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Atheism in Sweden
Atheism in Sweden
I'm probably from the most atheistic country in the world and that is Sweden. I have lived in USA for 8 years and have traveled to 30 countries around the world and I like to discuss religion in the places I go to.
Here in Sweden you have to look really hard to find any religious person and in many studies the people that consider themselves non-religious here are estimated to around 85% of the population. It's not easy to find anyone to discuss religion with because there are not to many out there but here and there you can find some. Therefore it is good do go to forums to get some feedback about your thoughts.

In many countries it seems like it is the worst thing ever to admit that you are not religious but over here it is basically the opposite. The difference between me and most Swedes is that even though most people are non-religious I like to discuss it and most people don't because they just don't care.

One thing I find interesting especially by listening to religious people in the states (USA) is that they think that non-religious people are unethical, only think about themselves, don't have a happy life and people even say they are evil etc.
Below you can find a forum post that I have done in another forum. These are the things I like to discuss Big Grin

One of the discussions I have done:

I will argue that non-religious democratic countries are the best places to live in the world. I will concentrate on Scandinavia that is all democratic and very non-religious. I live in Scandinavia but has also lived in USA for 8 years. Many Americans argue that if America will be less religious then everything will fall down and the society will be lost.

Here are the richest countries in the world in GDP (gross domestic product) per person for 2011:

Ranking, Country, US$
1 Luxembourg 122,272
2 Qatar 97,967
3 Norway 96,591
4 Switzerland 84,983
5 Australia 66,984
6 United Arab Emirates 66,625
7 Denmark 63,003
8 Sweden 61,098
9 Netherlands 51,410
10 Canada 51,147
11 Singapore 50,714
12 Austria 50,504
13 Finland 50,090
14 Ireland 48,517
15 United States 48,147
16 Belgium 48,110
17 Kuwait 46,461
18 Japan 45,774
19 Germany 44,558
20 France 44,401

1. Out of the top 20 countries in the list above, 14 belong to the top 25 most atheists countries in the world. Among the countries that are not part of the top 25 non-religious country is of course USA.

Here are the top 4 non-religious countries in the world:

1. Sweden - up to 85% atheists - Sweden is leading the world in aid to "poor" countries when looking at giving aid in percent of GDP, Sweden is ranked number one in the world in IT technology, has the most women in the equivalent to the Unites States congress plus many other positive ranks.

2. Denmark - 80% atheist or agnostics. Basically has the same numbers as Sweden with the most aid to poor countries in percentage of GDP. Leader in "happiest country" in the world.

3. Norway - 72% Atheists or agnostics. Once again Norway is really similar to Sweden and Denmark in all the stats about freedom, technology and that the people are satisfied with their life.

4. Finland - 70% Atheists or agnostics. Has the highest school results of the western world in test results for math, reading (The test is called PISA)

Other countries in the top 25 most atheistic countries include:

Japan 65% atheists - Good economy histrionically and has created many high tech things

South Korea - 52% Atheists This country is growing and growing and will soon have the same GDP per capita as most western nations

Poorest countries in the world: All of these except Nepal is over 98% religious meaning less than 2% atheists or agnostics:

Ranking, Country, US$
164 Timor-Leste 649
165 Nepal 644
166 Gambia, The 620
167 Guinea-Bissau 585
168 Rwanda 585
169 Afghanistan 575
170 Mozambique 551
171 Tanzania 550
172 Togo 511
173 Central African Republic 483
174 Eritrea 473
175 Uganda 453
176 Guinea 438
177 Madagascar 428
178 Niger 428
179 Ethiopia 351
180 Malawi 350
181 Sierra Leone 347
182 Liberia 258
183 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 211
184 Burundi

You can also look at the most religious christian countries:

Honduras - Over 85% religious - Has the most murders in the world per capita
El Salvador - Over 85% religious - Same problems as Honduras.

Some interesting facts:

This shows the most "happy" countries in the world in which Denmark (80% atheists) is on top. The religious countries are way down below. Of the top 10, 7 are in the most atheistic/agnostic countries.

1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. The Bahamas
6. Finland
7 Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada

Participants in the various studies were asked questions related to happiness and satisfaction with life. The meta-analysis is based on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people worldwide. For this study data has also been analyzed in relation to health, wealth and access to education.

