Paul1 wrote:Fallible wrote:I've found that the more I know myself the more peaceful and positive I become.
Me threeSeems like a waste of time
Well it indicates the blog is probably wrong, given the statistics. I agree statistics alone are meaningless. The fact remains that the suicide rate among Atheists, for one reason or another, is higher than that of theists. I my mind, it's important to find out why that is. I won't say whether it is or isn't because we don't have faith, because without a study we won't know.
If I were to do a psychology degree, which I am contemplating, I'd get the opportunity to study this.
I don't doubt that statistically suicide amongst atheists is higher but there are a couple of reasons that jump right out at me. First of all are religious beliefs about death by suicide. A religious person may be less likely to kill themselves if they believe they will be punished for doing whereas an atheist does not have that additional incentive not to commit suicide. This doesn't mean that a religious person is by any means happier or more mentally sound just that they are less likely to go through with suicidal intentions.
Also as a former Catholic I realize that a lot of suicide amongst the religious (particularly Catholics though) gets under reported due to the religious beliefs around suicide. People with religious beliefs about suicide are probably more likely to redefine a suicide or attempted suicide as an accident or something else to avoid the religious consequences of suicide. That's not to say that there's no stigma against suicide in the secular world that might lead to suicides being reported as otherwise but just like the religious belief adds incentive not to commit suicide it also adds incentive to cover up suicide.
I don't think suicide numbers really mean much in terms of how mentally sound the religious are versus atheists. Some people may even choose to end their lives for mentally sound reasons and an atheist would be more likely to do that than a religious person.