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Were you happier as a believer or non-believer?

I hear Christians especially telling me how much happier they are now since getting closer to the Lord and I was starting to just wonder if the reason why they are much happier is because of psychology reasons and them being convinced or convinced themselves that they feel happier. I’ve tried several times and could few nothing at all. I’m also starting to think the reason they probably feel happier is cause they put all responsibilities on a deity instead of dealing with their own. What are some of your stories and how you feel?

EmeraldJewel 7 May 13
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30 comments

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1

Believers are liars pretending that heaven bribes and hell threats make them feel happy. ....I hated believers telling me lies about boy Ishtar bunnies laying candy eggs on dogshit lawns AND fat alleged Santa Claus fitting down our 5 inch wide heater exhaust pipe with flying reindeer leaving no trace on our roof but most of all I hated the unanswered prEyers to an alleged all knowing bible gawd. ...I feel fine being the natural born Atheist that all humans are @ birth but I miss never knowing what my intact penis would feel like never being tortured @ age 5 days old by a Catholic Osteopath amputating 4 square inches off my natural body without pain killer or being put to sleep. ...fuck religious violent perpetrators for all their lies and crimes against humanity

10

I wouldn't say happier is the right word for me. I am more at peace as a non-believer.

9

Happier as a non-believer. I experience much less cognitive dissonance and am free to be much less judgmental. It's very tiring denying my inner kindness by constantly having to hate people for who they are or having to despise them for their circumstances OR feel smug about having "less fortunates" to help. I have no standards to live up to except my own. I can speak to wom I want, I can buy lunch for whomever I choose and I never, ever have to fear demonic possession

Well said.

6

For me not dealing with all the guilt trips that come with religious beliefs made me happier. I think you have hit on something with your statement about responsibility.

6

I've never been super happy anyway, but at least I don't have to deal with the cognitive dissonance that religion used to cause me.

6

Whew! The questions... Ok... ive had good on both sides of the fence. A lot of crap pissed me off and i hung in there for the families sake... i just recently converted. I got the facts i needed and the shock of waking me up to know the lies ive bowed down to. I feel better with this support group helping me see things i was confused about. Im ok today...

5

I'm happier now than when I was a believer, but what unhappiness I've experienced as a nonbeliever was/is directly related to the repercussions during and after deconversion.

"So, are religious people happier than nonreligious people? Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, doesn’t buy it:

This study shows the same methodological flaw seen time and time again: measuring religiosity in large part by how often people attend religious services. This creates a comparison that doesn’t measure the differences between the religious and the nonreligious, but instead measures the difference between those that have strong community connections and those that do not. “Community” has positive outcomes, not religion."

[thehumanist.com]

5

Definitely happier being a non-believer. There are answers where there were none before and I can be more satisfied with "I don't know" as an answer.

4

I think this question gets to the core of a person’s beliefs. If someone needs to believe in a supernatural being to be happy because they feel that brings order and perhaps protection to their universe then they are truly a spiritual person and likely will always be happiest with the thoughts of a god protector. Psychologically it probably speaks to a strong desire for their own father figure in their life. Contrastingly, those of us that see no evidence of any gods or supernatural beings in the universe and have no psychological need for such characters to bring us peace then thankfully we find happiness from more likely ourselves or it is created by our own doing rather than always seeking out the responsibility for our happiness by something unexplainable.

4

I’m miserable both ways.

4

Theists say they are happier because it is what they are conditioned to say. It is just the Emperor's New Clothing syndrome. IMHO

4

I've never been a believer, but have always been happy.

I am happy because I choose to be. For me, it is a state of mind and I have never had to worry about eternal damnation. 🙂

4

I suppose belief is a bit like buying life insurance from a fraudulent online insurance scammer, you feel that you have a weight taken off your shoulders and that your future is secure but in reality you are out the premiums and have no real coverage.

That is religions are there in the first place. Load off your problems to something else even as you actually can see that it never helps except in your mind.

Great analogy!

3

Learning that all the worlds suffering isn't being permitted by a supreme being who desires my personal worship, but is in fact the result of a hostile but impersonal universe. One where humans have over time significantly improved their circumstances and are continuing to strive for a better future, has made me much happier.
I used to rage at the injustice in the world, now I am optimistic I also don't have to worry that I may not be following the right god as all the other religions seemed just as likely, and are followed just as passionately. Seriously this was something that bothered me.

3

My day-to-day happiness has not changed from when I was a believer (wayyyy back when). The thing that has changed is whenever I think about dying. I totally wish I could believe in a higher power or heaven or someone waiting for me when I die. It would make it so much easier!

3

In my less than expert opinion (I’m sure one of the persons who study human phycology would give a much better answer) I think it’s not just one reason. I think its multiple reasons. I think due to conditioning and indoctrination over years for one. Add to that an evolutionary trait for the need to belong and the endorphin rush that you get from being a group that is pumping up the atmosphere in a room (like the feeling you get from a rock concert) well there you go “happiness” and “joy”. Which is the same reason I think that if you challenge those believes with logic, facts and reason they become so angry violent. Just my thoughts.

