Written by on 08/17/2017

Winchester, VA – Life News is reporting that Life Expectancy is declining for the first time since the 1930’s because of increasing suicide rates. Referencing Aaron Kheriaty’s article in First Things, they note that factors contributing to this increase in suicide are social fragmentation, overal decrease in religious involvement, utilitarianism, and an increase in assisted suicide laws. Kheriaty  states that the problem can be simply boiled down to despair. Trends towards anti-social behavior were noted back in the mid-1990’s, when it was brought to light that bowling leagues were decreasing despite larger numbers of bowlers than ever. Also decreasing were participation in schoolboard meetings, town meetings, volunteering, and neighborhood interactions. The introduction of the internet and mobile devices only served to escalate this isolationist behavior. Kheriaty states that one factor that drastically reduces the risks of depression and suicide is participation in religious communities and the cultivation of virtues such as forgiveness and gratitude. A study of 89,000 people showed that people “who attend any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide” Identification with a religion made no difference, only participation did.

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