Is Being An Atheist Bad For Your Health?

In my experience with atheists, I have found most of them to be unhappy individuals (not all, but most of my encounters). I have found them to be not only unhappy, but downright miserable when it comes to chat rooms or forum debates. I took a bit of time out for research and was somewhat surprised to find medical and psychological reports that were shocking. Here is some of what I found;

A Connection between Atheism and Suicide?

In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry had reported the following:

“Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found. reported the following in respect to Atheism and Suicide:

“Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman compiled country-by-country survey, polling and census numbers relating to atheism, agnosticism, disbelief in God and people who state they are non-religious or have no religious preference. These data were published in the chapter titled “Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns” in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005). In examining various indicators of societal health, Zuckerman concludes about suicide:

“Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization’s report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.”

A Connection between Atheism and Obesity?

“Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-July 28, 2010, with a random sample of 554,066 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.”

“Very religious Americans make healthier choices than their moderately religious and nonreligious counterparts across all four of the Healthy Behavior Index metrics, including smoking, healthy eating, and regular exercise. Smoking is one area of particular differentiation between the very religious and less religious Americans, with the nonreligious 85% more likely to be smokers than those who are very religious.”

As a footnote to this Gallup poll, the Bible declares “Gluttony to be a sin”

Proverbs 23: 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

As a Christian I truly believe we need to show them that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. These are simply polls and polls are never 100% accurate, however it does leave a question mark for sure.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Should We Be Able To Do What We Want As Long As It Doesn’t Hurt Anybody?

Have you ever heard this before? “People should be able to do what they want as long as it is between two consenting adults”? Or “Do what you want but don’t violate anyone’s rights”? I am sure you have. However to read into those two statements (and there are many more of that ilk) they can be very self defeating and against Moral Standards.

“People should be able to what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody” opens up a huge can of worms. What if a person could hurt someone and they were allowed to get away with it scot free? Saying “We should be able to do what we want” is in essence saying we can do anything as long as someone else is not hurt? There are definitely actions that can harm another person such as Binge Drinking or Pornography and they are done in the privacy of your own home! Binge drinking, and suicide can be hazardous to one’s self and others. Watching porn in the privacy of your own home is also hazardous! The Pornography industry’s harm is apparent;

One of the most common psychological problems is a deviant attitude towards intimate relationships such as perceptions of sexual dominance, submissiveness, sex role stereotyping or viewing persons as sexual objects. Behavioral problems include fetishes and excessive or ritualistic masturbation. Sexual aggressiveness, sexually hostile and violent behaviours are social problems as well as individual problems that are linked to pornography.

“Our findings are very alarming”, said Dr. Claudio Violato one of the co-authors of the study. Dr. Violato, Director of Research at the National Foundation for Family Research and Education (NFFRE) and a professor at the University of Calgary, said “This is a very serious social problem since pornography is so widespread nowadays and easily accessible on the internet, television, videos and print materials”.

( Tue Mar 12, 2002)

How about the notion of “Do what you want but don’t violate anyone’s rights”? From a relativists point of view rights are none existent. Relativism is defined as “the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual”. Look at the statement and ask yourself “How can you do ANYTHING without violating someone else’s rights?” Again this statement is self-refuting if you are a relativist.

We must remember that the freedoms that we humans have are important. Freedoms must be placed in the context of Moral Standards. Humans instinctively know that there are Moral Laws commanded upon us by God. Read Romans 2: 14-15

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

God Bless

Brian Mason