Death: Does Religion Help or Hurt?
Is Religion So Innocent? Would Less Religion Preserve Life?
This is my explanation for why I think religious people are less compelled to deal with death. This is also taken from a comment below. Putting it here should save some time for those interested in following my argument.
Assuming you read the portion after the first [Edit], this
is why I argue that religious people can, generally, be very slightly less
compelled to prevent death. Please understand that I posit that this lesser
compulsion occurs *subconsciously*, and is too small to immediately,
consciously be aware of. This means that you won't consciously know that you
are acting in this manner. So please, don't think about how you "would
never think less of death just because I am religious", and focus on the psychological
and statistical argument that I'm offering.
Again, this is based only in knowledge of psychological tendencies and compulsions of the human brain. If you would like to refute it, please don't do so with arguments about how you or other religious people still prevent deaths. That is not the point. The point is that lessened subconscious compulsion can affect how motivated *subconsciously* a person is to deal with something. You may not know that you have lessened motivation, but its effect materializes with many people in the long-term.
The reason for my assumption that biblical Christians are less motivated to deal with death draws mainly from knowledge about psychological tendencies towards certain behaviors and motives based on learned and believed subconscious premises. The brain makes decisions not only on conscious thought, but unconscious thought as well. If it didn't, it would be incredibly inefficient at making decisions. For example, if you encounter a person in ragged and dirty clothes on the street, without any conscious thought, your first reaction is to come to the understanding that the person is likely impoverished and in need of help. This emotional and automated reaction compels you to want to help the person. You can reflect on that stereotyped reaction and see consciously that the ragged clothes likely indicate poverty, and therefore a need for help, and therefore a conscious and logical compulsion to help, but that conscious logical reflection is not necessary for you to be compelled to help. Your brain makes the shortcut from ragged clothes to poverty for you, and automatically compels you to act in the way that it has learned to be fit. This is a good example of how your subconscious makes decisions of who needs help and who doesn't based on stereotype. Another example is historic racially-divided America. A white boy who is raised by a racist white family may learn that people in ragged clothes are impoverished and in need of help. He may also learn, through observation of, and teachings by his parents, that blacks are inferior and do not deserve assistance from white people. In this scenario, when this boy encounters a poor black man on the street, his first emotional reaction is one of disgust and he will not be compelled to help the man even if he needs it. In this case, the subconsciously learned premise that black people are inferior has overcome the subconsciously learned premise that poor people are in need of help. Again, something that he has learned or observed has affected his initial subconscious compulsions.
This analogy can be applied to religious people. If they have learned from childhood a blunted version of death that involves being lifted into the sky to live immortally in a heaven filled with white clouds and angels, that learned subconscious premise can certainly materialize by affecting the person's *subconscious* compulsions concerning the tragedy of death. Then, consider this simple premise that is observed in the human brain: The more stressful and frightening a thing is, the more compelled a person will be to change, fix, or deal with it. Therefore, if death is less frightening, then the compulsion to prevent death is lessened. It is obvious that if someone has less of a compulsion to do something, their actions will tend to be proportional to their level of compulsion. Now, if you have millions of people that are going to die without intervention and in need of help, the one who, subconsciously, is ever-so slightly less compelled to save every single one of them, is going to be ever-so slightly *subconsciously* okay with some of them going off to the cloud-bedded heaven with the angels. This is an uncontrollable reaction that comes about from what the person has learned.