Over on the Secular Outpost Blog Bradly Bowen is at it again. He's got another 76 part argument. He's only on part 3.1 so that's all I'll discuss today. He thinks he's attacking the roots of religion by questioning the ability of religion to make one happy. He quotes some studies that would seem to indicate that religion's happy making potential is limited.
The correlation between religion and happiness thus appears to be a weak correlation, measuring somewhere between .06 and .18. As pointed out above that is about the same as the correlation between being physically attractive and being intelligent (correlation = .14). Obviously, there is only a weak correlation between being physically attractive and being intelligent. There are plenty of physically attractive people who are not very intelligent, and there are plenty of people who are not physically attractive who are very intelligent.
the source he;s citing is a pretty bad source: Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. Psychology Today. Kasjdan is qualified but psychology today is not a very scholar source,I*t;s time magazine for psychology, The study in question relays upon meta analysis. Now meta analysis a gimmick used a lot of late. It can be a way to hide the flaws of certain studies amid the cacophony of avast array of data from many studies,It might be thought of as similar to grading on a curve. My analogy. Kashdan;'s account of the research is minimal as he is writing for a popular level of knowledge, He does not discuss any specifics of methodology. One thing that is important to note the body of cowrie he draws upon-- this goes for Bowen as well--does not deal with religious experience in the sens of charismatic or mystical experiences.
There are studies on happiness and religion that show a high degree of happiness produced by religion.
Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.
What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness.
Bowen actually alludes to this fact. He plays with the figures to try and minimizes the importance. This unwittingly hints at the fallacy in his argument, Why should happiness be the sellim point any way?
Niether Bowen nor Kashdan discuss the nature of happiness, there is no attempt to sort out different levels of happiness,My contention is that more important than happiness is a more sophisticated concept breaking down elements of happiness that being life transformation, this is the goal of religion and the reason for it;s existence and this cannot be reduced to a simplistic concept like "happiness," In my view he point of all religion is to resolve the human problematic with ultimate informative experience. That is finding and realized in religious experience.
This research on happiness crosses paths with research for my book the Trace of God, at one specific point. My research shows that there is a vast body of scientific work proving that a certain kind of religious experience is informative,that is it tends to change one;s life dramatically for the better in almost all categories. Of course the difference is I did not research just generic happiness as related to any and every kind of religious belief. It was limited to one specific kind of experience, But it was world wide and the data base was far greater than Bowen's. He;s not even scratching the surface, There are literally hundreds of studies correlating many of kinds of religious experiences with happiness and other positive states. He';s only dealing with a couple of studies and no reason given as to why they are representative.
*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion 
Furthermore, Greeley found no evidence to support the orthodox belief that frequent mystic experiences or psychic experiences stem from deprivation or psychopathology. His ''mystics'' were generally better educated, more successful economically, and less racist, and they were rated substantially happier on measures of psychological well-being. (Charles T. Tart, Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm, p. 19.)
 Bradly Bowen, "Skeptcism about Religion--Part 3:More Caveats and Qualification," Secular Outpost (Sept. 20,2018) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2018/09/20/skepticism-about-religion-part-3-more-caveats-and-qualifications/ (accessed 9/23/18)
 Paul T. Kashdan, "Does being Religious Make Us Happy?" Psychology Today (Oct 7,2015) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/curious/201510/does-being-religious-make-us-happy
 Sander Greenland, "Invited Commentary, A critical Look At Some Poplar Meta Analytical Methods."American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 140, Issue 3, 1 August 1994, Pages 290–296,
https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/140/3/290/99737 (access 9/24/18)
from the abstract: "A good meta-analysis will highlight and delineate the subjective components of these processes and vigorously search for sources of heterogeneity. Unfortunately, these objectives are not always met by common techniques."
 John Bingham, "Religion can make you happier Official Figures Suggest." The Telecgrapoh (feb 2, 2016) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12136531/Religion-can-make-you-happier-official-figures-suggest.html (accessed 9/24/18).
 Michael E. Nielsen, in Hinman, "Mystical Experience" Doxa, 2004.
Nielsen was professor of psychology I think at Georgia. I met him a long time ago when I first started doing apologetic. He had a very high quality academic research site on religious experience and psychology. He was one of the researchers I use in my book,I knew him pretty well we were friends,he was not a Christian but he did not hate religion, I realize his data is out of date here I think his perspective should be heard.
 Wuthnow, Robert . "Peak Experiences: Some Empirical Tests." Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 18 (3),(1978) 59-75.
Noble, Kathleen D. ``Psychological Health and the Experience of Transcendence.'' The Counseling Psychologist, 15 (4),(1987). 601-614.
 the research summary council on Spiritual practices.see Trace of God