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Happier and Healthier?
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On Edge, there's an article by Jonathan Haidt about religion and morality. It's interesting, and I think he makes two good clarifications: that religion is not completely maladaptive (there are obvious benefits), and to not underestimate the complexity of religious belief (not to paint the religious as simplistic in their thinking).

However, he does come out with this:

I just want to make one point, however, that should give contractualists pause: surveys have long shown that religious believers in the United States are happier, healthier, longer-lived, and more generous to charity and to each other than are secular people. Most of these effects have been documented in Europe too. If you believe that morality is about happiness and suffering, then I think you are obligated to take a close look at the way religious people actually live and ask what they are doing right.

Well, I don't happen to think morality is all about happiness and suffering, but this seems like a very broad generalization from "surveys". I'd like to see some references to this apparently overwhelming body of work. I'm not taking it for granted that he's correct.

Anyway, the whole thing is interesting...have a read.

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