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Religion 'linked to happy life' - Comments

alfonso's Avatar Comment 1 by alfonso

That does not make it true.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:05:00 UTC | #138528

Geoff's Avatar Comment 2 by Geoff

News just in: delusions make you happy!

Big deal. So do alcohol & marijuana.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:08:00 UTC | #138530

Quine's Avatar Comment 3 by Quine

And exactly how are you going to do the randomized double blind study of this?

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:08:00 UTC | #138531

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 4 by al-rawandi

This is bullshit, and a false conclusion.

Intelligence is generally linked to greater pessimism. Greater intelligence is also linked to diminished belief in religion.

Thus the credulous fool is happier because he is more optimistic and has no idea his head is up his ass.

The smarter the person, the more they realize that the world is a shitty place filled with the aforementioned morons, fucking it up for everyone else.

So in that sense, being stupider is conducive to a happy life. Although I feel I am a pretty happy person.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:09:00 UTC | #138533

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 5 by hungarianelephant

Cocker spaniels also tend to lead happy lives. I wouldn't want to be one, though.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:10:00 UTC | #138535

Epinephrine's Avatar Comment 6 by Epinephrine

Also in the news, frontal lobotomy has calming effect on psychotics.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:11:00 UTC | #138537

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 7 by Gymnopedie

A feel-good delusion combined with a sense of community is religion to most people. So what's the big deal? This "study" is just more rubber bullets for the religiously inclined to use against the big bad forces of secularism.

Favorite Christian Apologist: "Secularism makes you suicidal and miserable, just look at this new study! This proves the only path to happiness is through Jesus, now proven scientifically, of course."

This actually throws me off a bit, because aren't Christians supposed to embrace suffering and misery? It makes them closer to God, remember? Oh, but who cares about Theology.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:16:00 UTC | #138540

JamesDB's Avatar Comment 8 by JamesDB

Hah this really does show that religion is a crutch.

I agree with you Geoff, why don't they conduct a survey to see if people who drink or smoke weed are happier then the religious. This survey is too vague to be taken seriously.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:20:00 UTC | #138542

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 9 by al-rawandi

People who have regular sex are more happy... Can we prove that?

Then you have to be an ignorant Christian, Drunk, Stoner, Whore. Then, bliss.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:22:00 UTC | #138543

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 10 by Steve Zara

Comment #145961 by al-rawandi

Intelligence is generally linked to greater pessimism. Greater intelligence is also linked to diminished belief in religion.


Also, religion may not be so good for your happiness if you are one of those oppressed by it. A family who can't stop having children because of religious opinions on birth control. A gay person who has to keep their life hidden.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:34:00 UTC | #138547

shemp333's Avatar Comment 11 by shemp333

Ignorance is Bliss!!!

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:37:00 UTC | #138548

MrPickwick's Avatar Comment 12 by MrPickwick

"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides."

John Stuart Mill

(MrPickwick is getting tired. This is so easy...)

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:52:00 UTC | #138554

rodviking's Avatar Comment 13 by rodviking

The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
- Bernard Shaw

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:54:00 UTC | #138558

Richard Feldmann's Avatar Comment 14 by Richard Feldmann

I, personally, feel more content now that I've freed myself from the guilt-crafted shackles of belief in the supernatural. I was constantly emotionally charged believing that I was doing something wrong, aka sinful.

I am much more at peace now as a atheist/secularist/humanist. I suppose you could say that I'm happier now.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 12:58:00 UTC | #138559

JemyM's Avatar Comment 15 by JemyM

Christianity made me really unhappy. The idea of sin and Gods punishment made me live a life in almost constant depression because I blamed myself for pretty much everything that happened in my life (believing that my sexuality thanks to puberty had a strong impact on bad things going on in my life and in my family). I spent most of my teenage years wanting to die so I could go to heaven instead. The belief in heaven makes life hollow and meaningless. Going through puberty as a Christian was pure hell.

Getting rid of Christianity lifted a huge boulder of my shoulders, which had a strong positive impact on my life. The greatest positive impact was that I learned that prayer did nothing to improve my situation, only my own personal effort did. My best time is now.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:13:00 UTC | #138571

ivellios's Avatar Comment 16 by ivellios

If ignorance is bliss, then wipe the smile off my face.

