People are less religious when death is near, not more, according to this survey

People are less religious when death is near, not more, according to this survey

While there have been studies showing the physical and mental health benefits of being a believer, recent studies have also been published that showed no significant differences in the mental health of religious and non-religious people.

In fact, another study notes that people do not become more religious as death approaches , contradicting that common belief that we cling to religion as a balm to reduce uncertainty and fear of death.

Less religion

The study combined data from individual survey responses of more than 300,000 people from 95 countries during the period 1994-2014 with information from the life tables for the period.

Contrary to widespread beliefs, religiosity decreases with greater expected proximity to death . The findings have important implications regarding the consequences of population aging for religiosity and associated outcomes.

These results are robust when period- and cohort-specific changes in religiosity are taken into account, when controlling for various sociodemographic factors that may affect the subjective importance of religion, and when different religious beliefs and denominations are considered.

The analysis in this document is primarily based on the answers to three questions . The main outcome variable asks respondents if religion is important in their lives, with a response scale from 1 (not important) to 4 (very important). A second question refers to belief in God, with answers 0 (no) or 1 (yes). The intensity of beliefs is measured using responses to a question about the importance of God in a respondent’s life, with responses ranging from 1 (not important) to 10 (very important)

While it is difficult to determine who is an atheist and who is not (many agnostics are actually atheists without knowing it, and many atheists are atheists out of hatred of religion or other related reasons), approximately 13% of the world’s population declares themselves as such . Image | murdelta