Atheism and death

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According to a study performed in the United States by the researchers Wink and Scott, very religious people fear death the least.[1]

A majority of atheists hold to the philosophy of naturalism which rejects the miraculous.

Atheism and life after death

See also: Atheism and life after death and Atheism and the supernatural

The website Skeptics Guide indicates that a significant number of atheists and agnostics believe in life after death and the website reported:

A survey compiled in 2014 by The Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture (AISFC) reveals that 32 percent of Americans who identified themselves as agnostics and atheists believe in an afterlife of some kind. In addition, 6 percent of the same non-theistic group expressed a belief in a “bodily resurrection”. These numbers were taken from a sample of 15,738 Americans, all of which were between the ages of 18 and 60. According to the data, 13.2 percent of Americans identify themselves as atheist, agnostic, or some other variation of non-believing.

I found these results to be quite surprising. Having been immersed in circles of atheists and agnostics for the past 20 years, the numbers revealed by this study are higher than I would have guessed, by quite a lot. What stands out the most is that 6% expressed a belief in resurrection. It could be a statistical anomaly of some sort (perhaps the respondents did not understand the question about bodily resurrection?) Why an atheist or agnostic would believe that a dead person could come back to life seems entirely contrary to their worldview.[2]

(Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture Study: Do people still believe in life after death?)


Contents

Atheism and death anxiety

See also: Atheist fear of death

Science Daily reported that "Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God".[3] In a Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.[4]

Stress and unconscious thinking processes

In addition, under stress, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.[5]

Unconscious thinking and complex decisions

According to the prestigious science journal Science, under complex decision making conditions, due to the deliberation-without-attention effect, it has been found that conscious thinkers are less likely to be satisfied with their choices than unconscious thinkers.[6] When faced with complex decisions, many people report making sounder decisions after "sleeping on it" and unconscious thinking may be playing a role in this matter.[7]

Unconscious thinking and religious thoughts

The Bible teaches that creation clearly testifies to the existence of God (Romans 1:19-20). It has been asserted by various theists that atheists do not exist and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception and in the deception of others (see: Denials that atheists exist and Atheism and deception).

Perhaps, the reason why death anxiety appears to increase unconscious belief in God in the irreligious is that under stressful conditions, such as conditions which arise under death anxiety conditions, atheists' deep seated beliefs that God exist increase in intensity. As mentioned above, under stressful conditions, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.[8]

Dr. Nathan Heflick's commentary in the magazine Psychology Today

Due to the research showing that death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Dr. Nathan Heflick declared in a Psychology Today article, "But, at a less conscious (or pre-conscious) level, this research suggests that there might be less atheism in foxholes than atheists in foxholes report."[9]

Religion's/Irreligion's effect on death anxiety

See also: Atheist fear of death

A United States study indicated that very religious people fear death the least

King Solomon declared in the Book Of Proverbs: "The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1).

According to a study performed in the United States by researchers Wink and Scott, it was found that very religious people feared death the least.[10][11] In addition, the researcher Wen found that the more religious you are, the less you will fear death.[12]

King Solomon declared in the Book Of Proverbs: "The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1).

The Apostle Paul wrote: ""O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Lukewarm/moderately religious and death anxiety

In the aforementioned study, Wink and Scott found that moderately religious people fear death the most.[13][14]

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ told the Church of Laodicea that He would spit lukewarm members of the church out of this mouth and that they needed to repent and become fervent/hot Christians (Revelation 3:15–16). Lukewarm believers in God are thought to have the fear of hell, but not the inward assurance of going to heaven.[15]

Irreligion's effect on death anxiety

Wink and Scott study: Irreligious and death anxiety

According to the researchers Wink and Scott, the irreligious fear death more than the very religious, but fear it less than the lukewarm/moderately religious. Atheists lack the God given courage of Christians with a strong faith, but many are too foolish and arrogant to have enough sense to fear hell. See: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and moral intelligence

For more information, please see: Atheism and views of death

Additional information from Science Daily

On April 2, 2012, Science Daily further reported:

New University of Otago research suggests that when non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to religious belief...

