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Leigh, J. Spirituality, mindfulness , and substance abuse. Addictive behavior, 30, Marks, L. Religion and bio-psycho-social health: A review of and conceptual model. Journal of Religion and Health, 44, Marsden, P. Spirituality and clinical care in eating disorders : A qualitative study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 40, Masters, K. Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review.

Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, McClain, C. Effect of spiritual well-being on end-of-life despair in terminally ill cancer patients. The Lancet, , McCullough, M. Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Health Psychology 19, Michalak, L. Religion and alcohol in the U. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 87, Miller, L.

Beliefs and Definitions

Oman, D. Journal of American College Health, 56, Pardini, D. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 19, Plante, T. Faith and health: Psychological perspectives. New York: Guilford. Powell, L. American Psychologist, 58, Seeman, T. Shreve-Neiger, A. Religion and anxiety : A critical review of the literature.

Clinical Psychology Review, 24, Siegrist, M. Church attendance, denomination, and suicide ideology. Stewart, C. The influence of spirituality on substance abuse of college students. Journal of Drug Education , 31, Worthington, E. Empirical research on religion and psychotherapeutic processes and outcomes: A ten-year review and research prospectus. Psychological Bulletin, , You can live without the need of soul based religion and be ethical and moral. For those of us that do not believe in organized religion there are alternatives.

Naturalism is the understanding that there is a single, natural world as shown by science, and that we are completely included in it. I understand that the format of this medium necessitates brevity, but perhaps if the author is reading these comments he can provide some sources to back up the claim that religious people tend to behave more morally?

I ask because I don't think this is actually the case. Divorce rates amongst self-reported atheists are among the lowest in the US. Countries with predominantly atheist and agnostic populations have high levels of charitable giving. One could argue that religion actually hinders personal moral development because it deemphasizes free ethical reasoning in favor of adherence to revealed moral truths.

So, the emphasis is on being faithful, out of fear of judgement by a deity, instead of figuring out what you actually think is right and wrong. It's the difference between being a child and being an adult. I actually believe that he included spirituality in the article as well, not just a religious population not to say that the two are necessarily always separate from one another. Also, your claim "Divorce rates amongst self-reported atheists are among the lowest in the US.

You are implying that to stay married is to live an ethical life. Length of marriage is not necessarily indicative of satisfaction either. I would also add that a lot of people are making the assumption that people only choose to remain religious out of a fear that they will be punished. I don't know if there is research out there on this topic but, if there isn't, I wouldn't go saying that. It is highly offensive and this is coming from someone who doesn't identify with a religious group and could potentially be a broad generalization based on isolated cases.

In terms of discrimination, you also imply that being a child is a bad thing or that you are automatically ignorant. I think the argument could be made that children actually have a lot of spiritual truth inherent in them or rather a new approach to meaning making because they are not as socialized as adults. You'll find that these polls are taken from among convicts is done after sentencing, not prior to.

Prior to, most men and women state they have little or no belief in a god or gods. After sentencing, most will join a church or mosque because the members of that group will mind your back and keep you from rape or being killed. While you can be an atheist and still 'moral' and upright, modern atheism is now based on Marxism, which allows for anything and everything. As Nietzsche said, Atheists will destroy atheism--meaning Marxists excesses. Religion is a term that is normally used to designate particular ways that assumptions are organized into beliefs, behaviors, and liturgies- ways of expression about spiritual matters.

The question is of interest to the field of psychology because it raises questions about fundamental reasons for altruism and beneficence in cultural behavior. An observation is that the question is epistemological in nature and contain a question about how truth or right is known. A conclusion can be made that while religion is not necessary for men to act aright--morally, religion is a source of information about ethical--moral behaviors in relationships, which gives a perspective about what should be done. All truth is truth no matter where it comes from. The point may be better focused upon what is ethical--moral instead of a point of origin.

So a religious person is not inclined to read the bible and look at the verses that say kill people who work on the sabbath or fortune tellers? I guess you should define good religious people, as those who read only the good passages in their religious books. I can't image someone who is religious and adheres to their believes in their god and doesn't follow it's teachings, which in the case of both christianity and muslims can promote slavery and punishment, all the way to a living hell.

A religious person who reads the teachings of their religious book, and follow them, will in the case of both christianity and muslims learn to promote slavery and punishment, all the way to a living hell. Or maybe they will develop double personalities by reading "You should not kill", and then reading "Kill every women and children" on the next chapter. Many people such as myself may find a problem with religion being to involved with the moral's that will be practiced in society.

