It might seem like common sense that theology and spirituality can affect emotions. I think that it can be useful to examine concepts like this more closely. If one feels like helping others will help one to gain treasures when one dies, then thinking like that can potentially elicit positive emotions within one’s own self. Theology can be directive. For example, a book that is considered holy or as being the words of a deity can direct someone to practice forgiveness, to behave in certain ways or to not be anxious. Our behaviors can affect and influence our thoughts. Our thoughts and behaviors can affect and influence our emotions. Our emotions can affect and influence our thoughts and behaviors. So, theology and spirituality and explicitly and implicitly involve psychology and affect emotions. Conversely, do secular psychology and psychiatry ever implicitly or explicitly involve theology or spirituality? It seems that the answer to that question is that they sometimes do.
There is a whole theory of counseling and psychotherapy that is labeled as being existential therapy. In philosophy, existential theories (existentialism) have to do with the nature of and reasons for existence. Philosophy, theology and spirituality can all deal with the reasons and nature of why humans exist and the meaning that can be associated with that existence.
Theology and spirituality often deal with and have something to suggest or posit about what happens after one dies. Secular psychology and psychiatry do not do this so much, at least explicitly. However, secular psychology and psychiatry do implicitly theorize and posit about what happens after one dies. This is evident with regards to how individuals employed in the psychiatric and psychological industry treat individuals who attempt suicide or indicate that they will attempt to engage in suicide.
Locked hospitals and hospital wards exist. Adults who attempt to engage in suicide or indicate that they will attempt to engage in suicide are frequently locked inside hospital wards and sometimes forcibly and physically stopped from engaging in behaviors that might result in one’s own human body being unable to support and maintain one’s own human life. This implicitly signals to the individual being held in a ward involuntarily and to the rest of society that living is better than dying. That belief that living is better than the results of dying seems to be a theological, philosophical and/or spiritual belief.
I personally think that it will be quite good if all suicides stop occurring because individuals no longer have reasons to want to engage in suicide. Additionally, I think that it will be good if all individuals who might want to engage in suicide can successfully be persuaded that it is possible to create a life worth living for one’s own self.
I do not support imposing implicit theological, philosophical and spiritual beliefs about death and dying on adults in the form of locked psychiatric wards, civil commitment and psychiatric holds. Hopefully more individuals will take time to critically examine the implicit implications of how suicide is currently treated legally, medically and so forth. Psychiatry and psychology implicitly indicate that living on Earth is better than whatever happens after death; this is made evident through the use of force and coercion to stop adults from engaging in suicide. That it is better to live on Earth, than to experience whatever happens after one dies is a theological and/or spiritual assertion, and should not be physically forced on any adult.