> You mean like the USSR?
The USSR is a good example to consider.
Alexander can tell us more about how things worked in that "atheist" nation, for example he might tell us about their own brand of "religion" called Lenin-worship or Stalin-worship and their own problems with superstitious beliefs. My understanding is that they had a lot more respect for math and science than we do here. We tend to degrade math. We tend to live our lives so we can self-fulfill our hope "I won't ever need this math stuff in my day-to-day life." Humanities experts sometimes pride themselves in their inability to understand science and math, like the Victorian-class woman who doesn't want to look like she's too smart. Russians weren't generally like this. When you showed them the math they tended to accept it.
Nevertheless, here are some important points. With a population only slightly greater, but with a GNP vastly below our own they were able to
* equal us in the Space Race.
* far outdo the Europeans and Japanese in Space.
* surpass us in nuclear power.
* surpass us in military strength.
To do this they were forced to devote a much larger percentage of their GNP to the military. The system failed because of this and other economic/political reasons. I think it was partly because they realized that Reagan's administration was going to devote more money to military and the Soviets wouldn't be able to match it. Also they feared that the US would succeed in producing anti-ballistic systems that might make their vast arsenal impotent.
Compare "atheist" China and "religious" India. Their populations are similar, yet the Chinese are a far more powerful nation, wouldn't you agree?
Religion is NOT the reason the US, Europe, and Japan are the major economic powers today. It is despite their religous beliefs. Religion and superstition suck out of our world economy unacceptably large amounts of personpower and resources that could be channeled into scientific and humanitarian development. Religion and superstition are large drains on our modern society.
When will our society become scientifically-literate enough that they can throw off the psychotherapeutic shackles of superstition and religion? I hope soon.