Psychological Self-Help

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obeying the law, or psychological adjustment. Yet, George Gallup &
Jones (1992) say that the most committed 13% of the believers are
the happiest, most tolerant, and ethical (compared to the less
committed). Likewise, among only the more active religious youth,
there is some suggestion of less delinquency (Cochran, 1989) and
greater closeness with their parents. On the other hand, the highly
religious seem to be more guilt prone (Richards, 1991). Some people
become "addicted" to their religious beliefs. Father Leo Booth (1992)
helps people escape from religious addiction. And, Winell (1994) helps
former fundamentalists with their guilt, fear, anger and other losses.
The benefits of religion seem to be limited primarily to the most
devout, but the most devout are also the most susceptible to
becoming addicted or obsessed. 
Another viewpoint is held by certain Humanists who contend that
religious involvement frequently distracts us from helping others in
need. For instance, some churches are much more interested in
"saving souls" than in "helping the poor." Some would rather build an
expensive church than feed the poor. Fundamentalists sometimes
believe everything is God's will; thus, all you have to do is believe in
God and pray, then the world will be as it should be. Other churches
agree with the Humanists, emphasizing that we each must love one
another and take responsibility for making things better. I find it hard
to believe that any God would approve of 42,000 children dying every
day from preventable illnesses and hunger, 600,000 mothers dying in
childbirth every year from lack of medical care, and 1.2 billion people
living on less than $1 a day, while others of the same species live in
luxury. If religions can't influence our moral decisions (including killing
for religious causes), what are they for? 
It is firmly believed by almost all caring, giving people (whether
religious or not) that helping others helps you feel good too. Chapter 3
tries to help you find meaning in life, which may or may not involve
religion. James Fowler (1981) says all religious faith develops in seven
stages (like Kohlberg's stages of moral development) and involves
making meaning out of our lives, starting with the primitive belief that
"if I am good, God will be good to me," through youthful acceptance of
"hand-me-down beliefs," on to maturely accepting "responsibility for
deciding what is meaningful," and, finally, on to "feeling at one with
God and everyone, and acting accordingly." You may want to read
more about faith in order to strengthen or challenge your own beliefs. 
STEP THREE: Establish the desired attitude cognitively,
emotionally, and behaviorally.
As stated in the general idea above, there is a cognitive, an
emotional, and a behavioral component to every attitude, just as there
are five parts to every problem (chapter 2). Therefore, if you think you
want to adopt a new, more helpful attitude, you need to (1) be sure
you really believe and accept the attitude, (2) modify your feelings so
they are in keeping with the desired attitude, and (3) start behaving in
ways consistent with that attitude. Examples: If you don't live your
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