Does faith make you happier? New research explores links between religion and well-being

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  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2019 4:32 p.m.

    I think this has less to do with being religious and more to do with finding some sort of meaning or purpose in your life.

    You can find personal fulfillment outside of religious organizations just as well as you can inside of one (and, there are many who are part of a religion for reasons other than spiritual fulfillment)

    Often, adhering to religious codes and behaviors can lead to cognitive dissonance (a psychological phenomenon where our behaviors don't match up with our inner reasoning or justification for them), which results in depression and anxiety instead of happiness or well-being.

  • Not-in-Utah-anymore , CA
    March 6, 2019 11:20 a.m.

    The Atheist - Provo, UT says "...fundamentally a slap in the face of nonbelievers. Believers have a long history of attacking, criticizing, condemning, putting down, and being derogatory about non-believers."

    Don't non-believers have just as long of a history of "attacking, criticizing, condemning, putting down, and being derogatory" towards those who believe?

    "We are fed up with such lies, distortions, and attacks and we are fighting back."

    So the "new-atheists" respond with their own lies and distortions? Face it: anytime there's a story in DN about faith or the LDS Church, you and a few others show up to cast aspersions and shout people down. If you've "never been happier [or] experienced such peace and contentment" since giving up your religion, why all the anger? You've just traded one faith or religion for another - the religion of atheism. Maybe you should take some of your own advice:

    "Try something more inclusive, unifying and accurate!"

    I, personally, find a great deal of joy in my faith.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 8, 2019 3:50 p.m.

    @The Atheist: "We are fed up with such lies, distortions, and attacks and we are fighting back."

    With your own set of lies, distortions, and attacks?

    You've repeatedly claimed that theistic religions have caused more harm, more wars and death, than all other things combined. And yet the evidence from officially atheistic nations like China and Russia prove you wrong by orders of magnitude.

    You object to terms like "atheist" even as you use it yourself, but you turn around and belittle others' beliefs with derogatory terms like "fairy tales" and "superstitions".

    "The title of this article, and the so-called "study" it reports, is wrong and offensive. It says that non-believers, in general, are less happy and have lower levels of "well-being"."

    No need for a study to determine that. One simply needs to read the anger, vitriol, and discontent far too common in the posts of those who self-identify as atheists, agnostics, or otherwise non-believing to draw very strong personal conclusions about who isn't very happy.

    By their fruits ye shall know them.

  • I-EM-YOU SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:26 p.m.

    THE ATHIEST:

    You’re making an awful lot of assumptions about me.
    First of all, my earlier comment was not a religious response and I never used the terms “athiest”or “nonbeliever”, you did.
    Secondly, I’ll bet my bible that those who have used the terms “sheep” and “cult” were not being complimentary. If I am wrong (which I strongly doubt), I apologize.
    Lastly, you have assumed I love my neighbors because I am commanded to. Wrong again. I love, accept, and respect them because I was taught it is the right thing to do by parents who did likewise. By the way, they did not belong to any organized religion.
    Are your comments meant to be inclusive and unify?

  • CMO Beaver Beaver, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    if you don't have $10 million in the bank, then, yes.. faith makes you happier because that is all you have

  • CMTM , 00
    Feb. 4, 2019 11:50 a.m.

    RE: The Atheist. Have you ever been to a Christians, Atheists debate. I have been to several . FYI.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,(1 Peter 3:15 NIV).

    Apologetics of giving answers for the reasonableness and truth of the Christian faith. The word comes from the Greek apologia and means “to give a defense.

    The Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.E.g… Biola University and its graduate extension Talbot Theological Seminary. Their faculty includes such notables as William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, Philip Johnson, Craig Hazen, John Mark Reynolds, Doug Geivett, Scott Rae, Greg Koukl, Paul Nelson, and others.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 10:51 a.m.

    I-EM-YOU - SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 8:50 a.m.
    "Once again, the haters show up."

    So, your "religious" response is to call all nonbelievers "haters"?

    Where do they teach you that in your religious classes?

    Non-believers invoking metaphors such as "sheep", "livestock", or "cult" are not necessarily employing "hateful" language. But even if they are, consider two things:

    1. Believers started it. Your kind has called us "atheists" and "non-believers" since religion was invented, defining us as fundamentally different and lacking. Identifying a person by what they do NOT believe is not only offensive and divisive, but irrational and immoral. Try something more inclusive, unifying and accurate!

