The Virtues of Godlessness

The least religious nations are also the most healthy and successful

The world seems more religious than ever these days.

Across the Middle East, fervent forms of Islam are growing more popular and more politically active. Muslim nations that were somewhat secularized 40 years ago — like Lebanon and Iran — are now teeming with fundamentalism. In Turkey and Egypt, increasing numbers of women are turning to the veil as an overt manifestation of reinvigorated religious commitment. But it isn't just in the Muslim world that religion