Atheism makes you happy. At least it seems that way, according to the article Religion and Happiness. According to Nigel Barber, studies have shown that countries that are leaning more toward atheism are happier and/or describe themselves as happier.
The question being what came first, the chicken or the egg? Are human beings happy because of religion or do they need religion in order to have happiness? According to the same study, the countries that do identify themselves as being happy also have better healthcare, more freedom, and a better quality of life, therefore they have less hunger, poverty, and crime.
It seems that the people that have fewer problems are the ones that don’t have the need to believe in any kind of religion and that the people that suffer the most need religion to get them through life. Think about it. When was the last time you had no problems and you thanked god for it? Now think about every time that you were sad or needed something, how many times did you pray?
Of course when we are in need we ask for help and who better to ask and who better to believe in than god? There is no question about the fact that religion gives people hope. The hope that everything will be better, that same hope is what decreases your stress level and what calms you which is healthier than being stressed.
According to Happiness and Religion, Happiness as Religion, “If you are having serious cardiac surgery and receive strength and comfort from your religious faith, you’ll be almost 3 times more likely to be alive 6 months later and 47 percent of people who report attending religious services several times a week describe themselves as “very happy,” versus 28 percent of those who attend less than once a month.”
Just put that statement with the research that the American Psychological Association has done and came up with “on average, not only those who rate their health as fair/poor have more stress (an average stress rating of 6.2 on a 10-point scale) than those who rate their health as excellent or very good (an average stress rating of 4.9 on a 10-point scale). Twenty-nine percent of obese adults report experiencing a great deal of stress (a stress level of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) in the past month compared with 20 percent of normal weight adults. Adults who rate their health as fair/poor are nearly twice as likely as those who report their health as excellent/very good to cite their personal health as a cause of stress (70 percent vs. 38 percent). Obese adults are also far more likely to cite personal health as a cause of stress (65 percent vs. 38 percent for those of normal weight).”
I believe stress can have major physical damage to a human being, that’s why when a person has less stress, he/she has better health. Hope makes our stress less. Human beings need hope. Human beings need to feel important, loved, and that they have a purpose (there is a greater reason for our existence) and that same feeling is what gives us hope and makes us stronger. Isn’t that what religion is?
So, what came first, the chicken or the egg? I believe the need for happiness is what makes the need for having a religion. Humans that feel they are not in need of anyone or anything do not pray to anyone or anything. They have enough freedom to be the person they are with out feeling morally compromised and that gives them much joy. Without the feeling of guilt, anxiety and stress of being something they should not be or do something they should not do, that same feeling makes them feel accepted and feeling accepted is the most soothing and calming feeling and that’s why people that lean more toward atheism are happier.
- All Children are Born Atheists (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- Heartening debate about atheism in the New York Times (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Room for Debate: Is Atheism a Religion? (nytimes.com)
- Catholic university engages atheism head-on (religionnews.com)
- Why Not Naturalism Instead of Atheism? (fluxandfire.wordpress.com)