A recent survey in New Zealand reveals that only 40% of the people believe in a god, and 10% do but have doubts. Only 52% believe in an immortal soul, and 80% accept evolution. I marvel at that — a country where I would not be a member of a rare minority, where I could start a conversation with a stranger and reliably encounter someone who wasn’t barking mad, where the populace doesn’t believe in angels? Next you’ll be telling me the streets are paved with gold.
It’s not perfect. There are still lots of conspiracy theorists and UFO buffs and lucky number innumerates, but man, it’s just that the background looks so much less cluttered with nonsense (they also found a positive correlation between god-belief and belief in the paranormal, unlike a recent deeply flawed survey in the US, which tried to get around this problem by redefining belief in angels and miracles as not paranormal.) You must take a look at the full summary to believe it.
And then…they have a museum where they carry out public dissections of giant squid.
I’m having a hard time imagining such a place. Paradise doesn’t really exist, you know.