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Why religion breeds happiness: Friends
December 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Why religion breeds happiness: Friends

As important as your religious beliefs may be to you, they don't necessarily make you happier, a new study in the American Sociological Review finds. What does make you more satisfied with your life, the study finds, is having friends at your congregation and a strong religious identity.

"Those are the people who give you the sense of belonging," said lead study author Chaeyoon Lim, of the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Lim conducted the study with Robert Putnam, author of "Bowling Alone" and "American Grace."

Many other studies have argued that the happiness gleaned from being religious is about spirituality and theology - for example, your belief in a higher power and your engagement in the rituals of your tradition. But in this study, factors such as prayer, holding religious services at home, and strength of faith do not appear to be related to life satisfaction.

Lim and Putnam looked at a nationally representative sample of almost 2,000 people in the United States. The majority of the participants in the study were Protestant and Catholic; Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians were a smaller portion.

They conducted interviews with the same participants twice: Once in 2006 and once in 2007. Those who gained friends in their congregations during the course of the year also reported a greater sense of life satisfaction. This was also true for those who said they were attending their place of worship more in 2007.

But people who go to a place of worship and have few close friends there are not any happier than people who never go to services, the study authors found.

Religious identity is also important, Lim said. People who say that religion is a very important part of self identity tend to be happier. And that also goes back to the friendship issue: It’s not simply the presence of friendship, but also the fact that you share this sense of religious identity with this particular social network, that makes you more satisfied with life, Lim said.

Friendship in congregation also appears to make people volunteer more, even outside of the religious setting, and donate more often to both religious and nonreligious causes, Lim and Putnam found.

Still, it is worth examining in the future why this study did not find the same link between happiness and spirituality that others did, the authors say. This may have to do with how different aspects of religion are measured. For example, those who reported that they "feel God's love" seemed to have more life satisfaction than those who did not, but this did not apply for similar questions about belief in God. Also, it is impossible to draw conclusions about whether "feeling God's love" causes happiness or vice versa.

Could other networks of people have the same effect on happiness? The authors say that if this is possible, it's hard to think of a non-religious context with a similar strength of identity, intensity of participation in ritual, and great scale and scope of the people in it.


soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. Debbie

    So does not having a religion and just being a good person.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbo

      "So does not having a religion and just being a good person."

      Agreed 100%

      December 7, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  2. FREDDIE FOX

    Faith brings peace and peace brings joy. Know God via a humble heart and a contrite spirit. You are going to have a lot less time here than you will have in eternity, pray for understanding and grace.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      Careful for expressing your faith. The atheist trolls will lynch you ;-). Probably best to pass yourself off as a Muslim or Buddhist or some other Western minority religion. They tend to be liberal pet causes du jour.

      December 7, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      So, your base assumption is that faith in a god or gods, is the ONLY thing that can bring peace and joy? Or is that just your method?

      December 7, 2010 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
    • AstraNavigo

      Dave - a person who only rejects one religion isn't an atheist – they're a bigot.

      (In my case, I reject all religions, because they're both delusional and dangerous, among other reasons.)

      December 7, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
  3. HowAbout

    we drop it since the authors are almost guaranteed to not allow for certain links between factors that the (non)relgious folks would almost always consider. I.E. They said those who reported having more friends also reported attending services more. Well, maybe that's because their religion preaches "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves", which means the more your with someone, the more your likely to get to know and befriend.

    Unless each condition was controled (number of services, period of time, format, topics), then this survey is kind of moot.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bob Rock

    I think people would be a lot happier if they didn't delude themselves with religion and their cult friends.

    To be a happy idiot is still an idiot. To be happy because one associates themselves with similarly deluded idiots is pathetic.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol

      Your ignorance is showing.

      December 7, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ithinkwecallthat

      ...unity. What's pathetic is your idea of what peopel can and cannot unify under–thanks for the opinion, Hitler.

      December 7, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  5. Breanna

    Because it's a crutch to lean on and get through your day with just like any other vice. It doesn't take a full-length article to figure that out. lol Christians even admit they rely on god to help them with their problems. That's the definition of a vice.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evan

      It's only a vice if it cuases harm.

      As a result of their religions many people do charity work, adopt, volunteer etc. If that's a vice to you... then you may just be one of the "unhappy" unreligious people this article refers to.

      December 7, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
    • branch15

      I broke my leg and the crutches that i used allowed me to heal properly. That is the definition of "crutches".

      December 7, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Breanna,

      I wouldn't say it is a vice or a crutch. But I do find God to be my rock...or inspiration if you want to use that word. But to you it would be a crutch. That's okay, you can call it what you want. Half empty / half full. I view it in a positive way. You could look at numerous things this way.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  6. dblzap

    While people respect the government, they fear god

    Religion is a dangerous tool used by people (and governments) to get followers (sheep) to do their bidding

    December 7, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Unfair

      treatement, since you only seem to know about Xianity analogies. Biased and ignorant is your comment, much learning you have.

      December 7, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  7. Evan

    The most brilliant professor I ever had was Roman Catholic. He was a biology professor, had been a practicing Doctor when he was younger, and he managed to combine his firm knowlwedge and understing of science with his faith.

    People who associate with religion are NOT stupid.

    December 7, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbo

      ""Roman Catholic" can be such an elusive term these days. American Roman Catholics tend to be far more liberal in their thinking than fundamentalist Roman Catholics. In the US, some 71% of Roman Catholics polled said that they thought that abortion should remain legal in the first trimester, while only 10% of Roman Catholics in Italy agreed. Of course, we all know the church's view. Science isn't necessarily at odds with religion, but sometimes is can be.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • AstraNavigo

      No.

