That was a MSN MONEY headline I saw in 2004. The story, written by Alister Bull of the Reuters News Service, began in this way:
Researchers say, all else being equal, belief in eternal damnation reduces corruption, strengthens the rules of law and raises per capita income.
Economists searching for reasons why some nations are richer than others have found that those with a wide belief in hell are less corrupt and more prosperous, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis….
The report went on to say, "A belief in hell tends to mean less corruption and less corruption tends to mean a higher per capita income.''
This is not the first time I have seen an argument such as this. What do you think? Does a belief in hell affect human behavior? Does a belief in hell impact the beliefs of a human heart?