What is Arthur C Brooks opinion on his own Catholicism and it's effects on
Europe and the USA? Mr. Peterson (whose articles I enjoy) makes money off
secularism (as do most teachers and universities)------ teaching economics and
finance and how to make a profit is not for everyone. People are more
important than things.
re: Cats | 7:04 p.m. Aug. 18, 2011 If someone doesn't agree with you
or post something critical of the state's dominant sect then they are an
atheist?Its that "its black or white mentality" that turns
alot of people off of organized religion. Since embracing a chimera
of Deism/Gnosticism/Taoism, I have never felt better.re: Pagan |
10:33 p.m. Aug. 18, 2011 Funny!
The bottom line is that all people receive a measure of happiness through
charity and service. There are many different ways to do that including through
religion or through secular opportunities. I think we each need to
ask ourselves what our motivation is for providing service and how we can
increase that aspect of our lives?I would assume the more selfless
and pure the motivation the more happiness will come from it. Do you
give and serve because you believe you have to or you are not worthy? Is it so
you can have the TR signed? Do you do it out of guilt? Do you do it for the tax
break? Do you do it so others will see it? I would assume that these kind of
motivations result in less happiness from giving and serving than we otherwise
could gain if we do it because we want that to be a part of who we are.
Good article. Lots of silly comments following it, though.Most of
them seem to be reading into the article things that, so far as I can tell, it
doesn't actually SAY.
Of course people can be spiritual or religious AND be happy, and of course
people can also not be particularly religious AND be happy. Of course some
people who may have been an atheist and were unhappy can "find
religion" and become happy. The opposite is also true.Each
person individually has his or her own concept of happiness. To me, the key is
to allow others to find their own keys to happiness without judging them and for
those people to allow me the same privilege. I cannot know the experiences of a
commenter on this site to understand why they may have left their church and
then become happier in their mind. Likewise commenters do not know what lead me
to find more happiness after joining the LDS church. It seems pretty
impossible that some writer can look at particular polls then publish an article
stating that "religious people" are definitively "happier"
than those who are not. This only leads to the kind of judgmental accusations
being thrown around on this web page.
@defibman If your finding of religion makes you happy....that's
great....but you can't assume all people are the same or have the same needs.
Personally, I KNOW that religion would make me unhappy! What may make one person
happy does not necessarily make another person happy!It's common for
religious people to be incredulous at the idea that a person could not just
live, but enjoy life without believing in any gods and without following any
religion. Because of this, religious believers also often make all kinds of
assumptions about irreligious atheists/agnostic/etc. and the sorts of lives they
must lead. These assumptions are rarely, if ever, true. Religious people must
learn that neither their theism nor their religion are necessary to living a
satisfying, fulfilling, and happy life. Religious people may place their
religion and their belief in a god at the center of lives, but the fact that
they cannot imagine living a good life without that religion and that god doesnt
mean that it's impossible and that others cannot. There are plenty that do!
I don't see what is "wrong" with making charitable contributions to an
entity of your choice who then in turn takes part of your contributions and
those of all it's donors and spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to
feed, clothe,give vital medications to, teach self-sufficiency to, dig wells
for, build schools and hospitals for and much more-- all to needy peoples around
the world? I am speaking of the LDS Church who does all these things with part
of the tithing and contributions of it's members. No tithing dollars go to pay
salaries of those running their humanitarian services.People are
free to make charitable contributions to organizations (who possibly unbeknownst
to their contributors) that pass most of the contributions along to their
administrators and advertisers and little on to the actual needy. (poor syntax I
know) I don't criticize them for claiming their contributions on their taxes
since it is legitimate to do so. I don't want to discourage charitable
contributions in this world.
22ozn44ozglass - do you mean that sjv is doing the same cherry picking that
mormons do in regards to what their leaders have said in the past? I think the
answer is yes. Cherry pick a statement by Brigham Young, then ignore racist
statements made by him. It is rampant throughout the church so I guess you could
say even religious people cherrypick information to support their arguements.
