After Death

By: Tara Kalemba, Rachael DiRegolo, Danika Bates, Jaleel Baker.

Background: According to www.lifeintheusa.com, death is a little discussed topic among Americans. When confronted with the topic people would rather steer the conversation toward any other theme because "Americans do not die." A fact from the Huffingtonpost points out that "About one third of Americans would fight for their life no matter what." As this statistic points out, many people are afraid of what comes after death and would rather live a longer life in pain than to find out the answer for the beyond. Our task is to find out what most American teens view as the outcome of death.

Hypothesis: Most American teens believe in some form of an afterlife.

Method: Take a survey of at least 70 students of all grade levels at Bella Vista asking them questions pertaining to their beliefs and what they believe comes after death. We conducted this survey on May 17, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in various classrooms at Bella Vista.external image reincarnation.png
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Questions-


1. Are you spiritual?

*Spiritual defined as 'of or relating to the human spirit/soul as opposed to material things; occurring beyond your realm of control.


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2. Do you come from a spiritual background or family?




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3. Do you believe in a god or gods?

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4. Do you consider yourself religious?

*To be religious is to affiliate yourself with a religion

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5. Do you believe that people have souls?

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6. What do you believe comes after death?
A- Reincarnation
B- Afterlife (Heaven/Hell/Nirvana etc)
C- Biochemical Breakdown (End of consciousness)

*This question had the option of multiple answers
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7. Do you believe in ghosts spirits or angels?
A- Ghosts
B- Spirits
C- Angels


*This question had the option of multiple answers


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Conclusion/Analysis:
We surveyed seventy people with six yes or no questions and two a,b,c style questions that can have more than one answer. There were one hundred and four answers cast for question eight and one hundred and thirty-five answers for question seven. We found that not everyone who believes in an afterlife classifies themselves as religious or spiritual. More teenagers consider themselves spiritual over religious. This demonstrates the decline in the importance of religion in our society while emphasizing the cultural idea that "Americans do not die" (lifeintheusa.com). Interestingly, the majority of those who do not believe in a god or gods believe in souls and some sort of afterlife whether that be heaven, hell, or nirvana. It was is also worthy to note that not all who believe in ghosts also believe in angels or spirits. This can be seen to reflect our cultural fascination with horror films and the lack of interest in religion. Almost every person surveyed believe in reincarnation or an afterlife with only 23% believing in biochemical breakdown. With these results we have confirmed our hypothesis that the majority of American teens believe in some sort of afterlife.


Interesting little blurb:
Neurosurgeon, Dr.Eben Alexander, claims to have proof of heaven after slipping into a meningitis induced coma, being pronounced brain dead, then waking up seven days later claiming he saw heaven. He describes god as a gender-less, faceless entity of power. Other doctors are skeptical of Dr.Alexanders claims. The other doctors believe that he had these hallucinations because of the immense amount of stress the brain was under while in the coma. (http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/dr-eben-alexander-shares-what-god-looks-like-video)