      But they're a rarity.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Q

      Correct, they are not stupid, but they do compartmentalize and suspend their standards for evidence when engaging religious belief.

      December 9, 2010 at 01:06 | Report abuse |
  8. ChristoInferno

    I'm an atheist who is also very happy, so I don't think religion is the only answer. In my case, I think it has to do with having a loving wife, good friends who I can rely on in tough times, and a fulfilling nonprofit job that helps others. But if someone's religion is what makes the difference in their lives, more power to them.

    Religion or no, I'd wager that most human atrocities are not committed by happy people. So wherever you get it from, I say keep doing it!

    December 7, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • branch15

      My God is present in you Chris. I suspect that you will meet him one day and he will give you a "job well done". Living the values is more important than beating the drum.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • Jimbo

      Agreed. Truly unhappy people are going to be no more or less happy with or without religion if the core problems and issues that make them unhappy still exist.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
    • @branch15

      I'm sure you skipped the part where jesus said to those who claimed to do good things, depart from me. Whether or not you believe in him, and or do good things.. there seems to be other requirements.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • @@branch15

      I don't judge Chris. I have no reason but to take him for his word. Do you?

      December 7, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • :)

      Placing Chris in heaven is an act of judgment. That's not reserved for you.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
    • **

      Oh, now the judgment is on me. I also suspect you are a bit holier than thou? How do you know how complicated it is to get in? Why don't you preach how complex it is to have faith and fortify all of the naysayers in the forum. I have a tendency to believe that God will do the work for those with good hearts. Smart folks don't respond well to fear mongering. I get your point though.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
  9. Roger

    Religion didn't make me happy. In fact it (Christianity) almost killed me.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jesuguru

      If it almost killed you, then it certainly wasn't true, New Testament Christianity.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
    • @Jesu...

      New Testament Christianity boasts on dieing daily. Maybe he just couldn't cut himself just one more time...

      December 7, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • AstraNavigo

      Amen.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  10. Adabro

    God is nothing but a delusion. THAT GOES FOR THE THOUSANDS OF GODS HUMANS HAVE WORSHIPPED!! As for Christians, you think a book written by drunken desert nomads holds the truths of the universe? DELUSIONAL!! Do you really believe the earth is 6,000 years old and talking snakes exist? DELUSIONAL!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • @Adabro

      You really believe you came from a primordial bowl of soup? DELUSIONAL!! You really believe one really hot atom could have created that boiling bowl of gunk? DELUSIONAL!!

      December 7, 2010 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
    • Evan

      And you clerarly have no cared enough to educate yourself about the religion you like to slander. The Catholic Church acknowledges the fact that the stories in the Bible are more than likely not true, but that they are to be used as a way of teaching.

      Nobody is delusional.. only a very small minority of Christians take the Bible literally.

      Lay off the hate.. it's Christmas time.. oh wait.....

      December 7, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @ Evan

      "it's Christmas time...oh wait..." <~~~ nice.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:11 | Report abuse |
    • AstraNavigo

      I suppose the logic is thus: 'God' is the ultimate Imaginary Friend. Why not have meet some of the flesh-and-blood variety who share the same delusion?

      December 7, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • gsk

      @Adabro, that's a lot more plausible then a magical sky daddy...

      December 7, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Adabro

      So you think that some extraterrestial being formed everything? That makes WAY more sense!!! It is called science, has way better explanations for the creation of the universe than your religion.

      And Evan: What can a primative culture teach you about the world and how to live? The Bible is not a moral tool, filled with genocide, hatred towards women, and it condones slavery. Great teaching tool Evan. I will be sure to give it to all my young relatives this Christmas. Oh, do you believe Jesus was born on December 25th?

      December 7, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  11. George

    Funny...the most miserable times in my life were when my mom forced me to go to church. Even now when I go to a wedding I am miserable at church. Religious people are so fake. It always seem like they are trying extra hard to be nice. I am so happy that I don't to force my kids to go to church.

    Religion just feels so wrong! So unnatural.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      Being nice makes me feel good.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • George

      Having said that...whatever makes you happy is good. So long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else's happiness.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • **

      Mommy issues huh? I had them too.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • George

      **

      No...what you have is Moron issues.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • **

      i take that as a big "yes"!

      December 7, 2010 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  12. Rachel

    I am a Roman Catholic, that said I'm what people refer to as Cafeteria Catholic. I base my relationship with God, and the way I behave on Earth on my faith. The church is just a community I identify with.

    I believe if you live a good life, whether you believe or not, there is a place for you in Heaven. In fact I think you have to try pretty hard to secure a place in Hell. Of course what do I know.. the secrets of the universe haven't been revealed to my simple mind like they have to some of the genius naysayers on here...

    December 7, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      Scientifically speaking where are hell and heaven?
      That's what I thought...you can't explain it.
      Think logically and with an open mind...does hell and heaven really make sense?
      I mean is there a half goat devil with horns waiting to torture you with fire for eternity? Come on!
      Magic doesn't exist. Nothing happens with a wave of a wand...that only happens in Harry Potter.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      Please answer this simple question: "Where was your wonderful god at Auschwitz?" sanjosemike

      December 7, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • George

      She's Christian not Jewish.
      Her God was on Hitler's side.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • branch15

      san jose – God was grieving just like any sensible human would be. Wouldn't you be sad if your child was killing innocent people?

