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Terror of Death

  • Date Submitted: 10/09/2011 10:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49 
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The Terror of Death: Nature vs. Nurture

The terror of death is a common feeling people experience.   The cause of this fear is arguably due to nature or nurture depending on your perspective and experiences.   Scholars Ernest Becker and Antonio Gualtieri discuss death and where it originates and its causes.   There are psychological components which create a terror of death, such as development from an early age.   The way in which a child is raised is also believed to greatly impact their relationship with death.   The terror which originates throughout one’s life depends on many factors, such as personal experience.   The terror of death stems from two main components: nature and nurture, and each plays a role in the development of terror associated with death, that people may have for the duration of their entire life.
There are different arguments which are offered about the terror of death: the healthy-minded argument, the morbidly-minded argument, and the disappearance of this fear of death.   Becker expands on each of these and discusses various viewpoints.   Becker’s article sees the “two divergent positions of our fear of death, “the environmental” and “innate” positions as both part of the same picture, and sees them “merge naturally into one another” (Becker, 1973).   Therefore, collectively these experiences and our own psychological predispositions, combine to form the degree to which our terror of death is realized.
Benefits of having a terror of death can be linked to religions.   Religions can influence people to do good deeds and attempt to live a respectible life.   Without the presense or possiblity of death, these actions may not occur, thus a terror of death can be viewed as a benefit.   Becker expands on the role society plays in creating a fear of death which shows the strong element of nurture present in its development.   This is specifically seen as a “cultural mechanism” which serves to control or limit societies actions, by reminding them that...


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