Question 10

Rubber Band: 

Religion & well being


(How of Happiness pages 228-236)

* Religious beliefs can’t be empirically tested or falsified.

* “A growing body of psychological science is suggesting that religious people are happier, healthier, and recover better after traumas than nonreligious people (228).”

* There are two (founded) reasons why religious people cope better with trauma/losses/tragedies. 1. They have greater social support. 2. They are able to find some meaning, even if it is elusive.

* Religious people live longer, function better with diseases, and are healthier in general.

* Religious involvement is related to a reduced risk of crime, delinquency, and marital conflict.

* 47% of people who report attending religious services several times a week describe themselves as “very happy,” vs. 28% of those who attend less than once a month.

* Chemotherapy patients that believed that God had a measurable control over their cancers had higher self-esteem and were rated by their nurses as being more happy, serene, active, and better at relating to others.

* Religiosity fosters multiple traits that enhance happiness, such as; forgiveness, hope, gratitude, love, awe, compassion, joy, and even ecstasy.

* Spirituality is somewhat different than religiosity. Spirituality is the “search for the sacred” that is, a search for meaning in life through something that is larger than the individual self.

* The benefits of Religiosity and Spirituality are essentially identical.

* Spirituality offers something for those not affiliated with any formal religious institution.

* Religiosity and Happiness has its most significant effect on; women (comp. to men), African-Americans (comp. to whites), older people (comp. to younger), & North Americans (comp. to Europeans).

* There can be negative effects (depression, health, and quality of life) if the individual feels guilt, shame, fear, or if they believe that the bad things that happen are God’s way of punishing them.