Most Religious Least HappyPosted by Phil Ferguson on November 30th, 2012 – 2 Comments – Posted in Uncategorized
I have been asked, “why do you want to take religion away from people – if it makes them happy?”
If it makes you happy – fine. But, that does not make it true. If things were true simply because it made you happy then I would shit out golden eggs! The truth is important and I want to live in a world where people value truth over fantasies. Taking the easy answer can be dangerous and I am convinced that….
Religion is a net negative on the probability of our survival as a species. – Phil Ferguson
There is evidence that religion does NOT make people happier.
The most religious states are the least happy based on Gallup data.
It’s not just the USA. This is true around the world.
Countries with the highest average self-reported happiness are the least religious. The happiest nations are, in order, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Sweden, Denmark and Norway are the second, third, and fourth least religious countries, being exceeded only by formerly-communist Estonia in their atheism.
Now it could be that atheism causes happiness or that happiness causes atheism. It could just be coincidence. As I’m sure you know correlation does not necessarily mean causation (one way or the other). However, it is clear that atheism does not cause moral decay and the collapse of society.
However, in the worst parts of the world the happiest people within an unhappy country are the very religious.
In very religious places, there is a great deal of misery because the quality of life is abysmal. Think of Afghanistan, or Somalia. Within that environment, the security blanket of religion may be the only effective anti-anxiety agent around. As a result, people who are deeply religious can achieve a level of calm that eludes their less religious neighbors.
So religion really is the opiate for the masses?
As a famous philosopher once said….
Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion. – Jon Stewart