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Thread: The scientific study of religion?

  1. #1 The scientific study of religion? 
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    I was going to post this in another thread, and could have been posted before in this sub forum, but meh.

    The link between religiosity and subjective well-being is modest, but a number of large-scale surveys suggest that people with heartfelt religious convictions are more likely to be happy than people who characterize themselves as nonreligious (Argyle, 1999; Myers, 2008). Researchers aren't sure how religious faith fosters happiness, but Myers (1992) offers some interesting conjectures. Among other things, he discusses how religion can give people a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives; help them accept their setbacks gracefully; connect to a caring supportive community; and comfort them by putting their ultimate mortality into perspective.

    I typed that from a text book. I was first looking for "prayer" in the index, but that wasn't listed.


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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Happiness may be over-rated.
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    I would rather have knowledge than happiness any day. Not to say a religious person cannot have knowledge, just that to me happiness isn't my highest priority.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
    - Yagyu Munenori

    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Happiness may be over-rated.
    'They say "laughter is the best medicine", that is why I try hard to make you all laugh at me!
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    It's easier to be unhappy than happy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I would rather have knowledge than happiness any day. Not to say a religious person cannot have knowledge, just that to me happiness isn't my highest priority.
    There is no end to this knowledge thing either. Try for a day to cover all the threads on this forum, make at least one post that has scientific insight., See if you can cover religion, politics , Ebola, motion, maths , genetics and forum politics everyday for a year. Knowledge gets tiring too.
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I would rather have knowledge than happiness any day. Not to say a religious person cannot have knowledge, just that to me happiness isn't my highest priority.
    There is no end to this knowledge thing either. Try for a day to cover all the threads on this forum, make at least one post that has scientific insight., See if you can cover religion, politics , Ebola, motion, maths , genetics and forum politics everyday for a year. Knowledge gets tiring too.
    Tiring maybe. However, as long as I have sought knowledge, I have never found myself bored by it. On the .org site there is a thread called would you rather, and I once asked or was asked (been a while) whether I would rather be ignorant and happy or have knowledge and lose that happiness because of it. I would choose the knowledge over the happiness. My desire to know outweighs my desire to be content.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
    - Yagyu Munenori

    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I would rather have knowledge than happiness any day. Not to say a religious person cannot have knowledge, just that to me happiness isn't my highest priority.
    There is no end to this knowledge thing either. Try for a day to cover all the threads on this forum, make at least one post that has scientific insight., See if you can cover religion, politics , Ebola, motion, maths , genetics and forum politics everyday for a year. Knowledge gets tiring too.
    Tiring maybe. However, as long as I have sought knowledge, I have never found myself bored by it. On the .org site there is a thread called would you rather, and I once asked or was asked (been a while) whether I would rather be ignorant and happy or have knowledge and lose that happiness because of it. I would choose the knowledge over the happiness. My desire to know outweighs my desire to be content.
    When I saw the effort that scientist go to understand the difference in the genetic makeup of humans versus chimpanzees I'd rather go for being content in my ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    When I saw the effort that scientist go to understand the difference in the genetic makeup of humans versus chimpanzees I'd rather go for being content in my ignorance.
    That is just sad. A complete waste of a life. An insult to humanity. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Tiring maybe. However, as long as I have sought knowledge, I have never found myself bored by it. On the .org site there is a thread called would you rather, and I once asked or was asked (been a while) whether I would rather be ignorant and happy or have knowledge and lose that happiness because of it. I would choose the knowledge over the happiness. My desire to know outweighs my desire to be content.
    Actual knowledge is not such a good thing as the ability and willingness to learn. Think about it : would you rather be a jaded repository of facts and arrangements of facts or an inquisitive mind at any stage of the learning process?

    A good side effect of this is that you are not a prisoner of your previous errors.

    A little knowledge may be dangerous thing but all "knowledge" is actually dangerous because it is only really applicable to the time it was learned.(I think that is compatible with the"Scientific Method" by the way)

    Well maybe I am dissing "knowledge" but I do prefer "learning" to "having learned."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    When I saw the effort that scientist go to understand the difference in the genetic makeup of humans versus chimpanzees I'd rather go for being content in my ignorance.
    That is just sad. A complete waste of a life. An insult to humanity. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    Thanks for the encouragement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Tiring maybe. However, as long as I have sought knowledge, I have never found myself bored by it. On the .org site there is a thread called would you rather, and I once asked or was asked (been a while) whether I would rather be ignorant and happy or have knowledge and lose that happiness because of it. I would choose the knowledge over the happiness. My desire to know outweighs my desire to be content.
    Actual knowledge is not such a good thing as the ability and willingness to learn. Think about it : would you rather be a jaded repository of facts and arrangements of facts or an inquisitive mind at any stage of the learning process?

    A good side effect of this is that you are not a prisoner of your previous errors.

    A little knowledge may be dangerous thing but all "knowledge" is actually dangerous because it is only really applicable to the time it was learned.(I think that is compatible with the"Scientific Method" by the way)

    Well maybe I am dissing "knowledge" but I do prefer "learning" to "having learned."
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
    We are always learning.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    When I saw the effort that scientist go to understand the difference in the genetic makeup of humans versus chimpanzees I'd rather go for being content in my ignorance.

    And so you shall!
    And what does the Lord require of you but to love justice, to be merciful and to walk humbly with Him?
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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    a number of large-scale surveys suggest that people with heartfelt religious convictions are more likely to be happy than people who characterize themselves as nonreligious
    Thats because ignorance is bliss
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenRatio View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    a number of large-scale surveys suggest that people with heartfelt religious convictions are more likely to be happy than people who characterize themselves as nonreligious
    Thats because ignorance is bliss
    Before hand I was concerned but I am now more content.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    ...a number of large-scale surveys suggest that people with heartfelt religious convictions are more likely to be happy than people who characterize themselves as nonreligious (Argyle, 1999; Myers, 2008).
    That is no more relevant than a drunk person being happier than a sober one.

    The only time when the faithful are truly happy is when the whole effing religious service is over. What seems to make people happy in my experience (and confirmed by research) is meeting up with something that turns out to be pleasantly unexpected, and that could be just about anything. You can improve your chances of it happening by getting out of doors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    That is no more relevant than a drunk person being happier than a sober one.

    Jesus turns water into wine.

    I invite him to all my parties!
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    That is no more relevant than a drunk person being happier than a sober one.

    Jesus turns water into wine.

    I invite him to all my parties!
    Get him a job as a bartender, perhaps? Certainly the management's profit be improved.

    More seriously in this discussion:

    "I would rather have knowledge than happiness any day. Not to say a religious person cannot have knowledge, just that to me happiness isn't my highest priority."

    Charles de Gaulle was once asked 'You never smile. Don't you want to be happy?' to which he replied indignantly 'What do you think I am, an idiot?'

    Mental pleasures are complex but apparently for most practitioners a dour and perhaps secret form of happiness. As the classic commentary Why Are Nerds Unpopular states, smart people decide they want to become smart more than anything else, including being popular. And you can not serve two masters at the same time, Paul Graham concludes.

    Religion stunts intellectual growth, AFAIK. They can be intelligent, but go less a distance than they could have. It is a form of very strong mind control, useful to society in quite a few essential ways according to Michael Shermer's article on the subject. These are aspects which my experience in life confirms. So, apparently it makes people happy (and is essential to society and many people's survival rate emotionally when in danger of becoming unglued, upset, or -- surprisingly -- divorced). So does reality TV to many others make people happy, so is irrelevant to my daily habits and personal tastes. I respect religion, at as great a distance as is possible.
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