Those who sometimes believe in God are the least happy: Does believing in God contribute to happiness, unhappiness, or is it neutral? Here are the mean sadness score from the General Social Survey (1=very happy, 2=pretty happy, 3=not too happy):
Mean Sadness Score--Whites
Doesn't believe 1.79
No way to find out 1.88
Some higher power 1.77
Believes sometimes 1.93
Believes but doubts 1.82
Knows God exists 1.73
Mean Sadness Score--Blacks
Doesn't believe 1.86
No way to find out 2.00
Some higher power 2.04
Believes sometimes 2.26
Believes but doubts 2.08
Knows God exists 1.97
These numbers echo my earlier analysis that it isn't so healthy to be squishy on these issues. Emile Durkheim argued that it is a pathological condition to have Socrates' outlook: "The only thing I know is that I know nothing."
Some might think that atheists would be miserable, but they are the happiest black group, and the third happiest white group. The differences are not large, but they are statistically significant.
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