Monday, February 20, 2012

The Positives of Religion

Surprisingly about 10 days ago had a post entitled: 8 Ways Religion Impacts You Life. (Link.) It starts out at # 8 with

  • Helps You Resist Junk Food
then goes on to #7
  • ...But could make you fat.
It then can
  • Put a smile on your face
  • Raise your self-esteem if you live in the right place
  • Soothes anxiety
  • Protects against depressive symptoms
  • Motivates Doctor visits
and #1
  • Lowers Your Blood Pressure
The comments then go on to disagree, be surprised at the fact that a science site was posting this, commenting on how depressing and depressed many religious people are, etc. Atheists comment that they have positive self-esteem, etc. One particular comment noted that most of what these "positives" are is being part of a supportive social network or community. None of them sound like anything that "religion" has that you can't find elsewhere.

Naturally, a science site wouldn't be able to point to the non-scientific ideas, like connecting us with a "Higher Power", being part of something meaningful and hopeful, or motivating us to help others and give back to our communities and world. Those would be harder to prove scientifically, BUT, they could also accomplish the positive "symptoms" listed above.

Religion as such, I don't believe, gives us those things. Nor does being non-religious keep us from those things. We are talking deeper, more profound than junk food and healthy blood pressure. We're talking about living a meaning filled life.

That is hard to place on a scientific scale.

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