I will go to hell, one in seven Scots fear

A section of a painting depicting hell by Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch. One in seven Scots fear they will go to hell, according to a new survey Picture: Contributed
A section of a painting depicting hell by Dutch painter Hieronymous Bosch. One in seven Scots fear they will go to hell, according to a new survey Picture: Contributed
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ONE in seven Scots believes they deserve eternal damnation - more than any other group in the UK.

Just one in ten Britons believe that if hell existed they would end up there - but Scots seem to have a far dimmer view of their own virtue.

[The survey] could point to a certain cheerful resilience in this mindset [of Scots] – a kind of black humour

Rev Colin Sinclair

A YouGov poll showed that a staggering 14 per cent of Scots believe they deserve to burn in the fiery pits of hell.

The survey also showed that Scots are less afraid of death than the rest of Britain - and that they are less likely to believe in the afterlife.

When Scots were asked “If there were a heaven and a hell, which would you end up in?” 48 per cent claimed they would go to paradise - in line with the national average.

But a staggering 14 per cent said they would be sent to hell - 4 per cent more than the figure for Great Britain as a whole.

Meanwhile, when asked “How much does death scare you?” 28 per cent of Scots claimed to be “not at all” scared - 3 per cent higher than the national average.

And just 16 per cent of the population said death scared them “a lot” - less than the national average of 20 per cent.

Then asked whether they believed in the afterlife 30 per cent said they definitely did not - significantly more than the national average of 24 per cent.

Freddie Sayers, YouGov editor-in-chief, said: “Taking British adults as a whole, 1 in 10 believe that if there is an afterlife, they’re headed for hell.

“This figure is slightly higher among Scottish people, at 14 per cent, despite them being less afraid of death and less likely to believe in an afterlife than the rest of the population.

“Taken together you could point to a certain cheerful resilience in this mindset – a kind of black humour.

“One thing to remember is that only a minority of people (36 per cent) believe in an afterlife at all. So this is really a measure of how people rate their own virtue more than a religious conviction.”

Rev Colin Sinclair, minister at the Church of Scotland’s Palmerston Place Church in Edinburgh, and convener of the church’s mission and discipleship council said: “Death has been called ‘the last taboo’, so a survey on attitudes to death can make for uncomfortable reading.

“In this survey the small differences between the attitude of those living in Scotland and the rest of the UK could reflect the down-to-earth nature of Scots character, the impact of cultural Calvinism and a refusal to run away from the reality of life.”

Of the groups surveyed, Londoners seemed to have the highest estimation of their moral worth - with 52 per cent believing they would go to heaven.

And 40 per cent of Brits said that if they died today they would die happy.

27 per cent of Scots also said that they would live forever if they could chose to - whilst 50 per cent said they would turn down the offer, with the remaining 24 per cent on the fence.