It is counter-intuitive that religious people would be healthier and live longer than atheists (and agnostics). After all, this life is the only life that atheists have. This is it. In their view there’s no afterlife. So you’d think that they’d work harder on exercising and eating right in order to extend their lifetimes to the fullest extent possible, since, in their view, there’s nothing beyond this life. You’d think that instead of going to church for an hour on Sunday morning, using that time instead to go jogging would be much more effective in extending their longevity. You’d think they’d also do everything in their power to achieve happiness – reaching heaven on earth, since they don’t think there’s anything beyond.
Conversely, you’d think that religious people wouldn’t be as concerned about diet and exercise or living longer, because the sooner one dies, the sooner one can go to heaven. And you’d think that they wouldn’t be as concerned about achieving happiness in this life because they believe that that’s what awaits them in the next.
But you’d be wrong in those assumptions. It’s just the opposite from that described above. Religious people, on average, are healthier, happier, and live longer than atheists or agnostics.
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