3

I still believe the earth is round & I'm going to be outside at some point today, so I guess I'm still a believer.

2

I was not happier as a Christian. I attended a church, Lutheran, where the pastor preached hellfire and damnation every Sunday. It's a relief to feel free to live life and enjoy life.

Once I grieved the loss of my eternal seat at God's dining table, I was relieved and happy to finally realize there was no such monstrosity as eternal torment.

@ElusiveMoby I saw Aladdin last night. A fairly tale of course but seemed to be based on the same principle as religion. Funny how all these stories overlap. One day a prince will come and destroy the bad guy. Then we all live happily ever after.

2

In general religious people suffer higher instances of depression. That makes a lot of sense to me bc they keep wasting emotional energies praying for god to intervene on everything from finding car keys to healing cancer and ending hunger. They're

Here's one of many studies on the topic, although I'm not aware any of these studies has been harshly peer reviewed or even criticized by beleivers.

[cambridge.org]

2

I was extremely happy as a religious person...until I wasn't. Grew up a little sheltered in a very loving and supportive family with an awesome church family, but that sets kids up for failure when they meet other Christians.

Studying religion and history in Baptist seminary really fucked my head and it didn't take long for me to lose my deeply held religious beliefs.

If only more religious people studied their holy scriptures and history.

2

When I was enthralled with Yahweh and it's offering?, life was simple and sin and bad behavior were of no real consequence because, hey! I'll fess up and clear the scoreboard. From petty theft to seduction, a quick but honest prayer cleaned up whatever mess I had created. In total, a lot of prayers for a lot of messes.
Several years ago, I met someone I thought had his feet off the rails far more than not. We had a lot more in our common histories than the average. He introduced me to gun-fever, incessant fear of government takeovers, a feverous desire (too mild a word) which he invested heavily in buying evangelical "tracts" little booklets describing hell and the joy of salvation. He had boxes, crates of boxes. He carried a variety of them in his pockets and backup packets for replenishing. He was a feverous preacher, and was completely engulfed in his belief system.
Then I got to know him behind his mask. For all his fervor, he never enjoyed a moment of anything remotely close to the peace given by God. He passed away from the results of uncared-but for diabetes. The road to his demise was a horrible thing to watch. As a diabetic, he was my "poster child" of what NOT to do with the condition. He was as insane as anyone I had ever met in a hospital, but he had his religion and preaching and all the contradictions all wrapped up into one. After his passing, his wife, I imagine in a moment of frustration, called me a wishy-washy Christian. I was surprised and wounded. I thought being a liberal American and a Christian "since forever", I decided for the first time, to examine my beliefs, the entire system I was raised and simply took for granted. I was a true believer, but a literal. He and his wife, I understood were extremely conservative, very, very evangelical believers.
While away, I studied the bible, keeping the advice to what the Christ taught ant the rest of the authors added. I also looked critically at the history of christianity, the church, the Emperor, and the "blood-letting " of the writings of all sects were divided, edited, some even rewritten, to conform with the emperor's requirement to have a consistent religious story, doctrine to take across the empire. Thus the "Canon" vs the "Heretical" books came into being.
The details of the Nicene Conference was the doctrine and dogma that the emperor 'blessed".
The goal then was to read as much of the books deemed heresy had to say. That was the day I could not ever again say the bible is the written truth of God. I kept reading and the more I studied, the more I grasped, the I discovered the Bible of the Holy Roman Empire was a instruction manual to convert the heathens to the Church. As now, within Islam, the Church carried out many "Believe or Die" campaigns to convince humans to join the Church.
I have to depend on education from many sources, science, philosophy, logic and skepticism to keep looking for the facts. The beliefs today are as controlling of the ignorant and the unthinking as they ever have been. I can no longer "believe" in these politically correct tales of a a loving/hateful, forgiving/ destroying, God-set, so opposed in their teachings that nothing registers as sensible.
At least I'm not wishy-washy anymore. G'day.

2

I am happier as a non-believer. I don't have the threat of going to Hell because of this or that mistake. I am not wondering if I have truly been forgiven and will be accepted into Heaven. I can simply live life by treating others as I would liked to be treated. People may believe due to dissatisfaction with their life and some religion provides them with hop of something better after death.

I now laugh at Hell cause it’s like telling adults that they won’t get their dessert if they don’t finish dinner. Lmfao!

2

The answer is "the same". When I was a believer, I was non-believing.

2

No I am 0% better since I quit

1

The freedom to question anything and everything without judgment or guilt is so liberating and cathartic that could never ever entertain any religion again.

Nicely said.

1

I was happy as a Christian.

I was very unhappy when first moving towards the realms of atheism.

I am now much happier as a well-practiced atheist than when I was a Christian.

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