Press Freedom Index 2010- All top countries are from top 25 most atheistic countries except Ireland. USA is in place 22.
1 Finland
- Iceland
- Norway
- Netherlands
- Sweden
- Switzerland
7 Austria
8 New Zealand
9 Estonia
- Ireland
11 Denmark
- Japan

Least corrupt countries in the world from Transparency International. The most Atheistic countries on top (9 out of these 10 countries are most atheistic)

1. New Zealand
1. Denmark
1. Finland
4. Sweden
5. Singapore
6. Norway
7. Netherlands
8. Australia
8. Switzerland
10. Canada

Global Information Technology report 2011. Most advanced with IT Technology (8 out of top 10 are most atheistic in the world):

1. Sweden
United States
Taiwan, China
Korea, Rep.
10. Netherlands

Most generous countries when it comes to giving aid to poor countries (percent of GDP) - 8 out of top 10 are the most Atheistic :

Sweden – 1.12%
Norway – 1.06%
Luxembourg – 1.04%
Denmark – 0.88%
Netherlands – 0.82%
Belgium – 0.55%
Finland – 0.54%
Ireland – 0.54%
United Kingdom – 0.52%
France- 0.47%
Spain – 0.46%
Switzerland – 0.45%
Germany – 0.35%
Canada – 0.30%
Austria – 0.30%
Australia – 0.29%
New Zealand – 0.28%
Portugal – 0.23%
United States – 0.21%
Greece – 0.19%
Japan – 0.18%
Italy – 0.16%
South Korea – 0.10%

In the Republican debates they argue that USA gives to much aid but they give much less than other rich countries. Remember that USA is placed 15 when counting the wealth of a country (GDP per capita)

Most Peaceful countries:
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations' and regions' peacefulness. It is the product of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Top Countries (9 out of 10 are on the list of most Atheistic):

1. Iceland

2 New Zealand

3 Japan

4 Denmark

5 Czech Republic

6 Austria

7 Finland

8 Canada

9 Norway

10 Slovenia

Needles to say, bottom 20 countries in the world were all very religious.

Most Religious US states. Note that is states "very religious" and not "are you religious":

Mississippi: 59 percent are very religious
Utah: 57 percent
Alabama: 56 percent
Louisiana: 54 percent

Least Religious:

Maine: 25 percent
Vermont: 23 percent are very religious
New Hampshire: 23 percent
Massachusetts: 28 percent

Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana are among the poorest with low high school graduation rates and Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are among the wealthiest and among the top when it comes to high school graduation rates.

I have in many forums read arguments that "non-religious" people are living an empty life and are very unethical.

Look at Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. You people who think this, I have a question for you...where would you rather live...In a country that has creative people, on top of the world in technology, gives most to other poor countries, have most women in politics, are on top of the "happy nations" when looking at the satisfaction of life.

I would like you to come over to Scandinavia and debate your negative view of being non-religious to the Scandinavians.

I also want you to go over to the countries that agree with you such as El Salvador, Honduras, Greece and many other countries that agree with your view on religion (meaning they are religious). Where you you rather live. I think I know the answer. In my view all the non-religious democratic countries seem to be more creative and care for other people in the society.

Another thought, even though I'm non-religious I'm part of the church (you become a member when you are born in Scandinavia), I celebrate Christmas and Easter but in the back of my head I only do it for the tradition. The majority is part of the church but like I mentioned the non-religious rate is between 75-85 percent for all Scandinavian countries. We have left the religion and we are better for it. Look at all the facts where Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland are ranked on top all of important statistics.

No rules without exception but the majority of the countries which are the most creative in the world are part of the most non-religious countries.

Please name one country in the world (except the USA) that is religious and is going places.

My main point is that the facts show that being more non-religious is actually good. Of course being from a rich country will give you less reasons for caring for a religion but look at the things that these non-religious Scandinavian countries have done. Giving most to other poor countries, living the most "happy" life in the world, most women in high position sin politics etc. These things that I just wrote are arguments from religious people that non-religious people will not do (giving aid to poor countries, living satisfactory lives etc).

Also notice that I have in this thread written that non-religious democratic countries are the the best place to live. I wrote "Democratic". I don't include dictatorships such as North Korea, Vietnam, Soviet Union to be democratic. Many religious people argue that these are examples of "what non-religious countries have done". Once again, the best places for creative thinking, giving to other poor countries, having many women in top government positions, living on top of all nations in a satisfactory life are in non-religious democratic countries.

If you disagree, please look at the statistics between non-religious countries and religious countries. Once again..where would you rather live?????

Enough said

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Another one of my views from a forum


These are the things I don't believe in.

1. Religion - There are thousands of them even if some of them are much bigger than others. All of them are stating different things and different holy figures. (Needles to say that all of them think that their own religion is the "correct one" and all the others are false).

The 2001 edition of Barrett's World Christian Encyclopedia, identifies 10,000 distinct religions, of which 150 have 1 million or more followers. Within Christianity (counted as just one religion), 33,830 different denominations are counted. This would include denominations as large as Catholicism and as small as Shakers.

2. Mediums - Even a lot of non religious people believe in this. What I mean by a medium are people that can contact the dead etc.

The most famous "medium" in the USA is James Van Paraagh. He has been on several tv shows (he has his own show) and has written many books. How on earth can any person believe this guy???? It is interesting that each time he guesses something right he has done "hot reading" before the show. Hot reading is basically finding out things about a person before he meets a them by using Google, questioners or interviews with other people about that person.

Once again, he is very popular and a lot of people ( I would say millions around the world) are following him, his TV shows and books.