In the first study, researchers found that death-primed religious participants consciously reported greater belief in religious entities than similar participants who had not been death-primed. Non-religious participants who had been primed showed the opposite effect: they reported greater disbelief than their fellow non-religious participants in the control condition.

Study co-author Associate Professor Jamin Halberstadt says these results fit with the theory that fear of death prompts people to defend their own worldview, regardless of whether it is a religious or non-religious one.

"However, when we studied people's unconscious beliefs in the two later experiments, a different picture emerged. While death-priming made religious participants more certain about the reality of religious entities, non-religious participants showed less confidence in their disbelief," Associate Professor Halberstadt says.[16]

Richard Dawkins crying out to God on live radio under a stressful situation

On February 14, 2012, The Telegraph reported an live radio exchange between the agnostic/evolutionist Richard Dawkins and Reverend Giles Fraser and they reported thusly:

Fraser: Richard, if I said to you what is the full title of The Origin Of Species, I’m sure you could tell me that.

Dawkins: Yes I could.

Fraser: Go on then.

Dawkins: On the Origin of Species…Uh…With, oh, God, On the Origin of Species. There is a sub-title with respect to the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.

It was a golden minute of radio. But as well as being hilarious, it was hugely symbolic. In The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Baroness Warsi highlighted the militant secularism on the march in Britain. But as Dr Fraser revealed, the atheist army is led by an embarrassingly feeble general. The arrogance and intolerance of the atheists, exemplified by Prof Dawkins, is their Achilles’ heel.[17]

So the theory that one could have stress induced increased unconscious religious thoughts and these could have a significant effect due to one's brain processes preferring unconscious thoughts during times of stress is certainly plausible - especially with the addition of the previously cited study from Science Daily.[18]

Bible believers are more courageous than atheists/agnostics

Bible believing Christians with a strong faith in God are more courageous than wicked unbelievers (Proverbs 28:1).

In recent years there has been a number of cases where atheists/agnostics have backed out of debates or refused to debate Bible believing Christians (see: Atheism and cowardice and Atheism and debate and Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates).

For example, the Oxford University atheist Daniel Came told the agnostic Richard Dawkins: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[19] See also: Instances of Richard Dawkins ducking debates

Atheists/agnostics frequently do very poorly in debates and rarely do well in debates (see: Atheism and debate).

Muslims and death anxiety

Due to their harsh notion of God, Muslims have a significant amount of death anxiety.[20]

Study shows that thinking about atheism increases Americans thoughts about death

A study by done at the College of Staten Island by Corey Cook involving 236 participants found that when people thought about atheism it increased their thoughts about death (this was also true for the atheists in the study as well).[21] Furthermore, When study participants thought about atheism, it activated concern about death to the same degree as actually thinking about death.[22]

Dislike of atheists and atheism inspiring thoughts about death

In the United States, studies show that atheists are frequently held in low regard (See: Views on atheists). The prominent New Atheist Sam Harris said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[23]

Discover magazine wrote about Cook's study:

These death thoughts help trigger a subconscious dislike of atheists, said study leader Corey Cook, a social psychologist at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Not only do thoughts of death put people in a negative frame of mind, Cook told Live Science, but they also prompt people to hold more tightly onto their own values.[24]

Atheism and ultimate meaning and purpose

Atheists have a higher suicide rate than theists.[25][26]

See also: Atheism and purpose and Atheism and meaninglessness

Under an atheist worldview, there is no objective meaning or purpose in life.[27] See also: Atheism and purpose and Atheism and meaninglessness

Through Jesus Christ, Christianity offers objective meaning and purpose to life.[28]

In December 2003, the University of Warwick reported:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[29]

For more information, please see studies and historical data relevant to:

Atheism and transhumanism

See also: Atheism and transhumanism and Atheist cults

The atheist Julian Huxley coined the term transhumanism.[30]

