Monday, August 10, 2009
[maybe it’s not so bad]
I recently saw a study done by the Paris School of Economics which used survey data on 90,000 individuals in 26 European countries to examine the effect of religion on life satisfaction. The study found that religious behavior is positively correlated with individual life satisfaction. Additionally, the average religiosity in a region also has a positive impact: people are more satisfied in more religious regions. This spillover holds both for those who are religious and for those who are not. The flipside of the coin is that a greater proportion of "atheists" (those who say they do not currently belong to any religious denomination) has negative spillover effects, for the religious and atheists alike.
This spillover effect may help explain the unfortunate phenomenon of “Hasidic Rebels” - atheists who continue to pose as Orthodox Jews even after rejecting Jewish beliefs. Simply remaining in the Orthodox community adds to their overall satisfaction in life.
It makes one wonder what exactly militant atheists such as Richard Dawkins are trying to accomplish by advocating atheism. Do they own stock in the companies which manufacture anti-depressants? Or do they perhaps confuse “happy” with “high”, a common mistake today.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:02 AM