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Are Religious People Happier?

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Thinker13
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Posted 07/17/12 - 6:35 AM:
Subject: Are Religious People Happier?
Do religions, make individuals happier?

Do you think that happiness, not as in euphoria, ecstasy, bliss, peace and happiness, but as in being satisfied and content with yourself is related to religiosity and faith.

In other words: Does faith make you happier?

Pardon for asking too many questions, I ask because they're connected:

Do you think that happiness is important? How important it's for you?
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/17/12 - 7:45 AM:

I'd have to guess that when it comes to overall contentment of their lives, those who have faith in something (not necessarily religion or even a higher power) tend to be happier.

Concerning how you put the second question: I do love myself wholly and completely for who I am. I have no faith and need none to accept myself (whatever I am). Faith can give you esteem, but not self-esteem. If you need faith to define yourself, chances are you have low self-esteem.

However, if you asked me whether or not I thought happiness with life is related to faith, I'd probably lean towards "yes it is". People are generally happier if they have a belief in something. People like to know. However, their knowledge is based on their faith that those ideas are facts. Whether you meet an atheist or Christian or Muslim or Hindu etc, they tend to be happier than people without any faith whatsoever.

Faith can make you happier with life. You have to make you happier with yourself.

On a side note, many of you know of my struggles in the mental health system. A couple of months ago, I had a staff member tell me "Without faith in something higher than yourself, you will never recover." Mind you, this person is not formally educated and is rather up in her years. I don't normally mind the combination, but this irritated me. I asked her, "What in the hell do you think I've been doing up to this point, then?" I don't remember her answer, but it was nonsense. She did tell me that it was impossible to not have faith in anything and that I must have faith in something. I replied, "Really?! Cause I'm pretty sure I told you I had faith in myself. Aside from that, it is more than possible to not have faith in anything."

-sighs- I guess the point of that last paragraph was to emphasize my other paragraphs. I tend to end up ranting about the lack of open-mindedness and understanding in the Mental Health system. Oh well! I'm only human.

-Kin heart



Thinker13
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Posted 07/17/12 - 8:33 AM:

Kin wrote:
Faith can give you esteem, but not self-esteem. If you need faith to define yourself, chances are you have low self-esteem.


I did not understand it fully. What is 'esteem' and how faith gives it to you?


If someone needs food for nourishment of body and mind and similarly has faith and it makes him happier, then how come faith is connected to Self-Esteem?


Why Buddha had a good self-esteem? Do you think that he had no faith?

Do you have faith in Solipsism and Logic and Language?

That is good but as I said, that's a choice.


We all have 'temporary' faith. You need it in Science, Philosophy and in living our life.

Thinker13
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Posted 07/17/12 - 8:42 AM:

As an aside: To define self-esteem you need to define 'self.' Once you start defining self you have to get into faith.

If by 'self' you mean a young girl in twenties who is going to graduate soon, you're locating yourself in society. Your esteem will be accordingly.

When 'self' is everything around/beyond/present, your self-esteem depends on remembering it every time. Surprisingly it not only makes your life happier but also makes world look a better place. If you're everyone who is there to contend against?
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/17/12 - 8:44 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:


I did not understand it fully. What is 'esteem' and how faith gives it to you?


If someone needs food for nourishment of body and mind and similarly has faith and it makes him happier, then how come faith is connected to Self-Esteem?


Why Buddha had a good self-esteem? Do you think that he had no faith?

Do you have faith in Solipsism and Logic and Language?

That is good but as I said, that's a choice.


We all have 'temporary' faith. You need it in Science, Philosophy and in living our life.



Thinker, I wasn't trying to say that people with faith cannot have self-esteem. Just that if those people need their faiths to define themselves then it would be unlikely that they have good self-esteem.

I don't have faith in solipsism, logic, or language. I see them as a possible possibility but no more than that. Heck I don't even have temporary faith to the best of my "knowledge".

I don't believe in science anymore than I believe in religion. However, as to the philosophy and living our lives part, I can apparently assume certain positions in thought that I find more desirable and pretend to them. It is very difficult to live life with zero amounts of faith. However, I'm not dead yet. wink

-Kin heart
KinNaoko90
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Posted 07/17/12 - 8:46 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:
As an aside: To define self-esteem you need to define 'self.' Once you start defining self you have to get into faith.

If by 'self' you mean a young girl in twenties who is going to graduate soon, you're locating yourself in society. Your esteem will be accordingly.

When 'self' is everything around/beyond/present, your self-esteem depends on remembering it every time. Surprisingly it not only makes your life happier but also makes world look a better place. If you're everyone who is there to contend against?


You don't need to define the 'self' completely for self esteem. I came up with multiple possible definitions of my 'self' and all of them I accepted. I have no faith in who or what I am and I still can accept myself.

-Kin heart
thedoc
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Posted 07/17/12 - 12:12 PM:

To the question "Does Religion make you Happy?" I would nned to answer 'No'. I have known Religious people who were happy and I have known some who were miserable. A post of mine from some time back may help,

Wind - by thedoc
Dec 24, 2009 1:08:02 AM

Edward Hays has written several books of modern parables, in one of them a young man, on a date with a girl, receives a fortune cookie that says "You will die a happy man." Reading this he thinks "I could die tonight, so I must make this the happiest night of my life." He does not die, but lives on with that same attitude toward life. Many, many years later he does die, as an old man, and at his funeral everyone says that he was the happiest man they ever knew. Happiness comes from within, meaning comes from within, those who search for some wise man to tell them the meaning of life, or the secret to happiness, will die frustrated at the end of a long futile search. Meaning, happiness, and acheviment are all internal and it doesn't matter if you make a great discovery or support and help others to do so. There is a song "Wind beneath my wings" where one person can do great things but only with the strength and support of others, and these others have acheved great things, even if their name is not on the credits.
thedoc

Thinker13
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Posted 07/18/12 - 5:09 AM:

Kin wrote:
You don't need to define the 'self' completely for self esteem. I came up with multiple possible definitions of my 'self' and all of them I accepted. I have no faith in who or what I am and I still can accept myself.