Mormons appaear to be happy because they have been told many times (almost
weekly) that they have the "Plan of happiness." Tell someone something
enough times and they start to believe it.I have talked to many LDS women
in their early 30's- to mid 40's who feel overwhelmed and have hard time coping
with the expectations that they have to live up to as LDS Moms
22ozn44ozglass you are wrong. Using those controls and target demographics
(devices that scientists have to use very often) Utah does lead the nation in
online porn subscriptions. Don't fault the scientists. Clearly you do not
understand the scientific method very well. After all the scientific method is
all about trying to control for all variables except the one that is being
tested. Therefore the conclusion Utah has an abnormally high subscription rate
to online porn stands. That is, until you prove it wrong. Isn't science great.
This finding comes across as hypocritical.To your second point,
12% of the population is a very good sampling size. It probably gives a pretty
good representation of the average sales of anti-depressants. Utah has an
abnormally high rate. I can't say that people are using their prescribed meds
but it would seem rather silly to purchase them and not use them. So I stand by
what I've said. It is wrong for Dan Peterson to point fingers and claim
I think religious folk are more willing to give when nonreligious persons might
think they can't afford it. It's not just a matter of pragmatism with religious
folk, and I think that makes a difference--especially in times of economic
downturn. For them, it's a matter of faith. A "true" atheist doesn't
live on faith (though atheists actually DO live by faith, they just don't call
it that, but that's beside my point). I know a lot of atheists get
on here and talk about all the great things they've done--that's really not the
point of this article. He's not arguing that nonreligious are incapable of
giving, he's pointing out longterm statistical data does not hold for
nonreligious populations. That's troubling because it demonstrates a
fundamental flaw in society that becomes too secular. Like it or not, unless you
can somehow organize and convince all the atheists to start giving, you'll
simply continue this downward spiral into socially selfish nihilism. Furthermore, Government programs cannot be claimed by atheists--because
everyone pays into those, regardless of our personal feelings towards them.
That's not charity--that's forced upon everyone. There's no personal
accountability there. Again, the atheists fail to persuade.
@nick"Why did your parents teach you to be the best person you could?
Were they religious and did their religious beliefs animate their lives?
"Seriously? Non-religious people can have basic human decency
you know... that's why when you think of hotbeds of crime New Hampshire doesn't
come to mind (lowest crime rate, highest percentage of atheists in the US... btw
I'm not claiming that atheists are more moral... just using an example to
disprove the claim that atheists are less moral)."It's been my
experience that most people who are unhappy with their church are not living the
precepts that the church teaches."Or they just don't believe in
the Joseph Smith story (if it's someone leaving the LDS church). @monsieur le prof"And Europeans are not very generous. They expect
the state to take care of the needy."But they support the
tax increases on themselves to pay for it. Here everyone just whines that taxes
(lowest rates in half a century) are too high even though we have massive
So... religion makes for happier people, except that the very atheist
Scandinavian countries are the happiest in the world. Religion makes people
donate more... but those secular nations have lower poverty rates and affordable
healthcare access provided to everyone (thus rendering donations less
Naziism was all about religiosly based. Hitler was a strong Christian and
blamed Jews for the World's problems. Thousands were murdered in the name of
God (Hitler believed he was doing God's will). It seems like Most wars are
fought over religious difference. I am non-religious but I have 3 children in
Africa that I donate to monthly. Maybe the title of this article shoud be
renamed "Charitable people are more happy than non-charitable.".
sjv:"Finally, Utah ranks first in anti-depressant
usage"This deceptive and false claim is based upon the Express
Scripts 2002 Prescription Drug Atlas. sjv et al have you ever read
this study?Once again, the media, some with benign intentions and
others with prejudice, cherry picked quotes/findings from a study without taking
the time to or wanting to understand what it really said. As
Medicaid & Medicare prescriptions for antidepressants were not even examined
in this study(actually a review of sales trends for Express Scripts
customers)and as Exress Scripts only suppled 12% of the total US population
covered by health plans in 2005, they could not and did not make the claim that
Utah was #1 in antidepressant use. All Express Scripts could say is that Utah
had the highest Express Scripts sales/distribution of antidepressants in their
network of distribution/sales.I have no doubt that UT has a high
number of Rx for antidepressants, but the study you refer to does not and can
not support your claim.
