Socrates, a great Grecian philosopher one time said Death is one of two things. Either it is obliteration, and the dead have no consciousness of anything ; or, as we are told, it is truly a alteration: a migration of the psyche from this topographic point to another. Whichever manner one looks at decease, the one thing to number on is that finally everyone will decease. How one views decease and what happens after decease, has psychological deductions that are notable to look into. Some believe that the “ early Homosexual sapiens developed the construct of the hereafter in an attempt to explicate observations of animate beings burying their dead, consciousness of the seasonal metempsychosis of nature, and they wanted to explicate these behaviours and implicit in feelings ” ( Seigel, 1980, p. 911 ) . The topic of decease and the hereafter within the survey of psychological science of faith ( specifically the Christian faith ) will be explored every bit good as a sum-up of some research, underlying facets, and what the future research in this field may imply.
Well known psychologists have thought about this issue of what the belief in an hereafter means. “ Freud viewed the belief in immortality as a denial of decease and a refusal to confront obliteration ” ( Seigel, 1980, p. 915 ) . Carl Jung saw the ways we view the construct of immortality as unconscious and that it is an “ of import function in ‘psychic hygiene ‘ . David Gutmann believed that the construct of metempsychosis is corroborating a individual ‘s self-love which comes about when person searches for ego regard and power when faced with the unsure ( Seigel, p. 915 ) .
Death and self command do non normally go together, unless of class one is speaking about self-destruction ( which is subject for another paper ) , and even so things do non ever travel as planned. Most people see decease as the ultimate menace to 1s sense of control and for this ground, it is frequently feared. “ Consideration of decease is doubtless one of the first beginnings of anxiousness for adult male ” ( Feifel, 1969, p. 292 ) . Besides decease implies uncertainness of what will go on following and assorted with feelings of non being in control can convey about anxiousness. Religion has been one of the agencies that allow for people to get by when faced with decease. A major facet of faith is that it “ helps make and keep decease anxiousnesss and transcendency hopes as mechanisms of ego control ” ( Spilka, 2003, p. 208 ) .
There are many ways that one can see what will go on to the ego after decease and “ each impression is likely to impact how one lives one ‘s life here and now, and how one evaluates decease ” ( Corr, Nabe, and Corr, 2003, p. 524 ) . Anxiety of the terra incognita is about a warrant since the lone manner to cognize for certain is to decease. Some people do all they can to defy decease because to them it means the terminal of life as they know it and even perchance the extinction of one ‘s ego. If people see decease as a clip of judgement or penalty for their life, perchance even traveling to hell, than confronting decease is a really fear inducement phenomenon. However if one is looking frontward to the wagess that Eden can convey after a life-time of service, fidelity, and award to God than deceasing does non bring forth as much fright as it does expectancy. Besides if your current life state of affairs is non ideal than decease my seem like an betterment to the life one lives or possible reunions of loved 1s who have gone earlier ( Corr, et. Al. 2003, p. 50 ) .
Within the Christian faith there are different readings of what the Bible Teachs about life after decease. “ A rigorous reading is that even though Jesus Christ died for everyone, merely those who accept him as Jesus will travel to heaven. All others will travel to eternal snake pit ” ( Morse, 1998, p.202 ) . Another position that is less rigorous is that regardless of belief, all righteous people will hold the chance to be saved. The first position gives people more duty and control to accept Jesus to travel to heaven. The 2nd position is non so much about belief but instead righteous populating which can be controlled but it is harder to implement and populate out beliefs than to merely believe. In the 2nd position the lone manner to travel to heaven is to be a righteous individual and to seek to command negative emotions such as hatred and choler. “ Hence there is grounds to demo that stress direction techniques ( speculation, hypnosis, and psychological guidance ) to get the better of negative emotions like choler, hatred, green-eyed monster, would turn out helpful in doing a individual live a righteous life ” ( Morse, p. 204 ) . Populating righteously will better opportunities of a pleasant hereafter and therefore many people strive for this in their current lives. This speaks to people that they have a say in where they will pass infinity and this gives some sense of control. “ Expectations of judgement in an hereafter can motivate socially conforming behaviour and give people the feeling that they are in charge of their concluding fate ” ( Spilka, 2003, p. 208 ) . This is a really appealing facet to many people to be Christian because it lifts the load of decease and the uncertainness of decease to one of faithful confidence if they believe in Jesus as Lord.
