Now we know for sure, and it’s just one more thing that the Christians are full of crap on.
Being reminded you are going to die does increase religious thought in Christians, Muslims, and any other religious group. That’s exactly what I’d expect because I think that the fear of death is mostly what causes religion in the first place. It even works a bit on agnostics. But the latest research says not so with us atheists.
I never got where this comes from. I find religion to be silly. How the heck could coming close to death change my mind about that? The very thought that fear would turn me to something so asinine is really crazy.
Exploring the Existential Function of Religion and Supernatural Agent Beliefs Among Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and Agnostics
Building on research suggesting one primary function of religion is the management of death awareness, the present research explored how supernatural beliefs are influenced by the awareness of death, for whom, and how individuals’ extant beliefs determine which god(s), if any, are eligible to fulfill that function. In Study 1, death reminders had no effect among Atheists, but enhanced Christians’ religiosity, belief in a higher power, and belief in God/Jesus and enhanced denial of Allah and Buddha. Similarly, death reminders increased Muslims’ religiosity and belief in a higher power, and led to greater belief in Allah and denial of God/Jesus and Buddha (Study 2). Finally, in Study 3, death reminders motivated Agnostics to increase their religiosity, belief in a higher power, and their faith in God/Jesus, Buddha, and Allah. The studies tested three potential theoretical explanations and were consistent with terror management theory’s worldview defense hypothesis. Theoretical implications are discussed.