sjv:"Utah ranks first in anti-depressant usage and online
pornography subscriptions"Your second claim is not accurate. In
the infamous Edleman "study", Utah was NOT ranked first in online porn
subscriptions. If you were to actually read Edlemans "study" and not
just cherry pick headlines, you would know that Edleman had to manipulate his
data via very specfic controls which allowed him to target certain demographics
in order to reach his conclusion. All Edleman can say with any
degree of intellectual honesty and scientific integrity is this: after
manipulating the data through various controls which targeted certain
demographics, Utah had the highest rate of online pay per use porn subscriptions
to the SINGLE provider he sampled. If you take Edleman to task, he will admit
that he could not and did not confrim that his sample was representative of the
whole porn subscription market. To those whose intent is to smear
Utah and thus the LDS, the quality, integrity and motivation behind the
"study" as well as learning what it actually says is not important.
Instead of honestly reviewing & critiquing the actual study, too many people
have cherry picked misleading quotes from articles because it suits thier agenda
Religion makes me happy. The religious people told me so.
I wonder if they count contributions to one's own church as charitable
contributions. Because that doesn't really seem like it should count to me.
Ignorance is bliss.
I just have to laugh at all the people who are commenting on an article about
religion when they say that they are atheists. Maybe they really are not
atheists, but just people who are still looking to find happiness.I
know that before I joined the LDS faith, I was not happy and had no meaning in
my life. After I joined and followed the commandments, I felt complete joy. It
is only when I keep the commandments and give of myself to my fellowman that I
feel the most joy and happiness.
Articles like these go a long way towards explaining why I no longer consider
myself "religious." What arrogance..."There are more
things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your
philosophy."Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5
Spikey,isn't religion supposed to make one less anxious? Why the anxiety
problems. Your future is secure, right? Anti-depressant usage is high in Utah
because Mormons are no happier than any other segment of the population. In
fact it is more likely that they are depressed trying to be as good as the
Jones. Second, are you really going to claim that the porn issue in Utah
results from minorities, liberals, and poor people? Isn't that a little bit
bigoted?Bigred1,yes people are happier in Denmark. And yes, a
higher suicide rate is found to correlate with happier people (oddly enough even
here in America). It doesn't take much to google it. The real point of my post
was that for Daniel Peterson to call secularists hypocritical is well... like
the pot calling the kettle black. He should really stick to just
"defending" the faith instead of making silly attacks.
Cats:What's your evidence that what they're saying is
"completely false"? Because there's no way that anyone who disagrees
with you could possibly be happy, right?Presumptuous much?
Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. -- Clarence
This is so interesting. Reading all these comments by atheists (and those who
have rejected faith) that are trying to convince the rest of us that they are so
happy reminds me of the fact that anyone can write anything they want to on
these posts even if it is completely false.
@Maryquilter. Secularism is not finding happiness by 'smoking, drinking, using
recreational drugs, etc.' People who confuse secularism with 'doing anything
and everything religious people say to not do' not surprisingly find little
satisfaction outside of religion. And whoops. 'Sighted' should be
'cited' in my last post.
@Bigred1: I completely agree with you, except I don't understand why you say
this propaganda is from liberals?@LValfre; Please read my entire
comment on page 1 of comments section. Then I must add that I am a convert to
the LDS church of 36 years and I "explore, succeed and fail, try new
things, experiment, and am an independent self thinking being" AND happy
and do not feel repressed at all.In all my experimentation with
being non-religious and smoking and drinking and using recreational drugs, and
having premarital sex, etc. I did not find lasting happiness. I completely
disagree with Bro. Peterson's article and find it divisive, but also disagree
with your emphatic statements that members of an organized religion cannot
choose for themselves what doctrines to follow and be independent thinkers AND
be happy. Look at Orson Scott Card for example. I am a happier and more
peace-filled person now regardless of your inflammatory statements or what
others may think. Seems to me it would be difficult for your walking around
every day with that giant chip on your shoulder.
Religion Pluses .. There is an after life, you can pray and God will help you
with your needs and requests.Religion Minuses .. The myrid of rules
that one must follow or be made to feel condemned by God.Conclusion.
The best religion is one that focuses on the golden rule, personal growth, the
gift of prayer and the after life, and doesn't have a lot of nit picky rules.
