It seems that one of the last secular justifications for the promotion of religion - that it promotes mental health - has just fallen to scientific investigation.

There appears to be a statistically significant relationship between religious belief and the development of clinically significant depression:

One can only speculate why this is, but the notion that there's a cosmic tyrant out there who will mete out infinite punishment (eternal damnation) for a finite crime (a "sin" committed in this life) might have something to do with it.

I, for one, found the rejection of religion to be extremely liberating - it was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. and I was finally free to do with my life as I wish and be who I was born to be.  Why anyone would not feel empowered, rather than otherwise, by the abandonment of religion is beyond me.

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I agree that there is someting liberating about it, and I think it is important for everyong to realize that they are responsible for their own lives.

Yes, the idea is abhorrent.

That a sin may be carried forward to generations and generations of and to billions of people is religious brainwashing to sustain the falsehood of faith.

Yes, religion or in fact belief in god is an antidepressant for those who are susceptible to depression. Atheist do not suffer depression because they are strong willed and capable of standing on their own feet.

I agree, Rose. Theists may be more prone to it, but their are many causes for depresion.

Rose, I do not mean to say that atheists do not suffer from depression but that they are strong willed enough to overcome it without any heavenly aid.

And that I will agree with. There are times when it is easy to be an atheist, but tough times will always come along. Too many can't resist that siren song of magical healing and eternal life, which of course does not exist. Yes Rose, medication is necessary for most of us.

Love it Patricia.

Might these statistics be slightly skewed. People less likely to suffer from suffer from depression are more likely to become atheists. Because admitting that your life is finite and relatively insignificant might worsen the conditions of those already depressed.
I am not saying these is true, but it might be a possibility.      




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