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Monday, December 26, 2011

WHY ARE PEOPLE SO RELIGIOUS?

I've long felt that the greatest immorality of religion, at least the christian versions, is that they promise something, like an afterlife, without any proof or credibility.  Why people even believe this stuff inspired me to write a chapter on this subject in my book two, SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  Only yesterday I linked my blog to the:


which was a tongue in cheek treatment of the subject.  

However, to quote from Rheophilia:

It's very simple: Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that people who are religious live longer, healthier, and happier lives. They are more successful financially; their marriages are better and more nurturing; they are more optimistic, less stressed out, and more satisfied with the direction of their lives. Moreover, religious people experience what they consider miracles. What's not to want for yourself?

While the best as I can determine is that a rheophile is an animal that prefers to live in fast moving water, I guess that term above is just a whimsical blog name.  I picked that explanation because it best captures what is good about religion.  Certainly makes a good case if true, and, in fact, my book does suggest that much of this is, actually, scientifically sound.

The December issue of Scientific American, no less than by Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, includes a column entitled, Sacred Salubriousness, provided some additional details supporting this contention.  Quoted is Roy Baumeister, co-author with John Tierney, of a new book, Willpower, where indicated is the act of self-control underlying the behavioral mechanism that produces all this goodness.  My HuffPo on The Stanford Marshmallow Test reported that delayed gratification was the key to success, at least for academic achievement.  No doubt, this same character trait would lead to living a healthier lifestyle and thus a longer life, plus general prosperity and happiness.

And what offers the ultimate delayed gratification?  Such as an afterlife?  Religion!  As have various surveys, the CIA Factbook indicates that around 90% of the world population have a religion.  Amen.

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