Religion & Health

Picked up from an article in today’s ScienceDaily at

“Religion and spirituality, as well as each of its dimensions, had modest but reliable links with social health. ‘When we took a closer look, we found that patients with stronger spiritual well-being, more benign images of God (such as perceptions of a benevolent rather than an angry or distant God), or stronger beliefs (such as convictions that a personal God can be called upon for assistance) reported better social health,’ said lead author Allen Sherman, PhD, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. ‘In contrast, those who struggled with their faith fared more poorly.’”

(Bear in mind, of course, where this study was done and the nature of the culture there. Even so, the bold-faced call-out seems significant given how often we see excessive moral perfectionism and hyper-religiosity in the families – as well as the minds – of sx pts. “Social proof” from the surrounding culture can be useful if it doesn’t get in the way of seeing and understanding realities that need to be seen and understood for the pt’s health to improve.)

Journal References:

Heather S. L. Jim, James E. Pustejovsky, Crystal L. Park, Suzanne C. Danhauer, Allen C. Sherman, George Fitchett, Thomas V. Merluzzi, Alexis R. Munoz, Login George, Mallory A. Snyder, John M. Salsman. Religion, spirituality, and physical health in cancer patients: A meta-analysis. Cancer, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29353

Allen C. Sherman, Thomas V. Merluzzi, James E. Pustejovsky, Crystal L. Park, Login George, George Fitchett, Heather S. L. Jim, Alexis R. Munoz, Suzanne C. Danhauer, Mallory A. Snyder, John M. Salsman. A meta-analytic review of religious or spiritual involvement and social health among cancer patients. Cancer, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29352

John M. Salsman, James E. Pustejovsky, Heather S. L. Jim, Alexis R. Munoz, Thomas V. Merluzzi, Login George, Crystal L. Park, Suzanne C. Danhauer, Allen C. Sherman, Mallory A. Snyder, George Fitchett. A meta-analytic approach to examining the correlation between religion/spirituality and mental health in cancer. Cancer, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29350


I think the capacity for a sense of a higher power has been with humanity for so long that is evolved into the operation of the brain… or at least some brains.

“Correlation does not imply causation.”

In other words… Are they socially healthy because they believe in a benevolent God? Or do they believe in a benevolent God because they are socially healthy?

Maybe I didn’t read it thoroughly enough to find out what they think. I have a mental block against “scientific articles’”


If you’re really IN to that, then I’ll suggest this little tome. It was =hot= stuff on college campuses in the '80s, believe me.

I think what it really says is that if you believe energetically, you’ll derive some benefit, albeit inside the box of the belief system. If the reality you are confronting does not fit inside the box, then forget it.

Hmmmm… it’d be nice to find what a modern neuroscientist thinks of this bicameral theory.

From my understanding even the left brained/right brained stuff can be debated. Operations are more uniform throughout the brain and everyone’s brain are a little different.

It would also suggest the “free intelligence” was existing within the human mind before language. Sort of like our voices, I don’t think that is possible.

It is an interesting glimpse though into a hypothetical human existence that would be very different.

He has his time frame wrong in any case.

That would be the first recognized proto-civ. Between 4000 and 5000 years ago.

Before that I’m sure there were all sorts of tribes and spoken dialects, which would have been more traditional and slow to advance. But that is just my assumption.

People with faith live longer. As do people with frequent interaction with extended family. People who laugh and those who walk in nature.


They’ve thought a lot of – and about – it for the last four decades. It regularly crops up in the best-sellers from the “big names” like Cozolino, Gazzaniga, Kaszniak, LeDoux, McGilchrist and Pinker. They take issue here and there, but all point to Jaynes (and his disciple Kuijsten) as having stumbled into something =very= significant. The major upshot for modern psychotherapy has been the understanding of the need to link the dominant functions of the two hemispheres more effectively. Shapiro’s EMDR was the first result. Ogden’s sensorimotor therapy was next. Levine’s somatic experiencing has come into vogue lately. But all of the mindfulness-based cognitive therapies are somewhat the result of recognizing that Jaynes knew a good thing when he saw it.

You can debate all you want. I’ll be (characteristically) blunt: Have you read =fifty= journal-published, peer-reviewed articles on the topic? When you have, get back to me.

He knew what was known in 1975. You know (a little of) what is known in 2015.

I’m pleased to see some degree of self-questioning here. Because I have seen a pattern of defending the ego for no good reason so many times in psychiatric pts (including myself) that I… 1) expect it, 2) took pains to understand why it occurs, and 3) discovered after considerable time and effort that it is the result of unconscious adherence to a core belief that everyone who is assertive is attacking us and must be rejected.

Finally, for your consideration:

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation.” – Herbert Spencer

I am forced by experience to argue that this may or may not be true in any given case. Because it’s the quality of the faith that actually matters. If the “faith” is actually belief, and the belief is not well-connected to reality (or “what actually is”), then the faith will tend not to work very well. BUT… if the faith is reality-based, it may work great. E.g.: AA’s notion of having faith in the recovery process."

Yeah I approached this with a bias of thinking it was probably not true. To suggest that genetically more or less identical beings had a totally different life experience, does not seem reasonable at all.

No I studied it I have certificate in healthy aging. I know that believers in a higher power live longer. It’s proven. Those who practise connection to a god will extend their lives.

i knew a guy who had hiv-aids ( he was gay )…sadly he died.
his friends ( also gay ) who had hiv-aids are still alive…
he lost his will to live.
and the others ’ willed ’ themselves to live.
take care :alien:

A spiritual connection to yourself, faith in yourself, is a good way to go–no telling where that will take you…