According to the Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrum, transhumanism has its roots in an atheistic/secular humanism/evolutionary worldview.[31] The atheist, evolutionist and eugenicist Julian Huxley coined the term transhumanism.[32]

Julian Huxley wrote:

The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself – not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way – but in its entirety, as humanity. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.[33]

The pseudoscientific transhumanism movement which desires to transcend being human through technology and become posthuman in order achieve a type of non-theistic immortality is completely unrealistic and is engaging in wishful thinking.[34] See also: Atheism and irrationality and Atheist cults

The atheist worldview cannot explain the existence of consciousness

See: Atheism and irrationality

The atheist worldview cannot explain the existence of consciousness either and the theistic worldview can offer a reasonable explanation.[35]

Mind uploading and cryonics are unfeasible

See also: Atheism and cryonics and Atheism and irrationality

Advocates of mind uploading (Mind uploading is the notion that someday mankind may be able to scan and upload their minds to a mechanical storage mediums) are generally strong advocates of cryonics as well.[36] For a number of reasons, mind uploading is an entirely unfeasible hypothesis.[37] See also: Atheism and cryonics

Endeavoring to upload the human brain and achieve a technological singularity

Ray Kurzweil is endeavoring to achieve an atheistic version of heaven.[38]

An article entitled The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists describes the atheist Ray Kurzweil thusly:

Ray Kurzweil sees technology as fulfilling all aspirations previously ascribed to religion, including immortality. He argues that computing machines will soon outstrip human cognitive capacities, at which point humanity will upload itself onto a new, indestructible digital medium (an atheist version/vision of “resurrection”).[39]

The article Top 10 atheist inconsistencies declares:

Some atheists like Ray Kurzweil advocate transhumanist doctrines that prophesy of a near future - in as few as 20 years, according to him - in which a singularity event will occur. With the singularity event, humans will be able to use science to achieve immortality. Kurzweil speaks of this singularity event with the same fervor in which the proverbial Southern Baptist minister raves about the Rapture. Fantasizing about post-singularity humanity, Kurzweil proclaims that, being able to live for eternity, we will eventually be able to know everything that can possibly be known.

But does he believe it's possible that there just might be another being in this vast universe who has achieved all knowledge before he has? No, that is ludicrous.[40]

Atheism and cryonics

The adherents of cryonics put the deceased person in cryonic suspension via cooling and perfusing the corpse with cryoprotective solutions.[41][42]

See also: Atheism and cryonics and Atheist cults

Cryonics is a pseudoscience that tries to extend life or achieve immortality in a non-theistic way after the person is legally declared dead.[43][44]

Robert Ettinger was an atheist and American academic who some consider to be "the father of cryonics" because of the impact of his 1962 book The Prospect of Immortality.[45][46] Evan Cooper was also a founding father of the cryonics movement.[47] Cooper was a very private man and there may be no record of his worldview as far as whether he was an atheist, agnostic or theist.[48] Evan Cooper abandoned the cryonics movement after he felt that the extension of life through cryonics would not be achievable in his lifetime.[49]

According to The Cryonics Society:

Ettinger's reflections on the work of Rostand and other scientists led him to collect his ideas on cryonics into a book. Doubleday, the publishers, sent a review copy to Mensan Isaac Asimov, who gave it a clean scientific bill of health. The book appeared in nine languages, four editions, and became the bible of the cryonics movement. Ettinger found himself appearing on Time and Newsweek and nationwide TV.[50]

Isaac Asimov was a popular American science fiction writer and a professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was also an atheist.[51] According to The Cryonics Society, Asimov said of cryonics, "Though no one can quantify the probability of cryonics working, I estimate it is at least 90%..."[52]

Atheist and cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky endorsed cryonics

The atheist and American cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky was one of 63 scientists who signed an open letter endorsing the concept of cryonics.[53][54]

