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Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:20 AM

Afraid Of Dying? Scientists Pinpoint Who Is Terrified Of Death And Who Isnt

People who arenít afraid of death have all sorts of different jobs, hobbies and lives, but one thing they tend to have in common is confidence in their faith. Or lack thereof.

A study in Religion, Brain & Behavior says fearing death happens in a curve, with religiously observant people on one side and staunch atheists on the other. Smack in between those two groups are the undecideds, and the amount of fear reaches its peak in that middle, before dropping down as it nears one of the two extremes.

In other words, you are more anxious about death the less certain you are about religion ó either that you have faith in a higher power and an afterlife or that there is no God.

The researchers on this study analyzed previous international studies on the matter to come to their conclusion. One of the nuances of their findings was that some people who believed in a religion on the basis of actual faith were not very anxious about dying, while people who followed a religion for social reasons did not have that same experience, according to the University of Oxford. Of the 100 studies researchers looked at, most of them from the United States, some had some conflicting results. They showed the idea of religion easing the fear of death may differ depending on the religious and cultural context.

http://www.ibtimes.com/afraid-dying-scientists-pinpoint-who-terrified-death-who-isnt-2514967

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Reply Afraid Of Dying? Scientists Pinpoint Who Is Terrified Of Death And Who Isnt (Original post)
HAB911 Mar 2017 OP
JNelson6563 Mar 2017 #1
HAB911 Mar 2017 #6
Meshuga Mar 2017 #18
JNelson6563 Mar 2017 #20
Mosby Sep 2019 #21
no_hypocrisy Mar 2017 #2
Jonny Appleseed Mar 2017 #3
Zoonart Mar 2017 #4
Dream Girl Mar 2017 #7
Zoonart Mar 2017 #12
Jim__ Mar 2017 #16
Arkansas Granny Mar 2017 #5
HAB911 Mar 2017 #8
Arkansas Granny Mar 2017 #10
smirkymonkey Mar 2017 #9
Arkansas Granny Mar 2017 #11
LakeArenal Mar 2017 #13
hrmjustin Mar 2017 #14
No Vested Interest Mar 2017 #15
Heddi Mar 2017 #17
HAB911 Mar 2017 #19

Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:35 AM

1. Atheist here, not afraid.

I nearly died once. It is an experience that is known to me. Besides that though, I really think you simply cease to be. The only thing ot fear, imo, is the possibly painful ways to meet your end.

I hope to go in my sleep.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:00 AM

6. yes

the methodology is my concern as well. here's hoping for non-trauma exits for us all. I have always liked the quote of my tagline supposedly by Mark Twain.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 07:11 AM

18. My concern is for those left behind

Like dependent children. Once my child is independent I am not too concern about dying. The other concern is curiosity since dying is like not getting to see the end of a book or a movie.

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Response to Meshuga (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 11:25 AM

20. It is a worry.

Less for me as mine are grown but will be effected anyway. If they were small it would be a fear if looming.

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Response to Meshuga (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:14 PM

21. I, for one, hope you're still with us.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:41 AM

2. Atheist. Not afraid.

Just had surgery where I was thinking one thought and drifted off, unknowingly. I've decided that is ideally how I want to transition. No struggle, no awareness, no fear.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:42 AM

3. I heard an anecdote once about how more intelligent people don't value their lives

 

and are likelier to risk death. I've always agreed with this to a degree. I may have confirmation bias on this but; as an atheist I am terrified of death, however conversely as a (I like to think myself an) intelligent person I am not afraid of dying, nor the actions that we lead me to that state.

It may seem somewhat contradictory, and it really is, but the futility of life that I perceive affords me a degree of recklessness.

To speak to the study; I think that the curve drop off towards staunch atheists could be somewhat skewed. People I've met who identify themselves as a "staunch atheist" often attempt to convey a smugness toward the area, believing chinks in their armor can be exploited in debate by theists (as most, including I, have experienced in the past). Most "staunch atheists" are not outspoken about it. I can assure you however, no matter how we try to present ourselves socially, we will lose many a night's sleep mulling our continuous existential crisis regarding death.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:45 AM

4. An interesting experience..

When I was in my mid thirties, I was out to dinner with some friends and all of a sudden a wave of nausea washed over me. I began to sweat and feel dizzy, but excused myself from the table and headed to the ladies. I never made it. I passed out on the floor in the middle of the dining room. The wait staff said I was out for approximately 40 or 50 seconds. Not even a minute.

In that minute I experienced another life, living in another place with people I did to know, but had affection for. I was happy. I distinctly remember... to this day, that I did not want to come back.

When I came to, I was no longer nauseous, and felt perfectly fine. I went to the ladies and splashed water on my face.
Went back to the table and calmed everyone down, telling them I felt okay...better than okay, and shared my vision.

Then we had drinks.

It was a profound experience and since that day, though not religious, I have never feared death, and have shared my experience with dying friends who have found some comfort in my experience.

It was not your traditional NDE, since it was not connected with a medical emergency, but I guess it was of a piece.

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Response to Zoonart (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:01 AM

7. That is fascinating. I have heard that we are living multiple existences simultaneously

Perhaps you slipped out not another of your "lives". Did you ever try to come to a deeper understanding about that experience?

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Response to Dream Girl (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 10:00 AM

12. I have...

as a matter of fact, it was a pivotal spiritual experience that led to my. becoming a Buddhist.
Namaste.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are of dreamed in your philosophy, Horatio."

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Response to Zoonart (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 03:04 PM

16. That is interesting. There is more that we don't know about life than there is that we do. - n/t

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 08:56 AM

5. Atheist. I don't fear death so much as the process of dying.

I would prefer to go quickly and as pain free as possible, for my family's sake as much as mine.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:04 AM

8. indeed

I have been primary caregiver for my dear neighbor who recently passed at 89, and my older brother at 79. Both were under hospice care and passed in relative comfort, just about all any of us can hope for.

