Civil Debates on Christianity and Religions

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:14 am
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Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suicide?

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http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=161&page=2303&journa...

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, those who are religiously affiliated have a "significantly lower" rate of taking their own life.

Why do Atheists and those not religiously affiliated thus have a significantly higher rate? Is Society so overwhelmingly oppressive and religious that it causes the non-believers to want the fast way out? Do Atheists in general have a weaker will to live? Are religious people bullying them so they can't take it anymore? If so, why do countries like South Korea which are nearly 50% Atheist have one of the worst suicide rates? Is it just "part of their culture"?
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Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members.


Now I know from personal experience at least, that Atheists having less contact with family members is not always (or usually) the result of being "shunned" by the religious members, but the result of the Atheist not wanting to be around the religious members. As for being "younger", it's the older folks have by far the highest suicide rate, so there's an anomaly in this variable. Does marriage prevent suicide? (You'd think from the anti-marriage rhetoric it's the opposite). If so, is there a corrolation with the tendency for Atheists to not get married?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:47 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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Shermana wrote:
http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=161&page=2303&journa...

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, those who are religiously affiliated have a "significantly lower" rate of taking their own life.

Why do Atheists and those not religiously affiliated thus have a significantly higher rate? Is Society so overwhelmingly oppressive and religious that it causes the non-believers to want the fast way out? Do Atheists in general have a weaker will to live? Are religious people bullying them so they can't take it anymore? If so, why do countries like South Korea which are nearly 50% Atheist have one of the worst suicide rates? Is it just "part of their culture"?
Quote:

Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members.


Now I know from personal experience at least, that Atheists having less contact with family members is not always (or usually) the result of being "shunned" by the religious members, but the result of the Atheist not wanting to be around the religious members. As for being "younger", it's the older folks have by far the highest suicide rate, so there's an anomaly in this variable. Does marriage prevent suicide? (You'd think from the anti-marriage rhetoric it's the opposite). If so, is there a corrolation with the tendency for Atheists to not get married?


A statistically small percentage of any society is 'mentally ill'; the mentally ill have trouble coping and commit suicide; drugs and religion are available to help them cope; non-believers don't have the religious option so perhaps we need to make sure that the atheist mentally ill take their drugs.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:28 am
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From the OP:

Why do atheists have a significantly higher rate of suicide?

Dealing with Christians icon_drunk

I actually consider this OP in my hypothesis that religion, through the god concept, typically acts to alleviate mental confusion, where it allows answers to questions that may be so vexing as to cause psychological, emotional or other disruption. Of course like with all things, take too much and ya can end up with more of what ya was trying to get rid of there in the first place.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:32 am
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By far the biggest religions are the Abrahamic religions, which (Conventionally) declare suicide to be sinful, or otherwise wrong. As an Atheist, one would conceivably be less likely to view suicide as a morally incorrect, and as such would be less likely to abstain from it.

I think that there is a similar argument to be made for the tendency for the non-religious to not marry, in that marriage is not likely to be valued as highly by the non-religious person. Also, I believe that marriage rates correlate inversely with the average IQ of a group(I'll have to check for supporting data when I get home later), and there is quite a lot of data to suggest that the non-theistic populations of the world have higher average IQs that that of their religious counterparts. If indeed such correlations do exist, your explanation might lie therein.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:05 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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A statistically small percentage of any society is 'mentally ill'; the mentally ill have trouble coping and commit suicide; drugs and religion are available to help them cope; non-believers don't have the religious option so perhaps we need to make sure that the atheist mentally ill take their drugs.


I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or actually believe this. Not every atheist commits suicide is mentally ill. However, I do agree that the lack of religion and, more specifically, perceiving suicide as a sin, would account for why the non-religious are more likely to commit suicide than the religious. Religious people believe their lives have purpose, even though they're doing essentially the same things day in, day out as atheists. I suppose this belief in purpose is what keeps religious people fighting through the bad times.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:05 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Quote:


A statistically small percentage of any society is 'mentally ill'; the mentally ill have trouble coping and commit suicide; drugs and religion are available to help them cope; non-believers don't have the religious option so perhaps we need to make sure that the atheist mentally ill take their drugs.


I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or actually believe this. Not every atheist commits suicide is mentally ill. However, I do agree that the lack of religion and, more specifically, perceiving suicide as a sin, would account for why the non-religious are more likely to commit suicide than the religious. Religious people believe their lives have purpose, even though they're doing essentially the same things day in, day out as atheists. I suppose this belief in purpose is what keeps religious people fighting through the bad times.


To be fair, the study subjects were all mentally ill people: "Two hundred ninety-five (79.5%) of the subjects had a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, and 76 (20.5%) had bipolar disorder, currently depressed." They also rule out your explanation: "No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found." That is to say, the religiously-affiliated did not possess more hope or fortitude than the unaffiliated.

