Denmark and Sweden are two countries which are often cited by atheists as proof that secular morality can work. Professor Jerry Coyne, for instance, has written dozens of articles praising Denmark (see here for instance, and see also here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here). At the end of one here, directed at Rabbi Joseph Sacks, Coyne writes:
My answer is this: Sweden and Denmark, dear Rabbi. Are those countries, which are largely atheistic, immoral and falling apart? I don’t think so.
And what about this?
If Scruton wants to see how much a truly secular society devalues the sacred, I suggest that he get himself to Sweden or Denmark. Do the Danes and Swedes abjure what Scruton calls the “sacred”? Do they not value life and love and art? Not that I’ve seen! Do they not appreciate knowledge and literature? Who, after all, gives out the Nobel Prizes?
If atheism really did dispose of morality, why are countries like Sweden and Denmark, which are largely atheistic, still moral? Are they deluding themselves? No, they have good secular reasons to adhere to moral principles.
Perhaps one happy day we’ll be like Denmark!
Perhaps Coyne might be interested to read an eye-opening article by Carol Brown over at American Thinker on what is happening in Denmark. Ms. Brown paints a terrifying portrait of a society which is falling apart under the influence of religiously motivated violence. Crime in Denmark has exploded, and street gangs “have taken over large parts of Danish towns and cities. There are numerous “no go” zones where even the police are afraid to venture. Is this Coyne’s idea of a successful secular society?
Some morals to be drawn from Brown’s article:
1. Not all forms of religion are good; some are toxic.
2. Nature abhors a vacuum. Secularism is powerless to drive out toxic forms of religion.
3. The only proven way to drive out toxic forms of religion, and keep them out, is with wholesome forms of religion.
What do readers think?