Belief and Fear of Death

Belief and Fear of Death

2012, Religion  -   73 Comments
Ratings: 7.47/10 from 68 users.

A two-part series, made by TheraminTrees, exploring the relationship between belief and fear of death.

Fear of death features in both historical and contemporary theories of religion, but the relationship between death anxiety and religious belief is still ambiguous, largely due to the use of inappropriate or imprecise measures.

So, who's afraid of death? Some of us find the question itself to be distasteful. We don't even want to think about it. To know would be depressing, and perhaps if it were to be sooner than later, well, that would put a damper on things.

"Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered in the sight of the others; those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition" - Blaise Pascal.

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73 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Cris Sale

    Religion makes death a horrific event. If only we realize that we need to die inorder to give chance to live to other specie - simple as that.

  2. Evergrowing

    He pretends to know that there is no afterlife. This is not scientific and there is countless evidence against this. Besides, he had some good arguments in the first part, the second part didnt make a lot of sense to me.
    The phenomenon of rebirth has been researched over and over, OBEs have been experienced by millions/billions of people, yet some still think we are only within the molecules of our body. This is a stupid and old view.

  3. Linda Best

    Irregardless of whatever belief you may have, reality is that we all, as well as most animals, immediately find ourselves in our spirit body when the silver cord is broken. My husband was terrified when he died. (I know because he told me.) Gary told me he would be with me when I die , so I will not have to go through what he did. Gary's death was totally unexpected and in blackness. I don't know how long he was in that state before someone came to him and said "follow me." He is doing very well now and is in the 3rd sphere, which is much better than earth. People go to a place that matches their soul condition. If anyone finds themselves in hell, don't worry. There is no eternal fire. Plenty of people- spirits want to help anyone who wants help. My proof of the spirit body is personal experience. I saw myself from the ceiling looking at my body on the bed. The spirit body is created simultaneously with our physical body. When we sleep, our spirit bodies go to the spirit world. When babies are aborted, spirits take the tiny spirit to Summerland, located at the top of the 1st sphere. I know God is a reality. When I desperately called for "HELP", immediately I was given God's love, which is much better than our human love. Anyone can prove the reality of God, if they earnestly desire Love. Jesus' true mission was to bring the availability of God's Love to anyone who desired it. Though God's Love has been available for 2000 years, there's no mention of it in the Bible . Today's Christianity is false. Where we find ourselves after death is relative to how much love is in our souls. Anyone who is brighter , knows more. So, if a dark spirit comes to you, look for a brighter spirit. Our God-created souls are who we are. We are not our physical or our spirit bodies. Many opportunities are in the spirit world for our growth. There are now 36 spheres.

  4. Unsure

    I find the video very compelling and I can not disagree with any of the ideas presented here. Religion is a coping phenomenon that many are addicted to, and cannot survive without. This is not just true of religion but of any world view in general. While we think we see the world as it is, experiments confirm that what we actually see is what the brain thinks it is seeing- it uses algorithms to make sense of an enormous amount of information that is actually out there. This is so critical to our existence that as social animals we cannot tolerate the dissonance. Look at how we treat schizophrenics. Having said that, however, I am not so convinced that there is nothing to religion beyond it being a device to cope with death. Our worldviews differ in terms of how we process information, but there is real information out there, To me religion, or spiritual philosophy, beyond its role as a coping device, is also a means to convey ideas about reality that are beyond our experience and so difficult to express. Science is now providing another arguably more universal language to do that, but that does not negate the ideas themselves. I therefore wonder if in reducing religion to just one aspect, we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

  5. Victor

    I recently had a nightmare that I was being put to death by electrocution. Perhaps because I recently watched a documentary on the development of the first electric chair. I watched this presentation, and I found it intellectually honest. I am not terrified of what came before my birth, and I am not terrified of that same state of non-existence that will follow after my death. Now, about the physical aspects of dying....I don't like to think about it. And no religion can remove physical agony. It just IS.

  6. Matt

    Lol - Al's comment

  7. emf1211

    Enjoyed this....wish it was longer, more in depth. The religious historian Karen Armstrong is also interesting on this very topic. Anyone know of any other similar resources that delve into this area?

  8. Doombringer

    Interesting documentary, I enjoyed it!
    All you afterlife nuts must realize that your own self is merly the product of the way your brain connections are arranged. Within minutes of your death those connections degenerate(hence why braindamage is so easily sustained with lack of oxygen and bloodflow) effectivly removing your self from existence. Your own brain is the product of your own exact life and can not be replicated nor repaired once broken. Would you be you without your spesific memories, skills, and thought patterns? NO! No brain, no you. No brain, no afterlife. period. These are things we know for sure, might aswell accept it.

  9. Al

    Why don't people try to get the FACTS once in a while; instead of going on about stuff they know nothing about?
    Ask the Atheists what they think of Near Death Experiences, if they ever even bothered to study them at all.
    Knowledge (not only belief) in an Afterlife has been known about for countless millennia, and by some of the smartest humans that have ever existed. Everyone from the ancient AEGyptians to Plato and onward.
    No damn fool Atheist Philosopher is going to tell me that there is NO Afterlife!
    And my opinions are based on solid scientific research!

  10. burns

    I see these "nobody KNOWS = 50/50" or some variation thereof in many contexts. Of course it is foolish.
    We never have absolute proof of anything but thinking reasoning people look at the evidence and come to their conclusion of the most likely. In the case of afterlife, well it is pretty unlikely. The first thing is the failure to meet the burden of proof. In other words you start with zero and add evidence, if there is no evidence you are still at zero. Zero is not 50/50.

  11. Richard Neva

    I have a real distaste for infomercials that this film resembles. Could not watch it. I don't mind death, all my loved ones are dead and I long to join them in the afterlife I know exists. Do you?

  12. UBK

    Far too obsessive, lacking the faintest vestige of humour. As one about to pass through the door without a handle on the other side, have no fear of meeting the Grim Reapah, just don't relish the prospects of any pain attached to making his acquaintance. Nor, as I have said before, arousing the ire of many Christians should I suffer a stroke and be paralysed, incapable of switching own light off, not to fall into their hands, having as they have done re-interpreted 'Thou shalt not kill' to 'Thou shalt strive to keep alive for as long as possible." Thus prolonging both physical and mental agony in an interminable torture. Have had regrets for past youthfull 'sins' of both commission and omission but no longer, having as I consider paid my dues. Like the narrator having studied religions in order to find 'The Answer' have discarded all their fallacies. Finding peace of mind in the universal "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I try each day to make someone smile or laugh. It has been a wonderful tour as seaman, soldier, construction worker, cab driver, smuggler, convict, psychiatric patient, teacher and finally philosopher, meeting every kind of person among you from all over the world. When asked if I would live it all over again, have done so writing the autobiography - suffering in the process every moment of excruciating pain, compensated by those of inexpressible joy. Would I like to return ? Not likely, this place is a bloody madhouse - another planet's version of hell ! Still love the ladies . . . . . .and kids though.
    Don't worry, when your time comes just hold a piece of dry-ice underneath your nose-----------and you'll keep a stiff upper lip.

  13. awful_truth

    I very much enjoyed this philosophical pondering, (check it out) even if I didn't agree with all of his conclusions. His idea that 'atheism' is the highest form of enlightenment is only a condescension towards all who have faith. ( I am a superior thinker because I have discarded faith - wrong) His perspective is based upon the premise that anyone who has spiritual tendencies holds fast to them as a comfort against death. There is an equally compelling argument that atheism is a comfort for those who fear life. (I hate everything, so let me die so I can embrace nothing, and please don't bring me back)
    While I may agree with many of his assertions regarding different religions, our perspectives diverge because he 'believes' that his 5 senses have informed him about everything, when they have not.
    The bottom line is this: Science (proof), and faith(improvable) are opposite sides of the same coin trying to explain existence in it's entirety. To conclude otherwise is to imply disparity where none exists.
    Like religion, the 'belief' that science can answer everything, is merely another form of self delusion, because it never will. Whether it be religion or science, never confuse ' blind faith' with real 'faith'. This is akin to confusing 'a truth' with 'the truth'. Since 'the truth' consists of everything, you cannot dismiss that which you don't like, just because you don't understand it, or agree with it. To embrace this, is to embrace life itself, an enlightenment few of us can ever achieve! Take care, and best wishes everyone.

    1. tlmclinn

      Nowhere in this video did I hear him say or imply that he hates everything. I really have trouble understanding how an atheist gets misunderstood for having such hate and contempt for the world. Especially when there is so much war, terrorism, suicide bombing etc. that goes on in the world in the name of religion. And before you mention Hitler and Stalin as atheist who were responsible widespread genocide, a horrible thing, they didn't commit those actions in the name of atheism. Atheism does not suggest a fear or hate of life; it simply means that an individual is not presented with compelling enough evidence to be convinced that there is life after death or an invisible man living in the sky. Religion and Atheism are not two sides of the same coin. That would go to say that atheism is a religion is precisely a LACK OF religion and is completely evidence-based. There is not 'belief' that science can prove everything because science is humble enough to change and adjust as new, relevant evidence is presented and can admit when something is not yet known or understood, unlike religion.

    2. awful_truth

      I don't recall stating in my comments that the individual in question 'hated everything'. (???) It should also be noted that 2 sides of the same coin are in opposition. It would appear that you are overly sensitive regarding the theist/atheist debate or you would not be making these obvious errors. (read closer)
      I have no problem with people's beliefs, (or lack there of) since it is one of choice. I do have a problem when peoples 'choices' creates prejudice, and judgment, resulting in actions towards those who happen to think differently. If you read my comments, this should have been obvious.
      Asking to prove that which is improvable, is not an argument for supporting a position. (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) Since much of science is no longer based in certainty, (quantum mechanics - probability) it too has entered the realm of belief. (dark matter, dark energy) Improvable theories are merely belief as well!
      P.S: If all religion was obliterated tomorrow, the number of people murdered would remain the same, because of a thing called human nature. Hitler, and Stalin killed many, not in the name of religion, but for something far more dangerous. (greed, power, and subjugation) Only when you realize this, will you understand that all immoral behaviour is merely an excuse for people who are intolerant, hypocritical, and brainwashed. (uneducated) Any questions?

  14. AngeliqueBridgette

    Very interesting I really enjoyed the thoughts perspectives and experiments.

  15. Tommy

    Nice one. Wish I where high while watching it yet still nice nevertheless..

  16. Me

    What is wrong with left wing rhetoric. I do believe it's less harmful than right wing Nazi rhetoric. And how can the paranoid theory of globalism and the new world order be ever classed as left wing when all of the crazies say it's a way for the elite to enslave humanity. And the left wing point of view has always been seen as liberalism, Basically what I am saying is why would a group of people who have always been in favor of individual human freedoms enforce a thing like globalism in the form of worldwide slavery which is just a fantasy in any case be it a right wing or left wing agenda Adam.

  17. Adam Stanley comes the globalism environmental left wing rhetoric...i knew it would show up...

  18. lyndoer

    dig the music at the start.

  19. Christina

    I grew up in a divorced family where my mom converted to judaism and my dad was Lutheran. I participated in both religions until 18. Although I participated I didnt believe and in 2004 when I joined the Marines I saw how fear really impacted religion. I used to deal with an immense amount of guilt for my lack of belief especially after being very religious christian and most of the guilt was fear.I used to think that each persons view of death would be their reality, perhaps thats still true. Now I believe we are energy and the universe experiencing itself subjectively and maybe in some sense we are reincarnated maybe not in the traditional sense but as matter. I clicked on this documentary because I felt a resonance with the title. I think its really interesting.

  20. kicknbak60

    personally i am an athiest so the religious view of an after life does not apply to my thinking.. quite frankly i have n o idea what may or may not happen after death..on the other hand those who claim an after life exists have the onus of proff on them

  21. disqus_98Weju6w90

    I haven't cried liked this in a while but this is the first time I have done so without sadness, it feels more like clarity . . . i hope i can go out like this guy

  22. Sara Jasper

    I love this guy's voice.

  23. Dash Dudash

    I am an agnostic and I find your argument thoroughly unpersuasive; you seem to have misunderstood epistemology and ontology. Just explaining how we come to have a belief in something does not show whether that belief true or false. For example, someone might come to know that the world is round through reading a comic book, but does that mean just because they learned it through a comic book that the world is not round?

    In the same way, EVEN IF a person becomes a theist as an act of “denial of death” that does not in any way prove that theism is false. You have just asserted that theism is irrational by showing how people might come to know about it. This simply is a fallacy.

    Unless and until you make an argument to show theism is ontologically false no one should take your current argument seriously. You need to prove that theism is false! Instead of trying to deny theism by showing how people might come to know about it.

    Your argument and video might work with sophomore college students; however it definitely will not stand a chance in the academic culture beyond that.

    1. thinkagainagain

      You have a huge gaping hole of logical fallacy in your argument.

      It's one which even a college sophomore could spot.

    2. Alaskies

      I'm not sure what you're talking about, my friend. Nowhere in this documentary or in the summary does TheraminTrees say that he's going to prove or disprove ANYTHING. He's exploring the relationship between fear and death. No proving or disproving, and no hard attempt to do so. Obviously he is Atheist, but he never claimed in this particular video, anywhere, that he is going to prove that Theism is "ontologically false".

    3. NCL

      The author is saying theism was created by Man to deal with fear of finality of death. If you agree with that, why would you go through with the exercise of trying to prove/disprove it?

      His example of the imaginary button he used showed his attitude towards your requirement to prove theism is ontologically false.

      This approach i believe is supported by the principle of Occam's Razor

    4. Todd Parker

      Occam's Razor is not a logical principle, but rather a procedural one with application only in empirical studies, to prevent the multiplication of hypotheses. It does not hold once you have moved beyond that sphere of thinking; in fact, things do have multiple causes - that is a basic principle of philosophy.

    5. Robertt1

      Perhaps gravity was created by man too, to keep people in fear... I always admire the "logic" of atheists.

    6. Heisveis

      No, it wasn't created by man, it's been as long as there has been mass. Try jumping from a cliff, you'll see how it works... I always get mindblown by the "logic" of theists.

    7. Robertt1

      You are so "smart". To bad that your blown mind can't sense sarcasm. Or logic. Atheism was created by some men to deal with fear of theism.

    8. Heisveis

      There was nothing sarcastic about your post, only an arrogant and judgemental comment with a petty tone of distaste. You keep misusing the term logic, and dismiss all my observations and critisisms of you with snide remarks and simple slogans, like "Atheism was created by some men to deal with fear of theism". Very nice, a brilliant slogan. really.. bravo! I'm not a peabrain, defend yourself with the "logic" that you claim to have superior understanding of, instead of this cheeky snarling.

    9. Heisveis

      You write elegantly with a pompous authorative tone, I'll give you that. Pfftsss!!! As if you have any rights to mock! All you said applies, just the other way around (you almost got it right!). The burden of proof is obviously on the side of the extraordinary claim(existence of a deity). YOU need to prove that theism is REAL. NOT the other way around, as you stated in your comment. I think you're smart enough to know that (not that it requires much), so what I don't get is why you purposely twist words and lie? Are you not breaking your own religious principles, hmm?

      Remember... Jesus is watching.... and he doesn't like it when you try to lie for him. Then the eternal naughty-stool will await you! ha ha ha.

    10. Robertt1

      "The burden of proof is obviously on the side of the extraordinary claim(existence of a deity)."

      NO. Obviously the burden of proof is on any claim. If you say "it doesn't exist"- you must prove it. Otherwise, you can say only "I don't know if exists or not".

    11. Heisveis

      Look, the world has moved beyond the need of your kind of two-cent philosophy. With your "logic" it would be a mess of a thought process, completely innefficient. Every question would branch off into infinite amounts of variations, because all claims the human mind can possibly conjure up must be respected as equal possibilities. You got to see what a major brain fart doing that would be! Do you believe in the magic ice-cream cat? Or the 55 armed woman? Or Thor? Or the Cat in the Hat? Or Santa Claus? Or Mr. Potato Head, or Batman? At some point, you need to make a stand, and realize that the assumtion is on the side of the theist. Being agnostic and sitting with your balls on the fence gets you nowhere, and is simply the lazy mans way out of thinking properly and long enough.

    12. fender24

      U want proof? According to Penrose, the odds against life coming into existence by coincidence were on the order of 10^10^123 to 1. in mathematics, a probability of 1 in 10^50 means "zero probability". Penrose's number is more than trillion trillion trillion times less than that. In short, Penrose's number tells us that the 'accidental" or "coincidental" creation of our universe is an impossibility. Cheers!

    13. Achems_Razor

      Not an impossibility according to quantum mechanics, human mind is basically to small to grasp the astronomical numbers, so some, religee's mostly, resort to invisible deities, the god of the gaps must of done it.
      10^500 parallel worlds.

      Physicists calculate number of parallel universes.

    14. tierra

      Thats not proof, that's someone stating odds that many, many scientists already support as having been beat (evolution)...

    15. Adam Stanley

      truth. I am so tired of these guys just writing of all things spiritual like they are killing mosquitos!

    16. Jesi

      Yes! This is what I was thinking the entire time, genetic fallacy. This documentary is officially a huge logical fallacy.

    17. James Harris

      It might not be outright proof that religious belief is false but it certainly undermines it. There is no actual evidence to confirm that religious belief is true, so discussions like the one in this video certainly hold a significant amount of weight when held up against..nothing credible to the contrary. An individual might read about a spherical earth in a comic book, but this can only be either coincidence, or informed directly by reality. As an analogy it doesn't stand. I can only assume you are resistant to the persuasiveness in his discussion because it threatens some potential proclivity to faith that you preserve as an agnostic.

  24. Paul Gloor

    I can say, after being under general anaesthetic, that dreamless sleep, only vaguely aware of its beginning or exactly when it ended was the best sleep I ever had. I imagine death to be much the same, but without the waking up part.
    Without the body you were grown in, not even the proposed future of 'backing backing ourselves up' really offers immortality. I can't wrap my head around the idea when it would be no more different than going to sleep and having 'something' else waking up, saying and believing, they were you.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that somewhere in my lifespan there will be technology to help me maintain this hardware I call a body so far as I have the choice to say "I've done everything, I'm ready to grow old" call me peter pan, whatever, but I'll not cling to the idea of an afterlife of any sort.

    1. Todd Parker

      You are parroting an argument made by Socrates in, I think, either Phaedo or Credo to dispel the fear of oblivion. But, ironically, he used it in the context of a larger argument to support a more or less theistic position - by showing that the fear of death was not necessary to maintain a belief in the afterlife.

  25. Mischa

    I don't pretend to know what happens, even though our greatest scientists and thinkers know a great deal about life, death and the universe, we are still; in a sense, in the dark about a great many things. It is inappropriate to say you know for definite their is or is not.

  26. Thormod Nordahl


  27. Observer

    I think you should consider all the options available and search for more answers before landing on one stop and throw everything behind your back!

  28. Thormod Nordahl

    And now, that I have watched it, I offer my conclusion: "Bullseye!"

    Save us from the mentally ill, who wish the universe' destruction asap - so that they may have an eternal orgasm and screw the rest of us!

  29. Thormod Nordahl

    " It would be revolutionary, if we could honestly discuss death in an honest and intelligent manner "

    Life, purpose and death can only be DISCUSSED among atheists.

  30. anna miller

    The deepest primordial fear is death. Fear of death is the birth of all religions. Theramin Trees brilliantly explains why the fear of death is subverted by the religious. This documentary shows why the fear of death is used by the religious to subvert others. Fear of death is really
    evolutionary. It would be revolutionary, if we could honestly discuss death in an honest and intelligent manner.

  31. CarimboHanky

    aaah just hate his stuff... not because of the content if not because how is delivered... NEXT...

  32. bringmeredwine

    I have never heard of TheraminTrees.
    This doc consists of written pop-ups with the some cartoon-like illustrations.
    The narrator spoke very fast so I found his points hard to follow.
    I'll admit I had a really hard time understanding what he was talking about till the second part.
    Maybe if I watched the first part again, I'd grasp more of his points-but I'm too lazy.
    He doesn't believe in an afterlife and was shocked to learn that people like him (atheists?) were hated by those who did believe. And all these different religious beliefs only led to conflicts throughout society.
    That's what I came away with.

    1. pwndecaf

      TheraminTrees and his brother QualiaSoup, are both well known YouTubers who generally explain why they reject religion, but their videos aren't strictly atheistic in nature but perhaps philosophical or related to critical thinking.

      That is my take on them anyway. Someone may have a better description than that.

  33. Philio

    I have been with more than my share of people at the moment
    of their death. It has lost it's mystery. Some were in pain from illness, more than I care to remember from combat injuries and one other, my Grandmother, who for all intents and purposes simply said, in her own way, goodbye and closed her eyes.

