John on May 6, 2008 at 10:38 am
The correlation of secularism and increased suicide rates is well established. Occasionally, we see the personal impetus toward suicide spill into the news when some over-zealous professor is found either relishing or spelling out a grand plan for social suicide.
What applies on the personal level does seem to have a cumulative effect society-wide. The connection between secularism and declining population has long been remarked upon. Though there are details in the numbers worthy of further investigation, the overall picture is fairly clear. Secularism is a strong predictor of population decline. Case in point, Japan is one of the most secular nations on earth. It is also one of the fastest dying:
The proportion of children in the population fell to an all-time low of 13.5 percent. That number has been falling for 34 straight years and is the lowest among 31 major countries, according to the report. In the United States, children account for about 20 percent of the population.
Japan also has a surfeit of the elderly. About 22 percent of the population is 65 or older, the highest proportion in the world. And that number is on the rise. By 2020, the elderly will outnumber children by nearly 3 to 1, the government report predicted. By 2040, they will outnumber them by nearly 4 to 1.
The economic and social consequences of these trends are difficult to overstate.
Japan, now the world’s second-largest economy, will lose 70 percent of its workforce by 2050 and economic growth will slow to zero, according to a report this year by the nonprofit Japan Center for Economic Research.
Population shrinkage began three years ago and is gathering pace. Within 50 years, the population, now 127 million, will fall by a third, the government projects. Within a century, two-thirds of the population will be gone.
The rest of Western Europe is undergoing a similar decline, though not as dramatic as in Japan. As Mark Steyn notes, Toynbee said it best: “Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.”
[HT: Hot Air]
Category: Secularism & Socialism |