When looking at beliefs in hereafter in the Christian faith it is interesting to observe that the belief in Eden does non needfully intend that one besides beliefs in snake pit every bit good. “ Peoples are less inclined to believe in snake pit than in Eden ( Spilka, et. al. , 2003, p. 209 ) . Reasons for this may be that when sing the possible topographic points to pass infinity and the standards for each, many people may acknowledge their ain potency to pass infinity in snake pit. Support for this is shown in a canvass done where 79 % believed they would travel to heaven and 2 % felt they were headed for snake pit ( Spilka, et. al. , p. 209 ) . Interpreting this could either intend that people do non desire to believe in snake pit because of their fright or that people by and large do non like to believe about traveling to hell.
Some research has been conducted in this country of psychological science of faith and “ one clear happening that emerged from methodologically sound surveies was a strong positive relationship between spiritual engagement and mental wellness ” ( Flannelly, Ellison, Galek, and Koenig, 2008, p. 94 ) . Besides in 1997 Schafer did a survey that compared “ the effects of belief in God and belief in life-after-death and found that there was a important positive association between psychological wellbeing and belief in God, but no association between wellbeing and belief in life-after-death or belief in Eden and snake pit ” ( Flannelly, et. al. , 2008, p.95 ) .
“ Though Schafer ‘s ( 1997 ) survey found no relationship between belief in life-after-death and psychological wellbeing, a recent survey by Flannelly, Koenig, Ellison, Galek and Krause ( 2006 ) found a important healthy association between belief in life-after-death and psychiatric symptoms ( Flannelly, et. al. , 2008, p.95 ) ” . The survey hypothesized that pleasant beliefs in the hereafter such as Eden, would probably be associated with lower degrees of psychiatric symptoms and that unpleasant beliefs such as snake pit, would be associated with higher degrees of psychiatric symptoms ( Flannelly et. Al, p. 96 ) . The sample was recruited from 2.6 million people through an on-line study plan and so 8,500 from that were indiscriminately selected by electronic mail to take part in the questionnaire study. From that about 1,900 people, represented from all provinces, completed the study which is consistent with consequences of old web-based studies. Participants were asked to rate seven beliefs about hereafter ( five which were pleasant ; brotherhood with God, reunion with loved 1s, life of peace and repose, Eden of pleasances and delectations, and ageless wages or ageless penalty and two which were non ; pale shady signifier of life or reincarnation into another life signifier ) on a graduated table of 0 which was non really likely to 4 which was really likely ( Flannelly et. Al, p. 97 ) .
The 2nd portion of the study questionnaire was about mental wellness which asked about six symptom appraisals ; obsessive-compulsion, paranoiac, ideation, phobia anxiousness, and somatization utilizing a 4-point graduated table mensurating badness. The consequences were “ that pleasant beliefs such as brotherhood with God, showed the strongest and most consistent relationship with better mental wellness, holding a important negative association with five of the six categories of symptomology ” ( Flannelly et. Al, 2008, p. 98 ) . Besides the unpleasant beliefs that after decease would convey ageless penalty was negatively associated merely with anxiousness. This survey confirms that certain beliefs, particularly 1s about the hereafter, influence a individual ‘s mental wellness and can chair abnormal psychology and symptoms that follow.
