A new study sheds light on questions of immortality by examining children's ideas about "prelife," the time before conception.
Most people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, believe they are immortal. That is, people believe that part of themselves—some indelible core, soul, or essence—will live forever.
Why is this belief so unshakable?
A new study published in the journal Child Development sheds light on these profound questions by examining children’s ideas about “prelife,” the time before conception.
Based on interviews with 283 children from two distinct cultures in Ecuador, the researchers say the findings suggest that our bias toward immortality is a part of human intuition that naturally emerges early in life.
And the part of us that is eternal, we believe, is not our skills or ability to reason, but rather our hopes, desires, and emotions. We are, in fact, what we feel.