Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Iceland

Today’s Jesus and Mo, called “adult,” came with an email message and a link:

Hello to all J&M’s Icelandic readers, if there are any! This month it was revealed that 0.0% of you under 25 years of age believe in the biblical creation story. That’s still too many.

The story, from Iceland Magazine, is in fact two years old (January 2016), but it does say this:

Iceland seems to be on its way to becoming an even more secular nation, according to a new poll. Less than half of Icelanders claim they are religious and more than 40% of young Icelanders identify as atheist. Remarkably the poll failed to find young Icelanders who accept the creation story of the Bible. 93.9% of Icelanders younger than 25 believed the world was created in the big bang, 6.1% either had no opinion or thought it had come into existence through some other means and 0.0% believed it had been created by God.

Older people are far more likely to profess religious beliefs and to identify as Christian than those who are younger. 80.6% of those older than 55 identified as Christian and only 11.8% said they were atheists. At the same time 40.5% of people who were 25 years or younger said they were atheists, and only 42% said they were Christian.

. . . The poll found an even more dramatic difference between different generations when it probed how people believed the world had been created. Of those younger than 25 93.9% said the world had been created in the big bang and 0.0% believed God had created the world. 77.7% of those between 25 and 44 years old believed the world had been created in the big bang and 10.1% believed God had created the world. In all but the oldest age category a majority accepted the big-bang theory. Only 46.1% of those older than 55 believed in the big bang, and nearly a fourth, 24.5% believed God had created the world.

The poll also found a growing percentage of Icelanders support the full separation of church and state. Out of those who expressed an opinion on the subject 72% supported the full separation of church and state and 28% oppose the separation of church and state. Currently the Icelandic constitution stipulates that the state church of Iceland is the Icelandic Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Iceland is a largely atheistic country, and I suspect that many of those under 25 who said they were Christian don’t really go to church.  The notion that religion is essential for a harmonious and moral society is debunked by these data, since Iceland has a society that fosters well being; in fact, it’s #3 (after Norway and Denmark) out of 155 countries surveyed in the UN’s 2017 World Happiness Index.

But I digress; here’s Jesus and Mo. Note that the first panel gets the data a bit wrong: 0% of those under 25 thought the world had ben created by God, not necessary that God wasn’t a “creator”.  He could have created other stuff.

Speaking of Norway, the world’s happiest nation (and one that’s not going to be sending migrants to the U.S), reader Barry sent this cartoon from Russell’s Teapot (I can’t seem to access russellsteapot.com):

24 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Atheists yes

    But

    What about the a-golfists? And more to the point, the a-jet-skiists? The a-outrigger-ists? A-something-that-you-can’t-really/-do-in-Norway-ists?

    … I wasn’t aware of that teapot comic series – good one.

    • Colin
      Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      As hard-nosed coffee drinkers, I think Norwegians may be ateaists…..

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 17, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Holy …

        Did you just make that up, or do I need to stare at the internet more?

        • Colin
          Posted January 17, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          I confess that I am a mug for this sort of thing and it did indeed brew in my head just now. I will leaf well alone and let you pour over some more internet rather than cup with more nonsense from me 😉

    • Posted January 17, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, finally. I’ve waited forty years for Norway to appear in the same sentence as atheist. It’s always Sweden and Denmark, Sweden and Denmark… By the way, some of my friends are golfers and jet-ski-ists. As an anti-golfist, I am an outlier. What you can’t do in Norway is sit outside at midnight with a cold beer while wearing a tee-shirt and shorts, more than one night each year 😦

  2. GBJames
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I think I need to move.

  3. rickflick
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    “This year’s[2017] list hosts the same top 10 countries as 2016, … Most notably, Norway rose from fourth place to first this year, snatching the title from Denmark.”

