02 January 2009

Scientists Discover that Religion Is Good for You

I don't often post on religion since that's my employment. This blog is for leisure. But this article is nothing too heavy, just generally interesting. For some of us, it's probably just a, "Tell me something I didn't know."

This NYT article reports that two scientists at the University of Miami "have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control." It continues:

    Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier. These results have been ascribed to the rules imposed on believers and to the social support they receive from fellow worshipers, but these external factors didn’t account for all the benefits. . .

    Religious people, he said, are self-controlled not simply because they fear God’s wrath, but because they’ve absorbed the ideals of their religion into their own system of values, and have thereby given their personal goals an aura of sacredness.
Nonreligious folks can try to replicate the forms and practices of religion to derive similar benefits, but I expect further research will show, as is indicated here, that these virtues derive much more from belief than practice.

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