in God often because of liars and manipulators like you
      You're the only liar and manipulator here, which means you're projecting.

      who think that evolution is easy. And abiogenesis is almost as easy.
      What does this even mean? Evolution is "easy" ?? In what way is it "easy"? Illiterate drivel.

      If you take a wheel off a bike and stick it in yours ass, it can still have a function.
      Why am I not surprised to find that you're a homosexuality hating bigot? You a racist too?

      That is you whole lying paradigm-make the reality unreal, and the unreality real. You are lying to yourself. That’s all.
      This is nothing but projection. You're spewing the quintessential creationist modus operandi: When reality and doctrine differ, reality is wrong and doctrine is right.

      So, you're here in denial, denying observational facts (evolution), denying the statistics that non-religious societies are generally happier and don't have their problems to the same extend, spewing manifest bullshit about drug abuse.

      I don't know what to say to you, other than get you to ponder this old question: If your fundamentalist religious doctrine is really true, why do you have to LIE to support it?

    8. Oh yes, because Scandis prefer alco-hole and the other-hole. You should know something about that...Check the stats from your land
      There are no more homosexuals in scandinavia than anywhere else, it's just much less taboo here so people are less afraid to be open about it.

      It's true that we like to drink a lot of beer in Denmark, but that's more to do with tradition all the way back from Iron-age. Vikings you know! :D

  2. Hi Larry,

    I knew you were going to jump on the subject of "happiness" on your blog :))))

    Maybe we should try to define happiness and look at some of the main contributing factors that were considered by UN in the survey? I wonder if atheism was one of them?

    1. Unfortunately, more religious countries are also more socially conservative and oppresive of individuality and individual freedom. There's significantly more expectance of conformity to various traditions and social norms, which also has the unfortunate effect of entailing more group/family ostracization.

      This is not to say these are uniquely the product of religion, but they are more heavily associated with strongly religious societies and cultures.

    2. It's no secret that the more religious factions are the ones pushing gay-hate and inequality, just to pick a timely relevant example. Not to mention stupid shit like abstinence-only "sex ed" which leads directly to higher proportions of abortions and unwanted teen-pregnancies, which entail more abortions, which the people who have them are then shamed for. As usual, religion has it all ass-backwards and refuses to change their positions to follow the facts.

  3. it seems the numbers are close and its the richest countries that are happiest.
    America is very divided by identies and so some are very unhappy. Its not a accurate classification of actual peoples.
    i'm sure people living in America/Canada of Danish backgroung or mixed with it are just as happy or more then the number one Danes.
    Since we are all different peoples it really should be scored on people groups and not the old boundaries.
    These old boundaries only work with pure populations like in Scandinavia.
    Like everything else this is a false reading of reality on human happiness.
    These days i'm sure creationists are happier then they were 20 years ago.
    Things are going well for us.!

    1. "These old boundaries only work with pure population like in Scandinavia"

      I'm I right in assuming that you haven't been to Scandinavia lately? The population is not as diverse as in the US (yet) but the percentage of people borne abroad is actually much higher.

    2. ...pure populations...

      Are we living in the same universe? About 20% of the population of Sweden (almost two million people) are first or second generation immigrants. The figures for Norway and Denmark are a little lower, but even in Iceland some 7% of the population are recent immigrants (mostly from Poland, by the way). And it's a rising trend, not a static situation: (the red curve represents immigration into Sweden)

    3. @Robert
      Re: your opening line. This is an aspect of Christian teaching which I find new, and interesting. How could I have overlooked it? So, if happiness in your life is what you seek, then it can be gained through increased wealth? On the other hand being less wealthy results in misery, no question
      References please (biblical ones).
      Many 'literalist' muslims also consider themselves to be happy. Large numbers of them are materially not at all well-off. This relates to the closing part of your message Robert.
      The term 'ignorance is bliss' comes to mind.

    4. Byers is using the neo-dog whistle terms for racism: "people groups" (Ken Ham's term for races), "actual peoples" (races), "pure populations" (racially pure), "mixed" (bastardized), "divided by identities" (multiracial), etc. It's all dog-whistles for "There goes the neighborhood." He's saying we should compare Aryans with Aryans, blacks with blacks, etc. in each country. Also, misery is caused by multi racialism.

      Byers has expressed his racism on this forum before: e.g. minorities dictate to the "real Canadians." There's no point acting offended. Among creationists, Byers' racism is mild compared to the historical norm. Racism is just how he makes sense of cultural and political issues.