      December 7, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @ George

      Ouch...common man. Bad people use whatever means they can to sway / persuade / dupe people into doing what they want. Religion is just one of the convenient means. From your posts, it appears that your not a very spirtual / faithful / religious / whatever word you want person. But it is pretty offensive to me that you would say that God was on Hitler's side.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      branch15 said: "san jose – God was grieving just like any sensible human would be. Wouldn't you be sad if your child was killing innocent people?"

      sanjosemike responds: Sorry, that's a lame excuse. Your god had the power to "stop" this, but didn't. Either your god was dead or never was. You can't have it both ways.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      @George you accuse ME of being close minded while you sit there and tell me there is no possible way that I'm right. Last I checked there is neither proof that Heaven and Hell exist, nor that it doesn't.

      Also, I never claimed to know "where" heaven and hell is.. simply that I believe in it.. and even though I don't think people like you really deserve to go, God will let you into Heaven because he is better than me.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @ Sanjosemike

      Having the power to stop something and at the same time violating the free will given to us all. God unlike government, does not draw arbitrary lines that are constantly changing. Free will for every person, right down to the last person.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Rachel, there's a lot of implied abuse in 'believing something that you don't know is true'. Is it OK to stop gays from being happy in marriage? Is it OK to keep people from using condoms that stop disease?

      If someone sincerely believed you would be better off dead, even though they didn't know that, would that make it OK for them to believe that?

      You need to take responsibility for your actions. If you base your actions on 'beliefs' and damage people how would you make it up to them?

      December 7, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
  13. gsk

    Believing in fairies makes us happy, that's obvious...

    December 7, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. AstraNavigo

    Why not?

    'God' is the ultimate Imaginary Friend. Why not meet some of the flesh-and-blood variety who share the same delusion?

    December 7, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. sanjosemike

    Happiness is considered the "ultimate goal." Perhaps it should not be. Beethoven was clearly unhappy, but bequeathed the World with incredible master-pieces of music, never the equal before or after.

    I'm not saying the "everyone" is Beethoven, clearly not. But there is such a thing as viewing life through a lens of reality, and not giving up your reason to a church and imaginary beings. The down side is that once you are dead, you're dead.

    Recognizing that there is no god takes some courage. The down side is that when it's over, it's over. But this is also part of being a mature adult. sanjosemike

    December 7, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alicia

      Oh ok I'll take your word for it.

      Moron.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      Alicia said: "Oh ok I'll take your word for it. Morno"

      Alicia, why should I take YOUR word that there is a god? BTW, I don't care if you believe in a god or not, but I wish YOUR co-religionists paid THEIR fair share of taxes. Now THAT would be an improvement. Also, I am not a moron, nor do I believe that you are...sanjosemike

      December 7, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • George

      sanjosemike

      As far as Beethoven that is clearly a matter of opinion.

      I think Vivaldi's work is much better and I won't hold against him that he was a priest.

      But you are right on religion.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
    • branch15

      Huh? "The downside is when your dead you are dead?" What if the downside is that you don't make the rules? What if what happens when life on earth is over is really not up to you? Just sayin'....

      December 7, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      George said: "As far as Beethoven that is clearly a matter of opinion. think Vivaldi's work is much better and I won't hold against him that he was a priest. But you are right on religion."

      sanjosemike responds: While I do like Vivaldi's music, I can't get past the thought that he wrote the same concerto 3 thousand times. But who am I to criticize, I couldn't do even one.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      branch15 said: "Huh? "The downside is when your dead you are dead?" What if the downside is that you don't make the rules? What if what happens when life on earth is over is really not up to you? Just sayin'...."

      sanjosemike responds: I'm not sure what you mean, but I'm sure it's clear to you. I don't expect to make any rules. The universe is what it is. I am fortunate to have a small amount of countrol over my life, which is more than most have. After it's over, it's over. I don't mourn that fact any more than I "mourn" what it was like before I existed. Consciousness has certain requirements in order to exist. I don't want to go over them now, but without them...there is NO consciousness.

      Those attributes will cease to exist after my corpus is dead, as will my consciousness. sanjosemike

      December 7, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  16. ronnnc

    Hmmm. Most of the religious people I know are tortured, insecure, and unloving. I long ago decided that there was a correlation there. Have I just hit a bad subset of people, or is this article a pile of, uh, wishful thinking?

    December 7, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbo

      Perhaps a bit of both. 😀

      December 7, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
  17. Jason

    A good dose of brainwashing and ignorance keeps everyone happy.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Anthony

    Religion doesnt make you happy, a personal relationship with your higher power does. I know alot of religious people who still dont know who God is.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      And I don't know anyone who can define the word god, let alone have a clue who God is.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  19. Jimmy

    Religion (and the psychological shortcomings that precipitate it) are the biggest obstacles our species face in our quest for happiness. We should instead embrace ideas and organizations that have an evidential basis in fact. The utter arrogance of religion is absolutely astounding to me. We live in a universe where every single thing ends. Planets end. Stars end. Perhaps time itself ends. But not people, right? We are the only clumps of matter in this universe that literally last for eternity, right? Out of all the things that could be considered important in this universe, we are at the top of the list, right? It would definitely be unfair if, after we struggle through a lifetime of trials, our conciousness simply ends, thereby effectively rendering our lives valueless. But if you're religious you don't have to worry about that. Apparently these people haven't been paying attention to one of the most important lessons being taught by our universe: FAIRNESS DOESN'T EXIST.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MB

      Until you have proof that when objects leave this plane of existence that they cease to be altogether, only then can you make that claim.

