Church attendance linked with reduced suicide risk, especially for Catholics, study says


#1

latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-church-attendance-suicide-20160629-snap-story.html

The women’s church attendance was not the only factor; which church they attended mattered as well. Protestant women who worshiped weekly at church were far less likely to take their own lives than were women who seldom or never attended services. But these same Protestant women were still seven times more likely to die by their own hand than were their devout Catholic sisters.

Among especially devout Catholic women — those in the pews more than once a week — suicides were a vanishing phenomenon. Among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended mass more than once a week, there was not a single suicide.


#2

How good Catholicism has a positive effect! :thumbsup:


#3

Yeah! Take that :knight2:! all you militant atheists, who think religion has nothing good to offer!


#4

Well, militant atheism can’t answer why suicide isn’t good without being arbitrary or reliant on assumptions every bit as empirically untestable as most religious dogmas.


#5

Most militant atheists pride themselves on their “reason”. It shouldn’t stretch anyone’s reasoning abilities to understand that a low suicide rate is a good thing.


#6

If the premise is quality of life, or pleasure, suicide is not an inherently unreasonable proposition.

Suffice it to say, that such hedonistic propositions are not included in the world view of devout Catholic women.


#7

I don’t think this study would necessarily mean that churchgoing-Christian theists are happier than others. It would just mean that fewer kill themselves.
That result could be because church-going theists may believe suicide would send them to hell, so they fear doing it even if they are just as unhappy as their counterparts.

I wonder if the Catholic women stat is linked to the fact that they are often mothers, so less likely to kill themselves because they want to stay alive for their children.

I wasn’t able to open the link.

Is it saying that church-going Christians have a lower suicide rate than temple-going Jews or Muslims or Buddhists, etc?

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#8

Ah…I opened the link to see it does point out the hell-link:
*

The Catholic Church teaches that suicide is a mortal sin. It has long warned that those who killed themselves would go to hell, and denied those who killed themselves a Catholic burial.*

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#9

This study doesn’t seem to deal at all with one’s actual belief or dis-belief in a God. It’s focus seems to be about church attendance.
There are a lot of atheists who go to church, and a lot of theists who do not.

In fact, the study points out that:

Self-identified Catholics who never attended mass committed suicide nearly as often as did women of any religion who were not active worshipers.

And suggests that the reason churchgoers may commit less suicide is because of the social aspect of getting together regularly with others…because church services provides the same as other group get-togethers:*“…a form of meaningful social participation” that buffers women against loneliness and isolation — both factors that are strongly implicated in depression and suicide. *

So the study is by no means is saying that atheists commit suicide more than theists.

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#10

True. They also know that suffering has meaning.


#11

This study doesn’t seem to deal at all with one’s actual belief or dis-belief in a God. It’s focus seems to be about church attendance.
There are a lot of atheists who go to church, and a lot of theists who do not.

Um, they are weekly church-goers. They most likely believe in Jesus! :stuck_out_tongue: And if there truly are lots of atheists being dragged to church by their spouses, perhaps they also get the benefit of lower suicide rates. :thumbsup:

In fact, the study points out that:

Self-identified Catholics who never attended mass committed suicide nearly as often as did women of any religion who were not active worshipers.

As the article said, there is something about going to mass that discourages suicide.

And suggests that the reason churchgoers may commit less suicide is because of the social aspect of getting together regularly with others…because church services provides the same as other group get-togethers:*“…a form of meaningful social participation” that buffers women against loneliness and isolation — both factors that are strongly implicated in depression and suicide. *

Belief in God combined with belonging to a church community is good medicine when life gets you down. It give you hope, something to hold on to. If you don’t have that, why not off yourself?

So the study is by no means is saying that atheists commit suicide more than theists.

It doesn’t mention atheism specifically. It says regular church-goers are more resistant to suicide than the general populace who are not regular church-goers. That is proof to me that there is something beneficial about religion, which is a truth that militant (angry) atheists consistently deny.


#12

Having children is another thing to thank religion for. And if your kids keep you from killing yourself, that’s great. Another benefit! :slight_smile:


#13

If I was still an atheist, I could say that it is not the belief in a non-existent being that reduces suicide rates but the social support given by belonging in a church.

By the way, most hard core atheists I know do acknowledge that religion does some good in people’s lives. They may disagree with it but they are at most indifferent not antagonistic towards religion.


#14

What would you say now, as a theist? As a theist, that explanation seems so lacking. I don’t get the best fellowship from going to Church. Catholics are kind of lagging in that department. Maybe that makes me doubly irrational! :wink:


#15

Being in the presence of God can have a profound impact upon someone, whether or not one actually has faith.


#16

The church no longer denies a Catholic burial to those who commit suicide.


#17

When I was an atheist, I wouldn’t know what to think about low suicide rates among the religious. I think I might attribute it to social factors, too. But now that I am firmly in the religious camp, I believe that awareness of sin and it’s consequences, as well as the hope that God brings is responsible for the lower suicide rates.


#18

You are right about the lack of fellowship in Catholic communities. I think Protestant churches in general are more about fellowship, yet according to this article, they have higher suicide rates. It must be the Catholic teaching that suicide is a sin that is responsible for much lower suicide rates. Or maybe it’s the graces imparted from the Eucharist?


#19

What Catholic churches have and most Protestant churches do not have is a crucifix. Is there a better reminder that suffering can have meaning?

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:39

Because of continuing computer problems I cannot access the translation used by the Vatican web site. I have to take what I can get without actually clicking on a google result.


#20

Well it’s possible to be an atheist and a moral realist, I think. Hopefully this will help some New Atheist types consider the reasons people are religious, however. It annoys me the way they reduce religious belief to a blind acceptance of everything the Bible states.


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