Highly Religious People And Atheists Are Least Afraid Of Death, Study Finds

Posted: Mar 26 2017, 1:31pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 26 2017, 10:45pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Highly Religious People and Atheist are Least Afraid of Death, Study Finds
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New study determines who is most afraid of death and who is not

The concept of death makes people feel very frightened. Taking about death or even thinking about it disturbs many of us. The reality is that everyone has to die one day.

In a latest study, researchers have attempted to determine the level of death anxiety in different groups of people in the world. By examining all the robust, available data, researchers have found that two groups are least afraid of death and they are exactly opposite of each other. Atheists and very religious people both are not much afraid of death.

“Meta-analyses are statistical procedures used to extract and combine the findings of multiple studies. This produces a better estimate of the consensus in a field than looking at individual studies.” Lead researcher Dr Jonathan Jong from University of Oxford said.

The conclusion was based on the 100 relevant articles that published between 1961 and 2014 and contained information about 26,000 people worldwide. When researchers examined those articles, they found a clear trend. Death anxiety was lowest among very religious and non-believers and was highest among uncertain individuals.

Almost every religion has strong, specific views on death and afterlife. Given the close association between religion and death, researchers have long thought that religion reduces the fear of death and the latest study backs up this long-held theory to a certain extent. But the most interesting thing is that nonreligious people were also not too afraid of death. This came as a surprise to the researchers themselves.

”It may be that other researchers would have found this inverse-U pattern too if they had looked for it,” said Dr Jong “This definitely complicates the old view, that religious people are less afraid of death than nonreligious people. It may well be that atheism also provides comfort from death, or that people who are just not afraid of death aren't compelled to seek religion.”

But the study has limitations too. Most of the reseach used in the study was conducted in the United States. Only a small number were carried out in other parts of the world, making it difficult to estimate how the pattern varies from culture to culture or religion to religion. Moreover, only 10 of 100 studies had showed a direct connection between fear of death and religiosity.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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