Is it just me, or does it seem like the more religious someone is, the more they seem to fear death? Doesn't it seem counterintuitive that people who believe they are heading to a carefree afterlife of eternal bliss would be afraid of that? I kind of suspect that many people try to alleviate their fear by turning to religion.
Yeah, you'd figure there would be celebrations at the funerals, big "going-away" parties. When they hear of someone with a terminal disease they should say, "Oh, you're so lucky!"
Shortly after my daughter died i was floundering around looking for comfort and relief from the grief. I knew I would never see her again. I attended a Survivors of Suicide meeting and basically asked the question you just asked; "If you believe in life after death and that your loved ones are in heaven why would you grieve, wouldn't it be joyous and comforting?" My question caused an uproar, some people became angry and loud. It was like I'd questioned their very faith. One guy never returned to the group (No big loss). That was my experience with questioning their afterlife.
I began to question Christianity when my premature newborn son nearly died, and Christian relatives began sending me "comforting" letters saying such drivel as "God must love you very much to test your faith like that. He's just trying to make you better!"
I was so religious at the time I actually believed them and immediately put "God" on my number one hit list. I thought that if God was in ANY way responsible for my son's suffering I would kill God if that was the last thing I did.
Later, I learned my son was born prematurely because I had a tilted uterus, so it had nothing to do with "God," just genetics.
I have always felt this same way. I've known Born-again Christians who would spend all the money in the world to extend their own lives even for one day. This doesn't make sense if death means they would be floating among the clouds at the right hand of God. It speaks volumes about their so-called faith.
I thought they should be more happy. After all, they always bitch and moan all the time about the world being a fallin’ world. Why not just die already and go to your heavenly paradise or wherever it is you think you’re going when you die?
I believe the more you fear death, the more fervently religious you are, sort of 180 degrees from you.
And a large portion of the gun hoarding/conspiracy theorist/survivalist prepper subculture is made up of fundamentalist Christians.
I suppose if you have been especially naughty you might fear judgment day. When you aren't sure just what offense might get you sent down...
I don't know about fearing death so much unless they've come to realize how selfish, judgemental and lazy, religion makes them. I believe that they excuse so much because they see their lives as a staging ground while their "real" lives await them after death. They could be doing so much here and now for people, animals, and this planet but they set it all aside for some Nirvana awaiting them after death.
I don't know, but when I was a Christian I did not fear death. I knew then that death is a part of life, no one lives forever. And I really don't want to live forever.
@JimG Nope, my mom died at 45, I was 14. Even then I knew that death was part of life and there was no way to change that. I had no real beliefs then except for this hazy idea of heaven being the place where you went when you died, but I found it hard to wrap my mind around that concept. Limbo?
Of course, they are or they would just kill themselves the moment they knew it was going to be so much better.
The Christian's fear of death could be, a fear of the 'unknown?' Since they live in a somewhat unexamined reality...they certainly don't spent much time on death as a final resting place. They seem to go from living...straight away to heaven. Even in the grave they expect to be raptured out of their graves straight away to heaven! A Christian's fears could be wrapped around the complete package...because little is based in reality. They are fed this idea of leaving this life of struggle and strife, for a 'city paved with streets of gold!' There is a lot of unresolved fear, if you are told this life is disastrous, but there is a better one waiting for you when you die! What incentive do you have to figure out this life, that you are living now? As a Christian, they are trained to look outside them selves for their answers! And, to fear (overtly, if not covertly) the people who do not believe like them...there simply is no introspection, with most of the Christian Religions...except to identify their sins and ask forgiveness...from God! Or, his wrath will come down upon you...you will burn in hell, forever? It looks like a vicious, cycle...you need to keep feeding the monster!
I think that's why they embrace religion in the first place... Religion offers an alternative to death. There's a heaven, a hell, or reincarnation. Which, believe it or not, is far less troubling to most people than to simply "stop existing." I think that frightens them over everything else.
I agree..it seems the religious people I know have a very unhealthy fear of dying . I don't know what it is in me,,whether it was working in Long Term Care for almost 40 years and seeing those poor old souls barely living with no quality of life, or what it is, but I want to face death head on, without fear. I am 62, have my niche bought and paid for at the local Mausoleum (yes, I would rather have my ashes flung to the wind, but I could just envision my kids screwing that up..my son would be creeped out and refuse to touch the ashes, and my daughter would pitch them into the wind and have them all blow back into her face), and I have my urn , I just have to set up my cremation arrangements. I have a special account that I put in $100/month that has enough in it to cremate me and will have plenty left over for the kids to have a gathering with friends and family at a bar/restaurant to celebrate my life. I talk about it all the time to people, and it's the religious people who are freaked out by it and refuse to deal with their own arrangements.
I remember when I was a kid and my grandfather's dad died. My grandmother said he's in heaven now and I was like 'Awesome! Fantastic! Let's have a party! Isn't it great that he's no longer in pain and is in paradise?' For some weird reason, no one wanted to party with me and celebrate this poor man's passing. Never did make sense to me.
Because, according to the current Bible, "God" could throw them into eternal fire when they die for any random reason..even leaving out some good deed they should have done.
My father wants no life extending hospital care. I am his health care power of attorney, probably because I am the only one that would make that call. I am in charge of the party when he goes. Odd since I am the only atheist in the family but I have enough comprehension of things I don't believe to see his point and can enthusiastically follow his wish. Wow I just realized I can be truly overjoyed for him without believing.
There are many, MANY disconnects between religious ideology and practice, and this is one of the biggies.
In fairness, if you're a Christian and your spouse dies, that's a personal loss, that you'd grieve. It would be no different than my wife being hauled off to jail for life or kidnapped by some extremist group or some such way taken from me, in fact, it's worse because there's no visitation rights at all, no promise of them coming back even as ghosts. So I can understand a CERTAIN amount of grief and loss, which is very human.
And yet ...
And yet they "move on", remarry, and fight to stay alive when cancer comes calling, and all the rest of it. And they grieve AS IF they thought it was the end of that person, not just an unwanted hiatus.
If I thought my late wife was waiting for me in heaven I wouldn't have DARED remarried!
You are correct. The fear of death is a major reason why many turn to religion. But, for many, if not most of them the y fear that they have not been good enough to be granted access to heaven, so fear the possibility of eternal damnation. Fear is a center of their lives.
Almost everybody fears death or at least the pain often associated with it but I’ve always suspected the truly religous believers shouldn’t fear death as much because they believe they are going to heaven. If it weren’t for the fear of death I doubt there’d be many religious folks.
or saying to someone, "Come with me and you will meet god"