A deeply religious people and atheists are less afraid of death
Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “in this world, nothing can not say for certain but death and taxes.” This inevitable end — a scary thought for most people, but according to a recent study, those who are very religious, and those who have no religious beliefs, generally less afraid of death than the average person.
Researchers from Oxford University studied a number of previous studies to understand the relationship between religiosity and fear of death and to determine how the belief in the supernatural affects the realization of the fact of his eventual demise.
Their study was based around a concept known as the theory of the control of terror, which assumes that the conflict between our desire to live and the awareness of the inevitability of death is a key driving force behind many of the cultural values and rituals. This consciousness creates models of behavior that help us to escape from death, including speculation that we take to protect our views of the world. It’s a defense mechanism, which, presumably, affects our willingness to attribute themselves to any social group, influences our political and religious beliefs, and affects participation in social rituals such as attending Church or political rallies.
According to this hypothesis, anxiety about death is significantly lower among very religious people, since the fear of death, of course, drives people into religious culture, where their voltage can be reduced. The researchers used data from more than 100 studies conducted between 1961 and 2014 in order to correlate the degree of religiosity and level of fear of death. When all research results were analyzed, the researchers found that a strong faith is directly related to less fear of death no matter what beliefs professed by a specific person. Thus, it was found that as low fear of the death experience and atheists.
“It certainly complicates the old idea that religious people are less afraid of death than non-religious people. It may well be that atheism also provides protection against fear of death, or people who just don’t fear death, don’t need religion,” says researcher Jonathan Chan from the University of Oxford.
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