Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
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07-12-2016, 03:52 PM
Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
This is a thread about happiness and religiousness around the globe as a way of assessing what countries are better off, the most or least religious ones?

These are some stats I pulled for another post elsewhere that I thought would be interesting here too.

Happiest countries on Earth according to the World Happiness Report Update 2016 from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN. (http://www.cnn.com/2...nited-nations/)

Top ten:
1) Denmark
2) Switzerland
3) Iceland
4) Norway
5) Finland
6) Canada
7) Netherlands
8) New Zealand
9) Australia
10) Sweden

Bottom ten:
1) Burundi
2) Syria
3) Togo
4) Afghanistan
5) Benin
6) Rwanda
7) Guinea
8) Liberia
9) Tanzania
10) Madagascar

Now let's compare the most and least religious countries and then find the rank of religiousness for the previously mentioned 20. (sources: http://www.worldatla...-the-world.html and http://www.worldatla...the-world.html)

Least religious:
1) China (7% religious, 83rd happiness)
2) Japan (13% religious, 53rd happiness)
3) Estonia (16% religious, 72nd happiness)
4) Sweden (19% religious, 10th happiness)
5) Denmark (19% religious, 1st happiness)
6) Czech Republic (23% religious, 27th happiness)
7) Hong Kong (24% religious, 75th happiness)
8) Netherlands (24% religious, 7th happiness)
9) United Kingdom (30% religious, 23rd happiness)
10) Vietnam (34% religious, 96th ranking happiness)

Average happiness ranking: 44.7
Max: 96th
Min: 1st

Most religious
1) Niger (100% religious, 103rd happiness)
2) Sri Lanka (99% religious, 117th happiness)
3) Malawi (99% religious, 132nd religious)
4) Indonesia (99% religious, 70th happiness)
5) Yemen (99% religious, 147th happiness)
6) Thailand (94% religious, 33rd happiness)
7) Armenia (93% religious, 121st happiness)
8) Bangladesh (93% religious, 110th happiness)
9) Georgia (93% religious, 126th happiness)
10) Morocco (93% religious, 90th happiness)

Average happiness ranking: 104.9
Max: 147th
Min: 33rd

And then a measure of importance of religion by country for the ten happiest countries. I am using this wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia...on_by_country).The percentages I am quoting are those who say that religion is important in their lives:
Top ten:
1) Denmark 19%
2) Switzerland 41%
3) Iceland NA?
4) Norway 21%
5) Finland 28%
6) Canada 42%
7) Netherlands 33%
8) New Zealand 33%
9) Australia 32%
10) Sweden 17%

Avg: 29.6%
Max: 42%
Min: 17%

and the bottom ten:
1) Burundi 98%
2) Syria 89%
3) Togo 80%
4) Afghanistan 97%
5) Benin 93%
6) Rwanda 95%
7) Guinea 97%
8) Liberia 94%
9) Tanzania 89%
10) Madagascar 93%

Avg: 92.5%
Max: 98%
Min: 80%



Obviously there are other factors that go into happiness and religiousness too, but if we just look at the data I have pulled thus far we can make some interesting observations:
1) Happiest countries are less religious
2) The happiest countries consider religion to be less important in their lives
3) The unhappiest countries are more religious
4) The unhappiest countries consider religion to be more important in their lives than the happiest countries do





I thought this was very interesting to see, and probably not super surprising to most of us on here but it seems to boil down that the least religious are the happiest. It would be cool to add more data on top of this. Such as how free these countries are, what the death rate is, what the intentional homicide rate is, what the rate of violent crime rate is, and what the GDP and other big economic factors are. But I don't have the time at the moment to compile all of that.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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07-12-2016, 04:15 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
I know that I am happier after leaving religion in the dust. The crap about sin and missing out on "the next life" is stultifying. Throw that shit out, especially the concept of hell. When you read about it and see how it evolved, it's easy to discern that it is all just made up.
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07-12-2016, 04:20 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
Just looking at the list of countries, it's pretty obvious that the major contributing factor to unhappiness is the fact that many highly religious countries happen to be located in Africa and the Middle East, areas of the world that have been plagued by civil and foreign wars, dictators, war lords, massacres, famines and poverty for a long time. Every single country in the bottom ten list, for instance, is either a dirt poor nation in Africa or a war-torn country in the Middle East. To compare them to wealthy first-world nations and suggest that the reason people are happier there is because they're not religious rather than because their standard of living is infinitely higher is naive at best and dishonest at worst.

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07-12-2016, 04:31 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
Perhaps it's not (non)religion that determines happiness, but (non)happiness that determines religion.

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07-12-2016, 04:39 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
(07-12-2016 04:20 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Just looking at the list of countries, it's pretty obvious that the major contributing factor to unhappiness is the fact that many highly religious countries happen to be located in Africa and the Middle East, areas of the world that have been plagued by civil and foreign wars, dictators, war lords, massacres, famines and poverty for a long time. Every single country in the bottom ten list, for instance, is either a dirt poor nation in Africa or a war-torn country in the Middle East. To compare them to wealthy first-world nations and suggest that the reason people are happier there is because they're not religious rather than because their standard of living is infinitely higher is naive at best and dishonest at worst.

You can add women's right situation to this equation. While one can be perfectly happy despite living in a quite oppressive regime, a country in which half the population is very unfairly treated certainly doesn't help raise their happiness level.

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07-12-2016, 04:41 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
(07-12-2016 04:31 PM)Dom Wrote:  Perhaps it's not (non)religion that determines happiness, but (non)happiness that determines religion.

Yes, you can't draw a distinction between the two possiblities. Alternatively other factors entirely may determine both.

The basics I get is that religion doesn't make people happier in general.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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07-12-2016, 04:44 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
I agree with vosur in view of the vast disparity of wealth and general welfare on that list.
One that shows the more subtle differences among the top several first world countries reveals enough on the subject for me.
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07-12-2016, 04:49 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
I think it depends on where you live. It is lousy not being religious in America. You just can't ever really get rid of it. Kinda like herpes.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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07-12-2016, 04:54 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
(07-12-2016 04:41 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The basics I get is that religion doesn't make people happier in general.
According to Gallup's research, this doesn't appear to be true in the poorest (i.e. most religious) countries in the world. These two graphs from the article, for instance, are very telling:

[Image: i8r-0wg3rkcn31sq2jcb5w.gif] [Image: ushctcvzxeo1hti6aert4g.gif]

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07-12-2016, 05:13 PM
RE: Who is better off, the religious or the non-religious?
I'm not surprised by these findings and I agree with other posters that the welfare of women and the overall economic state should be taken into account.

I would also like to see the numbers in comparison to education, most likely the places with easiest access to education and real balanced news sources are less religious and happier. I think even in the US the news is starting to get very crowded with false conspiracy theories and anything that will get ratings.

I would like to see important scientific news and breakthroughs reported on more often, if we got evolutionary theory, astrophysics and genetic advancement reports announced to us without feeling like it might hurt the poor feelings of the Christians we'd all be a lot smarter, a lot happier and a lot more open to new ideas.

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