Sunday, September 23, 2012


Mr. Jewess and I just watched the film Happy. It's about what makes people around the world happy, and includes interviews, profiles, and commentaries from Psychologists and Neurologists who have been studying happiness.

It turns out that what makes people happy is being with others, playing, using their bodies, doing meaningful work and helping others. Which sounds an awful lot like Humanist philosophy to me.

The film mentions religion, saying that some people gain happiness from religious participation, but fundamentalists--defined as people who think their religion is the only right one and people who don't adhere to it strictly will be punished--are less happy than the general population.

Of course I needed to make note of this for my presentation. Because being in community and helping others are two things that religion (in general) does well. The film also discussed "spiritual thinking," which is defined as thinking about things like gratitude, and said that counting blessings, among other things, like meditation, can change our brain in healthy ways in a remarkably short period of time. This, of course, is another thing that religion can do well.

And they're also things that Humanists can do together. We can form communities, meditate, help others, and count our blessings.

Oh, and it's a really good film, too.

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