A brand new scientific study set to be published in the April edition of the Journal of Religion & Health shows how those who believe in an angry, punishing God are far more likely to suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses.
Stephen Webster of The Raw Story writes: “[The study] used data from the 2010 Baylor Religion Survey of US Adults to examine the links between beliefs and anxiety disorders like social dysfunction, paranoia, obsession and compulsion. To do this, Silton viewed the data through the lens of what’s called Evolutionary Threat Assessment System Theory, which posits that parts of the brain specifically evolved to detect threats, and suggests that many anxiety disorders may be a result of dysfunction in the brain’s perception of those threats. In keeping with prior studies on this very subject, she queried the data on three types of believers: those who see God as angry, those who see God as neutral and those who see God as loving. Controlling specifically to weed out the non-believers, Silton found that a belief in a forgiving, loving God is associated with positive psychological traits, ‘almost protecting against psychopathology,’ she told Raw Story. But for those who think God is angry and preparing punishments for sinners, ‘that belief seems to be very much related to these negative symptoms, Silton said. ‘If you look at the previous research, they’ve connected it to depression and all sorts of other psychiatric disorders,’ she said. ‘We were looking at social phobia, obsession, compulsion, paranoia and a lot of features of anxiety disorders.'”
The research team is conducting further research which looks at more qualitative questions such as “what else belief systems might be related to.” You can read the full story by visiting RawStory.com. For more FEELguide stories from the world of spirituality CLICK HERE.