I agree, deluded people are more happy. Mainly, because they are too stupid to know they are being crapped on.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:25:00 UTC | #138582

hurrican's Avatar Comment 17 by hurrican

what was the quote?

better an unhappy Socrates then a happy pig.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:47:00 UTC | #138598

AtheistAspy's Avatar Comment 18 by AtheistAspy

We need to make atheism emotionally palatable to the average person rather than focusing purely on intellectual matters.

I don't know why this article is news. We've known for quite a while that religion is correlated with happiness.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:50:00 UTC | #138602

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 19 by Tyler Durden

Wow. What a hackneyed piece of dross!

A belief in God could lead to a more contented life, research suggests.
So, it could lead to a more contented life, then again, maybe it couldn't. Oh, and alcohol is bad for your liver. Film at 11 :-)

And research suggests this. It only suggests it? Doesn't claim or assert? Or prove. Or even affirm. Strange.

"These findings are consistent with other studies which suggest that religion does have a positive effect, although there are other views which say that religion can lead to self-doubt, and failure, and thereby have a negative effect."
So what you're saying is that you don't actually know, and it could be either. Well, thanks for clearing that one up for us.

Their findings, they said, suggested that religion could offer a "buffer" which protected from life's disappointments.
Isn't delusion just wonderful? Yes, and I'm sure the ostrich with his head in the sand is just feeling dandy up until the point where he gets shot in the ass or run over by a 4x4 out on safari.

"A large part of it is due to the meaning, purpose and value which believing in God gives you, whereas not believing in God can leave you without those things." Justin Thacker, head of Theology for the Evangelical Alliance
Wow, guess I'll just end it all now. What's the point? I've no "meaning, purpose and value" left in my life. Boo hoo. Where's the nearest cliff?

And all because I don't believe in Santa Claus god. Sure, that following Christmas sure was tough knowing there was no Santa but I got over it, and it gave me a purpose - to tell everyone else there was no Santa, esp my younger siblings :-)

Living in the real world sure can be tough sometimes, I guess these clowns would rather avoid all that and live with their head in the clouds or up their own ass!

"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it." Mark Twain

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 13:56:00 UTC | #138607

Epinephrine's Avatar Comment 20 by Epinephrine

I don't know why this article is news. We've known for quite a while that religion is correlated with happiness.

I'm curious as to "how much" happier.

I remember something about the correlation of IQ with height. It turned out that if one was 4 feet taller it would account for about one standard deviation of difference.

I rather suspect that there are other factors which covary with religion that are more explanatory.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:01:00 UTC | #138609

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 21 by scottishgeologist

Some happy smiling faces from David Robertsons denomination here: Disruption.htm

I love thi sline:

"One of the first Free Presbyterians, Neil Cameron, for example, referred to the men responsible for making `the absolute infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible, as being the Word of God...become a thing of the past' as `traitors to God and men', while referring to the changes which were taking place in the Free Church as `this flood which Satan was casting out of his mouth in order to carry her (the Free Church) away completely"

Note: When it comes to infighting, bickering and general back stabbing, you simply cannot beat a presbyterian church. And in the Scottish variety, these traits reach their zenith.


Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:07:00 UTC | #138615

EnlightenedBlasphemy's Avatar Comment 22 by EnlightenedBlasphemy

I will put forward an idea for why religious people cope better.

Prayer, yeah i said it! Prayer for many christians who get the happy-coping goodness, involves getting into position to pray and then performing a sort of meditation. They often hold to the idea that before you pester god with requests, you should thank him for the good stuff you already have. so first they track through a decent list of things that they are happy about, or that make them feel good. Then they move on to ponder the things that are making them unhappy, and then they think about what to do about these unhappy things.
They then thank god a little more for the good stuff (he's quick to anger if you don't grovel correctly)then sign off of the god channel with the /amen command. then they stand up, and after having spent a bit praying/meditating they go have some juice.

I could be wrong on this, but having spent a lot of time (most of my life to date) among christians I've heard a lot of prayers, and said my fair share too. Any ex christians want to back me up on this...or shoot me down entirely. Im open to either.

