Posted: Jan 18, 2011 5:49 am
by Mr.Samsa
natselrox wrote:I think I agree. Quite a flimsy thread to hang your happiness by but whatever floats your boat I guess.

Indeed, I'd prefer unhappiness yet consistency and a better grasp of reality, but I'm not going to force people to view things my way when they're happy and harmless.

natselrox wrote:
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.

My claim about all religions having similar effects was a bit of guess, I imagine as you move towards the "atheistic" religions where it's more about being spiritual rather than congregating with others like you, there might be less of an effect. All major religions though consistency score higher in these important life variables, it's a weird phenomenon that has received a lot of attention in psychology. Obviously this doesn't mean that every single religious person is happier than the happiest non-religious person, as there are of course very messed up and very unhappy religious people, and of course there are atheists who are on cloud nine, but the point is that in all major studies the religious come off superior.

The reason for this is your last line: Religion provides a support network. The biggest and single most important protection against developing a mental disorder is having a strong social support network. Religion provides this. The same applies to a lot of the other issues, like life expectancy (since you have people to take care of you when you're sick, etc).

natselrox wrote: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:

:lol: Don't worry, it's a high ranking peer reviewed journal, it's published by the American Psychological Association (the governing body behind practically all of psychology). It might have one or two articles that shouldn't have made it past peer review, but all journals do. Lazar has had a couple of articles printed in it.

natselrox wrote: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.

Fair point. The studies I allude to above are concerned with individual health. As far as "societal health" is concerned, I'm pretty sure that you're right about their being negative impacts of being overly religious.