The Most Peaceful Country In The World

At the top of this blog is a picture taken in the country designated by the Institute for Economics and Peace (calculated according to the Global Peace Index) as the most peaceful country in the world.

Time News Feed posted an article on Monday stating that Iceland in the most peaceful country in the world–followed by Denmark and New Zealand. In reading the article, I wondered about the politics of the organization rating the peacefulness of countries. It seems as if social welfare states ranked higher than countries whose fiscal policies were more conservative.

At any rate, Iceland is a beautiful, peaceful country. I would like to note that the frequency of alcoholism in Iceland has been estimated to be in the range of 3.5-6.3% (statistics from the Icelandic National Health Plan to the Year 2010). In America it is about 6.6 % (2005 statistics from the drugrehab.org).

I guess my problem with reading this was wondering what the definition and criteria for the concept of peace were. Iceland is beautiful. I also wonder if there is a different temperament in people living in extremely cold climates than people living in very warm climates. There is so much that could influence the choice of ‘the most peaceful country in the world’ that is totally subjective that I question the conclusion drawn.

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A Problem I Never Considered

On Tuesday the New York Daily News posted a story about a website set up in 1997 to help Icelanders avoid incest. Think about it. Iceland is an absolutely beautiful place, but it is an island with a population of about 300,000. It would be very easy to date your cousin without knowing he/she was a relative.

The article states:

Enter Íslendingabók, or the Book of Icelanders, an online resource that tracks 1,200 years worth of genealogical data on the country’s inhabitants, according to the website.

All Icelanders have to do to prevent incest is type in their name and the name of a potential love interest — that is, provided they have an “Icelandic ID number,” since the database is restricted to citizens and legal residents.

What a fantastic idea. The website will also tell inquirers whether or not they are related to Icelandic celebrities.

My husband and I traveled to Iceland to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary a few years ago–it was warmer than Massachusetts in February! We stayed at the Blue Lagoon, one of the national treasures of the country. Iceland is an amazing place, and the people were absolutely wonderful. I hope to go there again.

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