Greetings from Sweden
Hullo Rational Response Squad, and all the others on this forum.
As you might have guessed, I'm from this little country in northern Europe known as Sweden. I watched your debate online on ABC, and became interested in this organisation, and their website. So good work on that, your incresed publicity will further serve your goals. Undermining the great religions that has been in controll of humanity for so long time is not an easy effort, even in these "free" times we live in. So keep up the good work.
You mentioned us on the debate! Unlike the US, we're not quite as used to that as you(if you're there) might be. We're but a small country of 9 million. Our entire nation could fit into New York. In either case, I feel I need to clearify something. We were mentioned to be one of the most atheism nations in the world, and still keeping to logic, morality, and the capacity to be good. This is sort of true. I'm not sure what the propper term is, but we're not techincally atheist. The majority of the population here is, whatever it's called, chose neither to believe, nor to not believe. I'm sure there's a good word for that. But true, I think if you made an official poll, we'd have a higher percentage of open atheists(note percentage, not amount) than perhaps your place. Religion is just not any important aspect of most of our lives. It's generally rather ignored, nobody will bash you for going to church on sundays, and nobody is going to shoot you for being an abortion doctor. You will still find parrents telling their children that the dead goes to heaven, but you will also notice that the impact dosn't really go beyond that. It's there, but very few people grow up with it actively.
Somebody in the audience of the debate asked for nations that could be "good" without god. But one thing that has always perplexed me about the United States is your capitalistic nature. I'm not going to turn this into a political debate, but I feel I must explain. Sweden has for the last 100 years or so, been mostly under the influence and governing of the Social Democratic Party. We're a socialistic nation, and pretty much any other political party, though some might be more rightly focused than others, still clinge to the fundamental socialistic ideas that has formed our modern nation. The socialism system we have can in short be explained as every citizen pitches in to help the rest. We have a very structured and established wellfare systems, that gives money to those of our citizens that are in need. If you lost your job, you recieve money untill you can find a new one(but we also make sure you're looking, and you can loose the benifits if you're abusing it). We're still very influenced by the west, but we clinge on to our social system quite well.
Now say what you will about such a system, but it's rather very opposite to that of the US. In which I have understood, you pay very little taxes, manage your own wellfare etc. Anybody who is "weak" or simply does not have the right circumstances, might end up on the street with very little help from the state - or anybody else for that matter. Now going back to my original point, I think this is curious. The christians in the United States seems to think they are on top of the world. Did not George Bush use the words of god to justify their actions and war on terrorism? It seems there is an awfull lot of god loaded into your country, and people who think their nation seems to be the greatest because of god. But christians speak a lot about the forces of goodness, light, freedom. And then comes our little faithless nation of 9 million, with a political system that cares for everybody in it, no matter who you are or what your situation is. Is it just me, or do I sense a lot of hypocracy in this?
Please don't misunderstand my intentions here. I am not trying to bash your nation or promoting mine. The guy in the audience asked for nations that knew goodness without god, and Sweden is a leading nation in wellfare systems, yet have very little religion in overall. Short in short, we care a lot for the well-being of our citizens, no matter who they are. I'm just curious what your thoughts on this are?
Residential Swedish Moth