Tag Archives: happiness

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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Why Aren’t American Atheists Nice?

Why are American atheists unhappy and mean? Suprise! It might be religion’s fault.

American atheists, by contrast, are often left out of community life. The studies that Brooks cites in Gross National Happiness, which find that the religious are happier and more generous then the secular, do not define religious and secular in terms of belief. They define it in terms of religious attendance. It is not hard to see how being left out of one of the dominant modes of American togetherness can have a corrosive effect on morality. As P.Z. Myers, the biologist and prominent atheist, puts it, “[S]cattered individuals who are excluded from communities do not receive the benefits of community, nor do they feel willing to contribute to the communities that exclude them.”

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