This is your space to comment on one of the articles or add to the discussion on religious or philosophical matters.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Self-Help Expert could have used some help...

TV personality Choi Yoon-hee leaves death note 

By Park Si-soo

Choi Yoon-hee, a popular TV personality nicknamed “preacher of happiness,” and her husband were found dead in a motel in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday, police said, Friday. She was 63 and her husband 72.

A note was found at the scene, police said. They were found at around 8:30 p.m.

Her death has sent a shockwave through society as her public lectures and publications were all about how to overcome personal ordeals and map out the road to happiness, drawing a great number of followers and media attention.

In the one-page note she left to her family members, Choi hinted that she had taken such a tragic path because of illness.

“I have suffered deteriorating health for two years and I recently found my lungs and heart were in trouble,” she wrote. “I initially planned to kill myself alone on a trip to a rural county by overdosing on sleeping pills. But the plan was foiled by my husband.”
She added, “We decided to leave together because my husband didn’t want to remain alone.”

Investigators at the scene presumed Choi’s husband choked her to death first and then hanged himself in a restroom. Many citizens showed shock and disappointment.

“It’s unbelievable that she killed herself,” said Kang Shin-young, a housewife in Seoul who overcame her private difficulties thanks largely to the deceased’s lectures.

An Internet blogger said, “Her preaching may have saved many people in trouble but not for herself.”

In an interview with The Korea Times in January, she underscored a positive mind and can-do spirit, recollecting what she called an “endless” cycle of despair, poverty and depression she endured 40 years ago.

“Under ideal conditions, everybody can obtain whatever they want,” she said in the interview. “Real happiness comes when one makes a seemingly unobtainable achievement under adverse conditions.”

Their bodies have been taken to a hospital in Ilsan and will be cremated Sunday.

Last year alone, 14,579 people took their own lives, becoming the fourth leading cause of death in South Korea after cancer, strokes and heart-related illnesses, a state report said.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In which European countries are people least likely to attend religious services?

Aug 9th 2010 | From The Economist online

THE proportion of people who regularly attend religious services has declined steadily throughout Europe in recent years. But habits vary widely across countries. According to the latest European Social Survey conducted in 2008 and 2009, over 60% of Czechs say they never attend religious services, with the exception of “special occasions” such as marriages and christenings. France, Britain and Belgium are also secular nations, with over half of respondents never going to services. The most regular attenders among the 28 countries polled are in Cyprus and Greece, where only 2.4% and 4.9% respectively say they do not go to church. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Money makes you happy - $75,000 to be exact according to the

(Wall Street Journal) Money can't buy happiness, but a study shows that we can earn it.
The study, which analyzed Gallup surveys of 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009, suggests that there were two forms of happiness: day-to-day contentment and overall satisfaction with one's place in the world. While a higher income brings little day-to-day contentment, it does boost people's overall satisfaction.
The study, conducted by Princeton University economist Angus Deaton and famed psychologist Daniel Kahneman, found that there's a specific dollar number, or income plateau, after which more money has no measurable effect on day-to-day contentment.
As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. That is, until you hit the magic number: $75,000 a year. After that, it's just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.
That doesn't mean wealthy and ultrawealthy people are equally happy. More money does boost people's overall satisfaction all the way up the income ladder. People who earned $160,000 a year, for instance, reported more overall satisfaction than people earning $120,000, and so on.
"Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood...but it is going to make them feel they have a better life," Mr. Deaton told the Associated Press.
He added: "As an economist, I tend to think money is good for you, and am pleased to find some evidence for that."
However, $75,000 in New York doesn't buy as much as it would in, say, South Dakota. Based on cost-of-living index values from, the happiness salary would vary widely across the nation. For example, New Yorkers would have to earn $163,000 a year to achieve the $75,000 happiness level; in Chicago, $84,750. It took the least amount of money to achieve happiness in Fort Smith, Ark., and Pueblo, Colo., where a $62,000 salary buys $75,000 worth of happiness.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where is Your God? Responding to the Challenge of Unbelief and Religious Indifference Today

Who are the non-believers?  What is their culture?  What are they saying to us?  What can we say to them?  What dialogue can we establish with them?  What can we do to shake up their interest, stir up their questions, nourish their reflections, and hand on the faith to new generations, often victims of the religious indifference mobilized by the dominant culture? Although a bit lengthy, this is one of the best articles I've seen on the current crisis of faith.Take a look and give me your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are we headed toward One World or a Clash of Civilizations Based on Religion?

Read the following article from the Wall Street Journal and give your opinion and vote now!