This is a follow-up to a recent article “Are Foxhole Atheists Really Seeking a Cure?”
I reviewed an article by science writer Matthew Hutson who reported on three studies suggesting that fear of death will inspire atheists to believe in the supernatural.
The studies were done out of the University of Otago in New Zealand. I also pointed out that “in discussions promoting ‘belief’ over ‘atheism’, the specific belief is often left extremely vague.”
There’s now a new study distinguishing between agnostics and atheists and it has more precise results:
“The findings confirm that while religion can help people deal with death, we all manage our own existential fears of dying through our pre-existing worldview, the researchers report in an upcoming issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin…
… In other words, the myth that atheists turn to God on the battlefield or in other times of peril didn’t hold up, [research lead Kenneth] Vail and his colleagues wrote.”
Vail and his colleagues suggested that future research may study different types of spiritual or nontheistic beliefs in more detail. At least this study seems to indicate foxholes atheists are not seeking a cure.