Posted: Jan 18, 2011 5:34 am
by natselrox
Mr.Samsa wrote: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).

I think I agree. Quite a flimsy thread to hang your happiness by but whatever floats your boat I guess.

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.

I'm highly sceptical of these claims. Are you claiming that followers of Islam and Buddhism experience the same benefits when other variables are controlled? The religions vary significantly in what they preach and how they expect their followers to behave. In fact, if the religions have anything in common, I think, it's their tendency to instill guilt in the followers, their tendency to teach the followers to ignore the reality and assign external anthropic causes to natural events etc. A pathetic life, I'd say.

And you said, "they all increase lifespan, happiness, number of friends, as well as reducing the rate of depression and other mental disorders"? A fleeting glance at how the religious fuckwits lead their lives tells us that couldn't be farther from reality. The kids inflicting wounds on themselves (Muharram), the Catholic confession box, the Hindu temples and their obscenities all clearly point to the fact that the religious are in fact, most likely to die early, the unhappiest, and the greatest sufferers of mental disorders. Religion, does however, provide a social support network. I'll give you that.

And given how closely you scrutinise the studies in leading scientific journals, I'm a tad disappointed to see you quote the Journal of Religious Psychology or whatever the fuck it's called without a grain of salt. :naughty:

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.

Explains why the most troubled regions of the world invariably turn out to be the most religious. From Bible Belt to Pakistan, religion is the source of all evil.

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