Atheists and uber-religious happiest, moderates… not so much…Author: Jon Martin | Monday, January 10th, 2011 |
A recent study done by Gallup says that people that are very religious have a much higher well-being compared to moderately religious people. For their research, Gallup asked participants two questions. First, the importance of religion and second, how often they went to church. Gallup defined someone as “very religious” if religion played a big part in their daily life and they went to a mosque, church, or synagogue once a week.
Gallup’s research shows that the Jews reap the benefits of being super-religious more than any other religion. Atheists and agnostics came in at number two, proving once again that, there is a strong correlation between reason,logic, and happiness.
Gallup seemed very intrigued by their atheist results:
Interestingly, those without a religious identity, a group that includes atheists and agnostics, also appear to reap the positive wellbeing effect of religiosity. Although small in the overall percentage of its total population, the very religious within this group have considerably better wellbeing overall than the large majority who are nonreligious. This suggests a wellbeing benefit to the church-/synagogue-/mosque-going experience that is independent of religious faith, but instead may capitalize on the social aspects of attending religious institutions.
It should also be emphasized that although those without religious identity rank second only behind Jews in overall wellbeing, this does not contradict that the most religious within any given identity group have superior wellbeing compared with those who are moderately religious or are nonreligious. Instead, it reinforces the evidence that religiosity matters to wellbeing regardless of religious identity.
So what does this mean? I’m not really sure, I don’t think asking two questions like that is a good measure. Religious extremists would also be considered the deeply religious and they don’t seem very happy. Perhaps, the more religious have better well-being because they are better able to suspend their disbelief? If atheists are happy because they are certain in their reality, then perhaps the extremely religious have tricked even their subconscious into truly believing that their religion is the truth. If you think about it, it’s a powerful level of self-control in a way, or maybe self-brainwashing. Oh, I’m atheist, can you tell? XD
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