Atheists Are Happy People Too
This story ought to irk more than a few people.
“A new study of some 5,800 non-believers reports that contrary to popular conceptions of atheists as crabby misanthropes, they in fact tend to be as happy as their believing brethren, and are in fact more satisfied than people who are uncertain in their beliefs, or in their unbeliefs.“This new survey reports that confident nonbelievers are more emotionally healthy with respect to ‘fence sitters’ or religious doubters, shows that ‘spirituals’ report less satisfaction with their lives than those who identify with other self-labels, and suggests that the common assumption that greater religiosity relates to greater happiness and life satisfaction is not quite true,” says a release from the Center for Inquiry (CFI), a leading association of secularists, humanists, agnostics and atheists — the range of “non-theists” who are often lumped in the polling category of “Nones,” or those who reported no religious affiliation.CFI conducted the Non-Religious Identification Survey (NRIS) with Luke Galen, an associate professor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., who has an article on the study, “Profiles of the Godless,” in the current edition of CFI’s magazine, Free Inquiry.One might expect that non-believers would already be pretty happy, given the high profile of recent best-selling neo-atheist authors Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, and the fact that recent national surveys have shown a steady growth in the “Nones” to more than 16 percent of the U.S. population — a real eye-opener (and rallying cry) for those who preach about America as a “Christian nation.” That 16.1 percent figure comes from the huge U.S. Religious Landscape Survey released by the Pew Forum in April.”
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