Larry King and cryonics

Larry King is an atheist.[55][56] In 2011, The Telegraph in an article entitled On Larry King and an atheist's fear of death reported about the atheist Larry King, "Larry King, the former CNN broadcaster, made the news this morning after saying he wants to be frozen after his death, so that he can be revived when medical technology improves.[57]

Michael Shermer and other atheist/agnostic critics of cryonics

Today, the atheist/agnostic community is largely skeptical of the cryonics movement. For example, in 2001, the atheist/agnostic Michael Shermer said of cryonics, "Is it? That depends on how much time, effort and money ($120,000 for a full-body freeze or $50,000 for just the head) you are willing to invest for odds of success only slightly higher than zero... I want to believe the cryonicists. Really I do. I gave up on religion in college, but I often slip back into my former evangelical fervor, now directed toward the wonders of science and nature."[58]

Atheist PZ Myers dreamt about dying and standing before the pearly gates of heaven

See also: Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

On October 22, 2014, the atheist PZ Myers bolstered the case that atheists have an unconscious belief that God exists. Myers wrote in a Pharyngula blog post: "I woke up from a dream a little too early this morning. I dreamt that I had died and gone to a cliché. That’s right, I was standing before the Pearly Gates…"[59]

It is evident that Myers has no intellectual/evidential justification for the non-existence of God. For example, when the evangelist Ray Comfort asked Myers why he is an atheist Myers gave the illogical, circular argument response of: "Why am I an atheist? Because there is no God".[60] Previously, the Christian apologist Ken Ammi criticized Myers for merely presupposing God's non-existence, but not providing argumentation for this position.[61]

There have been no reports of theologians or creation scientists having dreams that atheism is true.

Atheists and the fear of hell

Last Judgment by Johann Georg Unruhe - Damned souls going to Hell. See: Atheism and hell

See also: Atheism and Hell and Atheism and hatred of God

The Bible teaches that "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12). Furthermore, the Bible teaches "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5). Also, Scripture teaches that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10). The psalmist David declared: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." — Psalms 14:1 (KJV) See: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and morality and Atheism and moral intelligence

The psalmist David wrote "The heavens declare the glory of God..." — Psalms 19:1

The journalist and ex-atheist Peter Hitchens and the fear of hell

The journalist and ex-atheist Peter Hitchens, who is the brother of the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, said upon seeing an art exhibit of Michelangelo's painting The Last Judgment, he came to the realization that he might be judged which startled him.[62] This started a train of thought within Peter Hichens that eventually led him to become a Christian.[63]

Child/teen atheist and fear of hell

A child/teen atheist wrote to the atheist psychologist Dr. Darrell Ray:

Dear Darrel,

I have recently decided that I am an atheist. The problem is that I am now much more anxious about my own mortality, and the mortality of the people I care about. It is scary to suddenly feel like there isn’t a God looking out for us, and that there will just be nothing after we die. Also I can’t help being afraid that if I am wrong I will go to Hell. How should I cope with these fears?[64]

Atheist posting at the ThinkingAtheist.com forum about his fear of death

In December 2012, an atheist posted in an atheist forum:

I have been an atheist for about a year and a half. I wasn't

heavily indoctrinated or raised religious but I did believe in god for the first 16 years of my life. I always believed in a hell but I thought that only murders and people like that went there. It wasn't until I went through this like 6 month religious phase that I learned all the rules and that a lot more things can get you sent to hell then I thought. During this time my anxiety and ocd got really bad. Now I am an atheist but I still suffer from a fear in hell.

I get negative thoughts about satan and hell and I don't believe in god but I worry "what if I'm wrong?". It's really frustrating because I feel like a hypocrite that I don't believe in god but I keep getting worried and anxiety about what if I'm wrong.

I was just wondering if any of you feel the same thing I do or any tips on how to get over it.[65]

Apostle Paul about men suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and the testimony of creation

In his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul declared:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse...." — Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)[66]

Secular funerals

Giles Frasier

See also: Atheist funerals and Atheism quotes

British Reverend Giles Fraser, on secular funerals, article in The Guardian:

And it was here, in this, the religious part of the service, that Cilla was not a celebrity standing before an audience, but a human being standing naked before God. There is a basic democracy in this aspect of religion that is often absent from the secular funeral...

