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The least religious nations are the happiest, study finds

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posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:09 PM
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A new study into the correlation between religious belief and contentment and security shows that the less religious a society is the happier and more secure it becomes.

The study, by Gregory Paul, published in Evolutionary Psychology Journal puts paid to the widely touted notion that without religion society would collapse. According to Mr Paul, the reverse is true. Religion flourishes where a society is dysfunctional and poor. When affluence is present and people feel secure through the provision of health care and social services, religion quickly loses its hold. In other words, those societies that have moved furthest away from religion have higher levels of contentment, stability and affluence.

Unlike many others in his field, Paul does not think that humanity is hardwired for religion, nor that belief in a higher being is necessary for a society to achieve a high level of functionality.

“Popular religion,” Paul says, “is a coping mechanism for the anxieties of a dysfunctional social and economic environment.” Simply put, it means that without safety nets such as universal healthcare (which more prosperous democracies have), people depend on the “supernatural entities that could be petitioned for aid and protection.”

“In view of the reduced levels of religiosity consistently extant in populations that enjoy secure middle class lives,” Paul writes, “it can be postulated that if socio-economic conditions had been similarly benign since humans first appeared, it is unlikely that religion would have developed to nearly the degree seen in actual human history, and atheism would have been much more widespread and possibly ubiquitous since the beginning.”


Bit of a long read -

www.epjournal.net...




posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


What nations were those, moo?



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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Its alot easier to have a higher quality of life, when you arent worrying about a jealous, omnipotent deity casting you into eternal damnation. Miss a step, get on its bad side..and LOOK OUT! SMOTEN! Like being chased by the mafia....

Just a thought.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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I got up to page 8 of 44 before deciding to skip the rest and merely ask the question here.

Do you have a listing of the nations and societies used for data extrapolation?

Thanks,

Eric



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


I rather be miserably happy believing in God than happily miserable believing in him not.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 



In other words, those societies that have moved furthest away from religion have higher levels of contentment, stability and affluence.


Yea, just look at the United States for example. Give me a break.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 

so there really aren't any atheists in a foxhole? shocking


so many of these studies are just an affirmation of the social wisdom that the studiers would have if they spent more time living and less time talking absolute crap.

the data can be interpreted as you've outlined or you could equally say that the further people are insulated from reality and mortality by their affluence, the less likely they are to understand/appreciate the supernatural or consider the meaning and pointlessness of existence.

social studies are not evidence, they are not results, they are somebodies opinion about other peoples opinion.

[edit on 7/12/09 by pieman]

and what the hell is the problem with muslims?

[edit on 7/12/09 by pieman]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by moocowman
 


What nations were those, moo?


Hm, by the looks of it Norway,Denmark, Holland mind you I'm still getting my swede around it.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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In order from first to last, with the numerical score:

Sweden
Japan
Denmark
France
Germany
Great Britain
Norway
Holland
Australia
New Zealand
Canada
Spain
Switzerland
Austria
Italy
Ireland
US


It starts at page 435 at the very back of the document. Forgive me for not reading the entire thing, or honestly understanding all of the different charts. It's kind of confusing.

[edit on 7-12-2009 by Avenginggecko]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by oliveoil
reply to post by moocowman
 


I rather be miserably happy believing in God than happily miserable believing in him not.


Well I'm perfectly happy not believing, but if I had to believe some of the stuff I'm lead to believe I would surely be a right miserable bastard.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by Avenginggecko
In order from first to last, with the numerical score:

Sweden
Japan
Denmark
France
Germany
Great Britain
Norway
Holland
Australia
New Zealand
Canada
Spain
Switzerland
Austria
Italy
Ireland
US
[edit on 7-12-2009 by Avenginggecko]


A star for you for doing what I was to lazy to do.

It seems odd that they didn't include the countries that were the least religious, such as China, Russia, Cuba etc. and compare their 'happiness quotient' with that of other countries. Wouldn't that be the ultimate example?

If there is a direct corollary, shouldn't citizens of those countries be ecstatic? Of course I'm mixing some sarcasm in there as there are many, many mitigating factors but it seems odd that they are not included.

