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Religious people are happier.

B

Borderline

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Statistics show that religious people are happier than non-religious people. I'm sure it has something to do with having something to believe in, rather than thinking life is pointless and random.

However, if I had the choice between believing and not believing, I think I'd still choose to not believe, even at the cost of happiness... intellectually I just couldn't put my faith in the supernatural.
 
S

schizzzoid

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I don't believe in statistics. I don't beleive in God. How do they measure happiness?

History shows that more death, oppression and suffering has been caused, and still is caused, by religion.

Lies, damned lies and statistics... Says it all.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Lies, damned lies and statistics... Says it all.
Oh, & how humanity loves lies & statistics! - Don't be fooled into thinking that people are interested in truth, justice, or accuracy - they aren't - few indeed that are.
 
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Soren

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Maybe its the other way around?

Maybe people who naturally fit into the social world, feel ok about their own life, and are at ease with existence in general, find it easy to attach conventional religious language onto those feelings. They find it easy to say they're religious without really thinking about it too much.

After all, most people's religious beliefs are hardly anything to do with intellect; they're more like poetic expressions of intuitive feelings about life etc.

If, on the other hand, you find your own existence torturous and unbearable, its quite hard to accept any easy mainstream religious platitudes or so-called "beliefs".

Once you start to experience horror and misery in life, the platitudes and "beliefs" start to look hollow. So you either drop the whole religion thing and despair, or you try to go deeper and your spirituality is forced to go beyond sunday-school religion.

Who was it who said "God builds his temple in the heart, on the ruins of churches and religions."? dunno.
 
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Apotheosis

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"God builds his temple in the heart, on the ruins of churches and religions."
I Like it.

It was by By Ralph Waldo Emerson

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O

Op.cit

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Happiness

A lecture by Proff Lord Layard of the London School of Economics asks the same questions.

Lecture 1. What is happiness? Are we getting happier?
Lecture 2. Income and happiness: rethinking economic policy.
Lecture 3. How can we make a happier society?

http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL030303.pdf

He is very influential and has been instumental in getting resources allocated for psychological therapy, CBT in particular.

I dont agree with every thing in the papers btw but they are interesting.

Op.cit
 
J

jamesdean

Guest
I think or @ least I think that I think, perhaps or maybe if your happy you are happy n if your not happy you are not happy,itsnot a measure of something else. whots all this deep stuff.Then there are people that you think that they are happy because thats whot they like you to percieve of them whilst they are giving it large usually within their job n then they are all getting drunk every night of the week because they never were happy during theday whot amI goingon about??????????????????

Just be happy beautiful and gorgeous in this world like me.................
 
dib4uk

dib4uk

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Hmm, well I'm not overtly religious to be honest, and I dont know about happiness, because thats a subjective reality. One persons happiness is another persons anger or pain.

I do like statistics, but stats on their own does not provide a full and frank picture just highlights certain facts. Maybe more religious people have the same depression and mental health problems as non religious individuals, but, taking into consideration that a relgious person if very active within their church has access to extra care and counselling, also social networks and things like that.... can help a person be "happy" whatever that really is.
 
Wendy

Wendy

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hi I,was brought up as a catholic I did my first confession at the age of 7.
I have left that faith behind.
Don't know what I belive in anymore, life's a hard game but still think there is more than this excistence
Wendy x
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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I'm generally religious, having looked into many faiths. I would say this from my experience the average believer is normally considerably more stupid than the average atheist/scientific type. Is stupidity correlated to happiness, I'd suggest it probably is. That said I've also met atheists who are basically dogmatic with low level scientific indoctrination and equally stupid, a step away from dogmatic believers, some having said 'scientism' is a religion of sorts.
 
S

schizolanza

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I used to be a christian.I was heavily involved with the born again christian scene.I dont think religious people are any happier than the rest of us.
 
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jamesdean

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I have some observations in the rea lworld,peole that were forced into religion has child have broke away from it on becoming an adult and I have known some peole have become heavyilyinvolved has adults the religion that I'm on about is jw.

It isnt for me to judge,I'm enjoying where Iam in the world right now not I'm al lout recruiting others or telling everyone else that they should be with me its a choice and I like the choice and the change in my heart, forall the years that I had the fear of god certainly doesnt have any good memories.

I havent experienced a miracle and I still expieence poor mh,poor qualityof physical health, I had an horrendous dayon thursday I wouldnt of wished my difficuties on my worst enemy, my head was in such a mess, some days the amount of pain that I am they would put an animal down with less pain though lots of people tell me there is meaning in pain, I dont even go with that one I much prefer that god "didnt intend suffering". Thatmakes somuch more sense.
 
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Apotheosis

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I havent experienced a miracle and I still expieence poor mh,poor qualityof physical health, I had an horrendous dayon thursday I wouldnt of wished my difficuties on my worst enemy, my head was in such a mess, some days the amount of pain that I am they would put an animal down with less pain though lots of people tell me there is meaning in pain, I dont even go with that one I much prefer that god "didnt intend suffering". Thatmakes somuch more sense.
I do feel for you with the pain that you are in. & I have had great emotional & mental pain in my life, as well as some physical pain as well.

What some of us go though an animal wouldn't, & we would often put down animals if they were in half as much pain as some people. & maybe there is a very good case for assisted death in cases where people choose such a thing. It is a moral & ethical minefield, but euthanasia is, it would appear, gaining in popularity in the civilised World. I do not have a Christian/religious view on suicide; it is understandable in cases where great pain/severe mental illness is involved.