      Science claims many dimensions, other universes, and possible alternate realities may exist. Unless you are able to observe every possible possible outcome, you cannot claim something as 100% true.

      Current science can only prove that physical things can be built and destroyed in our own three dimensional plane under the influence of time. Higher dimensions don't have the same limitations.

      Also, as current estimates for the probability of spontaneous life coming from inorganic compounds, leading to the biological diversity our world has, continue to get smaller and smaller, the possibility of some outside force becomes larger. While this is just probability and certainly because there *is* a possibility of spontaneous life, it does not prove that there was no outside influence, just that the course of evolution would have been much more likely if there was.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • Q

      The probability of abiogenesis based on more and more data supporting viable pathways is most certainly not decreasing. Still, absence of evidence for either possibility is not evidence in support of the other. But again, there is physical evidence supporting abiogenesis. There remains no physical evidence supporting an "outside" cause.

      December 9, 2010 at 01:13 | Report abuse |
  20. AstraNavigo

    "We are bound to respect a man's religion in the same vein as we are expected to believe his wife his beautiful and his children are smart.""

    - H.L. Mencken

    December 7, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. mmmmmmmm

    Why is it that everybody has to act like they know exactly everything? The truth about why religion makes people happier is truthfully that it keeps them out of the reality and truth of what is our place in the universe. In reality we are on a piece of dirt 7900 miles wide and we are in the milky way galaxy which is hurtling thru space at over a million miles per hour. It's true, google it. The reality is that if we live long enough we get to put up with seeing relatives, pets die, cancer, and tons of other terrible horrors that are realistically part of the human condition. Religion tells us that we will go to heaven when we die and be with everyone that has been good enough to get there and live happily ever after. It keeps the human mind out of reality and truth but if that's what it takes to live happily then that's fine. Good luck with that.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Jessica Alvarez

    I just have a question. It's totally fine if you don't believe in a higher power, but if there is a "God", and there is a Heaven that really is all it's cracked up to be, wouldn't you want to go there when you die?

    And if not, well, then we'll be none the wiser right?

    December 7, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      Not if I still have to pay the church 10% of my earnings.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I would not want to go there, because I assume it's full of religious people. I don't like being around them here on Earth. Why would I want to spend an eternity with them?

      December 7, 2010 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • Catherine

      Talk is cheap.

      When faced with an eternity of suffering I doubt you'd care who was in Heaven.

      December 7, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • **

      Hey George – ever figured out what professed atheism costs you annually in a predominantly Christian society?

      December 7, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
    • **

      Hey Tom – I bet you are a joy to be around! Hope you find peace.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I have many friends, am active in the community, help care for my elderly father, college educated, professionally certified. I do have one religious friend, but he doesn't talk about his beliefs in front of me. I am quite serious.....so why don't you answer it for me? Why would I want to spend ETERNITY with people I don't like being around even for a little while here on Earth? And no dogs? And my atheist, Hindu, Pagan friends can't get in? Sounds like a country club that I would NEVER join! I have all ready found peace.... I hope in the future that you do as well.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Everything I've heard about heaven is contradictory, same as everything I've heard about 'what god wants'. I find insane places and people very disturbing and frankly, it sounds as hellish as the definitions of hell.

      Doesn't the total lack of hard data tell you anything?

      December 7, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • Q

      But what if you pick the wrong "God"?

      December 9, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
  23. Jeremy

    In my direct experience, churchgoers act like "friends" only so long as you are performing up to their expectations. Also in my experience, they are likely to be outraged if their own limitations and faults are revealed. That warm fuzzy feeling of belonging they are purported to be feeling by being a part of an organization is really more of a mob mentality, which they turn into aggression, sometimes violent aggression, often at the least provocation and too often against others who mean them no harm, but whose very differences are (intentionally) misinterpreted as a threat. Sorry, but the simple truth of human nature is that we feel more powerful when we have enemies at which we can collectively hurl our hate, and organized religion is a too, too effective means of providing a hateful collective.

    Thus, I trust I am forgiven for chuckling at this notion of happy, warm and fuzzy congregations dotting the landscape like an Easter Day ideal. To me, being at church has never been less than a hair raising experience.

    The only warm fuzzy that comes from religion for me, is the buzz I get in my head from contemplating the mysteries of the Universe. And I'm happy enough enjoying that on my own, or with a single close and accepting companion.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sanjosemike

      Well said Jeremy. I couldn't have said it better myself, and didn't. I'm glad I read your post. sanjosemike

      December 7, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Jimi

      That's why you can't put your faith in religion and man. They will fail you everytime. The pharasies were religious men but they missed the big picture also. Most people will never understand until they have a sincere personal relationship with Jesus Christ who layed down his own life so that we could experience peace, love, joy not only in this world but the one to come. Yes there will be trial s and tribulations in this world because of the evil that is present in this world, but knowing the Truth of why Jesus came and did what he did and believing in his promises of eternal lilfe will set you free from the strong holds of this world. God Bless.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  24. Ron

    Religion also breeds millionaire TV Evangelists.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fr. Murphy

      Religion must have some awfully bad genes! Goodstuff above has religion breeding child-molesting priests and you've observed religion breeding millionaire evanglists. Suffer us to endure what 's the next generation of offspring to bring.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  25. DandyStryker

    If religion really makes people so happy I think our religious friends would be happy just being happy, instead of trying so very, very hard to convince us they're so happy.

