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August 24, 2009



Please post this on CiF, please!

The outrage and fury would be wonderful!


I wonder if they phoned any atheists? I can't understand how religious people could be healthy or happy since they are always under the threat of hell and damnation. We all know that most illnesses are caused by continuous stress. Being brought up by overly zealous
religious parents and continued harassment by
priest and pastors would certainly cause a problem for me. But that's just me of course.


In "The God Delusion" Dawkins discusses the beneficial effect of being religious and agrees it does exist. However he points out that just because believing in somthong is beneficial does not mean that belief is correct.


Are there studies about questions like whether religious people are more likely 1)to accept status quo and 2)initiating and/or perpetuating injustice?


Not being spurious but I also saw a paper on the good health of eccentrics and people committed to a cause. Naturally, as a Christian, I claim a spiritual element to it as well but just the health benefits alone show it to be preferable to deep cynicism and pessimism.


@ Gaddeswarup: Try some of Matthew O. Hunt's papers, such as this: http://nuweb.neu.edu/mhunt/articles/SSQ%2002.pdf.
@ Marksany. Of course, a beneficial belief can be wrong. The interesting thing is: how strong is the correlation between truth and utility, across all beliefs? I suspect it might be low.


A yes, but I remember there was a paradox here - being individually religious was good for you, but being in a religious society was bad for you. The simplest theoretical explaination is negative externalities (not hard to explain since almost all religion is at its heart about exclusion).


But I must say I was concerned by this:
"controlling for things such as age and education "
- I thought being educated was negatively correlated with belief and positively with health - so isn't controlling for it potentially biasing the results?


Wow, he's been busy since the 'Have I got news for you' sacking.


"I can't understand how religious people could be healthy or happy since they are always under the threat of hell and damnation."

Because they're going to Heaven. It's always some other SOB's that are offending God.



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