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Religious Nonbelievers’ Psychological Distress

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Synonyms

Agnosticism; Atheism

Definition

Religious nonbelievers are individuals who do not subscribe to religious beliefs. Nonbelievers may be subdivided into two broad categories: atheists (certain nonbelievers) and agnostics (uncertain nonbelievers). Various forms of psychological distress are experienced by religious nonbelievers, and nonbelievers have sources of distress unique to them.

Description

Research has demonstrated that there are some areas in which nonbelievers experience greater amounts of distress compared to believers. Studies have shown that nonbelievers have greater difficulty forgiving God (Exline, Yali, & Lobel, 1999) and have more anger toward God than do believers (Exline, Park, Smith, & Carey, 2011). Although it may sound strange for those without a belief in God to demonstrate angertoward God, these nonbelievers may have a past history of religious belief; a small number of self-defined atheists in Exline’s research also stated they were “unsure” about God’s...

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Correspondence to Samuel R. Weber .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Weber, S.R., Lomax, J.W., Pargament, K.I. (2014). Religious Nonbelievers’ Psychological Distress. In: Michalos, A.C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_4135

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