Most human beings have a healthy fear of death, wouldn’t you say? I know I’m a little scared of what’s to come when it’s all said and done. Well, there are some who aren’t that afraid in the face of death, in fact, they are downright bold about the end of life. So, who are they? What category of people aren’t petrified by the reaper?
British scientists from the University of Coventry published a study in the Religion, Brain and Behavior Journal that reveals what category of people are brave in the face of death. No, they aren’t fearless gladiators, there are ordinary people.
It was surmised that religious people would be the ones who aren’t afraid of death, and this is true. Those who believe in a God aren’t as afraid of dying, no surprise there. But a fascinating twist reveals that religious people share this fearlessness with another group-a group much different, in fact on the other end of the spectrum from religious people. Atheists also have no fear of death.
Anthropologist at Coventry University, Johnathan Jong, Ph.D. said,
“This complicates the idea that religious people are less afraid of death than nonreligious people.”
To believe or not to believe
Could atheism be comforting when it comes to death? Better yet, does no fear of death remove the desire to seek religious comfort? Hmmm, I don’t know which way this goes.
Between 1961 and 2014, data from 26,000 people showed practicing spirituality or going to church lessened or eliminated the fear of death. So, there is proof in this aspect. The link between atheists and the acceptance of death is just as strong as other studies.
Addition studies suggest that there is not a linear line between religious people and atheists, rather it is like two points with a mountain the middle. Atop the mountain is where you will find those who are petrified of death. With this sort of model, there is only one conclusion.
Fear of death comes during the transition from one drastic belief to the other. In other words, those who aren’t sure what they believe are the ones most afraid of death.
All who believe
Basically, the lack of fear does not come from a specific belief. Fearlessness comes from the fact that we believe something, no matter what it is. It’s a definite position, without doubts and thus, without fears. Religious people BELIEVE in God, while Atheists BELIEVE there is no God. Belief equals fearlessness.
Of course, none of this is totally conclusive. Beliefs and absences of beliefs vary from country to country as does cultures. Fear of death could come from many angles, just as the absence of fear could originate from other sources and emotions.
I’m afraid of death. What does that tell you about me?