People think money gives immortality, study says - New York News

People think money gives immortality, study says

Updated:

By: Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Why do so many people spend what seems like an eternity at work? According to Stephen Cave, they think making money will make them immortal.

Cave, the author of "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization," wrote about this in an article on Time.com. Why do people work so hard at work?

"The answer might surprise you: because you believe it will make you live forever," Cave writes. "You might not think you believe this - you might even find the idea absurd. You might argue that the extra money will bring you freedom, or security, or expensive toys. If you're a little more psychologically savvy, you might say a higher salary will earn you social status or self-esteem."

But deep down, it is really about immortality.

Cave refers to a new study in the "Journal of Economic Psychology" that came up with these conclusions:

  • "People reminded of death overestimate the physical size of money."
  • "People reminded of death use higher monetary standards to define somebody as rich."
  • "People reminded of death desire higher compensation for forgoing the immediate payment."
  • "People primed with money report lower fear of death."
Cave says in his Time article: "We are not rational decision makers when it comes to our finances, dispassionately calculating profit and loss. Instead our judgment is continually distorted by deep-seated associations and anxieties. And the most powerful of these is existential angst, the ever present fear of doom."

We work and we buy in hope that working and buying will give us eternal life.

A review of Cave's book on immortality appeared in the Economist in 2012 and says, "Cave's repeated claim that the quest for immortality drives every human activity feels overdone."

In a New York Times Sunday Review article, Cave says, "So far, (multiple studies) consistently support a thesis - known as Terror Management Theory - that particular aspects of our outlook are governed by our need to manage our fear of death. In other words, our cultural, philosophical and religious systems exist to promise us immortality."

Everything we do that seems worthwhile is done to pursue eternal life.

This is why Cave says it would be awful if people really never died.

"Suddenly, we would have nothing to do," he writes, "yet in the greatest of ironies, we would have endless eons in which to do it. Action would lose its purpose and time its value. This is the true awfulness of immortality."

Or, in other words, we would be bored. Which may sound a lot like people's jobs.

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    NJ girl accidentally kills gun instructor

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:24 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:24:19 GMT
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi. Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.
    A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use a fully automatic Uzi. Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to the girl at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range when she pulled the trigger and the recoil sent the gun over her head, investigators said.
  • Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot him

    Victim's family feels sorry for girl who shot him

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:19:45 GMT
    The ex-wife of an Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to use an Uzi said Friday that her family plans to write the child a letter to comfort her.  Instructor Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl on Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger.
    The ex-wife of an Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to use an Uzi said Friday that her family plans to write the child a letter to comfort her.  Instructor Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl on Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger.
  • NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:47 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:47:22 GMT
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices