Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
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30-01-2014, 05:50 AM
Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
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Date:
January 27, 2014
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
By examining children's ideas about "prelife," the time before conception, researchers found results which suggest that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life. And the part of us that is eternal, we believe, is not our skills or ability to reason, but rather our hopes, desires and emotions.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/201...164835.htm
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30-01-2014, 06:21 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
That's a novel approach... pre-life.

Another piece in the jigsaw perhaps.

Kinda small sample size though and the article doesn't mention whether the interviews were in groups or with individuals but intriguing nonetheless

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30-01-2014, 07:15 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired?
"children's ideas about prelife" - Well, when I was a kid, apparently, I asked my mum if when I grew up, she was gonna be a kid. To which she said "no, a grandma" and I replied, sadly "then it means you'll die." Kids have weird ideas is all I'm saying. Rolleyes

On a more serious, though not really scientific (though neither is that study, to be fair) note, I can't but be reminded of Tom Stoppard's quote:

"Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood, when it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it, before we know that there are words, out we come, bloodied and squalling...with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there's only one direction and time is its only measure."

Frankly, that makes much more sense to me. But what do I know. (Other than I'm mortal and that I don't need religion to cope with that fact.)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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30-01-2014, 07:22 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
Hardwired, really? Bullshit.

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30-01-2014, 07:33 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
I was not convinced by what I read. There are too many loose questions:

What are the ages of the children?

Were they questioned in groups or individually?

How long did the discussion / questioning period last?

I believe the study was tainted when the children were asked what they thought about pre-life, period.

And at least one group comes from a culture that believes in eternal life and life after death. I believe that is also a taint.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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30-01-2014, 07:49 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
bear with me im a newbie I just realized I put this in the science
it is probably more related to "psychology" which I admit Im not any expert on
however it made for interesting read, more data would have been welcomed.

If anyone can move it to the health and psychology thread would be appreciated.
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30-01-2014, 07:56 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
Don't give up, exmuslim. This can get stimulating! And, I believe the study is one of science, human science. You posted it, fight for it.

I'm new too. It's tough here, but they are really a good group.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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30-01-2014, 08:01 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
It's social science but whatever you call it the study was more a study of the lady's confirmation bias and shitty technique than it was of any hardwired belief.

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30-01-2014, 08:07 AM (This post was last modified: 30-01-2014 08:12 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired? Study examines development of children's 'prelife'
(30-01-2014 07:15 AM)Vera Wrote:  "Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood, when it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it, before we know that there are words, out we come, bloodied and squalling...with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there's only one direction and time is its only measure."

Both of my children have gone through phases of learning about death, realising that it applied to people they know, being deeply troubled by it, and coming to understand at least in principal that death applied to them. There was no single externally visible instant of realisation in this journey. Moreover, I think if you asked my daughter now about it should would not recall any particular moment of realisation. For both I think the period they were dealing with this question over was around the ages of 4 and 5. Mr 5 is still dealing with it, and is currently a believer in both heaven and reincarnation. And also Santa Claus, just to put that last sentence into context Wink

Anecdotally, the findings of the study ring somewhat true to me.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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30-01-2014, 08:14 AM
RE: Belief in immortality hard-wired?
For the record, exmuslim (and everybody else), I wasn't attacking you (or your choice of subforum; pretty sure the others weren't either). More like the study. And even morer still, was just blurting out the first thing that "study" made me think of. Rolleyes

(Don't worry too much about where you put stuff around here. Tongue)

Hafnof, I don't have kids, so can't speak from that perspective, but my first close encounter with death was when I was five and I distinctly remember not being frightened or scarred at all. Yet, ever since I could think (well, it's kinda debatable if I actually can, but let's not go there) I've been terrified by the mere thought of eternity. I always say and will keep on saying that we are finite beings and if I had to guess (which is what pretty much all of us are doing) deep down we are born this realisation. Then the ego kicks in and voila - you end up with religion and all sorts of other ugly shit.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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