I am amazed the sighted study showed secular Europe as reporting less happiness
than religious America. Virtually every study on happiness I have reviewed
shows secular Euoropean countries rated higher than the United States. I don't dispute that religious people are very charitable and good
people and I'm not surprised research demonstrates that reality. However I am
also confident that if we rely on the magical thinking that all this is caused
because of the underworkings of invisible spirits we will get no closer to
understanding how religion gives people those benefits and to applying them
better to our lives. Similarly if we still assumed mental illness was caused by
demon possession and disease was an invisible of angel of death sent by God
(yes, that IS in the Bible) we wouldn't have an understanding of sanitation,
vacciness, antiobiotics or a host of other benefits science, not religion, has
endowed us with.
sjv | 7:05 p.m. Aug. 17, 2011BLOOMINGTON, IN "It is
ironic that Denmark is the happiest place on earth in poll after poll (year
after year)."Get your facts straight. It isnt a poll, it is an
organization (i think a newspaper) that looks at several factors to determine
which country is the "happiest" according to the ridiculous factors
that the organization chose. Have you ever lived in Europe? I have. Let me tell
you something, Europe is not a happy lollipops and sunshine place. That
statement doesnt even pass the straight face test. This line or
reasoning is typical propaganda from liberals who constantly have the attitude
that the grass is greener on the other side of the field when they have never
even been to or seen the other side of the field. Poverty in Western
Europe has not been virtually eradicated (another argument from people who have
never lived in Europe but fantasize about it). Jobs and entrepreneurship are
scarce in the Europe economic model. Europe is no model for the US. Sorry, nice
You just gotta buy into the right one. Religion might make people happier, but
there are a lot of churches that don't.
religion makes for happier people. . .and snails and single-cell
crustaceans feel no painthe truth hurts but it doesn't mean delusion
@Faithinfacts,Of course they wont look at the facts of atheism vs
happiness. That's anti-mormon literature! : )
The most religious states and nations seem to also be those places where people
are least happy if you care to look at facts on atheism vs happiness. I'm not
sure where Bro Peterson gets his information. Perhaps the editor mat wish to
check his assumptions before he offends to many more people.
"This is a fluff piece. If his statement is true, then beer, marijuana, and
other good stuff makes for happier people too. I don't know if I agree with
religions taking credit for happiness. "Absolutely. Marijuana,
beer, food, taking a nap .. heck there are tons of things that make people
happy. Religion makes religious people happy. That's it. To claim it is the
true source of happiness is ignorance at its best.
Peterson seems to be perpetuating the "we are better than you because of
our religion" perception that seems to be popular with the LDS population
in Utah! Is that really necessary?
@moniker lewinsky, So tell us again why you read his articles since you don't
like his articles?@Fibby1123"I hated being taught in
seminary that we shouldn't marry minorities because they're 'just not as good as
us' and having no one protest. I hated being shunned because I was one of the
few people in my suburban Utah school that didn't go to seminary."So did you go to seminary or not? Or is the name "fibby" telling us
more about you than you realize?
This is a fluff piece. If his statement is true, then beer, marijuana, and other
good stuff makes for happier people too. I don't know if I agree with religions
taking credit for happiness.
Or in other words, if one thinks like Peterson, Mormonism makes them happier
(?). If one does not think like Peterson, it's a very mixed bag.
RE: TMR "Peterson plays a sleight of hand in the first paragraph by
creating the construct that people who are religious are also economic
libertarians." Yes, exactly so. If you want to get along in LDS society
you are very conservative or libertarian. It goes with the territory. If you
are left of center, as am I, there is no place for you. This is reenforced over
and over again in the LDS culture, and I don't think this is pure accident.
@ Mondsieur le prof,"years of research have proven: that
religious people (on the whole) are happier and that they tend to be more
generous"What research? I read the article and only heard
about giving to charity, nothing about being happier. Does giving to charity
mean you're happier? And I'd rather give to charity than a church who spends
large sums of that money doing marketing and pr campaigns, investing in real
estate, building expensive temples, and denying gays and others their rights.@Clarissa,You're a free spirit that's religious. Then tell
me this. Do you do everything your religion tells you? I mean everything ...
and if you're affiliated with the majority religion on this board ... i mean
EVERYTHING including garments, abstaining from everything you're told, not
accepting you know who from priesthood till '78 .. i mean it all.
