Atheist fear of 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]

Irreligion's effect on death anxiety

See also: Atheism and death and Atheism and cowardice

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.[2]

Death anxiety increases atheists unconscious belief in God

On April 2, 2012, Science Daily reported that Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God.[3] In a 2012 Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.[4]

(Under stress, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.[5]) See also: Atheism and the brain

For more information on death anxiety in atheists and other types of individuals based on brain research studies (including studies that examined the effects of stress), please see the article: Atheism and death

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

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

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.[6][7] In addition, the researcher Wen found that the more religious you are, the less you will fear death.[8]

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.[9][10]

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.[11]

Atheism and Hell

See also: Atheism and Hell

Atheism|Atheists often launch unsuccessful attacks on the well-established Christian belief of eternal punishment in Hell. Rather than repent and accept the gospel message, they engage in denialism about their sin and attempt to suppress the truth of God's existence. See also: Atheism and hatred of God

The Christian evangelist Ray Comfort often gives atheists/evolutionists the good person test in order to assist atheists in recognizing their sinful nature.[12]

Atheism and death anxiety

Science Daily reported that "Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God".[13] In a Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.[14]

Stress and unconscious thinking processes

In addition, under stress, the brain's processing works in a way that prefers unconscious thinking.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Unconscious thinking and religious thoughts

The Bible teaches that creation clearly testifies to the existence of God (Romans 1:19-20). In atheistic Japan, researchers found that Japanese children see the world as designed.[18] 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.[19]

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."[20]

See also

Notes

  1. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  2. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  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. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  6. 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.
  7. Wen, Y. (2010). Religiosity and death anxiety. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 6(2), 31-37.
  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. Fear of death: worst if you’re a little religious?, World of Science]
  11. Evolution vs. God
  12. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily, Date: April 2, 2012
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Children see the world as designed by David Catchpoole, Published: 16 July 2009(GMT+10) at Creation.com
  17. 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