Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Euthanasia Weblog

"Great and Good Have Little Truck With God"

BRITAIN'S elite are half as likely to believe in God than the general population, and far less likely to believe in life after death, a survey suggests.

Michael Irwin, a retired GP and former chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, wrote to 1,600 randomly selected people listed in Who's Who. To his surprise, 761 took the time to write back.

One Anglican bishop said that he did not believe in the survival of individual "souls" after death. The bishop did admit, however, to the possibility of a non-specific "life force" energising everyone on Earth.

Dr Irwin, 74, who as a former medical director of the United Nations is listed in Who's Who, had replies from the authors Bamber Gascoigne, Colin Wilson, Naim Attallah and Colin Dexter, the agony aunt Clare Rayner, the zoologist Keith Vickerman, the anthropologist Alan MacFarlane, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Lord Haskins and Lord Young of Norwood Green.

> Dr Irwin, who has published his findings in a booklet, What Survives?, said that previous surveys, such as a Reader's Digest poll of March this year, suggested that 64 per cent believed in the existence of God and 58 per cent in an afterlife. In the recent national census, more than 70 per cent described themselves as Christian.
But he found that just 29 per cent of those in Who's Who believed that a soul continued to exist after death and 5 per cent believed that no individual souls survived but did admit to the possibility of a non-specific life force. A further 46 per cent said that nothing at all survived death except a person's descendants, writings and other people's memories. Just 20 per cent were "uncertain" about what happened.
This year Dr Irwin was erased from the General Medical Council register. He had been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to bring about the suicide of a terminally ill friend on the Isle of Man, but no charges were brought. He was given a police caution.


Post a Comment

<< Home