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Response to HAB911 (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:12 AM

10. My ex is dying of pancreatic cancer. He began home hospice care this week.

The last 3 years have been so hard on the kids. I hope they can be spared going through that again.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:08 AM

9. That is exactly how I feel. It is not the fear of non-existence so much as it

is as the lack of control over the manner of my death. I fear dying violently or painfully. Peacefully drifting away doesn't scare me at all.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 09:12 AM

11. Yes, same here.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 11:09 AM

13. Just as my 93 year old father who died recently said:

I am not afraid of what comes next. I am just afraid of dying...

RIP POP

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 11:14 AM

14. I am a Christian and I am not afraid of death.

 

There will either be an afterlife or there won't. There is no reason to worry about it.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 02:54 PM

15. I have to wonder if age doesn't also play a large part in whether or not

one fears death.
As one ages into the eighth and ninth decade I have noticed in myself and the many other I've been near at those ages, that the fear of death becomes much less, and even becomes welcome in some instances.

Living takes energy, and as one loses strength and stamina, the fight for life becomes not worth the struggle.
I've heard elders- in their 90s and past- wonder why they are still around.
One has to have a reason for living - a sort of mission to fulfill, and when that has gone, the will to resist death, and thus the fear of death, recedes.

All of this is apart from belief in a God or an afterlife.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Sat Mar 25, 2017, 05:35 PM

17. Atheist, not afraid of death

about 9 months ago, I was in a situation where I was certain that I would die, my husband would die, or the third party who was trying to get us both killed would die. My friends here who know me in real life/on facebook know the event I"m talking about.

The entire event (based on 911 transcripts) took less than 7 minutes. In my mind, and in my husband's mind, it was over 30 minutes. There was one moment in time, so clear, so clear that i can remember the way the air smelled, the way the light of the upturned lamps reflected on the walls, how the broken bathroom mirror was like a shattered disco ball, projecting and reflecting light to parts of the room that are usually dark.

I remember the struggle, looking down and realizing that if this person got control of the situation, my husband I would both be dead in a matter of seconds. It was so clear. My thought was "no no no, this is not supposed to happen this way" and every atom, every molecule in my body was set to prevent THAT from happening. I fought for my life and for my husband's life, and it's only when I was overpowered, and in the process of almost being killed, that my husband was able to take control of the situation and allow us both to walk away with very minor injuries.

I was never afraid of death. Never afraid of the end. I certainly wasn't ready to capitulate and let this asshole kill me or (worse) my husband. My fear was *dying*.

As an RN, I've seen death. It is rarely a passive event, in the middle of the night, where one is found in the morning with a peaceful and satisfied smirk, as they know something we never will, until we finally do.

No, my friends. Death is ugly. It's protracted. It's painful. It's full of tears and begging and gasps and blood and gurgles and broken ribs and we're doing everything we can and I thin we did everything we could.

I'm not afraid of death. I'm afraid of dying. Of the physical act of dying. Thanks to conservative Christians and "pro-life" religious groups, the option of physician-assisted suicide, death with dignity, is not a reality for most Americans.

No, we'll lie in that bed, slowly suffocating in our own air, drowning in our own fluids, waiting for the epinepherine and levophed and dopamine to stop coursing through our veins and allow our hearts to finally stop beating.

A year ago this Friday my mother died. She was 2 months past 60 -- far too young to have spent the last 3 years of her life slowly dying and doing whatever futile means she could to keep it at bay for one more day. But that was not to be. I got the call on Saturday night that she had coded twice, and another time before I got in Sunday afternoon. She was vented, she was medicated, but she was dead. It was my call to remove life support or hope that she came out of her anoxic brain injury, multiple flat-lines as the same person she was before. I knew that would never happen, and I knew that was literally the last thing on this earth she would ever want for herself.

In the end, it was the care and compassion of her Dr's, Nurses, and Respiratory Therapists who, despite being in one of the largest hospitals in Holy City Charleston, SC, allowed her pass quickly and with as little pain and anxiety as possible through the use of pharmaceutical intervention. I am thankful for their care. The hours she lingered before death were endless, and that is the reality of death.

No, I don't fear death. I am sad at the prospect that that is all there is, there is no afterlife and I'll never see the people I love again. I'll live on through the exchange of one energy to another, particles etc etc. But that's it.

It's the death process that I find utterly terrifying. I am only happy that my husband is an RN as well, and should the medical establishment be even further restricted in the future from allowing a peaceful passage from this earth, I know that HE knows how to...como se dice....get things done in a dignified, not suspicious way.

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Response to Heddi (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:26 AM

19. couple things

death with dignity. The very thought that "pro-lifers" have the audacity to claim ownership of my life and what I can do with it raises my blood pressure to dangerous levels. Christian Sharia is what it is. I remember when this book was really controversial: https://www.amazon.com/Final-Exit-Practicalities-Self-Deliverance-Assisted/dp/0385336535

Is this all there is? I wish it wasn't so. I wish I could make myself believe the fairy tales. It would be so grand, so comforting. I draw solace from the fact that this life is such an incredible privilege. A privilege granted not by a supreme being but by virtue of intelligent cognizance. Intelligence to look into the night sky and understand what is seen, unlike all other animals in their comparatively unaware life/death cycles. Out time is so brief and so linear that we can never actually speak to our ancestors, giving us severe familial amnesia. SIGH


As an aside, and regarding looking into the night sky, I would recommend the "Google Sky" app for everyone. See bright star/planet, just point your phone/tablet and see what it is! It's a lot like magic.

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