Utes fan - are you suggesting that because Utahns avoid alcohol and illegal
drugs, so it is ok for them to go on anti depressants and abuse legal drugs? I
did't quite get what you are saying. The reason I ask is because I have several
friends who hold temple recommends, they don't drink but they DO abuse legal
drugs. Just thought that was odd.
I don't think secularists have ever "preened themselves on their superior
compassion." Rather, they've insisted that as humanists, agnostics and/or
outright atheists, they can be every bit as compassionate as religious people.
In short, they don't need a belief in God in order to care about their fellow
humans.As Dr. Petersen points out, the ancient Christians
*were" extremely compassionate, and that helped spread Christianity, for
there were so many people in those times who were considered "the lowest of
the low." It was only the Christianity of that time which valued these
people. But that Christianity got taken over and institutionalized by power
brokers until it became nothing like what had moved the ancients. So Dr.
Petersen's pointing to that isn't convincing for his current argument.Finally, I think Dr. Peterson needs to consider a third category of people: in
addition to the religionists and secularists, there are also spiritualists, who
have a deep sense of God, but not from within any religious story. To us, God
is an ongoing discovery as we live, not a movie director who's assigned us a
certain part and demands that we play that part throughout our lives.
I feel I need to say something to counter the statements of the
"happy" people that have left the LDS Church. I joined it in 1992 and
my happiness increased by a great deal. To support the point of the
article, before joining as an atheist I was very reluctant to give and to serve.
In the LDS church I learned that you serve not only when it is convenient or
when you feel so inclined but rather that you need to be where the Lord needs
you and when He needs you.As far as the fruits of Karl Marx, I've
experienced those growing up in the Soviet Union. My grandfathers were
imprisoned by Stalin. The economy of USSR stagnated and was in shambles before
the final collapse.I recall a conversation I had with a Russian
hotel security guard. He found out I was religious and honestly told me -
"I cannot live like this, if a man stands in my way I kill him".
Shocking as it is, with my upbringing and without a religion to correct it I
would feel the same way.
@Timj: Commenters on this article cite "statistics" that they think
they've read to show that their point of view is correct. Timj said that poverty
in Western Europe is "almost entirely eradicated," which is patently
false. Having just returned from there after 2 years, I can state with assurity
that they have a major problem with the poor and homeless. Danes rate themselves
as happy, but their suicide rate is higher than ours. And Europeans are not very
generous. They expect the state to take care of the needy.Hateful
comments that call others hypocrites can be dismissed because they obviously are
speaking with prejudice. I can attest that no seminary teacher would teach that
the LDS are better than others. That's just self-rationalization for leaving the
church.Mr. Peterson was just pointing out what years of research
have proven: that religious people (on the whole) are happier and that they tend
to be more generous. Comments on anything else is just nit-picking. If you are
not religious, but give generously, then good for you! You are among the
@LValfre: It is rude of you to assume that because I am religious that I am some
sheep that follows the herd. I pray about doctrine and come to my own beliefs on
the subject. I am happy because of my religion. This article uses data collected
to prove the hypothesis that those who are religious are happier. Just because
you don't like the results of a study is no reason to say it is untrue. Also, if
you met me you would definitely know that I am far from represssed. I'm a free
spirit who is religious. I see no conflict in this.
It is a slippery slope when we make generalizations like the author has,
especially in the aftermath of the Warren Jeff's trial. If people are happy in
religious ignorance and intolerance is that really desirable from our
standpoint? I hope not.
Religion does not always lead to happier people. Ignorance is bliss.
Sometime's its easy to 'go with the flow' and 'not think for yourself' ... for
people who prefer to just do as they're told so they don't make mistakes ...
then yes religion will make them happier. For those who like to
explore, succeed and fail, try new things, experiment, and be independent self
thinking beings ... religion is the opposite of happiness. It's repression of
your own freedoms.
Maybe we should all stop placing such a high value on happiness and learn how to
embrace and control all of our emotions.
I agree that the downsides to socialism exceed the upsides, but Peterson clearly
isn't at all familiar with the subject. Even if one can argue that the Nazi's
borrowed central planning from Marx, I don't think you credit the holocaust or
invasion of Europe to that thinking.