Eric



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 


Just browsing through the document, but I believe they were taking information only from 1st world economies. China and Russia technically aren't first world, are they? I'm honestly not sure about Russia, but I know China isn't.

I'm pretty sure there's more to this than what the survey says. Japan by far has a higher suicide rate than any of those listed countries, but it ranks second? I just don't see how that could be.

I'm not trying to take a side since I don't understand all the facts, just pointing out some things that seem a little odd to me.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by EricD
 





It seems odd that they didn't include the countries that were the least religious, such as


This is a thoroughly amazing Doc, this particular society completely rejects a religion on the grounds that it has nothing to offer them,Genuinely happy well adjusted people without religion


.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


You put logic into the beliefs of any group, I'll dance naked in the streets. (and most likely will be arrested).



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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Originally posted by moocowman

Originally posted by Stormdancer777
reply to post by moocowman
 


What nations were those, moo?


Hm, by the looks of it Norway,Denmark, Holland mind you I'm still getting my swede around it.


alrighty, so we know they are the happiest?




posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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There is a very evident contra argument to this.

All the countries on that are economically capable and have a good standard of living. When people are happy and they have their bread and circus, over time a society will lose it's need for God, so to speak. The cause and effect has been switched in that article, in my opinion.

Those nations are not happier because they are less religious, they are less religious because they are happier.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Similar thread I posted a while back:

Peace and its worst enemy...religion?

It seems there is a trend that is undeniable.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


Wassup, OP ?

I'd like to point out that this study is not about the happiest societies, but actually which society is most successful which is determined by 25 factors:

Homicides
Incarceration
Suicide 15-24 year-olds
Suicide all ages
Under 5 mortality
Lifespan
Gonorrhea 15-19 year-olds
Gonorrhea
Syphilis 15-19 year-olds
Syphilis
Abortions 15-19 year-olds
Births 15-17 year-olds
Fertility
Marriages
Marriage duration
Divorces
Alcohol Consumption
Life Satisfaction
Corruption
Per capita income
Income inequality
Poverty index
Employment levels
Average hours worked
Resource exploitation base

In my opinion this study seems to be unfairly biased on some of the factors that were chosen, and particularily seems to be slanted to make the USA score the lowest.
Also a lot of these factors are quite arbitary.
For a start, having more people incarcerated doesn't mean that the society is less successful. America's prison population is far higher than all the other countries, but in many European countries a lot of us would be happier if our prison population was bigger, because we have too many dangerous people wandering around after short sentences.
The STD aspect of this study is particularily unfair, as it includes 4 categories. So, 16% of the entire study into successful societies is based on the prevelance of venereal diseases ! That's way too much, man !
In addition to this, they only have STD data on 7 out of the 17 countries includes, but unsurprisngly the US scores 0 points on all these categories, while Sweden, Denmark and France all score near the top.



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Avenginggecko
 


Alright, Avenggecko ?


That list is actually the list of least religious societies from bottom to top.
I've manage to find the succesful society index score:

Norway 8.0
Denmark 7.3
Sweden 7.1
Netherlands 6.9
Canada 6.2
UK 6.2
Japan 6.0
France 5.8
Germany 5.7
Switzerland 5.7
Italy 5.6
Austria 5.4
Ireland 5.3
New Zealand 5.0
Spain 5.0
Australia 4.8
USA 2.9

So, it doesn't really show much other than the Scandos have successful societies. The Dutch and Canadians score higher than the less religious French and Japanese.
And actually the happiness index that was used in this study show Japan and France as the two least happy countries.
It also seems a bit suspicious that Finland weren't included when they would score highly on this list and have a higher religious population than other Nordic countires.

[edit on 7-12-2009 by Benji1999]



posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by LiveForever8
 


Alright, LF ?


I think the criteria for that Global peace index is heavily slanted towards military conflict. In fact 14 of the 24 criterion are about conflicts, military, and weaponry. It makes sense that the smaller countries will score highly, as is the case with the top 5: New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Austria. Also Japan will score highly due to the limitations still imposed on their military.



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