… Dr. Hallpike continues in his book:
We can therefore agree with Hitchens that there is no reason to expect any special differences here between the conduct of believers and unbelievers, and the same would be true as well of many immoral actions that are also generally agreed to threaten the social order, such as theft, rape, and murder. To this extent it is clear that one does not need God to be good, and we also have to consider the influence of the traditional culture. So it is not particularly surprising that countries such as Scandinavia where religious believers are relatively few, but are still influenced by their Protestant cultural heritage, may nevertheless have low levels of crime.
Crime in Scandinavia, with Sweden being rape and domestic violence capital of the West, is actually quite high in many regions. And it’s not just because of the flood of immigration. Alcohol abuse and mental health issues are also hugely problematic. To say that there’s a spiritual crisis in Scandinavia would be an understatement. But back to the title of Dr. Hallpike’s book, Do We Need God to Be Good? Does Dr. Hallpike mean subjectively good or objectively good?; if the former, then we don’t need God, but the latter requires God. And here is why (see also my essay, Explaining Epiphenomenalism to a Dead Horse, October 2017 edition of NER): More.
Sweden’s problem might be that naturalism is a dead end. After all, ethics depend on consciousness and a fully naturalist view of consciousness sees it as an illusion. How can one say that the violent person, passing on his selfish genes, is any worse than a non-violent person who may be less likely to do so, given the circumstances, unless one appeals to a higher authority than mere desires or preferences?
See also: Dispatches from modern witchcraft in the world of Urban Cool: The science bureaucrats who worry a lot about what theists believe ignore the growth of more naturalism-friendly beliefs. Could there be a pattern there?