(1) Touting the benefits of "religion" generally doesn't necessarily
advance the interest of a Church that emphatically teaches that *what* religion
you follow, matters a great deal. If making people happy were the critical
thing, and mere, general "religion" sufficed to make people happy,
then why on earth should any religion brand the others' creeds an
"abomination"? Also, the truth may set you free, but it
won't necessarily make you happier. I recall there being studies that showed
that a strong personal need to know and accept truth was often negatively
correlated with personal happiness.That said, I absolutely agree
with the idea that people who are conspicuous with their ideological compassion,
are often, personally, complete jerks.
@ REDHAT. Don't let the homeless fool you. The reason that 60-something man gets
"disgusted" looks from the "Mormons" is probably because he
has been there day in and day out for years. I worked downtown and during the 4
1/2 years that I was in Utah I saw the same homeless people nearly every day.
One stood outside of the temple gates almost every day, asking every person he
could for money, it was his career. Mormons and non-Mormons alike are disgusted
by that sort of behavior. Why? Because if he were truly homeless Utah is one of
the best places to live to cure that due to how much assistance there is. When I
was having a hard time finding a job it was church employment that helped me
even though I was not a member. The people who see him everyday are onto him and
his tricks, it's the people that are just visiting that don't get it. Instead of
sitting and praying with him maybe somebody needs to point out that the doors
are already open from religious and non-religious sources.
Wow! Can we all calm down? Why do you all feel the need to bash each other? That
isn't exactly charitable. Everyone makes their own path and follows it, why is
it that all of you must condemn each other for that?
JoeBlow... I read exactly the same as you. the title equates being religious
with being happy. but the actual article equates being charitable with being
happy. the moral of the the article is to skip church but give to charity.
Peterson plays a sleight of hand in the first paragraph by creating the
construct that people who are religious are also economic libertarians. Yes, I
know that Peterson's religious and economic preferences are stated in two
separate sentences, but the balance of the opinion and all of the assumptions
made by Peterson link the two without consideration as to the relationship or
lack thereof. Like Stephanie4202, this tactic bothers me: it is presumptuous,
polarizing, and intellectually lazy. For whatever reason, it is commonly used
by so-called "economic libertarians" in the LDS community. It is
tiresome. Please stop.
FibbyWhy did your parents teach you to be the best person you could?
Were they religious and did their religious beliefs animate their lives? It's
been my experience that most people who are unhappy with their church are not
living the precepts that the church teaches. They need to simply admit that
they don't believe in those teachings any more. Instead, they try to justify
their actions by finding fault with the members of their former church. They
need to simply say that they want to live their life in a certain way and that
they have a difference of opinion with their former church.
Unusual title for this article.No where in the article does it even
claim that the Religious are happier.It contends that those who give
to charity and volunteer are happier, but never even mentions or supports the
notion that the religious are happier.Now, as far as pets, there are
studies that show that pet owners are happier and healthier.There
are however, no statistics on how much pets donate to charity.
I don't know about anyone else but I was much happier after I stopped going to
church and eventually became an atheist.I hated being pigeonholed
into the role of wife and mother. I hated being told that there is one way to
happiness and if I'm unhappy that it's MY fault. I hated the idea that the only
way to reach ultimate salvation is by following the LDS faith and even the best
people of other faiths aren't as good as the hypocrites I went to church with. I
hated being taught in seminary that we shouldn't marry minorities because
they're "just not as good as us" and having no one protest. I hated
being shunned because I was one of the few people in my suburban Utah school
that didn't go to seminary. I hated being harassed by neighbors about going to
church.I am honest and charitable not because I'm religious, but
because my parents taught me to be the best person I can.This
article proves that many religious people are more charitable than non-religious
people simply to toot their own horns but it's all a scam.
Nick,As I already said, I have no religion. Having a conviction is not
the same as having a religion. I don't know why some people don't get that. I
am an atheist. No ersatz religion. Just me. I don't know why Peterson
can't just write an article about how important it is to give. I don't know why
he can't say something like: Jesus taught that we should take care of the needy.
But even if you don't believe in the Jesus of the Bible, there are still a lot
of good reasons to take care of the needy. Instead, he goes out of
his way to alienate people who aren't religious. But he doesn't stop there. He
even alienates people like Stephanie (and a lot of LDS friends of mine) who are
religious but less politically conservative. I don't want to debate
about socialism. To say I'm socialist is a stretch anyway. I'm just saying
that there are ways to make a point that are divisive and there are ways that
unite. I care about the poor. My ideas on how to address the problem
might differ from yours. That might never change. But I care.
