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PHIL 3010 Week 2 Assignment: Short Paper Analysis on Happiness Studies

Analyze Happiness Studies

The articles titled “Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note” and “Does Education Make People Happy? Spotlighting the Overlooked Societal Condition” provide valuable insights into the factors that can influence happiness. Both articles contribute to our understanding of happiness and its relationship with different aspects of life.

To summarize the findings of each article briefly:

“Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note” (Snoep, 2008) reveals a positive association between religiousness and happiness in three nations. The study finds stronger correlations between religiousness and happiness in the United States compared to the Netherlands and Denmark. Participation in church activities and spending time with church members were significant predictors of happiness in the United States, while belonging to a church was more important in Denmark and the Netherlands.

PHIL 3010 Week 2 Assignment: Short Paper Analysis on Happiness Studies

“Does Education Make People Happy? Spotlighting the Overlooked Societal Condition” (Araki, 2022) explores the nuanced relationship between education and happiness, specifically in terms of societal-level educational expansion. The article suggests that highly skilled human resources in a society collectively enhance the quality of life for its citizens. However, in highly educated societies, the economic value of education decreases, making it difficult for highly educated individuals to maintain higher levels of life satisfaction compared to their less educated counterparts. These findings suggest several points of nexus or conflict with one or more religious traditions:

The positive relationship between religiousness and happiness may conflict with religious beliefs that emphasize suffering as a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment. Religions such as Buddhism and Christianity view suffering as an inherent part of the spiritual journey. The emphasis on suffering as a path to spiritual growth may contradict the findings of the study linking religiousness with higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction.

PHIL 3010 Week 2 Assignment: Short Paper Analysis on Happiness Studies

The association between religion and happiness can also be in conflict with religious traditions that prioritize self-denial for spiritual enlightenment. Buddhism and Christianity, for instance, encourage self-denial and detachment from materialistic aspects for spiritual growth. The findings of the study, which highlight the positive correlation between religiousness and happiness, might appear conflicting with these religious traditions’ emphasis on self-denial.

The idea that highly skilled human resources enhance the quality of life might conflict with certain religious beliefs on education. Religions like Taoism and Confucianism value self-education and personal quests for knowledge. They may view institutional education as restrictive and believe that individuals should educate themselves about the world. The study’s findings about the societal benefits of education may conflict with these religious perspectives on education.

PHIL 3010 Week 2 Assignment: Short Paper Analysis on Happiness Studies

In conclusion, the analyzed articles shed light on the relationship between happiness and religiousness or education. However, they also highlight potential conflicts with certain religious traditions that emphasize suffering, self-denial, or alternative educational approaches. One question that remains unanswered is how religious traditions could adapt to the findings of these studies. Is there a possibility of reconciling Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and Confucianism with the scientific findings? Who would make the decision to reconcile with these findings, considering the longstanding traditions of these religions and their interpretations over centuries?

References:

Araki, S. (2022). Does Education Make People Happy? Spotlighting the Overlooked Societal Condition. Journal of Happiness Studies, 23(2), 587–629. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00416-y Snoep, L. (2008). Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9

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