In contrast to the religious funeral, the secular memorial service faces one massive problem. What if the deceased didn’t merit the effusive praise of the recently appointed biographer? What if they had done little of note? Or indeed, even more problematically, what if they had been a total sh*t throughout their lives and no one has a good word to say about them? The secular memorial service is generally based on the optimistic idea that the deceased was worthy of some sort of public commendation – which is why the whole idea of a secular memorial service for a paedophile or a mass murderer feels totally impossible. Would people really stand up to laud their achievements? Would people tell funny little stories about them? Of course not. I use this extreme example to make a point. The secular memorial service began as something for important statesmen and was then adopted by the increasingly Godless bourgeoisie as a way of celebrating their personal achievements. But it’s often poorly designed for those of us who are not a part of the great and the good.

And one unexpected consequence of the rise of the secular memorial service is that funerals are more full of half truths and evasions. Yes, the atheistic mindset is happy that the lie of God has been eliminated. Everything is more honest now, they say. Death is death. No more dressing it up. But things turn out to be far more complicated – for in the secular funeral this so-called lie about God is commonly replaced by another sort of lie, a lie about humanity. Or, at least, a lie about how good this particular person was.[67]

Penelope Nixon, The Guardian, letter to the editor concerning a Guardian article by the Reverend Giles Fraser:

Life tends to be short in east London, so I have attended scores of funerals in my 68 years. Secular funerals are often dominated by those with the loudest voices and the crassest anecdotes. They confuse the function of the funeral with the function of the post-funeral wake.

The one humanist funeral I have attended was well-ordered and polite but had to be followed by religious services for family who found the secular event lacked comfort. I am grateful to the Rev Giles Fraser for being so honest in saying what needed to be said.[68]

For additional information, please see: Atheist funerals

Atheism and deaths attributed to atheistic communism

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Militant atheism and Atheism and communism and Soviet atheism

It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[69] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[70]

Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error (see also: Atheism and communism and Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union).