    2. Those who do not believe have different moral and ethical principles than believers. We do not have any god commanding us to "love your enemies" nor "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?" But you do. So calling us "haters" is a sin for you. But a nonbeliever calling you "sheep" is not a "sin", nor is it even a bad thing: Jesus identified himself as the "Shepherd" of "sheep"! You don't want to be called "sheep", take that up with Jesus!

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 10:23 a.m.

    Rather than turn this into an argument over non-believers vs believers read the article again. My take away was the social aspect of being with people that you believe care about you. It's common knowledge from many studies that people who are connected to family or social or religious groups in a meaningful way are happier. It's not about whether believing in a higher Being (faith ) makes you happier. Happiness seems to come from helping others and feeling accepted in a social group of some kind (family, friends, religion etc).

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 9:11 a.m.

    The Latin word for religion means ; to re bind. Who wants to be in bondage. The New Testament s written on your heart. That is a difference between on, in an among. Ask God to teach you how to read. I would think you need to have faith "on" God not a religion. Religion is only what you can count "on" or depend "on". Organizations have policies, rules, laws, commandments and authority that controls to keep you bondage. There is a church without religion. Jesus established it.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 8:46 a.m.

    "...and I have not and never will make a derogatory comment about anyone's religion or their beliefs..."

    That's a good principle to follow.

    Articles like this, however, are fundamentally a slap in the face of nonbelievers. Believers have a long history of attacking, criticizing, condemning, putting down, and being derogatory about non-believers.

    We are fed up with such lies, distortions, and attacks and we are fighting back.

    The title of this article, and the so-called "study" it reports, is wrong and offensive. It says that non-believers, in general, are less happy and have lower levels of "well-being".

    But as bgl points out, they draw this conclusion based on self-reported measures that are biased by the very religious expectations they claim to be studying, creating a circular argument: people of faith (who believe that reporting your happiness, and pretending to be happy is "next to godliness") are more likely to self-report that they are "happy". By comparison, people who are not associated with the "happiness expectations" of religion are less likely to "fake it".

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Feb. 4, 2019 7:19 a.m.

    My religion makes me feel guilty for not smiling and telling others how happy I am and how happy they could be if they would only opt for living life the way that I do. I’m supposed to feel this way all the time. Even when I’m not really feeling it. Does that count as being happy and helping others?

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 4, 2019 5:57 a.m.

    I absolutely agree 100% with Chungman ...but I'm not into religion in anyway whatsoever and I have not and never will make a derogatory comment about anyone's religion or their beliefs
    were all here on Earth together so let's all work together to make it a better world and let's all in peace and harmony

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Feb. 2, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    I have never been happier and experienced such peace and contentment as I have since giving up the pretense that is religion!

  • Derrick Weiller Malibu, CA
    Feb. 1, 2019 3:20 p.m.

    To conflate "Faith" with "Religion"
    is to conflate "Spirit" with "Sheep".
    May The Lord have mercy on His livestock.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 1, 2019 6:39 a.m.

    I have learned in life that people believe what they WANT to believe and conversely, people don’t believe what they don’t WANT to believe. If a person wants to believe something they will look for reasons to believe- that’s called exercising faith. If they don’t want to believe something, they will look for reasons to not believe. Whether a person is looking for reasons to believe or not to believe, they will find what they want to find.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2019 6:00 a.m.

    May I offer a small quibble with the headline? Yes, faith is important to all of us in our daily lives -- it's largely the thing that allows us to keep functioning. But faith and religion are often two entirely different things and, notably, the former does not necessarily require the latter.

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 2:18 p.m.

    Chungman " It is all about community and belonging to a group of like minded people"

    Sounds like you are describing a cult.

    Cult definition:
    a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

  • twinbeech Bloomington, IN
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:51 p.m.

    “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 1:24 p.m.

    Faith doesn't make anyone happier it just shields the real problems.

  • Chungman St George, UT
    Jan. 31, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    The title to this article is misleading. The word community in place of faith would be more fitting. The whole article does not touch upon faith at all as being a positive for happiness. It is all about community and belonging to a group of like minded people.