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.
I still love Hitch's classic comment:
Well meaning acquaintance: I'll pray for you.
Hitch: I'll think for you.
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.
Case in point: incarcerated folk seem to have an elevated rate of Christian conversions.
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.