For accepting yourself you need to know yourself. If you say that you accept yourself--I wonder what you mean by that. It simply means that whatever you have as an 'image' in your mind for 'self' you accept that wholeheartedly. That's vague.

If you don't have any image of yourself in your mind you have nothing to accept

How do you accept yourself without faith or trust in yourself?



Just that if those people need their faiths to define themselves then it would be unlikely that they have good self-esteem.

What do you mean by self-esteem and defining themselves?

You said that you need no 'faith/trust' to accept yourself. Why do you think that people with 'Faiths' cannot do the same. To make it more clear: What makes you think that those people 'need' the faith to have a high self-esteem?
Thinker13
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Posted 07/18/12 - 5:35 AM:

thedoc wrote:
To the question "Does Religion make you Happy?" I would nned to answer 'No'.


I have known Religious people who were happy and I have known some who were miserable.



Hey thedoc,

For sake of clarity: I did not say that all religious people are happy

I just asked if majority of them are happier than those who don't have faith.

But then: Religious people are in majority methinks.

Majority by itself doesn't mean happiness.

For sake of discussion we could refer to studies--if any.


thedoc wrote:

Wind - by thedoc
Dec 24, 2009 1:08:02 AM

Edward Hays has written several books of modern parables, in one of them a young man, on a date with a girl, receives a fortune cookie that says "You will die a happy man." Reading this he thinks "I could die tonight, so I must make this the happiest night of my life." He does not die, but lives on with that same attitude toward life. Many, many years later he does die, as an old man, and at his funeral everyone says that he was the happiest man they ever knew. Happiness comes from within, meaning comes from within, those who search for some wise man to tell them the meaning of life, or the secret to happiness, will die frustrated at the end of a long futile search. Meaning, happiness, and acheviment are all internal and it doesn't matter if you make a great discovery or support and help others to do so. There is a song "Wind beneath my wings" where one person can do great things but only with the strength and support of others, and these others have acheved great things, even if their name is not on the credits



To accept that "attitude," to feel inside, to search inside, to believe in messages like the one in story; you do need to have a little faith and trust. Without faith you cannot even introspect or discuss. IMHO, those who believe in intuition and sixth sense and messages like the one in story are those who are religious.

OTOH: There could be people who look like religious people, who preach religions but don't understand them or don't understand themselves. Only in that case I think religious people could be frustrated.
thedoc
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Posted 07/18/12 - 11:00 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:

Hey thedoc,
For sake of discussion we could refer to studies--if any.



Most of my 'Studies' are my own thoughts distilled from years of reading where the source has been forgotten but the concepts are retained.

My understand of the lead question of this thread was that "Could Religion bring happiness to a person?", and to that I would say 'No' in general, but there are certainly specific examles where this is possible. I would think that a persons predisposition would not be much altered by religion, a happy person will still be happy, and a sad person will still be sad, - in general.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/18/12 - 12:06 PM:

thedoc wrote:



Most of my 'Studies' are my own thoughts distilled from years of reading where the source has been forgotten but the concepts are retained.

My understand of the lead question of this thread was that "Could Religion bring happiness to a person?", and to that I would say 'No' in general, but there are certainly specific examles where this is possible. I would think that a persons predisposition would not be much altered by religion, a happy person will still be happy, and a sad person will still be sad, - in general.



There is something about serious, patient, up-front, honest, heartening, warm-hearted interlocutors, like you; which soothes the mind of other, serious, Socratic, interlocutors like me.nod

In other words, your conversations on this forum have been very serious{*except a few with an interlocutorlaughing }

But where is Henry these days?


And then Dharma said to Adharma: Don't marry Mrisha.
thedoc
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Posted 07/18/12 - 1:33 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:


There is something about serious, patient, up-front, honest, heartening, warm-hearted interlocutors, like you; which soothes the mind of other, serious, Socratic, interlocutors like me.nod

In other words, your conversations on this forum have been very serious{*except a few with an interlocutorlaughing }

But where is Henry these days?

And then Dharma said to Adharma: Don't marry Mrisha.



Most of my posts are serious efforts to state the truth as I know it, occasionally I will play 'Devils Advocate', and even when I attempt humor I try to include a bit of truth.

Henry has stated that he has other things to do. I am fortunate that while caring for my grandchildren I can be at my computer while they are in the room with me, however it is difficult when the 2 year old wants to sit on my lap. Try typing with a small child on your lap, playing the piano is even more difficult.

Edited by thedoc on 07/18/12 - 1:38 PM
Thinker13
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Posted 07/19/12 - 3:29 AM:

thedoc wrote:
Most of my posts are serious efforts to state the truth as I know it, occasionally I will play 'Devils Advocate', and even when I attempt humor I try to include a bit of truth.


I agree. I feel that we should state if we notice something good. It doesn't work with everyone, but, it's worse than saying bad things if you know good qualities of a person and don't appreciate them, in my humble opinion. smiling face

thedoc wrote:
Henry has stated that he has other things to do.


Very best wishes and good luck in all his endeavors. But would love to see him around. Monk2400 is already gone long it seems.

I am fortunate that while caring for my grandchildren I can be at my computer while they are in the room with me, however it is difficult when the 2 year old wants to sit on my lap. Try typing with a small child on your lap, playing the piano is even more difficult.

Playing piano is difficult anyway. Typing with a small child on your lap is difficult as well.
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