Can Religion Make You Happy? Essay

Can Religion Make You Happy? Essay

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“If Religion Makes People Happy, Why Are So Many Dropping Out?” -- Louis Tay and David G. Meyers.

Throughout history, religion has helped form the basic fabric of society. From an early age, religion provided the answers to any unexplainable natural phenomena. The question of why the world worked in a particular way was easily answered with “because [name of deity] made it that way.” Religion was everywhere; everyone had their own ideas about how the world worked and what their role was in the universe. Each likeminded group held that their religious beliefs were the root cause of their happiness and general satisfaction with life. Centuries of religious dominance eventually gave birth to a widespread idea that strong religious beliefs are essential to living a happy and fulfilling life. Even today, in a society dominated by scientific advances, religion finds a niche in catering to people’s spiritual needs. Indeed, despite the societal changes that have occurred in modern times, religion has remained largely unchanged since its early days. The belief that religion factors heavily into one’s life satisfaction and happiness has also remained much the same, despite today’s complex and ever-changing society. The problem lies where religion is viewed as a major way to achieve happiness, and this perspective can lead to blind acceptance of religion solely on the basis of its supposed universal benefits. Basically, a new way of looking at religion is needed: seeing it not as the end-all happiness tool, but as a small factor in a complex web of happiness and well-being.

Traditionally, organized religion in the Western world encouraged a melancholy outlook on life. Today, however, religion represents an image of happi...


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...tz, Hans-Georg; Lewis, Christopher Alan. “The Relationship Between Religion and Happiness Among German Students.” Pastoral Psychology. 51.4 (2003): 273-281. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 19 June 2015.

Madigan, Timothy J. “Godless Happiness.” Free Inquiry Summer 1998: 32+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 19 June 2015.

Moeller, Philip. “Religion Makes People Happier--But Why?” Chicago Tribune. N.p., 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 June 2015.

Myers, David G. “Who’s Happy? Who’s Not?” Christianity Today. 23 Nov. 1992: 23+. Gale Power Search. Web. 19 June 2015.

Schumaker, John F. “Can Religion Make You Happy?” Free Inquiry Summer 1998: 28+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 19 June 2015.

Stearns, Peter N. “The History of Happiness. (Cover Story).” Harvard Business Review 90.1/2 (2012): 104-109. Business Source Complete. Web. 6 June 2015.

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