From my present understanding & perspective; I see pain (of any kind, physical mental, emotional, existential) - as the main learning mechanisms of this existence. & I do see it in one way, as part of God's plan. This is not to say that people deserve pain & suffering; as I do not think that either. Just that pain is often the path to growth, & learning, & a central part of this existence; & we often awaken by the Gate of Sorrow -

Overcome any bitterness because you were not up to
the magnitude of pain entrusted to you.
Like the mother of the world you are carrying
the pain of the world in your heart.

SUFI
If we are going with a Christian perspective - it was Gods Will that his dearly beloved Son, should suffer terribly for all the Sins of Mankind - Gods Will that he die a horrific death in terrible pain, & agony; to the point of Him thinking that he had been forsaken by his Father/God. This is what the Bible says. Christ begged that this pain, & His destiny be taken from Him; in the garden of Gethsemane. But it was Gods Will. This is the central message of the Bible, & the pivotal core teaching of the Christian faith. What God is this?; whose Will it is that His only Begotten Son be murdered & Die in terrible suffering & agony on the cross? Was there no better way; for him whose power & will cannot be resisted? What hope for the rest of us?

If in God we live, we move, & we have our being; as it says in the Bible, & if nothing can stand in the way of Gods Will. If the Bible is the Truth, & the unquestioned & infallible Word of God - then I can't help but reach certain conclusions based upon that paradigm/understanding. The Bible (the Word of God) is central to the Christian Faith - & it's words accordingly infallible, based on that Belief. So God created all things, & all things come under his command & Will - If God is all Good, & all Powerful, & responsible for everything that happened & happens, & is aware of all things & at all times, & all places, & whose Will is unquestionable, infallible, & cannot be resisted, & if He is All Powerful (omniscient, omnipotent) he is everywhere, & everything - then you can only conclude that He either allows suffering, or He is not these things (All powerful/All Knowing/All Good) & the central question is whence does Evil come?, (This same question is applicable to all the Abrahamic & Main Religions). & this to me is one of the core questions concerning a Christian Belief system (or any faith in God) - the problem of Evil. We can say that it's the Devil - but again we run into a problem - for God originally created Satan; knowing all things, God would have known what Satan would do. So the original cause of Evil & Satan was God. This creates an obvious Dichotomy; & there is this contradiction & Duality throughout the entire Bible. & as far as I am concerned all other Holy books as well. We can of course conclude that God is unfathomable, eternally mysterious, & unknowable - but then logically, based on that reasoning - there is no reason to think that God is all Good & infallible - indeed, although it says that God is all Good in certain places in the Bible & other books - it isn't the only thing it says about God - far from it.

In my searching for answers, from the perspective of a Christian belief system; I started to look at Gnosticism, & it does indeed provide some answers; especially to the problem of Evil.

Where I am at now, is a far more pragmatic understanding of God. I was never able to fully accept any dictates, or central Tennent of any orthodox or mainstream religion in relation to individual deity/God - in a broader sense all religions are trying to express the same thing (IMO) [All religions are wrong on this point, & I don't need any religion to dictate to me Spirtulaity, for me religion is often the antithesis of spirituality]. & I can't see how the practise of any religion does not raise some very profound, difficult, & complex questions. I can't simply accept everything on faith.

Myself - Largely believing in a creator/god - I have generally concluded that the god of this Universe is not perfect itself either. That creation (mankind/the Universe), is as necessary for god, as god is for creation. & that there is a destiny, growth, learning & a plan for god, as much as there is for us.

"Without God, We Cannot;
Without Us, God Will Not"

Augustine
Amongst the oldest beliefs on this planet - is that god created the universe by placing himself in it, & within all things - that through the process of life & creation; all things will eventually return to the source & the 'One' & eventually make whole & greater; that which originally was.

I do not go as far as some & conclude that that the god of this Universe is 'Dark' unbalanced & Insane. But it would I think be rational & understandable to conclude that god is not completely perfect.

Having said this - maybe there are many gods, & many Universes. & maybe there is one single source, 'God', Being at the heart of All that is? That does indeed unify All things? & maybe this highest, & singular cause is perfect? I don't know the answers to these things. But I for one, cannot accept at face value, that any of the holy books, nor any religion has somehow fathomed all of this out - especially as most of the religious teachings of this world originate a few thousand years ago in the past, in the ancient middle east, at a time of great superstition, fear, ignorance & underdevelopment. If such things are the Word of God, then they should be full of scientific understanding & truth; that would be truly astounding - they are not. They were written by uncivilized man.

I don't much doubt there is some spiritual insight & truth (along with a lot of myth & plain nonsense), in the holy books; along with the musings & part documented lives of some spiritual people. The core of every faith; & central to each one is the Golden Rule. But such an insight cannot be claimed exclusively by any one faith or spiritual system, & is much a part of humanism & atheism as it is any religion. Such a central rule, has no necessity for any system of belief or faith, in the first place. It is also highly ironic, & damming of most of religious practise - that despite this teaching being central to every religion - the vast majority of believers don't practise it!!!!!
 
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M

morelikewater

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you can measure happiness

its possible to measure it in a couple of ways:

1 brain scans
2 asking people

Its not actually very difficult to measure happiness at all. The person that asserted that religious people are on average more stupid that atheists should take a look at himself. The research around religious people, in western civalisation, being happier is pretty conclusive. it took into account the views and feelings of literally tens of thousands of people. Even if religion is placebo, who cares, if it works for some people that's fine with me.

Lord Layard wrote a book called 'Happiness'. he was/is a sufferer of depression. but unlike a couple of people here wanted to do something about the situation. because of his position as an eminent economist and advisor he has persuaded the government to spend over £170m on talking therapies. this is called IAPT - improving access to psychological therapies, and if it is not live in your locale, it will be soon. yes it is CBT, yes CBT doesn't help everyone but it is a pretty amazing start. things are getting better for people with mental health problems.:tea:
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Who's trolling now...lol...
 
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