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People With University Degree Fear Death Less 473

An anonymous reader writes "People with a university degree fear death less than those at a lower literacy level. In addition, fear of death is more common among women than men, which affects their children's perception of death."
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People With University Degree Fear Death Less

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  • by CaptainMoron ( 1798168 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:20AM (#34448946)
    Grad studies are worse than any kind of death. I experienced both.
    • Alternate wording: "When you've already been through hell, you have nothing to fear." (kinda sounds like a horror movie slogan)

      Also, is "fear of death is most common among women than men" grammatically correct? Most/Than? Shouldn't it be "more than"? (I'm guessing that they have editors and this is technically correct, I'm just unfamiliar with it)
      • Also, is "fear of death is most common among women than men" grammatically correct? Most/Than? Shouldn't it be "more than"? (I'm guessing that they have editors and this is technically correct, I'm just unfamiliar with it)

        No it's not, yes it should, and you're unfamiliar with it because it's wrong. ;)

        Note the tag line at the bottom of the article: "Provided by University of Granada." I suspect they had the article translated into English by a Spanish-speaker who learned English very well in school, but doesn't have a native speaker's grasp of idiom. My mother, an American who speaks German fluently enough to be mistaken for a native speaker and lived in Germany for several years, works as a translator in partnership with

    • It also trumps torture. []

    • Re:Grad studies (Score:4, Informative)

      by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @11:38AM (#34450796) Homepage

      Nope, the school loan you took out will top the list and be the cause of which this article speaks. The realization that you've just enlisted into servitude that will belay retirement 10 years past life expectancy in order to pay off the privilege ,will be quite enough to make you even yearn for death.

  • Dilbert (Score:5, Funny)

    by eggman9713 ( 714915 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:22AM (#34448960)
    I became an engineer. I work in a cubicle. I bear a slight resemblance to Dilbert when in my work attire. This my friends, is worse than death. Therefore, I have no fear of death because I am beyond it.
  • Indeed (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:24AM (#34448972) Homepage Journal

    degree fear death less than those at a lower literacy leve.

    But they fear typographical errors much more :-)

  • by dlenmn ( 145080 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:25AM (#34448978)

    Fear of eventually dying and fear of dying young are quite different things, but both get named "fear of death". I read TFA, and it's not clear what fear they're talking about.

    IMHO, it's silly to fear the former but good to have some fear of the latter.

    • by tenchikaibyaku ( 1847212 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:15AM (#34449184)
      This might be pretty obvious, but there's also a difference between the "fear of death" you feel in everyday life and the kind of "fear of death" you have when you believe that your life is actually threatened in some way. I don't walk around being afraid of dying or anything, but a panic attack a few years ago gave me a new perspective on a few things.
      • That's weird...In situations were I've come closing to dying the only thing in my mind was how to avoid it (and obviously I was successful) while at times that I'm bored and my mind wonders into the subject then I get scared.
        Maybe because I used to do a fair amount of extreme sports as a kid like skiing, mountain biking (a lot of that), doing stupid things with my dad's car etc that I eventually got a handle on dangerous situations.

        Any person with "normal" brain chemistry will fear death, acceptance thou
    • by catbutt ( 469582 )
      Why is it silly to fear the former? Fear of death is of course deep in us for obvious Darwinian reasons....there is no real "rationality" behind wanting to continue living except that natural selection put it at the very center of our motivational system. And there was no reason for evolution to make us *only* fear early death.....the important thing was that we do everything in our power to avoid death. -- no good reason to have it be selective between early or late death.
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      I don't fear death. I fear the pain of dying. I've been seriously injured several times, it's the pain that makes me fear it. Oddly enough my non-university graduate grandfather believed the same thing, he died quite painfully with cancer eating away his spine. He lived about 4 weeks from the time it was diagnosed to the time he died it progressed that quickly.

    • and it was about fear of Death, you know, fear of THE Death. So the less educated could not look past the scythe and the bony construction, but more educated and wiser people see much more. Ok, it is a bit annoying that he uses all-caps, but he has shown compassion at a number of times and loves cats.

