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Religion 'linked To Happy Life'


DjDan
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7302609.stm

 

There are those who continue to blame religion for all of life's problems, and to mock religious people as being unintelligent and incapable..

 

Well, not that I take a lot of notice from "research" like this.... but one to consider for those of you who do.

 

Religion = Happiness

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Marx.

 

The study is irrelevant anyway because non-believers can't become believers just because they think it would make them happy to live in blissful self-delusion. To be a believer you have to believe and deep down inside you can't pretend to believe what you know to be nonsense.

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What it suggests is that those who are 'believers' are more content with life. They are generally happier, and deal with upsets with less disappointment and trauma.

 

In short, religion is a positive influence on people and life.

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Religion might create happiness within, but it doesn't often achieve much in the way of spreading it around to other people.

 

I guess that happiness also comes from the fact that, with religion, ones brain doesn't have to work nearly as hard. An issue that might have actually taxed your every thought and kept you awake at night, you can quite happily write off as God's will, or Intelligent Design, or something.

 

I'll bet George Bush sleeps like a log at night with a big happy smile on his face.

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In the same way that a crutch eases the pain on your broken leg, religion eases the pain of life.

 

If I were to believe that after I die that I'd be rewarded for a good life by spending eternity in heaven and that all those in the world who undergo suffering - the persecuted, the starving, the abused - would end up rejoicing in heaven with me instead of having a horrible life with no reward, I'd probably be a lot happier too.

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In short, religion is a positive influence on people and life.

Correlation does not imply causation. There is nothing in that report to suggest that if they turned religious they would have happiness of similar levels to the other religious group. It's like saying that black people on average score lower in IQ tests because of their skin colour; if you were somehow able to change the skin colour it wouldn't necessarily affect their scoring in these set of tests - there are other prevalent factors.

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I believe that the community church goers become members of is important and probably a factor in this.

 

I have often wondered why churches are so good at doing this and why secular organizations so poor.

 

Having that community to support, relate to and even just listen is important and makes big transitions - divorces, deaths, unemployment etc - easier as there is continuity in the Church going - even if you move to a new area there is a built in community ready to welcome you - I've Chinese friends who have emigrated from China to the US and deliberately joined a church for that community - they weren't (initially) religious, but saw it as a way of integrating into the community and gaining support.

 

I'd be interested in comparing people with strong secular interests - the football team, the running club, the hospice charity, or whatever - and seeing how that gives them support.

 

I'm also interested in encouraging secular communities which have a role in creating a more all embracing view of life than just a sports club or whatever - funerals, marriages etc aren't just the provinence of the religious, neither is using literature, poetry etc to attempt to understand morality and right and wrong.

 

The non-religious tend not to be preachy - each to their own etc - but I don't think there is any intrinsic reason why secular groups can't come together to give community support. And I do think that would help people live happier lives.

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