Are there atheists in foxholes?
There’s still some debate.
It does, however, look like in the face of death we all reach for something greater than ourselves or become more open to supernatural possibilities.
Via Pacific Standard:
Are there atheists in foxholes? That timeless question… is a shorthand way of asking whether, when confronted by their own mortality, even nonbelievers’ thoughts turn to God.
Research published earlier this year tentatively concluded that they do. But a new study, conducted by scholars from three countries, reports that death-related thoughts lead us to reaffirm whatever belief system gives our lives meaning—and for atheists, that’s something other than religious faith.
More on death:
- Oscar winners live longer — unless they’re writers. Rockstars really do live fast and die young. Famous people are more likely to die on their birthday. Lou Gehrig may not have died from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- The leading cause of death among pregnant women is homicide. Men are more likely than women to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy. Many car crashes are caused by drivers distracted by car crashes. Stop worrying about terrorist attacks and quicksand; voodoo curses on the other hand…
- Smoking is not only bad for your health, it’s also correlated with suicide. Opera fans are more accepting of suicide. The happiest places also have the highest suicide rates. People who live at high altitudes have higher suicide rates. There aren’t more suicides on Christmas; there are fewer leading up to the holiday and a bump after.
- We may have it wrong about what it takes to live a long life. Laughter might save your life. “Will to live” really can affect when you die. Being reminded of death makes us purchase more food and take more risks. Death polarizes morality judgments. When doctors face death they do things differently.
- Unemployment, perfectionism, being named David, Dan or Doug and being medical school class president can kill you. You’re more likely to die in the hospital if you’re admitted over the weekend or in July. People who experience youthful success don’t live as long. Cougars don’t live as long. There’s a connection between erectile dysfunction and death. Getting a big check in the mail can kill you.
- Taxation, the month of your birth, and how many orgasms you have can affect how long you live. Your attitude on aging can add years to your life. Conscientious people, people who make more money, and straight-A students live longer. A little starvation can increase lifespan. Happiness increases life expectancy but people who were happy as kids have shorter lives.
- Here‘s what people regret the most before they die and here‘s what you can do to live a regret-free life. Reading this post may raise your self-esteem and even lead to a better life because thinking about death has been shown to do both.
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