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Ortho_cat
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« on: October 04, 2010, 04:09:53 AM »

I found this exerpt recently on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness

The exerpt is below, but I will summarize it and pose my questions first. Basically, it says that religious people in America are happier and less stressed on average than non-religious people. Assuming this is correct for the sake of argument, how do you think that those who practice Orthodoxy would compare to those of other religions (e.g. Buddhism, Islam, Hindu) and other branches within Christianity (e.g. Catholicism, protestantism, non-trinitarian, etc.)  with respect to these factors? The purpose of this thread is to discuss the correlation between religion and happiness, and how you think Orthodoxy compares to other belief systems in this regard.


"There is now extensive research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed.[19][20] It is not clear, however, whether this is because of the social contact and support that result from religious activities, the greater likelihood of behaviors related to good health (such as less substance abuse), indirect forms of psychological and social activity such as optimism and volunteering, psychological factors such as "reason for being," learned coping strategies that enhance one's ability to deal with stress, or some combination of these and/or other factors.[21][22][23][24][25]

Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people.[26] An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being,"[27] and a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency.[28] A meta-analysis of 34 recent studies published between 1990 and 2001 found that religiosity has a salutary relationship with psychological adjustment, being related to less psychological distress, more life satisfaction, and better self-actualization.[29] Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that "the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse."[30]

The individual level of happiness and religiosity correlations show up when measuring within the United States, a predominantly religious country where people without religion are outsiders. According to a 2007 paper by Liesbeth Snoep in the Journal of Happiness Studies, there is no significant correlation between religiosity and individual happiness in Netherlands and Denmark, countries that have lower rates of religion than the United States so that being without religion is not unusual.[31]"

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quietmorning
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 08:22:31 AM »

Wow.  What a question.

I am finding that I while I'm happier in my general life as an Orthodox, I'm actually experiencing something deeper. . . joy.  There's an acceptance of life, now that I don't think I quite got before.

This sense of peace / calm / joy . . . is not something I can say that I've truly experienced before. . .definitely not on this level.

Now to answer the question comparatively. . .what I experienced and what I witnessed was usually about the same thing.  I both witnessed and experienced a lot of fear motivated actions in the Protestant sects.  Fear of judgementalism. . .fear of 'the last days', fear of being cursed. . . I can't say that I truly experienced happiness or joy. . .unless I was away from everyone else and in my own prayer closet. 

I'm not sure I've every witnessed any really true happiness and joy in my peers either.  They were always working so hard . . . and dodging fireballs from their brothers and sisters. . . heh. . . or throwing them.

In the RC Church - I found none of the fear - but I was always hungry and thirst for more. . . there just wasn't enough there for me to really reach that peace and joy that I've found in the Orthodox Church.  I wasn't particularly happy. . .I was too worried about getting enough spiritual food to eat - constantly hungry.  And I was alone most of the time.  I didn't know many if any people.  Everyone rushed out the door after the service, it was very difficult to meet any one. But as opposed to the Protestant sects, I didn't witness the fear . . .and always thought that belief of "Catholic Guilt" was hogwash.  I could go to confession and have it washed away, and my morality was CLEAR.  Whereas I was always guessing in the Protestant sects what was 'bondage' what was 'immoral' and what was truly 'right'. 

So I believe that there are people in the RC Church that ARE happy.  I've witnessed that. 

In the Orthodox Church. . .I feel and witness a true happiness. . .a deep joy - often.  Incredibly often.  It's a wonderful thing to watch and be a part of. 

I hope this answers your question for you.

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tweety234
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 12:27:49 AM »

I found this exerpt recently on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness

The exerpt is below, but I will summarize it and pose my questions first. Basically, it says that religious people in America are happier and less stressed on average than non-religious people. Assuming this is correct for the sake of argument, how do you think that those who practice Orthodoxy would compare to those of other religions (e.g. Buddhism, Islam, Hindu) and other branches within Christianity (e.g. Catholicism, protestantism, non-trinitarian, etc.)  with respect to these factors? The purpose of this thread is to discuss the correlation between religion and happiness, and how you think Orthodoxy compares to other belief systems in this regard.


"There is now extensive research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed.[19][20] It is not clear, however, whether this is because of the social contact and support that result from religious activities, the greater likelihood of behaviors related to good health (such as less substance abuse), indirect forms of psychological and social activity such as optimism and volunteering, psychological factors such as "reason for being," learned coping strategies that enhance one's ability to deal with stress, or some combination of these and/or other factors.[21][22][23][24][25]

Surveys by Gallup, the National Opinion Research Center and the Pew Organization conclude that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being "very happy" than the least religiously committed people.[26] An analysis of over 200 social studies contends that "high religiousness predicts a lower risk of depression and drug abuse and fewer suicide attempts, and more reports of satisfaction with sex life and a sense of well-being,"[27] and a review of 498 studies published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that a large majority of them showed a positive correlation between religious commitment and higher levels of perceived well-being and self-esteem and lower levels of hypertension, depression, and clinical delinquency.[28] A meta-analysis of 34 recent studies published between 1990 and 2001 found that religiosity has a salutary relationship with psychological adjustment, being related to less psychological distress, more life satisfaction, and better self-actualization.[29] Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that "the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse."[30]

The individual level of happiness and religiosity correlations show up when measuring within the United States, a predominantly religious country where people without religion are outsiders. According to a 2007 paper by Liesbeth Snoep in the Journal of Happiness Studies, there is no significant correlation between religiosity and individual happiness in Netherlands and Denmark, countries that have lower rates of religion than the United States so that being without religion is not unusual.[31]"




I agree. People who have a reason to believe in or hope for something, tend to be happier, than those who have nothing to believe in or hope for. This however doesn't prove that one religion is truer than another. It just proves that spirituality matters. Why? because we are born with it.
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