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Trust Ultra Cool Mag to have good news for us: Dying is not as frightening as we think

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<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue From Evan Allgood at New York Mag:

A few years ago, psychological scientist Kurt Gray came across the final statements of 500 Texas inmates executed between 1982 and 2013. (The state’s Department of Criminal Justice posts them online.) As he read these inmates’ surprisingly sanguine last words, Gray wondered if their positivity was a fluke or part of a broader psychological trend.

So he conducted a study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which compared the words of death row inmates and terminally ill patients to those simply imagining they were close to death. This research —published this summer in Psychological Science — suggests that while it’s natural to fear death in the abstract, the closer one actually gets to it, the more positive he or she becomes.

As with the terminally ill subjects, staring down death forced the inmates to rationalize — which often demands looking beyond oneself, to family or religion. Gray elaborates: “What we found in the last words is that people are really finding meaning in death: ‘I’m going to meet the people I care about,’ ‘I’m going to do something for Jesus.’ And telling their family and friends that they love them. Part of the reason they were so positive is because they were focused on other people.” More.

The article ends with a muted pitch for euthanasia (the Next Big Cause). But then what did you expect from the Cool who have very high expectations but never had enough children to meet their pension entitlements — and encouraged others not to do so either?

In reality, the people who aren’t frightened of death are generally those who aren’t frightened of life either.

See also: Trad medium CBS notices euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands


Assisted suicide fails every US state so far this year

5 Replies to “Trust Ultra Cool Mag to have good news for us: Dying is not as frightening as we think

  1. 1
    Granville Sewell says:

    Thanks for this post, and a lot of other interesting ones you provide.

    I would certainly like to believe this is true, and I have seen some evidence from friends that supports the conclusion. I believe it was Betsie ten boom, in “The Hiding Place” (though it may have been another book) who said “God gives you your ticket right before you get on the train.” I hope this is true.

    As I get older, I am less afraid of death, but am still very afraid of dying…of spending months or years in and out of hospitals, which is how most of us die these days. The only thing Woody Allen ever said that I agree with: “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    So between 1982 and 2013 Texas executed 500 fellons who gave statements. Were there any executed who refused to give a statement?

    Doesn’t matter. That’s more than 16 per year. Were they all guilty? Or did the state make mistakes? If only one, only one, of these executed was not guilty, the system has completely failed. Execution as retribution is medieval, thank god most states have given up on this mistake laden failure.

    Now, bring on the anti-abortionists.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Now, bring on the anti-abortionists.

    Pro-lifers. Abortions take more than 3,000 lives each day. There isn’t any other killer quite like it.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    We should allow the abortionists to make statements too. I think that was rvb8’s point.

  5. 5
    EricMH says:

    Death row inmates, who are ashamed of what they have done, feel they are fulfilling justice by being executed. Terminally ill people will also fear death less if they face the end bravely and have lived well. But, most major religions do not advocate suicide, many say it merits damnation, so suicide will mess up the ‘fulfilling justice’ and ‘living well’ part. It is a great misunderstanding to use the dying words of these people to advocate euthanasia.

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