Why is it that -- generally speaking -- the countries of the world which have the best standard of living, peace and stability are also the least religious?
There's an interesting article here about worldwide religiosity and it's interesting to look at the world map of religiosity. Contrast that with the UN Human Development Index or this study on Newsweek. Of the top 10 countries listed there, I would say that Canada is probably the most religious, even though last time I checked, only around 17% of Canadians go to church on a regular basis. And then there is the question of happiness. According to this recent study, the "happiest" countries in the world are -- once again -- the most irreligious. Of course, there are other relevant factors that determine how "happy" a country is, such as democracy and political/economic stability. But does religion play a role in how those elements are (or aren't) implemented in a society?
So what do you think? Is there are a real link between religion and quality of life/standard of living? Does religiosity hinder peace, stability and progress -- even happiness? Are there other factors? Or is it all a matter of coincidence?