People with religious faith tend to be happier than those without?

Although I have deepest respect to Jonathan Haidt and his work, there is something that he claims I cannot quite figure out. How can something that brings guilt, terror, humiliation and fear of eternal punishment make someone feel happy? Not just happy, but happier then those without it? Haidt, being an atheist himself, doesn't explain the phenomenon, he just states this fact. The research he talks about in his book seems to be legitimate though
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/opinion/17kristof.html?em

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well, people on LSD are happier than people not on LSD I suppose...at least during the trip and if its a good trip. The important thing is not the emotional state, but whether the source is real and healthy for the long run. Religion is unhealthy for our species, an opiate that keeps us ignorant and unable to progress. So we need to have emotions based on reality so we can respond and act with intelligence, not blinded by the foggy haze of faith (even if it means being temporarily "happier")...
Makes you think about correlation between high number of people with alcohol addiction in Russia and the fact that religion has been suppressed there for a long time. One can substitute for another in some way.
explain Ireland then?
Since religion is their government, alcohol is their religion?
I posit that the economy of Russia rather than the suppression of religion under Communism is the reason for the high rate of alcoholism there. The Russian Orthodox Church has been able to come back quite successfully. Even Putin, who I would not doubt is atheist, played the religion card to maintain support.
You are right and wrong at the same time. Those bottles were sold in a foil tab, yes, but every household had a reusable tabs for these kind of bottles. In fact, for any kind of bottles. Not a single product I can recall, not just vodka, had a resealable cap on it. Production was really cheap. It wasn't meant to be drunk at once. Of course, there were and still are people who can do it, but most of the time it was either shared with a large company or resealed with a wooden cork
Putin goes to church every day and whips himself as a symbol of character and token to the suffering that Christ took for him
Hi - may I intercept as a Russian. Alcoholism has been a problem in Russia since the mid 19th Century. The idea that Russia was a Secular State was a myth propetuated by both the Americans and the USSR during the cold war. Remember that a vast majority of Russia is in Asia and the blend of Islamic Christianity you find there was in no way affected by the Soviet Union. The village farmers of Sibera and the Urals didn't suddenly go to the town meeting of their little villages and learn that the whole "Russia Orthodoxy" thing was a bit of a joke. There was never an exchange of church for state outside the media. This is far clearer today when churches in Vladivastok are producing icons of Stalin and Christian Fundamentalism is far more prevelant than in America. Remember, media bias. If it doesn't fit the narrative - it doesn't exist
Even in a village, kids had to go to soviet school, in which no one handled any icons to the students, where an idea of god was unacceptable and ridiculed. An exchange of church for state didn't happen overnight, but eventually it did take place. Kyrill, with all due respect, what is your evidence? Remember, we are not discussing Putin or current time (Russians did catch up with religion, that's for sure), but about soviet times. I'm talking about what I saw there, I'm old enough for that, where did you get your information?
I got my information from my parents and grandparents. Being told that your school ethos is anti-religious is no more likely to turn you to drink than if you were an atheist in a Catholic school in England.
Drinking aside, ask your parents if they managed to doubt atheism in an environment where everybody (including their friends) didn't. Remember, you are a child in that kind of environment and nor yet capable of independent thinking. No one gets to believe in god being raised like that. This is why I don't let my kids go to places of worship until they reach the age of reason. I might just send them to your camp though:)
Here, just explaining why majority of population really were atheists in USSR (the only thing they should have kept), not insisting on the relationship between atheism and alcoholism there.
Well I definitely agree to an extent. Loads of my mum's friends have suddenly come out as devout Christians in the past couple of years and my dad has become an assistant to a priest. And yeah it was a social taboo to be religious - you would have been ridiculed. But I still see it as one religion replacing another. How is Communist Russia any different from all the theocracies that (for all the things they do have wrong) don't have a drinking problem.

It depends on what dates you are talking about as well. I was a child brought up at the tail end of the USSR (it collapsed when I was four) yet I remained a Christian until the age of 15 or so. My dad has always held that there was conclusive evidence for Noah's ark and that fossils are a test of faith from God, and he always attributed various everyday occurances to "The Soul of Russia".

--Please do send your kids to Camp Quest! It will be awesome on every level! (Am trying to book some neuroscientists to come and talk to the campers atm ((on top of our special guests that is)))

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