    In other words, I think they protest about their happiness too much.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimi

      We are telling you these things to let you know there is true happiness with knowing God and not the artificial temporal happiness that the world offers. No one can force anyone to believe anything. Even God won't force you because of free will. God wants you to love him for who he is, not what people say he is. It's not about religion it about a personal relationship. God does not send people to Hell, they do it all on their own by making the wrong choices.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
  26. crazy

    I think the girl in the middle is very nice looking. What church does she go to?

    December 7, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. nailed

    you can't gain an edge....when it comes to getting into heaven......believe, or don't believe.......be good or bad........won't matter.......god the father will leave on one behind.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sanjosemike

      nailed said: "...........god the father will leave on one behind...."

      Sanjosemike responds: Your post makes absolutely no sense. Are you coming back from one of your "church" experiences? The ones that leave you numb to posting intelligently? Did your recent church experience toast your braiin like marijuana?

      December 7, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • nailed

      "no one".......god must have switched the letters on me......and don't be so mean banjomike......

      December 7, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      All he's saying is even a rotten schmuck like you will be welcomed into Heaven because despite what you think you know, and despite how you treat others you disagree with.. God still loves you.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      not according to Christianity and it's bible, but perhaps you aren't a christian.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Actually yes Kate. Anyone can get into heaven. There isn't a really long checklist of awesome deeds. If your a Christian, it's one act that gets you there.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Sorry honey, as long as you stay an atheist, according to your bible you don't get to get into your heaven. It's that one act, the one of lying to yourself that is necessary.

      Unfortunately, I am innately incapable of lying to myself. Too bad, I won't get to experience the insanity of your idea of heaven. 😦

      December 7, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      Greg, if I'm reading between the lines properly, you refer to the BELIEF that Jesus Christ... Is the son of God? Or was it that JC died for our sins? I've confused myself by how much I've read, but my point is that it would be a belief one requires, not an action.

      Also, I believe Kate meant that God does not love everyone. Based on signs I've seen Baptists toting soon after 9/11, there are plenty of pious believers who agree with Kate. However, you have me curious: If that one belief if that Jesus is the son of God, then does that mean a man who believes that, denounces every other aspect of that religion, and hurts many people without helping any... would go to heaven? Or just that he automatically gets a chance? I think I dislike that either way. I love the idea that I have a soul that will be reward/punished appropriately according to my actions and intentions thoughtout my mortal life. Truthfully, I think I'm rather ahead of the curve, but I'm not sure I can accept that as golden as I may or can be, it all gets voided by default because I refuse to accept a rumor. Like I posted further down this comment section, it's a significant challenge being right, and that's because proof is extremely rare. Until proven, I have no conviction towards Jesus's true father beyond having heard what I've been told.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @ Grammer

      When I said action, I was referring to the belief that Jesus is God and that he sacrificed himself for our sins. So, maybe not one belief, but it's usually if you believe the first you tend to believe the second. What you brought up is a really good question that I don't have a great answer for. I do think that what I said above is all that it takes to get to heaven, but I also think that if you honestly accept and believe that, you have a really really really hard time not seeking out the fruits of The Spirit such as honest, forgiveness, love, etc... (there are more, 14 total I think).

      That tends to be a barrier to Christianity. It's hard to only look at one piece, cause you can usually tear it down. But when taken as a whole it makes a lot of sense.

      And I don't care what some sign a person is carrying says. Well I do cause it gives nice Christians a bad name and image, but God loves everyone. No matter what they do. He may not support the actions / decisions they make, but if they turn to him, he will be there with open arms and a smile.

      December 8, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      It's always amusing to see believers stuff their God's mouth with their own words. It's not very modest of you to instruct others of your God's intent, that's his job, not yours. You have no idea what he wants or will do or why and it's lying to say otherwise.

      December 8, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  28. Cara

    I have asked myself many many times if I really believe in God, wondered if I could just let it go and live my life without Him, but as in the article.. something in me just FEELS Him with me and I can't let that go.

    I'll never be able to explain it to people who don't feel the same, but don't you dare tell me I'm wrong, and that I'm stupid.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sanjosemike

      No Cara, you are not "stupid." Some people seem to have a need to have life be "simple." I wish that were really possible, but the reality is that it is not. Your god was blind at Auschwitz. I know it's tough to explain, but like I said, life isn't simple, even if you want it so. sanjosemike

      December 7, 2010 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey

      Clearly you are not as atheist as you think if you blame God for what happened during the Holocaust.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      Then, I warn you: There is much stupidity in self-conflict. Judging by how you presented your perspective, it seems you feel pressured to convince others of the validity of what you feel, with a slight hint of self-doubt.

      You know how you feel, Cara. Just say it as simply as it is, those who chose not to believe you have their own discrepencies. Not that everyone is like me, but no matter how you stated it, I'll just read what you say and accept that you said such as you felt. I sure can't decide how you feel, so I sure can't say that's not how you feel.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  29. Donovan

    I have faith that America is resilient. I do not base my ideas, curiosity and questions regarding the human history and origins on faith however. That idea is a lie, to have broad "faith" in God. God created all of this, and seemed to have created bounds in physics, chemistry, math , etc but to a large extent I do not think the creator grants wishes or favors to "people of faith".

    December 7, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Goddog

    If even half of the people that went to church truly practiced what they preached maybe they could make a positive change in society but most are there for the company and to be saved (just in case). Back Seat Believers and Sunday Morning Christians. The Christian faith has drifted so far from what (if you believe there was a) Jesus was teaching he wouldn't even recognize it. Anyway, I don't see a greater number of faithful people thriving or a greater number of Atheists struggling so it's hard to imagine that a belief in a god matters... Oh, it will after I die. Then I'll be sorry that god made me smart enogh to not believe in him and make that my fault... forever, ever, ever, ever....