  • You can only die once, and I have been dead, so I will live forever now....
    I think the University was worse than death anyway, pain goes away when you die, at the University the pain never went away...
    • You can only die once, and I have been dead, so I will live forever now....

      You say that, but we all know that Vicious kills you in the end, even if you can stagger down the hallway and shoot a finger gun at the camera.
  • If we're talking about undergraduate degrees, and the average amount of debt involved, then yeah, if asked if I was afraid of dying right after graduation, I'd be like, "meh."

  • Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger . . .

    . . . unless it maims me.

    The maiming sucks. I'd rather avoid it.

  • Reasoning? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:39AM (#34449034) Homepage

    Death is inevitable. I don't fear taxes, and I don't fear death.

    What I do fear, however, since I live in the United States where suicide and assisted suicide are illegal, is becoming almost completely nonfunctional due to sudden paralysis, stroke, etc. The fear is that if I were locked in and could only communicate one character an hour, they'd still keep me alive for as long as they could, even if I had to lay there awake but bored and paralyzed for 16 hours a day.

    A distant second is dying a horrible slow death, perhaps by starvation.

    Death itself, though, I don't really fear.

    • > where suicide and assisted suicide are illegal,

      True, but you could always drink or smoke yourself to death ... :/ Seems to me it is only the timeframe that people don't like -- quick and painless, or the long, slow, painful in agony.

      Not sure what gives the the living to dictate the rights over my body and / or control how I wish to die ...

    • Actually in Oregon and Washington at least assisted suicide it legal under certain circumstances. In Oregon 2 doctors have to certify that you probably have less than 6 months to live. Then you can get a prescription for a fatal dose of barbiturates that you must swallow yourself at a time of your choosing.

      • Re:Reasoning? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @09:35AM (#34450132)
        Those laws have some serious flaws to them. I personally voted against the one in Washington because it seemed to be unnecessary for the stated purpose. We could have solved the same problem by granting doctors the ability to ignore normal dosing practices with the informed consent of the patient to prescribe the necessary dose to treat the pain with the understanding that as the dose rises the likelihood of death and addiction does as well. I don't think anybody on either side was particularly concerned with an individual with less than a year to live getting hooked on the junk.

        It bothered me a great deal that the initiative passed on strength of sentimentalism and FUD where a lesser measure could have addressed the issue more appropriately. There was sparse evidence that the demand was for reasons other than depression and inadequate palliative care. And there was no requirement that the individual get declared as depression free from a psychiatrist or psychologist.
  • Marcus Aurelius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fremsley471 ( 792813 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:05AM (#34449126)
    Maybe the better read have listened to the words of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius:

    "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

    • That quote just reeks of needing an addendum: for sufficiently narrow definitions of "just".
    • Re:Marcus Aurelius (Score:5, Informative)

      by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @05:28AM (#34449406) Homepage Journal

      Thanks for posting that, I have never heard that before, I came to the same conclusion many years ago and try to be a fair and decent person.

      Last year I had a heart attack and as I was in the ambulance with the sirens and blue lights going I knew I might well die. I wasn't really afraid of dying but I did feel it was too soon I wanted to see the kids grown up, married and with children of their own.

      I also am a huge fan of morphine, it doesn't so much stop pain as take away the fear of death. It gives you the calm to accept what will be will be. You don't fear for your own fate but feel for your loved ones and the upset they feel for you being so close to death. I also remember the priest coming round to see me and he asked me religion? I said not yet. I really don't feel like it is time for me.

      The first year after my heart attack was tough, the statistics are frightening 30% of people who have a first heart attack die before reaching a hospital of the 70% left 50% will die within 6 to 8 years and in the first year you have a 25% chance of dying in the following years it drops to about 3% everybody has a chance of dying but its about 1.5% so now although my chances are raised I don't feel like its that much higher.
      Year one was depressing I was constantly thinking about my health and didn't feel like I had a future.

      Now I just want to get back on track and find a job and live a happy life doing something with somebody I love. I'm really grateful for my medical treatment and thanks to the irish health service I was treated for free and pay a nominal amount for my meds. Just hope there is someone who will take me on doing something.


