K. J. Kaplan et al., Zenoism, Depression and Attitudes Toward Suicide and Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Moderating Effects of Religiosity and Gender, 24 Ethics & Med. 167 (2008).
A misfortune may be seen by a person as a singular event lacking teleological significance, or may be over-interpreted as Zeno the Stoic did, as a "sign" of the favor or disfavor of the gods (zenoizing). This tendency to "zenoize" paradoxically provides a philosophical structure for finding meaning in what might otherwise be considered insignificant life events.
This article presents two studies: Study One (n = 233) investigating the moderating effects of religiosity and gender on zenoism, depression, demoralization and suicidality; and Study Two (n = 137) investigating these same moderating effects on zenoism, fear of dependency, value of life and favorability towards physician-assisted suicide (PAS).
Results indicated: (1) male respondents zenoize more than female respondents; (2) nonreligious respondents both zenoize more than religious respondents and are more generally favorable to PAS and more suicidal; (3) the tendency to zenoize is negatively related to depression, demoralization and value of life for nonreligious respondents and for men; (4) the tendency to zenoize is positively related to favorability towards PAS towards oneself and overall suicidality; and finally, (5) general and self-specific favorablity towards PAS are distinct measures, but both are...