Why do people believe as they do? Why are so many people so sure that they know whether or not there is life after death? Between 73% and 92% of the people in the United States and about the same number in Europe are sure that they know whether or not there is life after death! Only 6% to 27% are unsure. (See the accompanying boxes.) If you think about it, these statistics should surprise you. Why are so many people so sure? One might have expected a far greater percentage to be unsure of the answer to what must be considered the most fundamental question of human existence. Of course, among those who do claim to know whether life after death exists, there is diametric disagreement as to what life after death would involve. The large majority firmly believes that "yes, there is a conscious life after death." while a small but vocal minority believes that "no. there is not any existence whatsoever beyond physical death." Both groups have the same compelling reasons to believe as they do: tradition and superstition welded by peer pressure.
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