Bad news for agnostics?

While past studies have shown religious believers to be happier than nonbelievers, some new analysis shows that it’s not quite so simple. Luke Galen has found that the convinced non-religious are also quite happy, but people who are uncertain are the ones who are dissatisfied. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn has analyzed data from the World Values Survey and found some more interesting details:

  • Religious people are both happier and unhappier. While a higher percentage of religious people report themselves as extremely happy than convinced nonbelievers, a higher percentage of religious people also report themselves as extremely unhappy.
  • Those who attend religious services and belong to religious organizations tend to be happier. And that’s whether or not they believe–in fact among that group, those with the stronger belief tend to be unhappier. So it’s the social aspect, not the doctrine, that promotes happiness. And this is further supported by:
  • The more religious a country is, the happier believers are, and vice versa. In religious countries, believers are happier; in nonreligious countries, nonbelievers are happier.

See more at the Epiphenom blog.

(Cross-posted to the Lippard Blog.)

About Jim Lippard
  • David

    Kicking in the heads of atheists one at a time…

    PZ, I thought the Morris Police Department was going to save you from the wrath of God…

  • Sabio Lantz

    So, the human brain is happiest when it is confident — and it don't matter if it is the truth !

    Long live confidence,
    to hell with truth !


  • The Recovering Allaholic

    Sabio… well put. What the hell do we do when we are so keenly aware of our own subjectivity?? Oh, to be able to make blind decisions…

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