    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Reminds me a bit of The Stainless Steel Rat who says he is an Atheist, because that makes him a better person. A person of faith will believe he has a second chance in some sort of afterlife, so he will have no problem killing somebody as that would not be the end of that persons life.

      An Atheist knows it will end that persons life for now and forever and will thus be much more careful with ending one.

      Used this argumentation once with some Mormons and they became pretty confused. :-D

      (As I said, it reminded m

  • Death wouldn't be so bad if it didn't have to involve every memory you ever had being erased from existence. Written word and other recordings are completely inadequate to compensate for everything that is lost when a person dies. Just because death is currently inevitable does not make fear of it irrational - fear focuses awareness, which is perfectly appropriate when it involves everything you are in the world ceasing to be, lost to everyone.

    That's one of the reasons I've always been fascinated by compu

    • imagine building a computer as a kid and having it run a very very long program. it runs that program for 20, 30, 50, 80 years! its getting real close to some kind of conclusion or answer, too.

      then, someone yanks the power out and you had no time to sync to disk. all your data and all those 80 years of accumulated processing is gone as the power supply runs to zero and your ram loses refresh.

      it makes NO SENSE when you think of life this way. I don't see how your 'data' (life experience) is at all saved

  • How much of the fear of death measured in this study has a basis in reality?

    What I mean is, if someone has reason to fear death (because of circumstance, or illness, etc.) then they probably have bigger things to worry about than getting college degrees?

    • Well, circumstances are irrelevant. Like it or not, you will die. The only questions are when and how. As my dad always says: "You're not getting out of life alive, so you might as well enjoy yourself".

      I have no fear of death, partly because it's inevitable, and partly because I can think of many cases where living can be much worth than death. The reason people fear death is because of the uncertainty over if there's an afterlife and what it's like - primarily, they're afraid that maybe those religious

  • What is consciousness exactly? Matter organized in particular ways? Electric impulses? Information? Which of these really disappear when you kick the bucket? According to cosmology, even if you are sucked into a black hole someone could later observe every photon it emits as it evaporates due to quantum effects and reconstruct you atom by atom. For more practical solutions, you could upload important parts of your persona to cloud computing (write books, raise children, etc) and they will happily keep runni

  • Education good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haeger ( 85819 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @05:22AM (#34449384)

    Seems like there's a long list of benefits in education. Not only will you be less religulous, but you will also not fear death as much and hopefully get a more fullfilling job.
    Educating women is even better, they have fewer children and a better health. And they tend to see education as something important for their children.
    Have a look at Hans Roslings excellent talk about the miracle in Pakistan for what education has done, and especially education of women.

    Long live education, which should be free and availible.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @05:36AM (#34449430)

    From the article:

    at present, the education system does not have any formal and systematic method to deal with death in class. If death were introduced in the education system, children would have a more real and intense approach to life, and many of the problems derived from the mourning process in the adulthood would be prevented.

    I hope they mean the topic of death rather than death itself. I don't really want our teachers killing anybody as an object lesson.

  • Clearly! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:28AM (#34449902) Journal
    "I can see you are a swordsman. Therefore you are educated. If you are educated, you must know you are Mortal! CLEARLY you would put the poison furthest away from YOU!"
  • Most likey... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mswhippingboy ( 754599 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:26AM (#34450396)
    it's because (statistically) the more educated, the less religious. While one would think that the religious person, hoping for life after death, would fear it less, I think the opposite is true. The atheist can take comfort in believing that everything just stops when you die, that is you just cease to exist - no pain, no awareness, no anything. A religious person who believes in the after life has to worry about whether they're going to heaven or hell, will it hurt when I'm dead and (for some) maybe even a little fear about the cracks in their faith (i.e. could I be wrong?)..
  • by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:37AM (#34450432)
    I mean one of the symptoms of clinical depression is willingness to consider suicide. (Which I would think would mean that you feel death less.) Isn't depression more common among people with degrees? (Isn't it also more prevalent among those with higher IQ's as well?)

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