I'd recommend reading at least the preamble and the discussion section. The authors speculate that certain certain moral beliefs prevent the religious attempting suicide as often as they might otherwise, and that the religious have closer family ties and thus more interpersonal support. Additionally, they admit that depression and so on may cause irreligiosity, and therefore that there is no causal link between non-affiliation and suicide attempts; non-affiliation may simply be incidental.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:20 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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Shermana wrote:
http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=161&page=2303&journa...

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, those who are religiously affiliated have a "significantly lower" rate of taking their own life.

Why do Atheists and those not religiously affiliated thus have a significantly higher rate? Is Society so overwhelmingly oppressive and religious that it causes the non-believers to want the fast way out? Do Atheists in general have a weaker will to live? Are religious people bullying them so they can't take it anymore? If so, why do countries like South Korea which are nearly 50% Atheist have one of the worst suicide rates? Is it just "part of their culture"?
Quote:

Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members.


Now I know from personal experience at least, that Atheists having less contact with family members is not always (or usually) the result of being "shunned" by the religious members, but the result of the Atheist not wanting to be around the religious members. As for being "younger", it's the older folks have by far the highest suicide rate, so there's an anomaly in this variable. Does marriage prevent suicide? (You'd think from the anti-marriage rhetoric it's the opposite). If so, is there a corrolation with the tendency for Atheists to not get married?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:30 am
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That's a nice use of the quote function there, JMvizanko....now do you have anything to say about it?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:54 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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Shermana wrote:
http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=161&page=2303&journa...

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, those who are religiously affiliated have a "significantly lower" rate of taking their own life.

Why do Atheists and those not religiously affiliated thus have a significantly higher rate?


I would agree with Aki in thinking that the whole "Hell for people who commit suicide" is a big thing for those who subscribe to the Abrahamic religions.

Shermana wrote:
Is Society so overwhelmingly oppressive and religious that it causes the non-believers to want the fast way out?


For some it could be.

Shermana wrote:
Do Atheists in general have a weaker will to live?


I don't think so. I also don't think taking a debate in this direction would be very productive since you would be debating people who have... well... not committed suicide.

Shermana wrote:
Are religious people bullying them so they can't take it anymore? If so, why do countries like South Korea which are nearly 50% Atheist have one of the worst suicide rates? Is it just "part of their culture"?


I don't know, you'd have to ask them.

Shermana wrote:
Quote:

Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members.


Now I know from personal experience at least, that Atheists having less contact with family members is not always (or usually) the result of being "shunned" by the religious members, but the result of the Atheist not wanting to be around the religious members.


How do you know that "from personal experience" concerning the comment on "usually". Do you know most of the atheists in the world? Have you had a personal experience from most of the atheists that have less contact with family members? i didn't think so.

Shermana wrote:
As for being "younger", it's the older folks have by far the highest suicide rate, so there's an anomaly in this variable.


The fact that younger atheists are more prone to suicide is not all that surprising. Young people more often suffer depression and bullying, their hormones are all over the place, they are immature. I find youth's committing suicide has little to do with religious affiliation one way or another and I don't think you could reasonably reach a conclusion on the matter.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:02 am
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Re: Why do Atheists have a significantly higher rate of Suic

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Shermana wrote:
http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?Volume=161&page=2303&journa...

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, those who are religiously affiliated have a "significantly lower" rate of taking their own life.

Why do Atheists and those not religiously affiliated thus have a significantly higher rate? Is Society so overwhelmingly oppressive and religious that it causes the non-believers to want the fast way out? Do Atheists in general have a weaker will to live? Are religious people bullying them so they can't take it anymore? If so, why do countries like South Korea which are nearly 50% Atheist have one of the worst suicide rates? Is it just "part of their culture"?
Quote:

Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members.


Now I know from personal experience at least, that Atheists having less contact with family members is not always (or usually) the result of being "shunned" by the religious members, but the result of the Atheist not wanting to be around the religious members. As for being "younger", it's the older folks have by far the highest suicide rate, so there's an anomaly in this variable. Does marriage prevent suicide? (You'd think from the anti-marriage rhetoric it's the opposite). If so, is there a corrolation with the tendency for Atheists to not get married?



From reading the articles, it appears it is in the main showing suicide stats across the board and that includes physician-assisted suicides. (euthanasia). Many secular countries allow it. That would probably have a lot to do with the stats showing that the majority of suicides are those of over the age of 65 and the majority of those over 65 are over the age of 85.

SO, unless you are assuming that there are no religious people whatsoever living in secular countries, the whole "atheists" bit in your topic title, is more than a tad misleading, Shermana.

Catalyst.

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