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Livin' on a Prayer: Insecurity Over Looks Makes Us Religious?

Livin' on a Prayer: Insecurity Over Looks Makes Us Religious?

Seeing people we consider more attractive than ourselves could bring us closer to God. In a recent study, participants who were shown online profiles of attractive people of the same sex described themselves as more religious than those who did not feel the need to compete on looks.

One evolutionary explanation for the findings is this: when people confront the fact that there are attractive mating competitors out there, they are more likely to embrace a conservative approach to reproduction, aka religiously-endorse monogamy.

I guess this means that really, really good looking people are more likely to be atheists?

Source: Flickr User Femmescapes

Join The Conversation
Lyv Lyv 7 years
What an absurd study. For starters, you can't measure people's self-confidence by showing them or not showing them pictures of attractive people. It's soooo much more complex than that.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I think it's a matter of finding comfort and security, at least that's what religion had offered me. Now I'm agnostic. People find solace in different things.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
This is bizarre to me. I have no idea what to say about this.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm insecure much of the time, and I'm still an atheist.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I'm an atheist, but I don't find myself ridiculously good looking. In fact, I can sometimes feel quite insecure. I've never had an urge to turn to religion because I have my bad days. But whether it's physical looks or something else, religion is often a way for people to feel comforted and not alone. That's how I interpret the study.
weffie weffie 7 years
Jessiebanana, I'll check it out... thanks for your great reply, much appreciated!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I don't think this study was saying atheists are better looking people, that was a comment added by Tres. Rather, people turn to religion when they feel inferior or insecure about something, such as looks. And surrounding yourself by people you feel inferior to can increase one's religious tendencies. I think this study sort of makes sense. If someone believes that they can't get a mate because they are inferior, it makes sense they would turn to religion to offer a means of acquiring a mate and feeling more secure. Not all atheists are ugly!
Blackwood Blackwood 7 years
I doubt it. I'm an atheist and I'm not that striking. However, maybe the fact that those religious people feel less attractive makes them look for a way to value themselves for other than physical features, like mental and spiritual ones. But the cynic in me believes that deep down it's all a case of reaffirming themselves putting the others "more attractive" ones down so they don't have to feel as bad for not being like that. "I may not be attractive but I'm way too good to sleep with anybody, so I don't care that they don't find me attractive because attractive girls are whores" kind of thing.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 7 years
Well first the study is on "self perceived" attractiveness not actual "objective" attractiveness...if beauty and attractiveness can ever really be objective. Plenty of attractive people don't believe they are. The underlying is confidence versus insecurity and I think insecurity fuels religion in general. I think it's no shock that people tend to be more actively religious during times of war, natural disaster and economic struggle, so it's definitely possible that it would play a part in your dating life where self esteem is a huge issue. *Weffie* I'm agnostic and I dare say I'm guilty of the "more enlightened" stance sometimes, though I usually try to keep it to myself. If you really want an answer to this question try watching the "The Atheism Tapes" it's long but quite good (also it's on instant view on Netflix if you have it). I think more agnostic/atheist recently have stood behind the intelligence factor as a defense of the term "intellectual elitist" being used as a negative or defamatory word in that last 7 years of politics. As if there is something wrong with thinking. Also I would also suggest it's more logical to assume something isn't there than that it is. Cause that could go nuts. No one has ever proved that there aren't vampire or fairies or cupcakes on Mars, not saying it isn't possible, just that there is no reason to believe so. Also as far as feeling like sheep. Most atheist/agnostics that I know have to come to that conclusion themselves and then seek out like people in college and their adult life. Growing up Ag/Ath in a country where the super majority of people are religious isn't easy. Also religion is something that is started so early in life it almost has a brain washing like quality to it. Kids that can't read or even grasp abstract concepts like God are told to believe by the most influential people in their life, their parents. Whether it is right or wrong that is where the idea comes from. Sorry this is so long, but I'm honestly trying to answer your question the best way I can.
weffie weffie 7 years
This is an honest question so forgive me if it offends anyone, but why do atheists always brag about their intelligence? I don't understand how believing there's no god is any more or less intelligent than believing there is a god--in either case, you are making a declaration regarding something that you (obviously) have no way of knowing anything about. Isn't that more like ignorance than intelligence? All the atheists I've known (which is a relatively small sample, I admit) speak badly about Christians and other religious people, usually describing them as stupid, ignorant, and 'sheep,' but fail to realize that these words could be used to describe themselves, based on their own criteria. Have there been any studies which actually indicate that atheists are smarter than the rest of us? Or did they just decide to describe themselves that way without any scientific foundation? I thought they were big on proving things with science, after all ;)
chillchic chillchic 7 years
I can't believe that someone would take the time out to make a pointless study. I believe in God because God exists, not because of the need to compete for a guy. I mean, I have much higher self-esteem than most people I know of all religions. The most depressed, pitiful people I have met have been atheists and no most weren't very good looking either.
ally14 ally14 7 years
I don't think there's much correlation between good looking people and atheism. I think that if a person is intelligent enough to not believe in God, then they are also intelligent enough to realize that beauty is subjective and therefore, they don't look at the media's image as ideal beauty. That's why they have higher self-esteem and don't need religion's ideologies to reassure them of their beauty.
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