Here is a clip where he wasn't "prepared". He is doing a great job and is guessing things like:

A. A 60 year old woman has a buried mother
B. A person's mother took medicine before she died
C. A catholic woman has a picture of mother Mary in her house
D. He is recommending a woman to stop smoking because it's not good for her


(if any person believes in this guy after watching this clip you need to have your head examined)

Is anyone impressed with this guy or any other mediums. Every test done on mediums around the world has failed. Nobody has proven to have these powers which of course if obvious because they don't exist.

Another common answer that mediums are giving when they are confronted with a test to show their skills are excuses like "I don't do tests", "I don't like the test", "I can't do it in a test environment" plus around 10,000 other excuses.

To be honest with you I think you should have your head examined for believing mediums. In my opinion I think humans want to believe in this and that makes some people here on earth totally taking away logic, common sense etc when they actually go for this medium nonsense....

Another really common answer when mediums fail is "the person I spoke to was not willing to give answers or was not believing in me and therefore it failed".

continued list of what I don't believe in:

3. Spirits of any sort - things like a house could be haunted etc.

4. Fortune tellers - looking into the future

5. Witches and other ghosts

Am I alone in thinking all of the above are made up bullcrap

Any comments.....
RE: Atheism in Sweden
Quote:It's not easy to find anyone to discuss religion with because there are not to many out there

Frankly, THAT sounds like heaven. I wish the weather was better.
RE: Atheism in Sweden
(5th June 2012, 15:47)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:It's not easy to find anyone to discuss religion with because there are not to many out there

Frankly, THAT sounds like heaven. I wish the weather was better.

True, it is cold here but maybe with global warming it will be nicer (warmer) hehe
RE: Atheism in Sweden
(5th June 2012, 15:47)Minimalist Wrote: Frankly, THAT sounds like heaven. I wish the weather was better.

The weather IS awesome in Sweden. They have all kinds, winter to summer Big Grin
When I was young, there was a god with infinite power protecting me. Is there anyone else who felt that way? And was sure about it? but the first time I fell in love, I was thrown down - or maybe I broke free - and I bade farewell to God and became human. Now I don't have God's protection, and I walk on the ground without wings, but I don't regret this hardship. I want to live as a person. -Arina Tanemura

RE: Atheism in Sweden
I believe that non-religiousity may be directly to how much money you earn, and not vica versa.
[Image: trkdevletbayraklar.jpg]
Üze Tengri basmasar, asra Yir telinmeser, Türük bodun ilingin törüngin kim artatı udaçı erti?
RE: Atheism in Sweden
There are statistics and I always wanted to move to Sweden.

It's settled.

After my last cat hits the big black; I'm making arrangements.Tiger
"Religion is comparable to Childhood neurosis" Sigmond Freud

"If one wishes to form a true estimate of the full grandeur of religion, one must keep in mind what it undertakes to do for men. It gives them information about the source and origin of the universe, it assures them of protection and final happiness amid the changing vicissitudes of life, and it guides their thoughts and motions by means of precepts which are backed by the whole force of its authority."

SIGMUND FREUD, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

"Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires."

SIGMUND FREUD, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

"Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck." George Carlin

"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." Elizabeth Cady Stanton - American Suffragist (1815-1902)

"Who loves kitty" Robin Williams live on Broadway DVD

"You cannot petition the lord with prayer" Jim Morrison The Soft Parade.
RE: Atheism in Sweden
johnsweeting, may I ask how you came with the figure of 85% of Swedes being atheists.

I come from Australia which is about as religious as Scandinavia, a survey done last year showed that 31% of Australians no religion or spiritual belief versus 40% (20% who actually practice it) who consider themselves Christian.
RE: Atheism in Sweden
(6th June 2012, 02:23)kılıç_mehmet Wrote: I believe that non-religiousity may be directly to how much money you earn, and not vica versa.

The relationship between religiosity (or lack thereof) and other societal factors is interesting. For example, do higher country incomes cause higher rates of atheism? Or do higher rates of atheism lead to higher national incomes? Or perhaps better education causes both? I think it's always good to be on the look out for confounding variables and avoid jumping to conclusions about causal relationships from correlation.

ETA: Just thought I'd chime in about the Scandinavian atheist rate too - last I checked 70-85% was pretty high end estimates; but I may be wrong. Japan at 65% seems consistent with what I remember. Also, if I recall correctly, Estonia had the highest rate of atheism of any country surveyed. It's also important to compare the methodology of these surveys too (if multiple surveys are being used, that is), they could be defining "atheist" differently than each other. This is from memory alone though so I may be wrong.
RE: Atheism in Sweden
Welcome to the forum Big Grin
great post by the way. Proves that the world really would be a much better place if people would just drop their superstitious beliefs.
RE: Atheism in Sweden
My father is a swede. I'd love to live there, as I'm a cold weather lover.

My last name before I changed it when I was 19 was Lundborg. I'm told it's a popular surname in Sweden.

Thanks for sharing the info. Smile


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