The Jakarta Post:
WIN/Gallup International recently published its poll result regarding the positive role of religion in countries worldwide.
The fascinating finding is that Indonesia tops the list, with about 95 percent of Indonesian respondents convinced that religion has a positive impact on society.
Further, another survey conducted by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed that Indonesians were indeed “happy” as they scored 65.11 percent out of 100 on the BPS happiness index (The Jakarta Post, April 17).
The two surveys may suggest that the positive impact of religion is confirmed given the happiness index in question.
However, skepticism also has a place in this matter.
According to Paul J. Zak in his book The Moral Molecule, religion has the potential to bring happiness and trigger compassionate attitudes toward our peers.
Based on his study, it can trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin, the levels of which can increase if we engage with others and build trust, resulting in a sense of togetherness.