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Does Religion Make One Happier?


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Author Topic: Does Religion Make One Happier?  (Read 594 times)
Dawn Moline
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« on: July 08, 2007, 06:06:49 pm »

A poll recently said that people who go to church each Sunday are happier than those who do not.

I have never wanted a religious text to tell me how I should arrange my relationship with God, what God wants, and what God does not.  Religions being the work of human beings, I cannot believe that they would know.  In my view they have all got it wrong, and all got parts right as well. 

For a person such as myself who has never accepted easy answers to often difficult questions, the results of this poll trouble me. 

Are people happier who go to church? 

And are we right to question a doctrine that apparently so many people have no trouble with?

Cheers,

Dawn
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"The unexamined life is one not worth leading."
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HereForNow
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HUH?


« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2007, 09:52:43 am »

From my understanding of it all.
I can't say what right and wrong is with the beleifs of others when it comes to God.
Nor can I tell you that I go to church, because I have never been in one.
I've noticed one thing over the years that was kind of interesting though.
Almost all the world religions have all told a very simuliar story with the difference of names of places and the people. What called my attention back to God was when I prayed and almost instantly he answered my questions and prayers in a way that I would understand.

My best advice is to just ask God in a silent prayer to give you understanding about those things you have questions about. Eventually, he will answer and you will know it when he does.
I used to struggle with alot of things I was reading in the bible, until I started to listen to the little voice inside of me that would try to steer me away from doing what I knew was wrong.
Curcumstance after listening were always very positive. As well as the times I didn't listen, I was then humbled rather quickly and learned from it.

The real church is not a building, or temple and faith isn't something your taught.
It's about what is really in your heart and soul. As long as you are willing to listen to what those things they are saying about everything, the real doctrine for this age can be revealed to you.
 Smiley

And this feeling has lead me to love God as he is to me, and not as everyone else has told me too.
 If you hear that call Dawn, listen with your heart no matter what you've been taught.
If you aren't sure whats it's trying to tell you, ask him again and he will enlighten you in a way that only you will understand. Love is calling you everyday and all that is required of us is to know, God in our hearts as that love. The origions of love is God...
You and I both are a part of a system that will try to steer us away from knowing his will.
Just look deeper into yourself for those answers you seek and if you know love, you have the ability to hear the reply.

Now you don't have to take my word for it or anything here, LOL.
However, I am only speaking from the heart on this.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 10:04:19 am by HereForNow » Report Spam   Logged

Aristotle
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 12:25:33 am »

Human beings tend to like simple answers to complex questions. Religion does tend to give people comfort, and there is no denying that people have that need. 

But it also dulls creative thought, prevents the indvidual from asking questions, and sets groups of people with differeing beliefs apart in an almost mob mentality.  If people truly need to go on a quest for God, I would suggest that the quest be a personal one, more along the lines of what Anassa and Rockessence have done, rather than engage in a course in Bible study, the majority of that material most likely meant to be metaphoric anyway.
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Volitzer
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 03:15:37 pm »

No it helps you deal with all the harshnesses of reality.

The happiness is totally subjective.
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HereForNow
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HUH?


« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 03:25:12 pm »

 Cheesy
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Sarah
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2007, 09:32:11 pm »

It depends on the religion.  At the risk of sounding prejudicial, I believe the ethics of Judaism and Christiainity (most of them), if followed, make one a better person.
Religious zealotry, of course, does not.  Too much of a good thing, and all that.

At the risk of offending the Mayan & Aztec scholars here, I believe an adherence to their beliefs made them worse people, though they were probably happy while they were doing all those human sacrifices, and so on, and so forth.

Sarah


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HereForNow
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 04:23:37 pm »

Sarah, long time no see. Glad to see you though.
In regaurds to the topic, belief of hope and life does make people happier.
Perhaps, a better question is; Does beleiving in the hebrew god of creation make people happier?
 Smiley

If prophecy still packs the same punch in Cause and effect, then my answer is, "For sure dude"....
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Sarah
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2007, 01:11:07 am »

Hello Herefornow,

Yes, it is good to see you again, too.  All we need now is to have Mark McCarron here to lecture us both on the feasibility of time travel and we'll feel right at home.

I wouldn't say that belief in the Hebrew G-d makes one happier.  It does tend to give one more discipline, though, as we know our G-d is likely to flood the whole world, thus eradicating all of humanity if we do something to displease him.

