A while ago, there was a study showing that the more religious one was, the more happy one was. Religiousity and happiness were proportional to each other. I was always skeptical of this claim because I thought the numbers were missing something. Well, this week someone found those missing numbers: the irreligious.
Apparently, these previous studies have never studied the atheists, agnostics, or people who aren’t religious to determine whether they’re happy or not. After taking this into consideration, the results are remarkable:
Galvanized by a desire to even the scales, these researchers have been organizing academic centers to study the irreligious, conducting major surveys, and comparing their findings. They’ve already found that convinced atheists appear just as well equipped to cope with hardship as convinced believers, and that some of the world’s healthiest societies have the lowest levels of piety.
That doesn’t surprise me. Seriously, atheists can cope with the world just as the religious can. But more than that:
More recently, Karen Hwang, a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, decided to examine atheists at risk for depression more closely. Hwang’s interviews with atheists suffering from spinal cord injuries revealed how becoming debilitated strengthened their convictions, and their convictions strengthened them. “It doesn’t matter so much what a person believes in,” she says, “but how consistent and cohesive their worldview is.”
Perhaps studying the non-religious folks would help get the studies accurate.