Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Death Anxiety Linked To Intelligent Design

A study was conducted recently at the University of British Columbia which found that people who believe in intelligent design are more likely to be afraid of death. 

"For their study, the researchers had one group of participants imagine their own death and then write about their feelings. Another group, which was used as a control condition, imaged pain from dental work and then wrote about that.

"Those who imagined their own death reported greater support for intelligent design and liking for Behe, compared to those who imagined dental pain."

While I'm not sure I believe that their conclusion is sound (the study seemed to me to be making some assumptions) it posits an interesting question.  Most anthropologists, etc, think that we have religion thanks to mankind's need to explain what happens when we die.  One would think that if you believe li'l baybee Jeebus was running the show, you would lack death anxiety.

Maybe we're scared of judgment.  I know that I have spiritual leanings, but don't believe that anybody is going to judge me when I die.  I have a healthy fear of death-- I try to avoid it, thanks-- but I wouldn't say I have anxiety over it.  Does religion cause us to fear death?


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