Tag Archives: agnosticism

If you get religion to make yourself happier, be sure to get a lot of religion

 If you get religion to make yourself happier, be sure to get a lot of religion

Dan Ariely, Daniel Mochon, and Michael Norton polled people in the UK about their religiosity and their well-being. Of the non-religious, atheists were happiest, followed by agnostics and the just plain non-religious.

For the religious respondents, the researchers asked them how religious they were, and that response seems to have a strong relationship to happiness. The least religious religious people were on average happier than the agnostics but less happy than the atheists. The moderately religious were the least happy of all, but past that point, religious people just get happier the more religious they are. The most religious people were way happier than everybody else.

So hurray for them.

From Epiphenom.

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Ron Rosenbaum doesn’t know

Ron Rosenbaum has written a manifesto for agnostics in Slate. I tried to read it all, but could only bring myself to skim after this part (which appears very early):

Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence.

According to Rosenbaum, atheists are CERTAIN that we will be able to explain the existence of the Universe. Which is to say that Rosenbaum doesn’t know what atheism is or what it means to many (dare I say the majority) of us atheists. Nevertheless, he rolls along with the rest of his argument, demeaning atheists for their crimes, which exist mostly in his mind. Pretty awesome for someone who claims to be “radically” skeptical.

Check this out:

You know about the pons asinorum, right? The so-called “bridge of asses” described by medieval scholars? Initially it referred to Euclid’s Fifth Theorem, the one in which geometry really gets difficult and the sheep are separated from the asses among students, and the asses can’t get across the bridge at all. Since then the phrase has been applied to any difficult theorem that the asses can’t comprehend. And when it comes to the question of why is there something rather than nothing, the “New Atheists” still can’t get their asses over the bridge, although many of them are too ignorant to realize that. This sort of ignorance, a condition called “anosognosia,” which my friend Errol Morris is exploring in depth on his New York Times blog, means you don’t know what you don’t know. Or you don’t know how stupid you are.
In fact, I challenge any atheist, New or old, to send me their answer to the question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” I can’t wait for the evasions to pour forth.

What the fuck are you talking about? I guess I can’t speak for all atheists, Ron, but my response would probably be a lot like yours. That is, I think it’s a hugely interesting question that we may never know the answer to. Which I guess makes me not an atheist according to your presumptuous definition.

Via Metafilter

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