Belief in Hell Makes Life on Earth More Miserable
Study investigates beliefs across 63 countries
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 24, 2014 10:57 AM CST
Updated Mar 1, 2014 7:19 AM CST
Believers in hell may be less happy on Earth, a study suggests.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Believers in hell—or just those who think about it—may find themselves less satisfied with life on Earth, a new study suggests. In the study published in PLOS One, researchers in British Columbia investigated data from 63 countries, both on a national scale and an individual one. They compared those who believe only in heaven with those who believe only in hell. The more a country's population leaned toward the former, the happier that country was, LiveScience reports, and individuals who believed in heaven said they were more satisfied with life.

The data, however, left open the possibility that people who are already unhappy tend to believe in hell, instead of the other way around. So researchers asked 422 people to write about heaven, hell, or what they did the previous day. Afterward, they were surveyed about their emotions. There wasn't much difference between the reported emotions of those who wrote about heaven and those who described their daily activities. But people who wrote about hell—whether they believed in it or not—reported more sadness. It may be that writing about hell simply makes people less happy; it's also possible that nonbelievers feared they could be wrong, a researcher suggests.

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Showing 3 of 490 comments
Mar 9, 2014 11:31 AM CDT
Today many Christians have misused, misled and given their own interpretation of the word of God, the Bible. As a rule of thumb, whenever men get involved in anything it is inevitable we will fall short of perfection. If non Christians would only read and see what the bible says and not settle for hearsay, things would make sense for them. Just because we refuse to believe in something does not make us immune to the facts. If I break the law, regardless if I am aware of it or not, I am subject to the penalty of breaking the law. When one takes his or her last breath the truth will be revealed but unfortunately it will be too late to those have have rejected truth. Accept Jesus today and understand TRUTH.
Jerry Murray
Mar 2, 2014 10:26 PM CST
Life will be miserable to those who have heard the truth and reject it. Jesus said that "Unless you believe that I am He (God the Savior), you will die in your sins" - John 8:24. For those of us who have Christ as our Savior and Lord there is no condemnation, and, in fact, there is peace in place of fear. Get Salvation today before it is too late - for you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
Mar 2, 2014 5:25 PM CST
Reminds me of a teaching story I once heard. A mystic was going down a road and found people suffused with joy and happiness. He asked why they were so happy and they said 'We are happy because we dream of heaven'. A little further down the road he met a bunch of peoplecowering and depressed andfearful he asked what made them fearful and they said 'We are like this because we fear the fires of Hell.'. So what you believe will make you either happy or unhappy. It's all in your mind. Heaven and hell are not physical places we go to, they are within us. WE make our own heaven and hell.