Secularization and Contemp view of death Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Secularization and Contemp view of death Deck (8)
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1

Thesis 1 -

1. Death in the modern world is an alienating and terrifying experience

2

Thesis 1 - The “happy death” or “natural death” movement

• Agrees with thesis 1 that modern death is terrifying and proposes that
• Death and grieving were easier when people had religion and ritual to rely on
• Modern death is medicalised – not as natural as it was in the past

3

Thesis 1 - Claims and research

The Claim:
• Death and grieving were easier when people had religion and ritual to rely on
According to Walter’s research:
• The thought of heaven might be comforting
• But the thought of hell could be terrifying
• A person could die accidentally without the rituals that they needed to be in a state of grace
The Claim:
• Modern medicalised death as not as natural as it was in the past
According to Walter’s research:
• It is the Bible that say death is the consequence of sin
• And the doctors of the 18th century who said death was a natural part of life
The Claim:
• Religious beliefs in heaven and hell help people to die
According to Walter’s research:
• How can we know what people actually believe?
• It is possible that some people just kept quiet about their disbelief so that they would not be punished by their community
The Claim:
• Religious faith makes dying easier
According to Walter’s research:
• Studies show that both firm believers in God and firm atheists face death with equanimity

4

Thesis 1 - Water’s conclusion

• It could be that death and grieving were easier in past times due to religion, but we have no way of proving this and cannot know for sure

5

Thesis 2 -

The Claim:
• Modern death is a good death
According to Walter’s research:
• The biblical view of a peaceful death at the end of a full life with children to inherit is more common in modern times than it was in past centuries
• Ordinary peaceful death in old age is fairly normal in modern western societies
• In Britain in 1995, only 25% of people over 85 were in old age homes or institutions
• 2017 update puts that number at 16%
Ok, but what about religion?
• If due to medical science and education, I can live a long good life and have lots of medication to take care of end-of-life pain, or even rely on doctors to help me end my life peacefully if it is unbearable, then I don’t need to fear death, and if I don’t fear death, then there is no need for religion
The Claim:
• A good death in modern times should mean that people do not fear death and, therefore, need religion less
According to Walter’s research:
• Psychological studies would say that we still fear death, we have just repressed the fear
• Sociological studies show that in the U.S. although modernity, medicine, and the good life are prominent, nevertheless, 7 out of 10 (72%) Americans believe in heaven and 50% believe in hell
• 2014 update: 58% believe in hell

6

Thesis 2 - Conclusion

• A good life, a long life and an easy death does not necessarily reduce the need for religion

7

Thesis 3 - claim

The Claim:
• Modern society has developed new ways of dealing with death

8

Thesis 2 - Conclusion

According to Walter’s research:
• Psychological counselling techniques are used by front line health professionals and also by many religious authorities
• The media also contributes to helping people grieve and face death