Since we are incapable of knowing the answers to our metaphysical questions, any one of us could be wrong, and any one of us could be right. Science is no more sure than religion of anything.
Happiness and stability depends on illusion, we all live in one. No relationship would be successful if people saw their partners for exactly who they are.
I'm one of those people that would choose to live in the matrix over choosing to live in the illusion. Truth is more important to me than happiness, but sometimes I agree with my psychologist, I wish I too could believe in the illusion - but I'm just not wired that way.
That is exactly the paradox that bothers me about religion. If God creates everybody the way they are, than it is God who is responsible for my disbelief, and not myself as this is how He wired me to understand the world. This is also why "free will" is an illusion religiously speaking. There is no other decision we could choose to make, but the one we did, because everything that has led up to that moment has programmed us to make it.
And it is these contradictions and paradoxes in religion that make it evident they centre around man, and not God. If it was God inspired, logic could not penetrate it as it does on a continual basis.
Essentially what I have gathered from the studies I've read, and the conversations I've had with believers and non-believers is that there is one thing that non-believers will never have that makes all of the difference. A sense of purpose, a reason we're here, and comfort that there is a reason when things don't go our way. When things get really, really bad, a believer just has to think there is a divine purpose they do not understand, and that is enough reassurance that things will work out for the better.
Essentially, a believer has a purpose, a non-believer does not. It doesn't have to be God, but spiritual people have a sense of fulfilment that non-spiritual people don't. And even if it doesn't feel like it does, every study has shown that makes a huge difference.
Well then wouldn't it be more accurate to say that people with a known purpose in their life are happier than people without?
I think society is at a transition point, kind of lost in limbo right now. For many religion has failed. It's sad that they haven't found a purpose in life and the ability to embrace life and the universe for what it is, but then, we don't have any leaders talking about that.
I agree that religion serves a need for people able to believe in that, but as we learn to put away these things, we might find it useful to replace them with a worldview and system more real and honest that serves the same good functions, and hopefully others, and hopefully more adequately and universally.
"It only maintains that religious people are happier than others if all other factors are held constant."
"Under a set of assumptions, the hypotheses derived are that personal and societal economic capital, national pride and national integration, religiosity, and societal religious integration, all positively affect the life satisfaction of the individual"
- W. Jagodzinski in his article Economic, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Are there Differences Between Asia and Europe?
"Children’s spirituality, but not their religious practices (e.g., attending church, praying, and meditating), was strongly linked to their happiness. Children who were more spiritual were happier. Spirituality accounted for between 3 and 26% of the unique variance in children’s happiness depending on the measures. Temperament was also a predictor of happiness, but spirituality remained a significant predictor of happiness even after removing the variance associated with temperament. The personal (i.e., meaning and value in one’s own life) and communal (quality and depth of inter-personal relationships) domains of spirituality were particularly good predictors of children’s happiness. These results parallel studies of adult happiness and suggest strategies to enhance happiness in children."
- Mark D. Holder & Ben Coleman & Judi M. Wallace in Spirituality, Religiousness, and Happiness in Children Aged 8–12 Years
"After all, there's an obvious social and political benefit in adhering to the beliefs of the majority. And there are also indications that both psychological and physical health are stronger among the faithful."
- Roy Speckhardt in Finding Faith in Humankind
And that is to only name a few. I have access to all of these papers through the University of Waterloo library, and would be happy to e-mail any of the full articles to you in PDF format if you choose.
crmhaske said That is exactly the paradox that bothers me about religion. If God creates everybody the way they are, than it is God who is responsible for my disbelief, and not myself as this is how He wired me to understand the world. This is also why "free will" is an illusion religiously speaking. There is no other decision we could choose to make, but the one we did, because everything that has led up to that moment has programmed us to make it.
And it is these contradictions and paradoxes in religion that make it evident they centre around man, and not God. If it was God inspired, logic could not penetrate it as it does on a continual basis. ========================================================================================================== I know that it is written in scripture that way, only expressed a little diffrently. Talking about NOT being prideful over anything at all; even faith for "HE" gives this alse ... to whom ever he chooses. I cain't see him judging anyone harshly for not having something that he didn't give to them?
It's an optimistic point of view, but that is still essentially one of my "beefs" with theistic religions regardless of in how many ways it can be explained a way. It doesn't remove the paradox or the contradictions.
I try to keep in mind that Ezre reassembled what we know as the Old Testament in the 5th century BC. I don't know how much of the older writtings that he was working with. How much of it was pretty much intact and how much was not. I think it was Artaxerius (Sp.?) that instructed him to reestablish the origional religious beliefs to the Hebrews in Jerusalem. Who knows how many "Helpers" he had doing the actual writting and how accurate they coppied those things that was written?
And; most people knows what I think about those writtings that the church chose to accept into the cannon. I believe that some parts of some writtings that were not accepted as a whole did have small parts written into other writtings that were accepted. (In the name of compromise) This being said... I don't feel that we should dismiss the "God" concept entirely for this reason. Kinda like this....Just because you were misquoted does not prove that you did not speak that day. Can I believe that mankind messed up the writtings? You Bet Cha
I think some believers are happier than skeptics, while some skeptics are happier than believers. Skeptics don't really have to worry about "going to hell" or "eternal damnation" because they don't believe in it. While believers do believe in those things (depending on religion).
I think it's almost along the same lines as one of those people that believes they are the most popular person in school, yet in reality they have no friends. It doesn't matter though, they keep smiling anyways.
I agree with you that it is a relative term;some believers are happier than skeptics, while some skeptics may be happier than the believers.
As far as heaven and hell is concerned; it is a reality and the Creator -God Allah YHWH would judge everyone whether a believer or a non-believer. If the Skeptics don't believe in it; it does not mean that they won't face the reality.
It is good if they believe in it and improve themselves accordingly; no compulsion however.
We hear often of atheists claiming that have looked for evidence of God but can find none but what would convince them? How do they go about investigating? How do they expect believers to prove it to them when it can...
Two relatively similar people are presented with the Bible and the message of Christianity. Person one takes to it eagerly. Person two pushes it as far away as it will go. What is the difference between these two...
As a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Jew, Jehovah Witness, etc is your job to convert someone you deem a non-believer? Do you think as a representative of your faith that you are supposed to convert non-believers...
I have been told that my belief in the Bible and God is a threat to non believers. My question is, How is something you don't believe in a threat to you? If I don't believe in something I don't feel...