Originally posted by sumydid
[b]New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder
British psychiatry researchers recently stirred the roiling religious affiliation and identification pot with a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that concludes that “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerab R category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.[/b]
Ok, let us for a moment assume that the study is correct.
And Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) people are 77% more likely to be drug-dependent than religious people.
If (for example) only 1% of religious people are drug-dependent then only 1.77% of SBNR people would be drug dependent.
Now that's a statistically significant increase with respect to the religious group, but it still leaves the overwhelming majority
as non-drug dependent.
In other words if someone told you that they were SBNR then while that would make them 77% more likely to be drug-dependent
than someone who told you that they were religious, they would still (in this example) have a 98.33% chance of not being
Thus if what you are claiming "yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems" were true then that would require that
a large number of religious people have "a host of mental and emotional problems" too.
For a simple majority (lets say 51% ) of SBNR people to have drug-dependency problems, then 29% of religious people would have
We both know that the true number is much much lower than that.
Thus it cannot (according to this study) be true that a majority of SBNR people are drug dependent. (and I chose that metric as it had the
highest Odds Ratio. The lower the odds ratio then the closer the levels are, for a 50% difference, something that 51% of SBNR people have,
34% of religious people have)
Which demonstrates yet again why proper statistical analysis is required rather than biased "personal experience" and anecdotes.
You also missed the part in the article where it cautions thus...
[quote]..... Coming Soon to a Pulpit Near You!
As with periodic surveys showing relationships between levels of religiosity and well-being, this latest research is apt to find its way into many a sermon at declining churches across the U.K. and its former colonies. The gist (perhaps under a veneer of Christian pity): “There ya go! Your fakey-fakey, sage-burning, labyrinth-walking, church-of-the-blessed-ME ‘spirituality’ doesn’t make you happy.” Throw in some (largely inconclusive) studies on prayer and healing, an the result seems fairly obvious: Traditional believers are happier, healthier, and a heck of a lot saner. So there!
Not so fast. Like all research, the BJP study bears much closer scrutiny and, as its authors note, the relationship between religion and mental health—as with religion and happiness or religion and physical health—requires much deeper examination. (A very brief primer on the evaluation of empirical data might be in order at this point, but I’ll spare the reader a discussion of distinctions between correlation, causality, and selection. Really friends, though, since we’re all reading Pew, PRRI, and Gallup data on an almost daily basis now, it’s worth studying up here, here, and perhaps especially here.)
As Professor King confirmed, the survey data cannot tell us whether those who are already “vulnerable to mental disorder,” through genetics, psychosocial trauma, or a mix of both, are likely to feel comfortable or to be made welcome in traditional religious settings. Those suffering with psychological conditions, says King, “may reject organized religion, or they may seek existential meaning for their distress in spiritual matters. It is hard to assess causality.” The relationship, that is, may be a matter of selection, with those more vulnerable to psychological distress opting out of institutional religion.
After all, one person’s healthy “religious framework” might be a problematic constraint for another. Some such frameworks might be sufficiently rigid to comfort socially normative congregants while excluding those further out on the margins than the mere unfamiliar newcomers, single people, those without children, and so on who are often given a less than hospitable welcome in many religious communities. It’s fair to assume, as well, that even religious groups truly desiring to embrace all comers may be off-putting to people already predisposed to or suffering from mental disorders. The “organization”—liturgical, ideological, social—in organized religion may itself render the worship experience psychologically difficult even for those who might wish to participate.
In this light seems something of a stretch to suggest that disengagement with organized religion causes mental health difficulties. ..... [quote]