See also

External links

Notes

  1. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  2. Survey: 32% of Atheists & Agnostics Believe in an Afterlife
  3. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily, Date: April 2, 2012
  4. Atheists, Death and Belief in God The Effects of Death Reminders on Atheists' Supernatural Beliefs, Psychology Today, Published on May 25, 2012 by Nathan A. Heflick, Ph.D. in The Big Questions
  5. Bos, M.W., Dijksterhuis, A., & van Baaren, R. B., On making the right choice: the deliberation-without-attention effect. Science, 2006. 311(5763). p. 1005-7
  6. Bos, M.W., Dijksterhuis, A., & van Baaren, R. B., On making the right choice: the deliberation-without-attention effect. Science, 2006. 311(5763). p. 1005-7
  7. Atheists, Death and Belief in God The Effects of Death Reminders on Atheists' Supernatural Beliefs, Psychology Today, Published on May 25, 2012 by Nathan A. Heflick, Ph.D. in The Big Questions
  8. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  9. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2005, Jul;60(4):P207-14. Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? Findings from a longitudinal study. Wink P1, Scott J.
  10. Wen, Y. (2010). Religiosity and death anxiety. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 6(2), 31-37.
  11. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  12. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2005, Jul;60(4):P207-14. Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? Findings from a longitudinal study. Wink P1, Scott J.
  13. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  14. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily, Date: April 2, 2012
  15. For once, Richard Dawkins is lost for words: Atheists’ arrogance is their Achilles’ heel, as a cringemaking radio performance has proved. The Telegraph By Stephen Pollard, February 14, 2012
  16. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily, Date: April 2, 2012
  17. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  18. Fear of death is highest among Muslims By Tomas Rees on Saturday, March 24, 2012]
  19. Atheism Terrifies People Because It Makes Us Think About Death by Simon Davis, Vice News, May 11, 2015
  20. Atheism Terrifies People Because It Makes Us Think About Death by Simon Davis, Vice News, May 11, 2015
  21. Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
  22. Atheists Inspire Thoughts of Death in Many Americans by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience, Discover magazine, May 23, 2015 09:25 AM ET
  23. Religious affiliation and suicide rate
  24. Adherents.com - suicide rates
  25. http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2003/A/20037338.html
  26. A HISTORY OF TRANSHUMANIST THOUGHT, Nick Bostrom, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University
  27. A HISTORY OF TRANSHUMANIST THOUGHT, Nick Bostrom, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University
  28. A HISTORY OF TRANSHUMANIST THOUGHT, Nick Bostrom, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University
  29. A HISTORY OF TRANSHUMANIST THOUGHT, Nick Bostrom, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University
  30. The Argument from Consciousness for the Existence of God by John Piippo, 3/20/2012
  31. Mind uploading - Thought experiments as knowledge
  32. The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists
  33. The 25 Most Influential Living Atheists
  34. Top 10 atheist inconsistencies
  35. Cryonic Suspension Protocol
  36. Cryogenesis: A Review, Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, In Winter 2012/ March 11, 2012
  37. Cryogenesis: A Review, Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, In Winter 2012/ March 11, 2012
  38. Heaven for atheists - TheHumanist.com
  39. "Robert Ettinger". The Telegraph. July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2013. "Despite his Jewish roots, he grew up a determined atheist."
  40. Klein, Bruce (August 13, 2004). "The Father of Cryonics, Robert C. W. Ettinger, Interview with Bruce Klein". Immortality Institute. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
  41. Evan Cooper and the cryonics movement
  42. Evan Cooper and the cryonics movement
  43. Evan Cooper and the cryonics movement
  44. A Brain Is A Terrible Thing To Waste Mensans, Cryonics, and The Fight To Extend Human Life by David Pascal, Published in the November/December 2005 issue of Mensa Bulletin
  45. Isaac Asimov quote
  46. Cryonics and critics, The Cryonics Society
  47. Source that says he is an atheist: Leon M. Lederman, Judith A. Scheppler (2001). "Marvin Minsky: Mind Maker". Portraits of Great American Scientists. Prometheus Books. p. 74. ISBN 9781573929325. "Another area where he "goes against the flow" is in his spiritual beliefs. As far as religion is concerned, he's a confirmed atheist. "I think it [religion] is a contagious mental disease. . . . The brain has a need to believe it knows a reason for things."
  48. "Scientists Open Letter on Cryonics"
  49. Norm Macdonald & Larry King - Norm Macdonald Live - Video Podcast Network. YouTube (April 30, 2013).
  50. Howard Stern and Larry King on Atheism and Homosexuality by Michael Shoesmith, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  51. On Larry King and an atheist's fear of death
  52. Nano Nonsense & Cryonics, Michael Shermer, published September 2001
  53. Just another dream by PZ Myers, October 22, 2014
  54. Evolution Vs. God Movie
  55. PZ Myers Emotively Vociferous but Intellectually Mute by Ken Ammi
  56. Interview of Peter Hitchens - Video at Vimeo
  57. Interview of Peter Hitchens - Video at Vimeo
  58. Google cache of How do atheists handle the fear of death at: http://kidswithoutgod.com/teens/ask/how-do-atheists-handle-the-fear-of-death/
  59. I have a fear of hell, Thinkingatheist.com forum, posted 28-12-2012, 04:50 AM
  60. Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)
  61. At a Christian funeral all are equal before God – even Cilla Black, The Guardian, Reverend Giles Frasier
  62. Secular funerals can lack the requisite dignity and fail to provide comfort, Penelope Nixon, The Guardian, letter to the editor concerning a Guardian article by the Reverend Giles Fraser
  63. Multiple references:
  64. Rummel, R. J. (November 1993). "How many did communist regimes murder?" University of Hawaii website; Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War.