    December 7, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Vertebrate Catholic

    This article is not pro-religious at all. In fact, it attempts to make the case that happiness consists solely in a good social life, which is an intrinsically flawed view of reality. Friendship and belonging are good things but they should not be used as a crutch in lieu of true happiness and fulfillment. This lasting and indestructible joy comes only from pursuing our true destiny as children of God.

    December 7, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      Yeah, it's so hard to believe that social beings are not happier with a good social life. It's so much easier to pretend there's a magic man that makes us happy when we follow his contradictory set of rules.

      You might want to look up the word disfunctional, cuz it's hard to understand how you are managing to live day to day without doing a lot of ignoring reality.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  32. man_of_the_night

    The "Kool-Aid" party in the photo tells all.

    December 7, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joe

    As a science major in college I am around a lot of people from either side of the line. I can honestly say they I can usually pick out those who are atheists very easily. They are usually a little bit arrogant, and definitely cynical. I'm not saying they are not happy, nor am I saying they are bad people, because my best friend is an atheist – but there is a distinct difference in demeanor.

    December 7, 2010 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • branch15

      Well said Joe. I did not have a strong faith until 10 years ago. When i looked back at my life and people who had been kind to me, all of them were people of faith. Different flavors – but they all had faith. The atheists that i know have faith in God – God just happens to be themselves!

      December 7, 2010 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • Goddog

      Being a science major and using such a small sample group doesn't make sense. I am an Atheist and most of my friends are Atheists. We are all happy people. We value the time we have because we think there's nothing after. You say cynic, I say realist. People of faith are arrogant when they talk about their god like everyone should agree and look down their noses when you don't. That's just rude. Atheists say believe what you will, just don't expect me to. People of faith say their beliefs are the only right ones and if you don'r believe them, you're going to hell... nice.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Goddog

      Branch15, the very last statement you made is probably the most correct statement you have ever made in your life.
      PS. Show me the data that says people of faith are kinder than others.

      December 7, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • branch15

      Goddog – i simply reflected on my personal experience. Data? Where does data come from – other humans. Yes, the earth was flat until recently. I trust love and logic much more than data. Every nation, poor or rich, even in areas where there is no media have a strong yearning for God. Yes- scientifically proven. Now that's data!

      December 7, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • B. Dullas

      @Goddog: "Atheists say believe what you will, just don't expect me to"

      Bull. You can look back at all these responses and realize what a joke that is.

      Atheists say believe what you will, you're stupid and wrong.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Goddog

      B. Dullas... Point taken. You're right... that is the way we feel. I should have said "in polite company".

      December 7, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      Joe, I just want to point out something, here.

      Cynical is the belief that peoples' actions are motivated by greed. How many crimes are committed by people who want money? (Let's please exclude the unfortunate who need money.)
      Now I ask you this: How many crimes (not just robberies) are committed under religious pretense?

      The answer to both is "A lot and too many". In my experience, Atheists call the motive as they see it based on the crime, be it apparently money, apparently the religion excuse, apparently the guy was lonely and felt force was easier than the bar. We only know the stigma of the altar boys, of churches using religious excuses to make money that wasn't spent on the church.

      Many bad things are done for many reasons. Please consider that, due to your faith, you might tend to give rapist cardinals the benefit of the doubt that the armed robber doesn't get. Not accusing, but it definitely isn't rare.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  34. Stainedundies

    And it breeds stupidity

    December 7, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • branch15

      Wanna compare ACT scores for $$$$?

      December 7, 2010 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      Let's compare toenail sizes, too. Except I want cupcakes if I win.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  35. branch15

    GodDog- BTW . i have been Christian for 10 years and have surrounded myself with others and i haven't heard the terms "devil" or "hell" from any of them even once in that 10 years. The only time it comes up is when non-believers are trying to make a point against faith. If there is a hell, I'm sure God can handle the debate of what it takes to get there.

    December 7, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimi

      "IF" there is a hell???

      December 7, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
  36. razzlea

    Im not surprised at all by this article.Check out my health and fitness blog http://razzlea.blogspot.com/

    December 7, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GrammarGnatsie

      You're spamming the wrong section.

      ...

      Wow, this is awkward... Anyone have any gum?

      December 7, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  37. Mark

    I am an Atheist so I don't believe in any god but I do see where people of faith have a social network that us Atheists don't have. I have noticed that there are some Atheists groups trying to get like minded people together for social events but their very small groups. When I retire I am going to start an Atheist support group just for the social aspects and the possibility of making new friends that have the beliefs as I do.

    December 7, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom

      Everyone I socialize with is an atheist. This was not by design...I just find that the people I enjoy spending time with.....racially tolerant, supporter of gay rights (I'm straight as an arrow), pro-choice, separation of church and state...are all atheists.

      December 7, 2010 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
  38. Goddog

    Good for you Branch15. I must admit I am curious to know how you and your friends have gone so long without ever discussing, even casually, one of the several end games of your religion, but I must take your word on that. And, not to push the issue, then you say "if there is a hell" and further state that god can handle the debate of what it takes to get there". These are things that are clearly described in the bible so... don't know why you would be confused. We're all off point anyway. The article found that happiness was from the friendship, not the spiritual or faith. They could have examined other religions that have nothing to do with a god, like Bon, Buddism, Confucianism, Taoism. I think you would find the bonds just as strong in those groups as well.