  4. My perspective is having studied or worked in # 2,4,5,11,17,26,33,38. What surprises me the most in the list is that two of my favorite countries come in so low, i.e. #26 Germany and #38 Spain. That just cannot be right!
    I really had a good time living in Saudi (#33), much thanks to the friends I made (mostly not Saudi). I was also very priveleged and ignored many of their rules. As for the general population, I would not say that they have a good life

    1. What would you say was the main factor preventing the general Saudi population from having a good life ?

    2. A quick look at the list tells you that it's dominated by Western countries. Lets look at the influence of The Factor that has made the West what it is: Christianity. It's hard to summarize 2000 years of influence, but I will quote what Jurgen Habermas said in an interview back in 1999:
      "For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now, as in the past, from this substance. Everything else is idle postmodern talk."

    3. I think it's a pretty fair guess that egalitarianism, freedom, justice, love, etc. makes for a happier society compared to those without thowe attributes. Attributing them to Christianity is just question begging, however. Especially since, within those Western countries, the correlation between the pervasiveness of Christianity and happiness seems to be inverse.

      What you call the "Western" tradition goes back to the pagan Greeks, at least

    4. "Universalistic egalitarianism"!? From Christians!? We're talking about the people who fought for the Confederacy to preserve SLAVERY, right? We're talking about the same conservative Christians today who despise egalitarianism and equate it to socialist revolution, right!? We're talking about the people who say Obamacare is a socialist takeover of every aspect of American life-- the preachers of the "prosperity gospel" that says, "Donate to our church and our God will make you rich"-- the people who say, "If you're poor it's your own fault because you're immoral and your faith is weak"-- the people who say that the only Biblical welfare system is "If you don't work, you don't eat"-- the conservative theologians who tout Biblical slavery, yeah, SLAVERY, as the only anti-poverty program they approve of. The conservative Christians who, at a Republican presidential debate, and the topic of uninsured sick people came up, yelled at the podium: "Let them die!!"

      "Universalistic egalitarianism" cited by the people who never saw a gap between the rich and the poor that was too big!

      "Christian ethic of love"!? The Stoics were the first to challenge the morality of slavery. The Bible endorses slavery and cruel treatment of war captives-- so much for "the Christian ethic of love". Christians invented modern racism against blacks in the Middle Ages, prior to the beginning of the transAtlantic slave trade, which they expanded to an enormous size.

      There was no "Christian ethic of love" when the Conquistadores and Missionaries were reading to the natives of the Americas the Pope's Requerimiento (Pope sez: your land is our land and we'll kill you if you don't agree and it'll be your own damn fault when we kill you), when they were exterminating the natives, destroying civilizations, burning their codexes, stealing their gold and enslaving the survivors.

      There was no "Christian ethic of love" when Americans were practicing ethnic cleansing on the Indians, or Australians were killing many mainland aborigines and every last Tasmanian, or when Boers instituted the commando system to exterminate all the Bushmen.

      "the ideals of freedom...human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love."

      Uh, freedom and democracy directly evolved from the desire to keep the government free of religion and vice versa. It was separation of church and state and the disentanglement of religion and politics that made freedom possible in the West. The founding fathers of the USA recognized this and stated in clearly in unambiguous terms.

      "This legacy, substantially unchanged"!? Is he KIDDING me!? Unchanged!?

    5. So the primary factor holding those heathen Saudis from true happiness is that they believe in the wrong gods ?

    6. Steve, I'm afraid that you don't at all get what I'm saying. My point is that even if there where no god, Christianity would still be a worth while project. This applies on a personal level as well as for the society as a whole. I think that is also the admission that Jurgen is making. In his case from an atheistic perspective.

  5. I knew you would like it Diogenes :-)
    Speaking of slavery do look up the name William Wilberforce.
    I know 2000 years of history is hard to summarize, I myself am not very proud of all what the church has done over the centuries, but I tend to separate between the message, the creed, and what people sometimes have done in God's name.
    In the end I agree with Jurgen, what we have is thanks to Christianity, everything else is just post-modernistic chatter.

    1. Andy: "Speaking of slavery do look up the name William Wilberforce."

      That's a revelation to me. This is the first time I've heard a Christian bring up William Wilberforce... in twelve whole hours.

      Wilberforce stole his best ideas from the Quakers. In the USA, the abolitionist movement was founded by Quakers (who don't use a literal interpretation of the Bible) and Unitarians like Ben Franklin.

      Most of the pro-slavery reverends and theologians were Biblical literalists who repeatedly accused abolitionists of being atheists. I don't know of any example of abolitionists accusing pro-slavery people of atheism.