I suggest an experiment.

1) Sit down, on something comfy, or kneel. (not in supplication but because its a good way to keep your back straight and its good for posture)

2) Think about all the stuff that you are happy about, this may take some doing but it can be done

3) ponder the stuff thats making you unhappy, why its making you unhappy, and what you might do about it. (simply not letting it bug you is a good start for most stuff)

4) touch back on the good stuff again, make sure you hit any really interesting bits again

5) Juice! (this bit is important, even better is eating a piece of fruit)

Give that a shot and see if maybe atheists can cope just as well, I think we can.

Anything a religious person can do (that's worth doing) we can do better!

and if you try this, you will at least end up with slightly better posture and perhaps a bit more fruit in your diet

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:09:00 UTC | #138616

FightingFalcon's Avatar Comment 23 by FightingFalcon

The people in "The Matrix" were content as well.

The idea of Santa Claus makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside but that doesn't make it true....

I could keep going but I think everyone has pretty much taken care of this ridiculous drivel.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:21:00 UTC | #138619

abutler76's Avatar Comment 26 by abutler76

I find that many religious people I know are 'fake' happy. They are constantly forcing themselves to smile and act happy and love Jesus, even though you can see that they're miserable. I really wonder if this study accounts for 'fake' happy. Do all the religious people when surveyed say they are super happy and the non-religious people are more honest about how they actually feel?

My first post! I've been reading for awhile, I absolutely love the articles and comments here. I feel right at home!

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:23:00 UTC | #138622

IaninPA's Avatar Comment 25 by IaninPA

I've only skimmed everyone posts so apologies if someone else has said this but what if the best description is that religion is manic depressive.

Yes, they may well be happier when the highs are good - but aren't they also so, so much more depressed when the low hits? I think as an atheist I just sit somewhere in the middle - with no illusory god pulling me one way or another because I think that god loves me when things are going well or has abandoned me when they are not. That kind of rollercoaster I can do without.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:23:00 UTC | #138621

Peter_on_Sax's Avatar Comment 24 by Peter_on_Sax

Sorry, but when I originally wrote the report, I didn't say "belief in God", I said "substance abuse could lead to a more contented life". Funny how editors change these things around.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:23:00 UTC | #138620

IaninPA's Avatar Comment 27 by IaninPA

Comment #146051 by abutler76

My first post! I've been reading for awhile, I absolutely love the articles and comments here. I feel right at home!

Welcome! Nothing wrong with lurking - I don't post as often as I'd like but I'm always here reading. I think what I like most is that we are such a mixed bunch who really only agree fully on one thing!

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:31:00 UTC | #138625

Fedler's Avatar Comment 28 by Fedler

Of course religion makes people happy. When was that ever in dispute? It's the factual basis for religious belief that is nonexistent. So you can be happy and deluded, or happy and non-deluded. I know what I pick.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:52:00 UTC | #138633

epeeist's Avatar Comment 29 by epeeist

People might want to read this as well:

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 14:53:00 UTC | #138634

Slyer's Avatar Comment 30 by Slyer

This goes against what I've experienced, most of the Atheists I know are all laid back and happy people, it's the Christians that are more likely to be worriers and always upset about something.
Ignorance can be bliss and some people are very adept at making sure they know as little as possible about certain subjects.
I don't think I could ever force myself to stay ignorant or wish I was still ignorant after learning.

I have to agree with the people that compare delusions like god belief to drugs.
People sometimes give up their drugs or whatever habit when they become more religious because they have addictive personalities, they just swap from one thing to the other.
"I was fucked up on drugs but now I'm fucked up on Jesus!"
Christianity is a happy drug that swaps physical side effects for mental ones. You gain blissful ignorance but lose logic and reason.
Myself I'm at peace with the universe and don't need a drug or god to make me happy.

And yes, they need to do a study that compares happiness of children between those that believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and those that do not. Not at all saying that happiness can be measured, you couldn't rely on the subject giving a proper testimony.
As Sam Harris says, happiness is the absence of things that make you unhappy moreso than the possession of things that make you happy.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 15:00:00 UTC | #138636