I’m pretty sure most of us here on this site do not fear death as such although we can agree that we are concerned about the possible mode of death and the fear of losing people we love. I am wanting to reach people who cling to their belief because of their fear of loss or their own mortality. Losing a loved one can cause believers to believe MORE because they can justify the loss to themselves and use phrases like, ” God has called him home” or “he is with the angels”. Its a pacifier and one they cling to aginst all the odds. Accepting they are gone forever and loive on only in your memory is a tall order but one which needs to be dealt with in a realistic but kindly way. Until this evolves into the zeitguist Religion will keep it’s icy grip on the mankind - a security blanket not easily released from the hands of Faith.
Even for people of faith who believe in life after death, there is still the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones, of not experiencing the world, etc.
that’s what a lot of believers say, anyway. They demonstrate a far deeper sense of loss than their beliefs would indicate though. It’s quite notable if you see one who really does believe the rhetoric. There’s a very different degree of grief when you really believe you’ll see someone again, even if not for a long time, than when you recognize it as final, the ultimate sense of loss. This is another case in which believers’ behavior is inconsistent with their rhetoric. It’ll be very interesting if neurology ever figures out how to quantify this.
I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all on this, Byron. I’ve seen lots of believers who have faced the deaths of loved ones with a lot of peace and courage, and their faith is evident. But they are still sad at the prospect of losing a loved one, even temporarily.
I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all on this, Byron.
Neither is there in my comments. When is there not variation in human psychology or perception?
I think in relation to the thought of death, one should remember that is only our consciousness that is relinquished. Physically, every atom in our bodies has existed since the Big Bang and will likely exist to the end of the universe. I find this thought strangely consoling as it offers some compromise to the life after death versus total annihilation views.
I think people are confusing the concept of ‘fear of death’ with the idea that many people simply don’t want to die. Having an aversion to something and not wanting to experience it is not the same as being afraid of it. I was in a conversation and mentioned that I had no respect for and didn’t like Ralph Nadar and the other person assumed that I was afraid of him. Not wanting or liking something and being afraid of that thing are not the same.