Another survey, done in 1995, in the country of the hereafter and psychological science looked at the relationship between spiritual variables to decease anxiousness and decease depression ( Alvardo, Templer, Bresler, & A ; Thomas-Dobson, p. 202 ) . The survey used both a Death Anxiety Scale and a Death Depression Scale along with a spiritual stock list. “ It is evident that individuals who had greater strength of strong belief had less decease anxiousness, decease depression, and decease hurt. Persons with greater belief in an hereafter had less decease anxiousness, decease depression, and decease hurt ” ( Alvardo, et. al. , p. 203 ) . An interesting tendency in the consequences showed that individuals who believed that the most of import facet of faith was that it offered the possibility of life after decease had higher decease depression and hurt. This shows that seeking to take down 1s decease anxiousness by holding greater spiritual engagement is non a guaranteed remedy. Therefore, “ a individual ‘s religion, belief, and committedness must come before one experience a lowering of decease uncomfortableness ” ( Alvardo et. al. , p. 204 ) . A individual needs to really believe in what Christianity ( or another faith ) says about the hereafter and non merely make good plants or take part in spiritual activities to experience less anxiousness towards decease.
Research comparing different states on their beliefs of what happens after decease show interesting tendencies. “ Beliefs in an hereafter, Eden, and snake pit have a strong clasp on the heads of U.S. grownups ” ( Spilka et. al. , 2003, p. 208 ) . When compared to the Unites States, no European state has such a high proportion of its population keeping such strong beliefs in the hereafter. On a study, 81.9 % of Americans indicated a belief in an hereafter and merely about 30-60 % did, in most European states. The reply may be because Americans have greater success go throughing on their spiritual beliefs from coevals to coevals than that of most European states ( Harley and Firebaugh, p. 269 ) . Besides some tendencies have been that among certain denominations, there has been an addition of those who believe in an hereafter. “ From 1970-1990s, belief in life after decease increased from 19 % to 56 % among Jews and from 74 % to 83 % among Catholics ” ( Spilka, et. al. , p. 209 ) . Reasons for the addition in beliefs of life after decease are non known but some grounds have been hypothesized that people may experience that life has ‘gotten away from them ‘ with so much uncertainness in this life. “ The personal sense of control may be progressively threatened, and the hunt for immorality may be one attempt to recover the security that the ‘illusion of control ‘ confers ” ( Spilka, et. al. , 2003, p. 209 ) .
Another interesting thing to see with the subject of life after decease and the beliefs people have is where they come from. “ From an evolutionary position, it is of import to first inquire whether worlds ‘naturally ‘ ground approximately decease as a transitional province of consciousness or merely get such thoughts through cultural exposure, possibly grownups who invent impressions to better their ain decease anxiousness ” ( Bering, 2006, p. 454 ) . A survey was done that compared what grownups and kids though about a marionette show in which the chief character, a mouse, got eaten by an alligator. They were asked inquiries about the biological and psychological operation of the dead mouse such as does the mouse still necessitate to eat and can it believe. The consequences showed that immature kids knew that the organic structure stops working at decease but most kids still thought that the head is still working and active. Both the kids and the grownups said the mouse could still hold psychological capacities such as emotions and desires but non psychological provinces such as hungriness. This survey gave consequences that belief in an hereafter is more a merchandise of both social-religious upbringing and of cognitive acquisition that influence belief in hereafter ( Bering, p. 454 ) .
Since it is believed that age is a important variable that influences different attitudes towards decease, a survey was done with aged people comparing them to younger people. The survey looked at the relationship between decease attitudes ( decease anxiousness and credence ) , faith, and the belief in an hereafter. The aged participants were given questionnaires to finish and aid was given for those who could non read or compose good. The consequences revealed that there is a high grade of relatedness between steps of faith, belief in hereafter, and decease anxiousness and decease credence. However decease anxiousness and belief in hereafter were the lone variables that were non significantly correlated. “ The strongest relationship from the survey found that intrinsic faith and belief in hereafter indicate that per se spiritual persons are associated with a strong belief in an hereafter ” ( Falkenhain & A ; Handal, 2003, p. 73 ) .
