I find it interesting that the countries that rate highest on the World Happiness Report ( Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Finland, Canada ) are the least religious. Conversely, those that rate the lowest ( Afghanistan, Togo, Syria, Burundi are the most religious ). Tell a Baptist preacher that you are an atheist, though, and he will ask you what went wrong in your life.
I suppose people that are suffering are more likely to turn to a deity thus seeking better times, now or after death. Of course that goes against free will and non intervention. What is the point of praying, or saying God bless America, when the bible states God will not intervene ? Religion is full of irony, contradictions and irrational thinking.
What causes unhappiness?
being denied self development
being kept away from people and animals or anything that could make you happy
being forced into a lifestyle you didn't choose
being kept stupid and uninformed
in summary; religion.
My personal favorite is when someone asks me to pray for them or their loved one. Do people people believe a greater accumulation of prayers yields better results ? That reflects the topic of discussion that people generally seek a god when things are not going well for them.
I hear that there are many extras available for xian prisoners in the US.
Compelledunbeliever drew on his 15 years as a correctional officer to explain why inmates' declared religions likely have much more to do with privileges and even survival than with their actual beliefs.
If you nag god he will listen to you. Maybe it's just to shut you up. It's also wise to pray to his mother because he cannot refuse her.
Just a few thoughts.
As a former "super Christian" as I was called by my friends much to my dismay. I can say that I am happier than I have ever been now with the realization there is no God. I wanted to be the best Christian I could. Really. It was loaded with guilt. Why were my prayers not answered? I made a point of unselfish prayers. Limited to let me know your will etc. I never got an answer. I knew my sin,even unknown sin and lack of faith was my fault.....the guilt was unbearable.... eventually I became pessimistic and skeptical. If God did not care why should I? Thank you pessimism and skepticism. I am now not feeling guilty for being a human that makes mistakes nor do I look to an imaginary friend that does not exist for help and guidance. I am free and empowered to make my own decisions! Interestingly this makes me feel MORE responsible for my actions...I am accountable for all that I do. It makes me feel much more responsible and accountable for my actions as there is no fairy to " forgive" me. Your observation is of no surprise to me. Thank you for sharing and echoing my thoughts.
I like that many of those top countries are about education and alternative means of transportation, Netherlands and Denmark are two countries where the bicycle counts as a way to move about!
I would tell a pastor that I finally read the Bible using logic and reasoning and found the myths and contradictions appalling at first and now find them hilarious.