@redhat: Perhaps the experience outside the J.S. Building is a reflection of
the fact that Mormons are encouraged to donate to homeless shelters and food
kitchens, etc. rather than directly giving money to pan-handlers. There have
been plenty of anecdotal stories of citizens offering jobs to homeless people on
the street who refuse and say they just want the money. In an effort to give
food, shelter, and help in looking for jobs, the LDS Church would like members
to donate to the above mentioned organizations or simply give food to those on
the street. Stating that Mormons going in and out of the building gave the
homeless man looks of disgust is pretty subjective. Mormons aren't only ones
going into that building either.Having said this, I can't see how
the author of this article was thinking that "cherry picking"
statistics and drawing the conclusions he did would be helpful to readers of the
DN. It seems inflammatory and self-righteous. Jesus warned against those like
the Pharisees who stand on the corner and pray or give alms, hoping to gain
recognition for themselves. He should keep on giving, but keep it to himself.
Why in the world would Dan Peterson feel a need to even make this argument? Any
reasonable, intelligent person knows that religion can and does provide charity
and service opportunities and the non-religious can and do find other avenues to
provide charity and service. And both the religious and non-religious can be
selfish as well. In the end, we all need to improve our level of
charity and service regardless of our motivation for doing so.
I would prefer it if Mr. Peterson did not assume that because I am religious
(Mormon! which will shock anyone reading this in a moment) I share his
Libertarian views. I do not. I am a follower of Christ. Therefore, I believe
in charity. I want to help others at all times and in any way that I can. I do
not care how this accomplished. Advocating withholding help from those who need
it simply because you do not agree with the way our current government works is
uncharitable. Un-Christlike. All the people I hear advocating this kind of
"economic Libertarianism" are so full of ideas supporting ways they
can better clutch their money tightly in their fists nigh until they are laid
down in the grave, yet so bereft of ideas of how we might fill the needs left by
their greedy, selfish schemes. So please, leave me out of this and don't talk
for me. I'm capable of expressing my own views and I don't care to have them so
Moniker LewinskyFor many left-wing secularists, their
social/policital ideology is their ersatz religion. They have irrational faith
in their ideology, even though it has a long history of failure compared with
the explosion of knowledge and technology that coincided with the advent of
freedom and free markets which emerged in 1776 (See Dr. Peterson's article from
last week). Freedom works. Socialism fails.
I am an atheist. So is my husband. A week ago, I used a gift card to pay for
some couch covers at IKEA. The next day, I realized that I had used the wrong
gift card. (I had two and I mixed them up.) The card I used had less than a $5
balance on it. Without realizing that the covers weren't completely paid for, I
scooped them up and left. The next day I realized my error. I could have let
it go. I didn't. I packed up two kids, returned to IKEA, and went through a
hassle with the managment so that I could pay. My husband has one of the rarest
blood types out there and he regularly adjusts his schedult to donate. We even
took a day off our vacation because an infant needed surgery. We were
both raised in religious households and are now atheists. Time will tell how
our children turn out. I'm tired of Peterson's divisiveness. Rand and Timj are
spot on. If you want respect for your beliefs, don't go out of your way to bash
Way to start out with politically undertones. That's not all divisive or
hostile, is it?
People criticizing Utah for high rates of anti-depressants might just be giving
Utah an unintentional compliment. Utahans seek help more frequently - thus more
subscriptions to anti-depressants. Also, Utahans avoid alcohol and illegal drugs
more frequently, which some people use in an amateur way to treat depression.
Both are good.