The problem with religion having a basis on morals and ethics is that it may only pertain to the morals and ethics of a catholic or protestant and which are different than that of a Jew or Muslim. But without the ethics and morals of religion our behavior would be much different. Possibly chaotic. I have to disagree with you. The terrible things done in the name of religion are the rule not the exception. All religions divide the world into two groups, the faithful and everyone else. History has shown that whenever a religion gets enough power tolerances of the others is the first thing that goes out the window.

I Was Raised Without Religion—And I'm Glad –

Anyone who is not of the faith is by definition to be either converted or destroyed. In addition to the claims not based on objective data, there are spelling mistakes. One example from the article: The word "behavior" is spelled as "behvaior" in the first paragraph of Plante's article.

Whenever a large group of people gather together, I'm sure the rate of something unethical increases. You are gathering a large group of humans who have varying beliefs, emotions, needs, and struggles. I don't think that it is fair to assume that religion is what has damaged the world.

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I don't think that the belief in God or a higher power has destroyed others, rather that people with their own personal agendas have simply used the name of God to justify such actions. If we are all going to critique so harshly we really need to critique ourselves. Everyone is making broad generalizations. This is coming from someone who doesn't identify with a religious group. Since personal agenda had very much pervaded the entire religions and religious activities e. Monotheistic religions do not encourage ethical behaviour, only pseudo-ethical behaviour. The agent acts in he interest of others.

Under a monotheistic system, ethical behaviour entitles the agent to a reward. Thus 'ethical' behaviour is in fact selfish. It's particularly disturbing to see a psychologist perpetuating the myths that are so common in our culture. The truth is that the overwhelming principle power that the three major monotheistic religions have is the power to divide us from each other-- not make us more moral-- and the evidence for this is overwhelming even on a cursory reading of the bible or Koran.

I think that this psychologist was summarizing research that suggested that religious people were happier, that is the only way I can account for what would otherwise just be a lie about the moral superiority of the religious as compared to the non-religious.

I Was Raised Without Religion—And I’m Glad

But the fact if true that religious people are happier than non-religious people is akin to saying the drunk people are happier than sober people-- both religious people and drunk people can AND DO a lot of harm to others. To start I have to call you out on an obvious fabrication. Thomas - you state: "Religious people tend to be better citizens by engaging in charity and volunteerism and not engaging in criminal and antisocial behavior that might harm others.

This statement has no basis in fact. You really should not publish such a slander. There was a recent study that suggested the religious give more to charity than atheists, but once adjusted for gender women give more than men there is almost no difference at all. There are also studies suggesting atheists have a lower divorce rate and commit less crime. If you are going to make this claim you should back it up with facts.

Please present this data as I would love to see it. Some people find great satisfaction with religion and with the social network of a church. I have no problem with this. Social networks are helpful to everyone.

Secular morality

I have a rich social network of clubs, family, friends, etc. No church needed. I raised two ethical and intelligent children without any religion. This is not as hard as some may think. Children naturally model their behavior after others. It is no surprise they are honest, kind, and hard working No magic and no speeches needed.

Teach appropriate behavior at the appropriate age. There are dozens of good books about raising children So, with a comment like, "Research has consistently found that religious people are less likely to engage in criminal behavior, marital infidelity, alcoholism, unprotected sexual activity as well as being more likely to engage in pro social behaviors such as volunteerism and charity. All I can say is Who's reports? I think someone should look into where you got a doctorate from.

I would note that this article is, in fact, bearing false witness against the irreligious. It's hate speech, pure and simple - spreading a lie with another group as the clear victim. This is as bogus as it gets. Contrary to the assertions of the author, there are many studies detailing the lack of any measurable moral differences between the religious and non-religious: try a search using Philip Zukerman as a key. He has several times summarized the lack of a religious moral advantage. What is my source for this claim? Oh, you know, studies. Studies done by people.

They're out there somewhere I'm sure. Plante: where are your sources? What studies?! Show us some proof to back up your libelous claims. Most people including moral philosophers would say no Here is where the author admits that his article is pure, evidence-free opinion; baseless assertion. He goes on to cite a couple of textbooks written by an obviously biased author Harold Koenig in a university position that is as dubious as that of the author of this article One is the diector of Spirituality [whatever that means] and Health at Santa Clara University, the other, Koenig, is the Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke university.

