My last post received some criticism about context. I hope this shows the fullness of fear of death that I have proposed as perhaps the single most important driving factor towards theistic, supernatural answers.
First, here's a knee-slapper of an answer from "Cindy". You'd think I was asking about her first sexual experience or what are the last four of her social security number! I thought the question was rather straight-forward and, one would think, non-threatening to a theist. Unless she senses the absurdity of the answers she would provide.
"I got your message on my blog Supernatural Christian. Before I answer, would you tell me what it is you are doing. I get strange request now and then and some are inappropriate or way out there. If your purpose is genuine, then I may post your request on my blog and maybe you will get more answers to your question. I have a lot of readers, but few saying anything. But, you might get what you are asking for.
Then "Dave" starts out, on a rather lengthy response:
"Hello, John. Where to start? From early childhood, I sensed there is a mystery about life and all its "whys" that I wanted to explore. I think this is present in almost everybody, but usually gets stifled with the cares of life. In time, I did get saved, but was so naive that it was merely a religion I believed and didn't really know why, beyond fire insurance from hell. Much time went by before I had no choice but to acknowledge God, and find that there is a relationship we can have with Him. One that is as close as is possible, within. (Before you read further, know that usually God's voice comes as a thought to us, and our mind forms it into words.)"
He goes on to tell me that he found out that while the "fire insurance" is important, it's really all about a personal relationship with Jesus.
Finally, there was this from "Aaron". I think it sums up the thinking of most Christians and, with different wording and invisible friends, people of all religions.
"I would say the single greatest thing my faith gives me now is the assurance that I have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. But let me explain what all this means. It means my sins have been forgiven, that I have been adopted as a child of God, that the threat of God's wrath that loomed over me and would have sent me to Hell forever has been removed because Christ endured it in my place. It means that I stand to inherit a new creation with Christ, which means that I have hope for life beyond death, that is, the life of resurrection, just as Christ was raised from the dead."
(All emphasis in bold is mine, and not the authors).
Finally, let me ask a question of all readers, religious or secular - what's with the burial customs of nearly all societies? Personally, I want to be cremated with no urn or special place for the ashes. Why do we have tombs and burial plots with fancy stones, crosses, families "resting" together, biblical quotations engraved, etc? What is it that most people think they are getting from the wasteful and costly burials described? Do you think the predominance of such burial is indicative of a concern with the "hereafter"?
I'll give my answer. I think it most definitely is. In fact, there is no belief involved here - it's self-evident. People want to be buried near their loved ones because they think they will have contact with them after death. They inscribe their grave stones with religious words to help convince their god they are worthy to enter paradise. They have refused to accept that the closest thing they will ever have to paradise is the life they are living right now.
If my theory about death is incorrect, how to explain the societal customs for handling the dead? I'm sure some will claim that it all has to do with the still living and bereaved relatives and loved ones. But that still leaves the question - what is it about these ceremonies and resting places that comforts them?