Sarah
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"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

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HereForNow
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2007, 10:35:27 pm »

Hello Herefornow,

Yes, it is good to see you again, too.  All we need now is to have Mark McCarron here to lecture us both on the feasibility of time travel and we'll feel right at home.  lol
I wouldn't say that belief in the Hebrew G-d makes one happier.  It does tend to give one more discipline, though, as we know our G-d is likely to flood the whole world, thus eradicating all of humanity if we do something to displease him. Which we do everyday.Sarah

Perhaps....
Then again the faithful will be compliant as was Job.
You know, even though God proved to Satan that Job would not curse him for the pain.
I still can't understand, how Job was still considered faithful when he still questioned God.
He asked, "Does this please you my God?" He didn't understand why he was punished. However, he accepted it as God's will, and prayed to be forgiven.
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2007, 03:06:23 pm »

The Urantia Book -- Part IV. The Life And Teachings Of Jesus
PAPER 148: Section 6.
The Misunderstanding Of Suffering -- Discourse On Job
------------------------------------------------------------------------



It was this same evening at Bethsaida that John also asked Jesus why so many apparently innocent people suffered from so many diseases and experienced so many afflictions. In answering John's questions, among many other things, the Master said:


"My son, you do not comprehend the meaning of adversity or the mission of suffering. Have you not read that masterpiece of Semitic literature -- the Scripture story of the afflictions of Job? Do you not recall how this wonderful parable begins with the recital of the material prosperity of the Lord's servant? You well remember that Job was blessed with children, wealth, dignity, position, health, and everything else which men value in this temporal life. According to the time-honored teachings of the children of Abraham such material prosperity was all-sufficient evidence of divine favor. But such material possessions and such temporal prosperity do not indicate God's favor. My Father in heaven loves the poor just as much as the rich; he is no respecter of persons.

"Although transgression of divine law is sooner or later followed by the harvest of punishment, while men certainly eventually do reap what they sow, still you should know that human suffering is not always a punishment for antecedent sin. Both Job and his friends failed to find the true answer for their perplexities. And with the light you now enjoy you would hardly assign to either Satan or God the parts they play in this unique parable. While Job did not, through suffering, find the resolution of his intellectual troubles or the solution of his philosophical difficulties, he did achieve great victories; even in the very face of the breakdown of his theological defenses he ascended to those spiritual heights where he could sincerely say, `I abhor myself'; then was there granted him the salvation of a vision of God. So even through misunderstood suffering, Job ascended to the superhuman plane of moral understanding and spiritual insight. When the suffering servant obtains a vision of God, there follows a soul peace which passes all human understanding.

"The first of Job's friends, Eliphaz, exhorted the sufferer to exhibit in his afflictions the same fortitude he had prescribed for others during the days of his prosperity. Said this false comforter: `Trust in your religion, Job; remember that it is the wicked and not the righteous who suffer. You must deserve this punishment, else you would not be afflicted. You well know that no man can be righteous in God's sight. You know that the wicked never really prosper. Anyway, man seems predestined to trouble, and perhaps the Lord is only chastising you for your own good.' No wonder poor Job failed to get much comfort from such an interpretation of the problem of human suffering.

"But the counsel of his second friend, Bildad, was even more depressing, notwithstanding its soundness from the standpoint of the then accepted theology. Said Bildad: `God cannot be unjust. Your children must have been sinners since they perished; you must be in error, else you would not be so afflicted. And if you are really righteous, God will certainly deliver you from your afflictions. You should learn from the history of God's dealings with man that the Almighty destroys only the wicked.'

"And then you remember how Job replied to his friends, saying: `I well know that God does not hear my cry for help. How can God be just and at the same time so utterly disregard my innocence? I am learning that I can get no satisfaction from appealing to the Almighty. Cannot you discern that God tolerates the persecution of the good by the wicked? And since man is so weak, what chance has he for consideration at the hands of an omnipotent God? God has made me as I am, and when he thus turns upon me, I am defenseless. And why did God ever create me just to suffer in this miserable fashion?'

"And who can challenge the attitude of Job in view of the counsel of his friends and the erroneous ideas of God which occupied his own mind? Do you not see that Job longed for a human God, that he hungered to commune with a divine Being who knows man's mortal estate and understands that the just must often suffer in innocence as a part of this first life of the long Paradise ascent? Wherefore has the Son of Man come forth from the Father to live such a life in the flesh that he will be able to comfort and succor all those who must henceforth be called upon to endure the afflictions of Job.

