Religion

Atheist: 11 Studies on Religion You Should Read

| by Luke Muehlhauser

Epiphenom summarizes scientific papers on the psychology and sociology of religion. Here are 11 of the most interesting studies he has covered in the past two years:

  1. God wants the same things you do; we create gods in our own image.
  2. Religion functions like an antidepressant, and people turn to religion when they feel life is out of control.
  3. People seem to turn to religion because of social ills.
  4. Praying for the sick doesn’t work.
  5. Religious attendance, but not religious belief, is correlated with improved health, fewer suicides, marital fidelity, and increased hostility toward out-groups.
  6. Atheist nations are the most peaceful.
  7. The most atheistic academics are philosophers and psychologists.
  8. Religious people have relatively low verbal skills and science skills, but it’s studying literature (not science) that is most likely to make you lose your faith.
  9. Religious prejudice taps into the same neural pathways that fuel racism.
  10. Religion has no effect on sexual activity among teenagers, but it does mean less sex for older people.
  11. Kids with the strongest religious beliefs are the most likely to be emotionally disturbed.