Posted: Jan 18, 2011 3:54 am
by Mr.Samsa
Bribase wrote:Does finding a notion pleasurable or reassuring constitute a reason to determine a notion as true for you?

I don't think it's a matter of what's "true", but simply a matter of believing what makes him feel good. In a sense, it's more like a kind of 'hope', in the same way the parents of a lost child "believing" that they'll find their kids alive doesn't mean that they know or think that the claim is true, but simply that they want it to be because it makes them feel better than the alternative.

I have no problem with people holding this line of reasoning - if they don't think they have logical or scientific reasons for believing in god, then their claims are completely their business and I see no reason to try to change their minds (assuming that their beliefs don't impact on the happiness of others).

Oldskeptic wrote:
A lot of challenges in life can be handled with the right mindset and a belief in god is an example of a mindset which can be of benefit.

You have made a positive statement about benefits concerning a belief in god. We, or at least I am interest in which god/s gives the most comfort, and is/are the best mindset.

You have announced that you are a believer and in this thread you contend that there is a benefit to being a believer. Stop being coy and tell what it is that you believe.

As far as I know, there is no difference between the benefits provided by each specific religion - they all increase lifespan, happiness, number of friends, as well as reducing the rate of depression and other mental disorders. You can find numerous articles on these findings in a number of psychology journals, they're very common. Most notably: Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Obviously the main point that these researchers raise is that it's not the case that there is something supernatural going on, it's not like their gods protect them from the bad things in life, but belonging to a religion naturally brings about a number of personality traits that shield us from developing mental disorders (they give us purpose in life, belief in ourselves, etc) and they also provide us with huge social support networks. These are the reasons why the religious live such better lives than the non-religious (on average), so whilst it's true that we can say "Oh but we can get those things without religion!", it seems to be the case that a lot of people can't. Religion is just like a cookie cutter approach to achieving stable mental health.

Whether what they believe is "true" or not is irrelevant.