    December 7, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • branch15

      The point is that the article is lame and draws ignorant conclusions. To site that the folks without friendships at church have no higher rate of happiness just is illogical. People that are unhappy are many times isolators and has nothing to do with what effect God has on them. Our church preaches love your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as thyself. We can't understand parts that speak of sacrificing lambs and stuff like that. Yes, it exists metaphorically and in parables. I believe in hell but since my part on earth is to love, i leave hell talk to the expert.

      December 8, 2010 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  39. ex catlick

    Valerie, it's true: your ignorance of your own religion is astounding! As an ex-Catholic that spend years on his knees in front of "statues" (idols) praying to Mary (Hail Mary!?!) it's easy for me to see that you never once paid attention to what you were being taught! That's a good thing for you though Valerie since you won't have to de program yourself from all of the lies that Catholics tried to beat into you! So, in this case, ignorance probably saved you!

    December 7, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Goddog

    Ex catlick... This is a common thing that I have found as well. Allot of christians simply don't know or don't care about all of the details of their faith and practice such a watered down version of what it really is supposed to be. I suppose that's because the more you read, the more questions you have until finally, you realize that you have been believing in something that, rationally, sounds quite absurd. It was a slow process for me as well but once I opened my eyes I felt such a weight lifted off of my shoulders... It was like the first time I realized that WWF wasn't real wrestling and I opened my eyes to MMA!

    December 7, 2010 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. syntaxerror

    Religion breeds hate,death and murder...try reading the old testament ..instead of singing from the new one...

    December 7, 2010 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jesuguru

      Except that the whole purpose of the OT covenant (law which points to sin), *according to the OT itself*, is to lay the groundwork and point the way to the NT covenant (grace through Christ).

      December 7, 2010 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
  42. Jimmy

    Whenever I confront people about some of the more outlandish and crazy aspects of their religion, they always kind of suggest that they don't REALLY believe that the earth was created in 6 days, or that someone walked on water 2,000 years ago, or that Adam and Eve were "plopped" down on earth, etc. Instead, they suggest that they are still a member of their religion, but choose not to believe certain aspects of the bible or tora or whatever. This "pickin and choosin" technique clearly illustrates just how confused, sad, and frightened these people are. If there's a bunch of stuff in the bible that you don't completely believe, YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER OF THAT RELIGION! THAT RELIGION IS BASED ON THAT F'N BOOK! THAT BOOK IS THAT RELIGION! Figure it out ya morons!

    December 7, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. James Monaghan

    "religion breeds happiness" ... Of course it does.

    It's a way for other like-minded [sic] brainwashed individuals to feel acceptance over their brainwashing and to feel normal about it all.

    A cult mentality support system.

    December 7, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Reason

    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
    ~George Bernard Shaw

    December 7, 2010 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. keith

    "religion breeds happiness"...Of course it does.

    People are happy when they are living in with purpose and truth. Atheism is not only a depressing and meaningless viewpoint, but also an illogical one as well....This is why globally atheism is still incredibly minute

    December 7, 2010 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill C.

      Atheism in most countries around the world runs at least 10-20%, and in some countries, runs as high as 80%. I do not think that is "incredibly minute."

      December 7, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I don't think pretending there is a benevolent god is living in truth and I fail to see what is illogical in not believing in something there has never been any proof for.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • keith

      @Bill...I'm not exactly sure where you are getting your statistics, but if you check the CIA factbook or any other reputable source you can see that Atheism does not even comprise 10% of the worlds population and actually on a worldwide scale, (not just a scale of the west), Christianity is growing at a faster rate

      December 7, 2010 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Christianity is in a slow decline. Atheism/agnosticism/no religion is growing regularly, I believe it's over 15 percent at last count.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:25 | Report abuse |
    • keith

      @Kate, any reputable source will disagree with those statistics, especially that Christianity is in decline...Show me the stats and I'll concede.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      I don't care how many people on this planet agree with me. 0_0

      Being right is one the hardest things to do in this reality. I just accept things in the simplest form; In this case, just the way someone else thinks. Truth be told, there's already one of me, someone who thought just like me would bore the heck out of me.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

      December 7, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
  46. DenverGrl

    I attend synagogue because I connect with something greater than myself. People call it G-d, Adonai, Elohim, Allah, etc. But there is something greater than us individually, and I plug into that when I go to shul, say brachas, do things that make the mundane in my life holy. It's an important part of my life. Of course I also have community there as well.

    December 7, 2010 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. AnnieM

    To paraphrase a bumper stick I saw recently: Know Religion, No Peace. No Religion, Know Peace...

    December 7, 2010 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Goddog

    If you read the Old testement, especially Deuteronomy, and look at all of god's laws, you will see that very few of them are still followed in Judaism, much less Christianity. Further, the supposed Jesus said that he was not there to take one word away from the established laws of god so what is the excuse? Also, the supposed god said that not any one law was less signifigant than the next and that all laws should be taken with the same seriousnous. Observing the Sabbath is in the supposed 10 commandments and I see quite a few Christians out there working. Count the denominations of the Christian faiths; If the believers can't decide, using the same book, who is right, what is a realist to think?

    December 7, 2010 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • keith

      @Goddog your posts are consistently more and more asinine...First off, regardless of Christian denomination, Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, Pentecostal...all groups affirm the same core truths (divinity of Christ, Atonement, etc...), and As for your understanding of the law, the law was not taken away, but if your read all of Jesus' teachings in context you would see that grace now abounds over the law.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      So you would be OK with some variant of Christianity becoming law? That some 'core belief' is enough for you to be forced to worship as a Catholic or some other variant rather than your own?

