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.)

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