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A Debate; Believing in God is psychologically healthy Kristin Nomides Courtney Holbrook Aaron Smith Stephanie Rezac Ashley Walker.

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Presentation on theme: "A Debate; Believing in God is psychologically healthy Kristin Nomides Courtney Holbrook Aaron Smith Stephanie Rezac Ashley Walker."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Debate; Believing in God is psychologically healthy Kristin Nomides Courtney Holbrook Aaron Smith Stephanie Rezac Ashley Walker

2 Round 1! Pro Believing in God is psychologically Healthy!

3 Health Benefits of Religion Above average longevity Above average longevity Fewer strokes Fewer strokes Less heart disease Less heart disease Less clinical depression Less clinical depression Better immune system function Better immune system function Fewer anxiety attacks Fewer anxiety attacks Less likely to commit suicide Less likely to commit suicide

4 Studies Show: Survey of demography of 21,000 Americans Survey of demography of 21,000 Americans Those who never attend church have 50% higher risk of mortality (ncpa.org) Those who never attend church have 50% higher risk of mortality (ncpa.org) 1001 health effects studies show 1001 health effects studies show Significant relationship between worship service attendance and improved health Significant relationship between worship service attendance and improved health “Lack of religious involvement has an effect on mortality equivalent to 40 years of smoking 1 pack of cigarettes per day” said Koenig (ncpa.org)

5 Studies continued University of Texas researches found… University of Texas researches found… Regular church attendees lived an average of seven years longer than those who never attended! (ncpa.org) Regular church attendees lived an average of seven years longer than those who never attended! (ncpa.org)

6 Life Expectancy and Religious Attendance (Myers)

7 Reasons for longer life Beliefs of religiously active people motivate healthier lifestyles Beliefs of religiously active people motivate healthier lifestyles Smoke and drink less Smoke and drink less Some are vegetarian Some are vegetarian Orthodox Israelites intake less fat than other non- religious people (Myers) Orthodox Israelites intake less fat than other non- religious people (Myers)

8 Religious Involvement People that are more religiously involved are mentally and physically healthier People that are more religiously involved are mentally and physically healthier Better at coping with illness Better at coping with illness Lower blood pressure (Abrams) Lower blood pressure (Abrams) "If a person is already involved in religion, they can at least be assured that these activities are not going to harm their health but can lead to happier and healthier life." (Parker)

9 Health of Religious People Recover faster Recover faster Generally handle life's ups and downs with less physical reactions (dukemednews.org) Generally handle life's ups and downs with less physical reactions (dukemednews.org) “ Even the skeptics, Koenig says, should pay attention to his latest findings, since, in practical terms, it means less expense for insurance companies and hospitals.”

10 More Reasons Social support Social support Christianity, Islam and Judaism are communal religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism are communal religions Satisfies human need to belong (Myers) Satisfies human need to belong (Myers)

11 Still more reasons A sense of hope for the long-term future A sense of hope for the long-term future Feelings of ultimate acceptance Feelings of ultimate acceptance Relaxed meditation of prayer and Sabbath observance Relaxed meditation of prayer and Sabbath observance Religiously active people have healthier immune functioning and fewer hospitals admissions (Myers) Religiously active people have healthier immune functioning and fewer hospitals admissions (Myers)

12 Chart of Reasons (Myers)

13 Round 2! Con Believing in God is psychologically unhealthy

14 Religious Justification In Extreme cases people are willing to kill or die for religion In Extreme cases people are willing to kill or die for religion Religion numbs people against all appeals to pity, forgiveness, or decent human feelings Religion numbs people against all appeals to pity, forgiveness, or decent human feelings Holy Bible Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene

15 Examples of Religious Justification 1987  The suicide of 913 followers of Jim Jones in the Jungles of Guyana 1987  The suicide of 913 followers of Jim Jones in the Jungles of Guyana 1990  the death of more than 2000 people when Hindu fundamentalists in Ayodhya tore down a 16 th century mosque that they believed was built on the birth site of Lord Rama 1990  the death of more than 2000 people when Hindu fundamentalists in Ayodhya tore down a 16 th century mosque that they believed was built on the birth site of Lord Rama 1993  the death of 6 people and the injury of more than 1000 in the bombing of the World Trade Center in the NYC by individuals associated with Islamic fundamentalism 1993  the death of 6 people and the injury of more than 1000 in the bombing of the World Trade Center in the NYC by individuals associated with Islamic fundamentalism 1994  the mass suicide – murder of 53 members of the doomsday cult order of the Solar Temple, and then 16 more including 3 children the following year 1994  the mass suicide – murder of 53 members of the doomsday cult order of the Solar Temple, and then 16 more including 3 children the following year 2001  September 11 th – the seizure of American planes which added in the attack on the world trade buildings and the pentagon  September 11 th – the seizure of American planes which added in the attack on the world trade buildings and the pentagon. Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene

16 Unhealthy Persuasion The Promise of HELL “…many children and even some adults believe they will suffer ghastly torments after death if they do not obey the priestly rules..” Richard Dawkins- The Selfish Genes  Causes Great Psychological Anguish

17 Religion and Human Savagery Religion and its practices is the last refuge for savage practices such as: Human Sacrifice Slaughter of Children Sensual Orgies Object Superstition Hatred Between Races (KKK) Maintenance of degrading costumes HysteriaBigotry Alfred North Whitehead

18 Children and Religion Myth Vs. Reality Should parents bring their children up with religion? Children are impressionable Children are impressionable Children should be taught religion as a myth so that they can be allowed to outgrow the myths with time if they want to. Children should be taught religion as a myth so that they can be allowed to outgrow the myths with time if they want to. Timothy J. Madigon

19 The “Get out of Jail Free” God Card People of God can get away with more They can run heath care systems that can refuse medicine to women Birth control Abortions Total sex discrimination Some churches do not allow women priests Torturing and Killing Islamic World Katha Pollitt

20 Ecclesiogenic Neuroses Church-related abstinent practices and enforcement can lead to “secrecy, prohibitions, and threats” which can further lead to a mental disorder known as “ecclesiogenic neuroses” Eberhard Schaetzing

21 Religious Schizophrenia It has been documented that some religious practices lead to a psychotic break, otherwise known as schizophrenia It has been documented that some religious practices lead to a psychotic break, otherwise known as schizophrenia Example: Example: Bratslav Hasidism, an ultraorthodox sect in Israel and NY, has isolated and paranoid individuals. Their participation in the sect’s unusual practices, such as praying at night at the tombs of spiritual leaders, can finally bring about the psychotic break Bratslav Hasidism, an ultraorthodox sect in Israel and NY, has isolated and paranoid individuals. Their participation in the sect’s unusual practices, such as praying at night at the tombs of spiritual leaders, can finally bring about the psychotic break Bernard Spilka and Paul Werme

22 Works Cited AbramsVivi. “A Healthy Spirit Researcher sees link between good health, religious involvement.” Lexis-Nexis. 26 Apr The Birmingham News. 17 Oct AbramsVivi. “A Healthy Spirit Researcher sees link between good health, religious involvement.” Lexis-Nexis. 26 Apr The Birmingham News. 17 Oct Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Easterbrook, Greg. “Religion is Good for your Health.” National Center for Policy Analysis. 17 Oct Easterbrook, Greg. “Religion is Good for your Health.” National Center for Policy Analysis. 17 Oct Madigon, Timothy J. “Filling a Child’s Head with Nonsense.” Free Inquiry: Madigon, Timothy J. “Filling a Child’s Head with Nonsense.” Free Inquiry: More Evidence that Religion is Healthy. 25 Dec. More Evidence that Religion is Healthy. 25 Dec Dukemed. 17 Oct Myers, David G. “On Assessing prayer, Faith and Health.” Resources on psychology and religion Oct Myers, David G. “On Assessing prayer, Faith and Health.” Resources on psychology and religion Oct Pollitt, Katha. “God Changes Everything.” The Nation: Pollitt, Katha. “God Changes Everything.” The Nation: Schaetzing, E. Die ekklesiogenen Neurosen. Wege zum Menschen, Schaetzing, E. Die ekklesiogenen Neurosen. Wege zum Menschen, Spilka, B., and Werme, P.H. Religion and Mental Disorder: A Research Perspective Spilka, B., and Werme, P.H. Religion and Mental Disorder: A Research Perspective Whitehead, A.N. Religion in the Making. New York: Macmillian, Whitehead, A.N. Religion in the Making. New York: Macmillian, 1926.


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