      If not, then you lie.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Goddog

      Kieth... that's your opinion. It varies signifigantly from one person to the next within a denomination. I went to church for 30 years. My parents were lectures and religious educators. You think I'm talking from my A$$? You couldn't find two people who could agree on many of the aspects of their faith. As an instruction book, your bible is horrible. If your god has a message, he is a horrible communicator. How is that my fault? And your last statement is a contradiction. Didn't take away any laws? But his grace now abounds over the law? Is that the way it was sold to you? What made you stop at Jesus? Why not continue on with the Allah saga of your religion? I've heard a thousand different explanations, including yours, for the same question. Shouldn't there only be one correct answer? And don't call me assinine you bad christian. Keep picking the parts you want to practice if it makes you feel better.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Goddog,

      I'm sure being in church for 30 years you must have heard that the way in to heaven pre-Jesus was through the rules, rituals, sacrifices, etc... Then Jesus was and is our sacrifice. Therefore keeping the old rules was no longer required to get into heaven. I think that is what Keith was getting at.

      Your point about people even within the same denomination not being able to agree is true to a great extent. It's sad sometimes, but like you said. It is a 2000 year old historical text. There is bound to be some disagreements. As for me, I think if I focus on what Jesus taught...love and help others in need no matter who they are or what they have done, be free and giving with your wealth, and respect and honor God's teachings to name a few, that I will be alright.

      December 7, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      are

      December 7, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Greg, you'll be exactly what everyone else is, who needs their social group to survive. But you will abuse others too, in the name of your religion. You will tell gays they are sinners, you will ignore our planet because it isn't spelled out by your preacher as something Jesus said, you will lie to yourself to make yourself feel good.

      In other words, you will only partly be a good person and you will walk around smugly pretending you aren't being completely lazy about it.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
  49. Bill C.

    I finally came to the realization that God does not exist back in college. My life experiences and education have continually confirmed this belief over the past 20 years. I am much more satisfied knowing the truth. I have a great circle of friends and consider myself very happy and fulfilled.

    December 7, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Goddog

    Oh My Science!

    I don't need a god for purpose and your truth is one of many others who say they are right too. If you were born in the Middle East you would probably be practicing Islam. Logic has nothing to do with religion. I am a good person because it makes sense. If you need the threat of being punished to do right that's your handicap. Don't stand there on your crutch and call others lame.

    December 7, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • keith

      "logic has nothing to do with religion"...on the contrary, Christianity was a vanguard of the movement towards logic and reason...This is why all of the great early scientists, from kepler, to copernicus to pascal were all Christians

      December 7, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      That was coincidence. Many murderers were/are Christians. Therefore, Christianity is the vanguard of murder. You, apparently, could do a little brushing up on logical reasoning yourself! And BTW...you're misusing the word 'vanguard'!

      December 7, 2010 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
    • Goddog

      Kieth. I'm just at a loss for words. The bible says "these things are true" (Flat earth, earth at center of universe, earth made in 6 days, earth is 4,000 years old (by now), etc,... Do you make this stuff up as you go? Kepler was told to leave his own country along with people who refused to convert to catholocism, though he did believe in god. This was a longtime practice of the church when evidence which did not support their view was found. Read up or shut up.

      December 7, 2010 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • keith

      @Tom...A Vanguard is the first person into battle, I believe that Christians were some of the first people to take the stand for logic in reasons, to defend a few points...First off I was combating the statement that religion and logic do not go together, not that all Christians are logical, so your murder comment is out of context

      @Goddog What does your comment have to do with anything? Kepler was a Theist and a practicing Christian, also the flat earth theory is not Christian in fact we can see medieval Christians like Dante's medieval cosmology based on the idea of a spherical earth...and who is saying that the Genesis account is to be taken literally anyways

      December 7, 2010 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      There can only be one vanguard, by definition. Therefore your referring to Christianity as "a vanguard" is incorrect. You should have typed "the vanguard", but I'm guessing you didn't because you know that's not true. Common mistake...

      December 7, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • GrammarGnatsie

      If I may interject, from an unbiased perspective, mind you...

      Keith, logic has been around long before religion. Religion, at inception, was entirely polytheistic. It came to be as a means to understand and explain what (relatively) primative logic could not. For example, rain was an utter mystery. Surely, they quickly deduced it was water that fell, by product of logic. However, the mysteries where how the water got there, why it fell, why it sometimes fell as soft flakes, why it sometimes fell as small white stones... These early civilizations didn't know about the various layers of atmosphere, and couldn't logically explain precipitation with their time's science.

      The truth is, as it seems to me, science was God all along, but religion evolved alongside it instead of being replaced by science. Just like humans and the other apes. (Please, never debate about humans evolving from monkeys and questioning why monkeys are still around. If species were REPLACED by evolution, there would be one type of cat, one type of dolphin, one type of every genus (if I'm not mistaken).)

      Now, that makes me laugh. Not saying I'm right and everyone else is an idiot, but consider what I pretty much just said: Religion evolves. Simple, yes, but I find poetic humor in irony.

      December 7, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Actually the muslims used to be the ones that were at the center of science and knowledge in the middle east. I've never heard of Christianity being at any forefront of logic and reason, you will have to makes some cites to back that up. Christianity started the dark ages, which were called the dark ages for a reason.

      December 7, 2010 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
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