A new study has concluded that religious people are happier, and better able to cope with bumps in the road of life. Professor Andrew Clark from the Paris School of Economics and Dr Orsolya Lelkes from the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research analyzed the attitudes expressed in existing household survey data, and concluded that those who had faith to lean on had a more positive outlook on life than atheists or agnostics.
"What we found was that religious people were experiencing current day rewards, rather than storing them up for the future," said Clark, who presented his research at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference in Coventry, England earlier this week. "Churchgoing and prayer are also associated with greater satisfaction," noted Clark. Religion also seemed to help people cope with adversity such as divorce and unemployment, serving as a "buffer" and "insurance policy."
Researches were unable to conclusively clarify however, whether it was faith itself that made people happier, or religion-related lifestyle factors, such as a stable family life, regular consumption of communion wine, or a higher incidence of singing. Either way, the God pill seems to work better than Prozac, which along with other similar drugs was found to be ineffective in all but the most serious cases of depression in another recent study (see previous story).