Fear of Dying
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Fear of Dying
Comments by Stephen Kaufman - 14 Dec 2004

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Veronica, and your data on endorphins.

There is much useful and valid information here. You finish:

He speculated that the particular calm he felt, even while face to face with the lion, is probably produced in all animals and if so, "is yet another merciful provision by our benevolent Creator for lessening the pain of death."

My thoughts: There is so much suffering in the world that I find this difficult to accept. I think a truly benevolent Creator who had the power to alleviate suffering could do a lot better. For many people, the Holocaust put an end to the notion of a benevolent, omnipotent God.

An alternative hypothesis is that endorphins are adaptive to survival. It is useful to feel terrified by the lion, but when one actually encounters a lion one is better suited not to be terrified but to be calm, have a clear mind, and not be incapacitated by the pain of injury. In the unlikely event that one survives, there is ample time to feel pain later as part of the healing process.


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