I think that one reason secularists don't give to charity is because they
believe it is the government's responsibility to take care of others and they
are relieved of all responsibility. It IS NOT charity when the government takes
other people's money to "help" the poor through taxes. Charity is a
VOLUNTARY contribution. People who believe in economic freedom believe everyone
should have the right to decide what to do with their own money and they can
freely give to charity or choose not to.
i would change religious to spiritual to get the manmade aspects out of the
equation.concerning who the happy ones are, two weeks ago visiting slc and
outside the joseph smith building less than 15 yards from the front door
entrance, i sat for 20 minutes and had a conversation/prayer with a white
homeless man in his 60's who told me that those "mormons" going in and
out give him looks and words of disgust and anger as he sits and waits for
handouts. those who do give him $ or take time to sit and even some who pray
right there on the concrete pillar with him are 99% non-lds.in this
sample, in this scenario the lds encountering the homeless face to face do not
appear "happy". maybe when they go inside and are captured by the
'spirit' of the foyer they are happy! religion does strange things
Personally I believe that religion can instill good ideas and healthy ways of
life like taking care of your body and mind.On the other hand, they
can also instill bad things like bigotry, pride (the "I'm better than you
because I am religious), and hypocrisy.I've met people both good and
bad from religions. Religion doesn't have a patent on morals, nor is religion
the source of morality - even though they like to think so.
SJV:Anti-depressants are used for more than "depression."
Anxiety is a biggy, and that is not quite equal to depression. Utah has NO
higher percentage than the national average of mental illness, (Depression is
considered a mental illness), and yet we do have a high rate of anti-depressants
prescribed. It is simple: It is over-prescribed. I know two people who were
prescribed anti-depressants here because they were having problems dealing with
divorce. Gee, I always thought unhappiness was a part of life, just like
happiness.As far as pornography, the TOP 3 areas in which porn was
used is in Salt Lake County (More liberal), Carbon County, (Super high rate of
Hispanics miners and their families) and finally, San Juan county, which is 60%
Native American.So should we say that liberal SLC folks, Hispanics
and Native Americans have a higher rate of "checking out porn?" I
"get" what you're trying to say, unfortunately, I just don't
"buy" it. Have a nice day.Oh, and by the way, the
"Mormon Church" doesn't "own" Coca Cola, either.
I can only speak for myself, but since I left the LDS church in 1997 I've been
happier and more at peace than at any point while I was active. I've also seen
plenty of statistics that show atheists and agnostics as happier and having
better marriages than religious people... goes to show anyone with the right
"sample" group can get a poll result that they want.
Monsieur le prof "If you've read your history, you know that
Catholicism (and, later on, Protestantism) was less about religion and more
about acquiring power and wealth." The same could be said for any
entity that comes in to power and wealth. Those who rise to power, yes even
those in religious positions (including the LDS Church), cling to their power
and attempt to acquire more. This is human nature, it does not matter if it
political, religious, . When religions are no longer run by humans, I expect
this will change, but not until then.
It is ironic that Denmark is the happiest place on earth in poll after poll
(year after year). Additionally, it is strange that religious liberals are far
more charitable than religious conservatives (American Grace, 2003). Finally,
Utah ranks first in anti-depressant usage and online pornography subscriptions.
What is it that Christ said. Judge not that ye be not judged.
Ironically, poverty in less-religious areas such as Western Europe is almost
entirely eradicated. What does that say about us when the less-religious
countries do a better job of caring for their poor than we do?
@Rand: I think you've done some cherry-picking of your own. You seem to have
missed the point of the article. If you've read your history, you know that
Catholicism (and, later on, Protestantism) was less about religion and more
about acquiring power and wealth. And the 19 people hanged in Salem can't
compare with the millions killed during WW II. Furthermore, religion did not
force "appalling abuses" on Jeffs' polygamous sect, it was vice-versa.
That's why he is in jail.By the way, your paranoia shows when you
say that religious people blame you for the "world's ills." Where was
OK Dr. Petersen, your opinion piece was fairly reasonable until you started down
the cheap and fallacious road of equating atheism with Marxism with Nazism. In
the politest possible use of the word, that's garbage. Nazism was a mix of
fascism that blended far right and left wing politics, including a number of
socially conservative principles. Calling Nazism the only possible outcome of
an nonreligious society is rather dishonest and lazy. In your
attempt to fluff up the image of religiosity, you failed to mention the
Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, and the appalling abuses that religion has
forced upon Warren Jeff's polygamous sect. Just to name a few. It seems that
even a professor at an accredited university is not immune to cherry-picking
facts to fit an argument. He should know better, though.By the way,
I have little issue with people holding religious beliefs. I have a problem with
religious people blaming me for the world's ills.