    Last words I've heard: After assuring my mother I would handle everything, none. "I have to see my other babies now", from Bubba
    (Grand Mother). I've heard mommy, sh1t, no, Jesus, am I going to die, cries of pain and sighs were some on the battle field. There every day held the reality of the possibility of death. All handled it in their own way. They handled it well in order to function but all hoped it would be quick if it happened. Quick and painless was universal.

    What’s it like: Who knows? No one! I knew two people who had NDE’s. One lost his fear of death and it was life changing. Another, after requesting no resuscitation, had four consecutive resuscitation attempts and came out of them functional bodily but her personality would, very sporadically and momentarily, emerge.

    Are there any unbiased references? Yes but just one. The next two are biased by a belief system. The Talmud says to sleep as 1/60th of death. The Chandoga Upanishad says we visit it every day in sleep. The unbiased source is Dave in “2001 A Space Odyssey” where HAL asks, “Dave, will I dream? Dave replies, “I don’t know HAL”. Dave was honest.

    From the Talmud and the Upanishad point of view we all experience death every day as dreamless sleep. Rather than reflecting on time past prior to birth reflect on the dreamless sleep experience. How much do you remember?

    If you believe in a heaven or a hell of some type, remember either
    one is your own creation. Believers can finish this quote on their own, “Not all those who say Lord, Lord”.

    If you believe in reincarnation or transmigration, after the dreamless sleep it would be just like waking up but with no memories or experiences and you wouldn't know you were reincarnated. If you have no belief in a hereafter, refer back to dreamless sleep, without end.

    So the best hope is that it happens without pain and quickly.

    “To die: to sleep no more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to……. To sleep: perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,”... Hamlet

    1. Pysmythe

      "Life is pleasant, and death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome." - Isaac Asimov

    2. zizi

      For me it is the opposite. A psychiatrist hooked me on sleeping pills. HELL on Earth!

  34. fu

    really you want to talk about ghost's out of all the time I lived on this earth I have seen some strange things but it really don't mean that its a spirit of a loved one that died it really could be anything have you ever learned anything about other dimensions for all you no ghost are images of people from other dimensions that are brains are trying to see but can't for all you no are brains could still be incomplete for are evolution and are eyes cant see everything there is a girl with special eyes she can see things I could only dream of and there is a boy that can see in the dark without any lights how is that possible unless humans are still not complete you no you really did not think about this to hard did you

    1. Dustin Parr

      that was one whole sentence.

    2. pwndecaf

      What can one say of those that refuse to use punctuation? Pointless!

  35. Adam Young

    question - who's the more closed minded ? 1) the one who believes there is no such a thing as ghost or the paranormal and it's all down to hoaxes and / or hallucination. 2) the one who at least bothers to check the research and find that while there is no concrete evidence to support the idea of ghost ( some would even argue that ) there is how ever enough material to support the fact that something of an unknown nature outside of our minds does occur.
    people who can't even bring themselves to the point of even considering the possibility i think are the worst science has to offer.

    1. Lenny

      It depends on whether someone makes claims in light of scientific evidence or in complete denial of it.

      Take the 9/11 "truth" movement. Truthers will claim to belong to group number #2, but their views contradict factual scientific evidence because they have an underlying narrative they're trying to push, which is fear/mistrust/hatred of government.

      That underlying agenda overrides their sense of logic and reasoning, making them literally unable to think critically and accept the truth.

    2. pwndecaf

      What a giant leap...not enough 9/11 docs to post on?

      This is a wonderful doc with everything you would expect from TheraminTrees - well reasoned and precisely presented.

    3. thinkagainagain

      I'm not quite so sure concerning the doc's precision. The use of Terror Management Theory without also informing the viewer there are strong arguments against it belies the doc's precision.

      Nicolas Baumard writing for the International Cognition and Cultural Institute stated the most obvious argument - "If the function of anxiety was to push us to create and entertain warm thoughts about an afterlife in order to forget a danger, we would all be dead".

      Taken from that point of view the entire premise of the doc falls apart.

    4. pwndecaf

      One must then assume TheraminTrees rejects that line of thinking.

      The same group agrees that he is right about atheists in foxholes. So?