      Rev. Benjamin Morgan Palmer, November 29, 1860, sermon at the First Presbyterian Church in New Orleans: “Last of all, in this great struggle, we defend the cause of God and Religion. The Abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic. The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person of a harlot, yet survives to work other horrors, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type. Among a people so generally religious as the American, a disguise must be worn; but it is the same old threadbare disguise of the advocacy of human rights. From a thousand Jacobin Clubs here, as in France, the decree has gone forth which strikes at God by striking at all subordination and law... This spirit of atheism, which knows no God who tolerates evil, no Bible which sanctions law, and no conscience that can be bound by oaths and covenants, has selected us for its victims, and slavery for its issue. ...To the South the high position is assigned of defending, before all nations, the cause of all religions and of all truths. In this trust, we are resisting the power which wars against constitutions and laws and compacts, against Sabbaths and sanctuaries, against the family, the state, and the church, which blasphemously invades the prerogatives of God, and rebukes the Most High for the errors of his administration…” [The Christian Origin of Racism: Atheist Abolitionist Serpents in Slaves' Eden. Part 4. by William Sierichs, Jr.]

      James Henley Thornwell, 1850: “The parties in this conflict [slavery] are not merely Abolitionists and slaveholders - they are atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, Jacobins on one side, and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other. In one word, the world is the battleground—Christianity and atheism the combatants; and the progress of humanity at stake.” [quoted in Labor's Untold Story, Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, 1955.]

      President E.N. Elliott of Planters' College, 1860: “The agitation of the abolition question had commenced in France... under the auspices of the Red republicans. It is here worthy of remark, that most of the early abolition propagandists, many of whom commenced as Christian ministers, have ended in downright infidelity [i.e., atheism]. is the abolitionists who have been compelled to appeal to "a higher law," not only than the Federal Constitution, but also, than the law of God. This is the inevitable result when men undertake to be "wise above what is written." [The Christian Origin of Racism: Atheist Abolitionist Serpents in Slaves' Eden. Part 4. by William Sierichs, Jr.]

      I could go on. In fact I will.

    2. Continuing: There are a lot of those-- ancient history, eh?

      Here's Loy Mauch, politician elected to the Arkansas house:

      Loy Mauch, 2013: “If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861? ...When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these prinicples of government as well as Chistianity.”

      Loy Mauch, 2013: “Nowhere in the Holy Bible have I found a word of condemnation for the operation of slavery, Old or New Testament. If slavery was so bad, why didn’t Jesus, Paul or the prophets say something? This country already lionizes Wehrmacht leaders. They go by the names of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, etc. These Marxists not only destroyed the Constitution they were sworn to uphold, but apostatized the word of God. Either these depraved infidels or the Constitution and Scriptures are in error. I’m more persuaded by the word of God.”

      Look again at the dates on those quotes.

    3. I'm not an expert on slaver abolition, but obviously you are again doing very one sided quote mining. Below is a shameless quote from Wikipedia...

      "Christian views on slavery are varied both regionally and historically. In the early years of Christianity, slavery was a normal feature of the economy and society in the Roman Empire, and well into the Middle Ages and beyond.Most Christian figures in that early period, such as Saint Augustine, supported continuing slavery whereas several figures such as Saint Patrick were opposed. Centuries later, as the abolition movement took shape across the globe, groups who advocated slavery's abolition used Christian teachings in support of their positions, using the 'spirit of Christianity', biblical verses against slavery, and textual argumentation.
      The issue of Christianity and slavery is one that has seen intense conflict. While Christian abolitionists were a principal force in the abolition of slavery, the Bible sanctioned the use of regulated slavery in the Old Testament and whether or not the New Testament condemned or sanctioned slavery has been disputed. Passages in the Bible have historically been used by both pro-slavery advocates and slavery abolitionists to support their respective views."

    4. Andy Wilberforce.
      Your rught. Christianity is the origin for mans greater happiness in the world today.
      In fact its only the others being influenced by us that has raised their happiness.
      I see it as more of the true faith, Evangelical Protestant christianity, and submitt it was first the protestant nations that raised the standards of mans well being.
      This being done by a rising moral and intellectual mean in the common people.
      This is also why it was best in the English speaking world as this world was even more protestant and so more divided by protestant identities.
      The modern world's rise in all good things has come from Puritan/evangelical British (English/Scottish) peoples.
      It is all about the true faith and identity.
      Thats why these lists of happiness miss the point about accurately comparing identities as opposed to old boundaries. It is measurable obviously.

  6. Visually this map by Gallup (2009) on world's most and least religious countries also reveals some interesting insights
    Apparently, less religious --> higher standard of living --> happier (example: US, Canada, Western Europe and Australia)