Research has been done in looking at the ways that fear of decease affect belief in hereafter. A survey was done with 60 participants that exposed them to a presentation that was suppose to bring on the fright of decease and so tonss were taken on a graduated table of belief in the hereafter. This was so compared to another group that did non hold a presentation to illicit the fright of decease but was given either a menace of a daze or a nonthreatening undertaking. After a graduated table of belief in the hereafter was given and so scored ( Osarchuk & A ; Tatz, 1973, p. 256 ) . The presentation to illicit fright of decease included vocals typically sung at funerals, and had a slide show of statistics of the possibility of certain deceases at ages 18-22 due to accidents. Pictures of auto wrecks, slayings, self-destruction, and cadavers at funeral places were besides shown. The participants took belief in afterlife questionnaires before and after the presentation and so they were told that the statistics mentioned were false and told the existent Numberss.
If this survey was done today I do non believe it would go through the ethical guidelines for surveies since it intentionally mislead people and that might convey approximately psychological injury subsequently. However the researches thought they needed to misdirect the participants in order to acquire accurate consequences that would non be bias or skew the information. The consequences of this survey confirmed that when fright of decease is made present it raises the belief in afterlife tonss on the graduated table mensurating beliefs in hereafter. “ When fright of decease has been aroused, if the single thinks in positive footings about a life after decease, they experience knowledges and affects incompatible with those compromising fright of decease ( Osarchuk & A ; Tatz, 1973, p. 259 ) .
Surveies done on the tendencies of afterlife beliefs in Americans during the 1970’s-1980 have found interesting consequences. One is that clearly beliefs in an hereafter vary across non merely different faiths but besides within Christianity and its denominations. “ Protestants show the highest belief in hereafter, followed by Catholics, and so other faiths ( non Protestant, Catholics, or Jews ) , nonreligious, and so Jews ( Harley and Firebaugh, 1993, p. 276 ) . Second was that belief did non worsen during these decennaries but instead they have increased. A startling discovery was that among the older and immature coevals the beliefs in hereafter were really rather similar instead than different. And in conclusion the belief in an hereafter is non diminishing and within age groups there is merely minimum alteration ( Harley and Firebaugh, p. 276 ) .
There are many other surveies that have been done in this country of beliefs in life after decease and how it relates to knowledges, emotions, anxiousness, and other psychological symptoms. The brief sum-up of research mentioned can convey the decision that hereafter beliefs have a important impact on our present lives. “ It is adult male ‘s stand outing capacity to gestate a future – and inevitable decease – which distinguishes him from other species ” says Feifel ( 1969 ) in his article about attitudes towards decease ( p. 293 ) . Feifel besides mentions that it is merely with this consciousness of mortality that drives humanity towards fulfilment, redemption, and seeking to happen uniqueness and intending out of life ( p. 293 ) . When faced with the possibility of decease and the terminal of life people begin to non merely inquire about the actuality of decease but instead what that decease agencies.
Another quotation mark from Feifel ‘s article about decease attitudes says “ If life leads necessarily to decease, the manner non to decease is non to populate ” ( 1969, p. 293 ) . Sadly, some people really see life and decease in this manner. Not merely can beliefs about the hereafter affect the manner we see decease but it besides greatly affects how one lives their life or for some non populate their life. Psychology needs to set about this subject and to inquire of import inquiries such as “ alternatively of looking at the inexorable skeleton and crossbones and being told this is world, allow us analyze the perceiver himself, and inquire why skulls and crossbones are the main worlds for him? ” ( Feifel, p.295 ) . Although decease itself does non alter, nevertheless, it means really different things to about everyone. Why is decease for some a soft dark and for others it is a great destroyer. Many things contribute to 1s thoughts of decease which include personality, spiritual orientation, developmental alterations, cultural conditioning, and degree of menace, among many other possibilities.
Research in the country of decease and psychological science is non deficient, nevertheless more could be done in relation to beliefs in the hereafter. Psychologists have recognized that faith is multidimensional which makes it difficult to analyze but it is really critical to understanding the physical every bit good as the psychological well-being of humanity ( Harding, Flannelly, Weaver, & A ; Costa, 2005, p.254 ) . More research on this subject would profit non merely psychological science but besides it could better pastoral attention and how to cover with those who are deceasing or covering with another ‘s decease every bit good as infirmaries and how different spiritual beliefs play into their attitudes towards decease and the possibility of life after decease.