      A comment on the article you refer to allows for some differing views: "Chris, of Mixing Memory, commented on this post: 'Perhaps this is one of the dangers of thinking about things through evolutionary lenses (it's always seemed to me that evolutionary psychologists have a habit of missing points), but just because anxiety is adaptive doesn't mean that it isn't a bad thing to the people who feel it. That's all that TMT actually says: when we feel anxiety or fear at thoughts of death, we don't like it, and so we try to get rid of it. The fact that the anxiety itself is adaptive doesn't change that. In fact, it's only adaptive because it's bad to us, if we take Navarrete and Fessler seriously.

      'Having read this post twice, I'm not really sure anything mentioned in it is critical of what TMT actually says, or even inconsistent with it. For one, TMT isn't about religion specifically, and nothing TMT says rules out the other reasons why people are religious, or the idea that people go to religion when they're anxious about death because it reaffirms social alliances (in fact, that fits quite nicely with TMT's main thesis, which is about culture more broadly). TMT has its problems (it's too broad, it's proponents tend to overreach, etc.), but these ain't them.' "

    5. thinkagainagain

      The comment by Chris is a comment to the article and not a comment by the article so it is neither here nor there.

      I'm not exactly picking on the doc for I agree with many of its assertions. What I do have a disdain for is the doc's presentation of TMT without informing the viewer of the serious arguments against it. That's not being honest with the viewer and there is no way around that.

      Another problem centers on the viewer. Apparently no one commenting questioned TMT mostly because, I imagine, it largely dove-tails and reinforces held beliefs. That's when the warning lights should come on. It's far too easy to let things slide when you find yourself agreeing.

      The end result is that I will forever be wary of TheraminTrees.

    6. pwndecaf

      That is your right. But do you really expect anyone to make an opinion piece that includes each and every side of everything mentioned? I don't have that much time in my day. Unless one has a psychology background, I doubt anyone has heard of TMT before.

      Based on what little I read, I'd say his use of TMT is a "standard" view, although I have never heard of it before. I looked at the point he was making, not the way he made it.

      When you make your counterpoint video, be sure to include your warning lights. ;-)

    7. thinkagainagain

      Aha! You said the magic words. Opinion Piece. If that is so (and it is) then should not each of us cast a critical eye?

      I wouldn't say it is my right as much as I would say it is my responsibility. Remember that I didn't place the total fault on TheraminTrees. I did say the viewer has a part in this.

      I did like the doc and I think TMT has the potential to explain a great number of things, I don't however believe it has become the standard view. I'm hoping that the objections to it can be met.

      Thanks for keeping the discussion on a decent level.

      PS You wouldn't want to see any video that I would make unless you wanted a good laugh.

    8. pwndecaf

      Fair enough. I would go further than opinion piece and label it a very personal accounting of thoughts and questions he has had due to his brush with his own mortality and that of his future wife.

      I watched the part again where he used the particular study of TMT, not all studies, and as far as it went, I think it only was used to show how easily we can be manipulated. Maybe his video does the same.

      To be totally honest, I used the words precise presentation because all the videos I remember seeing of his use the same type of "notes" going up on the screen as he says the words, which works for my thought process.

      I wouldn't have replied at all except for the fact that I looked up the ICCI and saw another viewpoint on the same page as the quote you used. In the end, I don't have a problem with the inclusion of TMT.

    9. IndustryOfBlame

      I'd very much like to see that material you speak of, even though "something of an unknown nature outside of our minds" to me is the most vague assertion possible in reference to something concrete like evidence for life after death.

    10. Mathew Scannell

      something of an unknown nature outside of our minds does occur. its called life, stuff happens all the time that we dont know about but how we interperate the events is key. just saying its ghosts or angels blocks any progress on our knowledge, be objective to facts not your own personal preference.

  36. fu

    if you don't except death your evil because death will find you he always find's who he is looking for except. it move on and no that your not the only one that death want's because death wants everyone not just one because unlike the devil or god he don't care who you are or were your from he will except you and your life and all the bad things you have done and take it all away from you at the last moments of your life.I don't no what life has in store for me but. in the end all that matters is what I leave behind and that could be anything its up to you if you chose to leave something behind but in the end you will leave something behind be it your bones or a child you will always be a part of the world ALWAYS and there is nothing anyone can do about it other then except it

  37. Guest

    to believe in nothing after death is no different than believing in an afterlife in that both sides have drawn a line in the sand saying " this is truth " so this guys take is no more valid than the believers because at the end of the day, nobody actually knows.

    1. Cracker122049

      Well put Adam ,some just claim to know!