Maybe the pertinent questions are: “If I stop going to church will I get more money?” and “If I take up religion will I become poorer?”
It would depend on the individual. Many business people are active in churches and other social groups in order to gain business contacts. They are a minority however. Perhaps they are more than offset by those who, having suffered some debilitating life crisis, turn to religion for solace and support. Many college students turn away from religion, as I did, at a time when they have absolutely no money. They can only become wealthier, but in that case turning away from religion is not the cause of their becoming more wealthy.
I think that those who are deeply religious in a personal way, in general do not aspire to great wealth, but are satisfied with just having enough.
Analysis aside, this article will serve to bolster the egos of many, feeding the concept of atheists as an elite group that is wealthier, more intelligent and morally superior to the others.
@Petter True, but to understand why the society is as it is, don’t we have to study individuals?
@WilliamFleming No. It's similar to the difference between micro scale reactions and macro scale reactions.
From the article:
“This doesn't necessarily mean that secularisation caused economic development, since both changes could have been caused by some third factor with different time lags, but at least we can rule out economic growth as the cause of secularization in the past."
It’s a good balanced article. It is noted that the decline of religion often precedes economic growth. Maybe sometimes declines in the economy precede religious growth.
Regardless, populations are not monoliths. I think that to get at the root of the issue you’d have to study which sorts of people are growing or shrinking in wealth and religion.
@Jetty Yes. Note that the Great Depression put an end to the Roaring Twenties, and that religion became more prominent.
@WilliamFleming Roaring 20's? I've read that Industrialists, Corporatists (?), surper rich....basically what we now call the 1%ers, teamed up with the religious to push back on FDR's New Deal & the governments helping hand to the poor and working class.
@twill I don’t know. The rich were taking a very hard hit economically. What you’ve read sounds like skewed propaganda to me. Nearly all ordinary people had religious roots in 1930 and by the time of the New Deal they were seeking comfort and support in churches.
If you have references though I’ll look at them.
Common sense. Deeply ("fanatically" ) religious states discourage education of the masses in general and of women in particular.
A poorly educated society is not innovative, and therefore is less affluent, unless factors such as mineral wealth compensate.
Scotland is a good example of a causual relationship. After the reformation an act of parliament was passed ensuring that every parish had a "grammar school". These were overseen by the church of Scotland who were keen to have a literate population who could read the scriptures unlike the Roman Catholic church which retained Latin, a language only the priests could understand.
Enlightenment giants such as David Hume and Adam Smith resulted although to be fair Scotland had an much better higher education system than England having four universities when England only had two.
Quoting the article ( a little further down the page)
"However, we suspect that the relationship is not purely causal. We noticed that secularization only leads to economic development when it is accompanied by a greater respect for individual rights."
Personally I suspect a causal relationship between ignorance and religiosity -- with prosperity vs knowledge being a side relationship.
But if course I haven't tried to do a study. Lol
From the link:
"Our findings show that secularisation precedes economic development and not the other way around,” said Damian Ruck, the study's lead researcher at the University of Bristol
“However, we suspect the relationship is not directly causal. We noticed that secularisation only leads to economic development when it is accompanied by a greater respect for individual rights.”
I feel you have missed the point of the article. It is not about the individual - it is about the society.