Fear of Death
Psychologists have addressed the hypothesis that fear of death motivates religious commitment, and that it may be alleviated by assurances about an afterlife. Empirical research on this topic has been equivocal. According to Kahoe and Dunn, people who are most firm in their faith and attend religious services weekly are the least afraid of dying. A survey of people in various Christian denominations showed a negative correlation between fear of death and religious concern.
In another study, data from a sample of white, Christian men and women were used to test the hypothesis that traditional, church-centered religiousness and de-institutionalized spiritual seeking are distinct ways of approaching fear of death in old age. Both religiousness and spirituality were related to positive psychosocial functioning, but only church-centered religiousness protected subjects against the fear of death.
Shelly Kagan examines the philosophical background of whether fear of death make sense (not about the actual kind of emotional reaction). In this context he states in one of his lectures, that there are certain conditions to fear in general to make sense:
- fear requires something bad, as the object of fear and
- there's got to be a nonnegligible chance of the bad state of affairs happening, to their mind
Read more about this topic: Fear
Famous quotes related to fear of death:
“Walk with the dead
For fear of death.”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)
“For with this desire of physical beauty mingled itself early the fear of deaththe fear of death intensified by the desire of beauty.”
—Walter Pater 18391894, British writer, educator. originally published in Macmillans Magazine (Aug. 1878)