"Job's third friend, Zophar, then spoke still less comforting words when he said: `You are foolish to claim to be righteous, seeing that you are thus afflicted. But I admit that it is impossible to comprehend God's ways. Perhaps there is some hidden purpose in all your miseries.' And when Job had listened to all three of his friends, he appealed directly to God for help, pleading the fact that `man, born of woman, is few of days and full of trouble.'

"Then began the second session with his friends. Eliphaz grew more stern, accusing, and sarcastic. Bildad became indignant at Job's contempt for his friends. Zophar reiterated his melancholy advice. Job by this time had become disgusted with his friends and appealed again to God, and now he appealed to a just God against the God of injustice embodied in the philosophy of his friends and enshrined even in his own religious attitude. Next Job took refuge in the consolation of a future life in which the inequities of mortal existence may be more justly rectified. Failure to receive help from man drives Job to God. Then ensues the great struggle in his heart between faith and doubt. Finally, the human sufferer begins to see the light of life; his tortured soul ascends to new heights of hope and courage; he may suffer on and even die, but his enlightened soul now utters that cry of triumph, `My Vindicator lives!'

"Job was altogether right when he challenged the doctrine that God afflicts children in order to punish their parents. Job was ever ready to admit that God is righteous, but he longed for some soul-satisfying revelation of the personal character of the Eternal. And that is our mission on earth. No more shall suffering mortals be denied the comfort of knowing the love of God and understanding the mercy of the Father in heaven. While the speech of God spoken from the whirlwind was a majestic concept for the day of its utterance, you have already learned that the Father does not thus reveal himself, but rather that he speaks within the human heart as a still, small voice, saying, `This is the way; walk therein.' Do you not comprehend that God dwells within you, that he has become what you are that he may make you what he is!"

Then Jesus made this final statement: "The Father in heaven does not willingly afflict the children of men. Man suffers, first, from the accidents of time and the imperfections of the evil of an immature physical existence. Next, he suffers the inexorable consequences of sin -- the transgression of the laws of life and light. And finally, man reaps the harvest of his own iniquitous persistence in rebellion against the righteous rule of heaven on earth. But man's miseries are not a personal visitation of divine judgment. Man can, and will, do much to lessen his temporal sufferings. But once and for all be delivered from the superstition that God afflicts man at the behest of the evil one. Study the Book of Job just to discover how many wrong ideas of God even good men may honestly entertain; and then note how even the painfully afflicted Job found the God of comfort and salvation in spite of such erroneous teachings. At last his faith pierced the clouds of suffering to discern the light of life pouring forth from the Father as healing mercy and everlasting righteousness."

John pondered these sayings in his heart for many days. His entire afterlife was markedly changed as a result of this conversation with the Master in the garden, and he did much, in later times, to cause the other apostles to change their viewpoints regarding the source, nature, and purpose of commonplace human afflictions. But John never spoke of this conference until after the Master had departed.



http://urantiabook.org/newbook/ub/ppr148_6.html
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Aristotle
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2007, 01:18:23 am »

Religion, by the Judeo-Christian design seems to make one feel guilty and miserable. A certain amount of self-discipline should be taught, but I imagine that most can get that out of a good class in ethics.
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Tom Hebert
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2007, 05:49:26 am »

Hi Dawn,

I would say it's not religion that makes church-goers happy but rather faith.  Religion is just the outer trappings.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2007, 07:24:58 am »





DAWN'S QUESTION:



"A poll recently said that people who go to church each Sunday are happier than those who do not."


The key phrase here, it seems to me,  is GO TO CHURCH.  Yes, they are happier.  Most people

have a need to BELONG.  I believe that they call it FELLOWSHIP.


It has nothing to do with belief.




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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Dawn Moline
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2007, 03:25:51 pm »

Interesting idea, Bianca, and yet, I am not sure it fits for everyone. I tend to go to church one time a year - Easter.  I don't really feel like I belong to the congregation, certainly don't know anyone there, and yet, when I finish with the service, I do tend to feel a bit happy to have been there (though I don't have the urge to go again anytime soon).

For me, I think it simply takes me back to my childhood, where I was forced to go to church every Sunday, there really is nothing spiritual about it at all.

Cheers,

Dawn
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"The unexamined life is one not worth leading."
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Dawn Moline
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2007, 03:28:02 pm »

Hi Dawn,

I would say it's not religion that makes church-goers happy but rather faith.  Religion is just the outer trappings.


And yet, I know a lot of people who believe in God and yet are not happy, so it cannot just be faith, Tom.  Perhaps it is the regimen of going to church every Sunday (much like having a job) itself that tends to make one happy?
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"The unexamined life is one not worth leading."
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