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Daily Caller: Atheists, agnostics live shorter, unhappier, according to research journals

Caution: Shaking your fist at the sky while proclaiming that God doesn’t exist and mocking the faith of His flock can be harmful to your health.

“This isn’t about what happens to you in the hereafter,” writes Patrick Chisholm for the news website the Daily Caller. “It’s about what happens to you in the here and now. Atheists and agnostics suffer, on average, higher rates of physical ailments, depression, suicide, alcohol use and drug addiction. They have greater marital instability, weaker parent-child relationships, lower lifetime earnings, lower educational attainment and higher rates of criminal activity.”

“These aren’t some trumped-up claims made by people with a religious ax to grind,” he continues. “These are the conclusions of many scholars in the sciences and social sciences whose work appears in numerous non-religious scholarly journals including Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies, Social Science Research, Preventive Medicine, Demography and many more.”


Chisholm cites headlines on — which he notes is “hardly a religious or conservative publication,” which include “Churchgoers live longer,” “Online prayer helps cancer patients,” “Churchgoers breathe easier” and “Why religion makes people happier.”

Why are the faithful healthier?

“On the physical side,” notes Chisholm, “religious belief often prompts one to view one’s body as sacred and a gift from God, which reduces the likelihood of such factors as smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating, unsafe driving, physical inactivity and substance abuse. Religious persons also tend to have a greater support network of family and friends, which encourages healthier lifestyles.”



People prone to anxiousness and depression tend to die sooner than would otherwise be the case, and religious practice often reduces those negative mental conditions. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that very religious persons are less likely to have been diagnosed with depression during their lifetimes than the moderately religious or nonreligious.

The evidence that religion has such a strong positive effect on health and well-being is so compelling that some non-religious mental health professionals even recommend religion therapy for their patients. “Religious therapy resulted in significantly faster recovery from depression when compared with standard secular cognitive-behavioral therapy,” according to a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.


Another very secular institution, National Public Radio, featured a story that goes a long way in explaining why religion has such a profound positive effect on outcomes and behavior. The perception that someone or something is always watching, evaluating and judging your every move can make a model citizen out of you in no time.

CLICK HERE to read more 


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ontheirt

    Haven’t I read same of being better educated? And since higher educational attainment also correlates with agnosticism isn’t the logic of the conclusions here possibly circular?

  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tamma

    Wow I can believe that!What I don’t understand is how can someone be in this world and never say a prayer to God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Abambagibus

    I suppose it could be likened to the difference between staring ‘at’ a wall and looking ‘thru’ a window. While the former allows only the vision of itself, and fundamentally an empty one at that, the latter allows the fullness of the vision from beyond it to come within. As a materialist, virtual or real, the adherent of the ‘wall’, who reasons that the matter of it is all that really matters, will opine that the adherent of the ‘window’ is ‘unreasonably’ perceiving an illusion. Yet, in their effect on the mind and inevitably on the body, these visions evince a contrast which serves as a testimony to the fact the ‘materialistically unreasonable’ window is a stimulus to a ‘most reasonable spiritual effect’, inevitably effecting the body.

  • Corwin

    The study’s been slightly misinterpreted- it focused on “religious attendance,” not “religious belief.” The difference is important! Just believing in God isn’t enough to make you live longer- you actually have to be part of the church, and maintain those relationships! It’s with the support of the church community that people live longer, healthier lives. The study didn’t look at all at what people believed, only at whether they actually attended church.

    “Atheists and agnostics” isn’t the group that lives shorter, unhappier lives- it’s the broader group of “people who don’t go to church” (which certainly includes almost all atheists and agnostics, but isn’t limited to them).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment knoxvilledaniel

    This makes some compelling arguments for the benefits of organized religion & church /temple / worship attendance, but I’ve known people who were observant & still had health problems & were ” happiness – deficient “, as well as not being any more happy than people who were non – believers or just apathetic about religion.

    I though that the pic next to the link was amusing – that’s supposed to be symbolic of what atheists or agnostics look like w / clenched teeth, angry stares & perpetual scowls ? PLEASE.

  • http://Athiestlivelesstime... usworker

    then spend MORE time in the GREAT DARKNESS ..

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