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IN 'GODLESS' SCANDINAVIA, PEOPLE ARE CONTENT IS THAT ENOUGH? by Lisa Graham McMinn Scandinavians are content, caring people who don't worry too much about what happens after they die. And they aren't a tad bit religious (well, maybe a tad, but just barely). Phil Zuckerman, sociologist and author of Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment (NVU Press) ***, spent 14 months in Scandinavia and witnessed a compassionate way of life and societal well-being. He contrasts Danes and Swedes with the marginally less-contented and less-charitable folks in the United States, who nevertheless show great religious zeal. He asks, "Is a society to be considered moral if its citizens love the Bible a lot (as in the United States), or rather, if its citizens virtually wipe out poverty from their midst (as in Scandinavia)?"
Highly secularized Scandinavian countries consistently rank high on international well-being and life-satisfaction indices (though so does the United States, a point Zuckerman fails to make). Zuckerman rarely saw a …