As an atheist, his contention was that religion gives people artificial, illusory happiness - like opium does to a drug addict. However, even if this were true, it doesn't much matter as long as the individual feels happier in their beliefs. The only problem is, and it's a big one, religious fanatics who can inflict misery on those who don't share their religion, and there are plenty of wars, both past and present, to prove this point.
Religion keeps religious people happy like heroin keeps heroin addicts happy. Both heroin and religion are the means by which these people are able to sufficiently block out the bad things happening in the world around them. Of course, both can also be highly damaging and addictive in their own ways, and my own personal advice would to be not to recommend them as your band-aid of choice when attempting to assuage the gaping wound that life becomes for some people.
Again, it should really go without saying, but just because something makes us happy doesn't necessarily mean its the right thing to do.
1 word: Faith. Believing in something is always something that has brought people together. Its also something that will stick by you your whole life, even when you're down. I do admit some people don't want faith, and they can be happy too. But usually, faith has made people happier.
I mean it does make us happier because when you have faith in what you believe, you feel more calm. But I do believe at the same time we are not all the time going to be happy because of the doubts we get, and when people tend to want to argue.
Some people are happier with religion but alot of people think they are destined to burn in hell. It has also caused people to do horrible things to other people in which case it isnt making people happier. It has made alot of people miserable. I need five more words and there they are.
Yes, religion does make people's lives happier. It gives humanity an explanation for the unexplainable. Many people believe in religions simply because everyone else does. The ideas of Christianity came from Judaism, a religion that was conceived around 2000 B.C.E. It is basically an altered version of 4000 years of possible mistranslation. It is believed because many people are afraid to stray away from the most common route. They are simply afraid to make their own decisions and think of their own ideas. As Thomas Gray once said, "Ignorance is Bliss."
Religion may 'directly' make people happy. They might read the religious text and feel 'happy'. But at the same time, They deeply hate other religions, And lots of problems today is caused solely by religion.
But there is no point in having this debate! Religious people have faith, They don't need evidence. They don't need evidence; actually they frown upon evidence. DO NOT QUESTION anything, That's what FAITH means.
I don't blame you for thinking what you think its what your religion syas so, your church. And other religious people that agree with this statement, as an atheist, no i don't beleive in religion, but does that make me automatically depressed? Unmoral? Unethical? Unjust? Destined to an "Afterlife" of everlasting tortute? No, i'm a positive person that values good morals over religious fear of torment, I like the intentions behind religion, just not what it has become today.
Of course life can be easier and better if you're part of the club and part of the community. But what if you aren't?
Genital mutilation, suicide bombings, honor killings, honor rape, holy war, slavery, genocide, restriction of free thought and expression, blasphemy laws, death to apostates, book burning, fatwas, witch burning, inquisition, crusades, imperialism, conquest, sword point conversion, theocracy, totalitarianism, denying reproductive choice, incitement of hate and bigotry......
The list goes on and on, and doesn't even include the eternal torture and mutilation that awaits one after death.
So, sure, religion can make peoples' lives happier, but at the expense of the suffering and misery of many many more. This brand of happiness simply is not worth the cost.
I for one would rather make peoples' lives happier through reason, better standards of living through sanitation and engineering, advanced medicine, technology, and a free society.