Thursday, December 23, 2010

Health & Religion

Gallup has an interesting poll out today, that speaks to the health benefits of being religious:
Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious....

Very religious Americans make healthier choices than their moderately religious and nonreligious counterparts across all four of the Healthy Behavior Index metrics, including smoking, healthy eating, and regular exercise. Smoking is one area of particular differentiation between the very religious and less religious Americans, with the nonreligious 85% more likely to be smokers than those who are very religious.
We've seen these kind of result before.... But I never know what to make of them.

Who doesn't want to be healthier, right?

But at what cost? I feel that I don't have any choice -- I am an atheist because, simply put, there is no evidence of "God" or any gods. It's not about what is or isn't good for me. It's about the truth, as best I can determine it.

Am I supposed to relax my intellectual integrity for the sake of gaining the added health benefits of religion? I can't do that. Maybe some people can, but I can't.

I don't doubt that there are health benefits to being part of a community, such as a religious community, even when it it founded on nebulous facts.

I've just never felt I had a choice, any more than I have a choice over Newton's Laws.

1 comment:

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