I think this article can be dismissed as a misinformed and misguided attempt to prop up team religion. When the author mentions:. It sounds as though he's happy with cherry-picking the few good bits in scripture readings How does he know they're good? Because we've advanced morally since the time such scriptures were written, largely due to secular ideas and a better understanding of the nature of humanity via the sciences and mistakenly suggesting that they encourage ethical behavior.

Insisting that nonbelievers be put to death - and actually following through with this at various points in history, and in much harsher language - but with the same general message presented by the author here, condemns nonbelievers as less moral:. Psalm "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.

The author of this article backs off a bit in terms of blanket condemnation, but the overall message is the same. The reality is that there have been studies that contradict the "research" the author cites; studies that don't paint believers in a pleasant light.

And some of the statistics he mentions have been contradicted in other studies as well. And these studies are based on self reports as well. We know from studies Christians lie about church attendance, so should we be surprised that they lie about their charitable donations as well? And the assertion that religion - without a doubt - contributes positively to mental and physical well-being is terribly shortsighted.

Science Says Religious People Live Better Lives

What about all of the people who are psychologically scarred for life due to religious teachings about HELL, so-called sexual purity, guilt, and fear, not to mention those who are physically abused because their holy books say that it's not only OK, but in fact the preferred method. And how about that cult leader Jesus telling his followers that they must hate their families to follow him.

Does anyone honestly consider this to be a moral point of view? If they do, I don't want to know such people.

Christianity Isn't Religeon, and God is the basis of Morals.

This article has been refuted right here on this very web site. I'd really like to see a reaction from the author about that. Greetings all. Boy, it looks like my little blog post caused quite a stir at least among those who offered comments here and a good deal of anger too So my question is, what's up with that? Why all the anger? Reasoned and thoughtful people can disagree about things but the anger speaks about something else.

For whatever it is worth, if you find yourself so angered and enraged by the blog post you might want to take a look at that. Some who made angry comments attack me personally. One even wondered what can you expect from someone who got a PhD from a religious college last I checked the University of Kansas was a secular school by the way. Another discredits other scholars who I mentioned working in this area such as Harold Koenig at Duke. If you don't like the message go after the messenger it appears.

Now, concerning some of the criticisms of the research results First, you can't cherry pick individual studies and reports. For some parents, religion helps facilitate this. But for mine, it was irrelevant — they knew that morality could exist with or without religion, and it was more important to let me find my own way than to chart the course for me. When I was 8 years old, a car crash happened right in front of my family as we were sitting at a red light. My father, without a second thought, put the van in park and leapt out into the intersection to help. He coached one of the victims through a panic attack.

And as bystanders saw what was happening, they, too, got out of their cars to help the victims. Does heaven mean enjoying the things you enjoyed when you were alive, such as your favourite foods? The more you think about heaven, the less attractive it might seem. Hell has been used by some religions as a threat, to try to make people obey religious teachings. We think that hell is a human invention, and not a good one. We think that casual sex can cause all sorts of problems, from unplanned pregnancies to sexually transmitted diseases and emotional hurt. It shows a lack of concern and respect for other people.

Sadly, we have one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the UK, due to ignorance and lack of education. Good sex education is a right for all our children. We oppose attempts by some religious organisations to prevent it. No, not really. We have to think about what we should do whenever we face a problem, and make our own decisions. The sooner that young people start learning to do this, the better.

Humanists can adapt to challenges with confidence. Humanists regard everyone else, whatever their race, sexual orientation, colour, ability or disability, as equal citizens of the world — no "them and us". The year 0 is the start of the Common Era CE. Hello You may have arrived here out of curiosity.


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Enough is enough, you might think — and so do we. You're not alone; there are millions of others like you. Alternatives to religion More and more people are now saying they don't identify with a religion. Some of those ways are explained here: Atheism If you're an atheist, it means you don't believe in any god. But calling yourself atheist doesn't say what you do believe in, only what you don't. Find out more Humanist groups in the UK. Some frequently asked questions We've put together some Humanist answers to common questions here - just click the question to view the answer.

What's wrong with being religious? So if you don't believe in God, what happens when you die? If you're atheist, isn't that just like being religious? You can't prove God doesn't exist I want to get married in a church or buried in a churchyard - so how can I do that if I'm not religious? Isn't Humanism a religion for atheists? Do you believe in euthanasia ending the life of a person to relieve pain and suffering? Do you agree with abortion?