    I enjoy watching these vicious struggles for first place every year. 😎

  4. Serendipitydawg
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The web address redirects to all sorts of random rubbish (including porn) – it never used to, no idea what became of the strip.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    It’s always good to hear about other countries that are actually doing well as apposed to here where a few actually think we are.

    • Posted January 17, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Take a gander here:

      https://ourworldindata.org

      The world is becoming better place than most Americans give it credit.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 17, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Yes. It’s good to reflect, from time to time, on the nearly miraculous march of progress. The future, it seems, will be better than the past – and maybe much better.
        Thanks for the link. I’ll keep it handy for whenever there’s a White House tweet. 😎

        • GBJames
          Posted January 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          “The future, it seems, will be better than the past…”

          Unless you’re a polar bear.

  6. Posted January 17, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    It’s still a problem that “93.9% of Icelanders younger than 25 believed the world was created in the big bang.” They should do something about that because it wasn’t.

    • Posted January 17, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I guess that depends on how big your world is. They should have specified Earth vs Universe. And “created” is a bit problematic. Science literacy is nothing without science accuracy. Statements such as “Einstein invented space-time and atomic bombs before retiring and opening a bagel shop with his brother” don’t reflect strong science literacy, no matter how good his bagels are.

    • David Evans
      Posted January 17, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      The poll is in Icelandic, here
      http://sidmennt.is/wp-content/uploads/L%C3%ADfssko%C3%B0anir-%C3%8Dslendinga-Si%C3%B0mennt.pdf

      and I think the options were something like
      1 The world came from the Big Bang
      2 God created the world
      3 Don’t know
      4 Other.
      The word “created” is definitely not in the Big Bang option.

  7. Ken Phelps
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Ah, so Trump actually *is* a closeted sane person. His plan to change American religious demographics by encouraging immigration from atheistic countries like Norway is finally coming to light. Great cover using the whole “racist bunghole” persona.

  8. Chris G
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    As with progress in science, it seems atheism advances one funeral at a time.
    The future is bright, the future is young.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Classical Catholicism venerated as the best pagan philosophers Plato and Aristotle.

    I don’t think either of them would regard religion as “necessary” to a good government.

    Both would regard the most important thing to be a well-designed system of government whose constitution was sound and whose rulers were wise.
    Of the two, Plato believed in an afterlife and was more openly promotional of religion, as following from his understanding of justice,

    But Plato’s equations are:

    1) Having good sense of justice
    leads to –> 2) good government

    1) Having good sense of justice
    leads to—>3) belief in religion.

    Plato never draws a causal arrow between 3 and 2.

    Likewise,
    The medieval Catholic church regarded certain virtues as “natural” meaning one did NOT require religious revelation to know they were important. One of these was “justice” which according to the medieval church’s favorite philosopher, Plato, was the underlying foundation of government.

    Aristotle regards man as an innately social/political animal (which is probably truer than the Hobbes/Rousseau “state of nature” theory). Thus the drive toward good government is naturally wired into humans by his thinking. Aristotle is Thomas Aquinas’ favorite, and this would further imply that religion is not strictly necessary for social stability.

    • Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. Plato wrote in detail in the Republic that youths must be indoctrinated to believe in gods, and Homer and the tragedians should be banned because their works make gods look bad.

  10. bundorgarden
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Wealthy, educated and cohesive societies (which are often relatively small) dont need religion. (I bet the Muslim population in Norway (and if there is one in Iceland)are still just as religious though).

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 17, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      NZ – iirc we’re 7th – was 41.1% atheist at our last census. I suspect it’s higher now. Australia – ?8th – is also highly atheist, though not as high as NZ.

  11. JoanL
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Seems russellsteapot.com is no longer maintained, but there’s a collection of them at imgur.com/a/FWkCB/all.

    Another sample:
    <a href=”https://i.imgur.com/NJEGp.jpg”

  12. JoanL
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Maybe this works?

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 17, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    But of course they DO speak Norwegian in Hell!

    cr


%d bloggers like this: