Elsewhere, Zevaeros writes:

* The comfort of an afterlife

This is perhaps the most troubling thing about atheism for me - the absence of the concept of an afterlife where you have to do some accounting for the here and now - for good or ill.

It disturbs the shit out of me that people like Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney (or Emporer Bokassa, Stalin, Adolf, Oprah etc, etc, etc) can simply die and never have to face the consequences of their existence.

It gives disturbing depth to Charles Bukowski's epitaph - "Don't Try".

Don't get me wrong - Buk for all his flaws was a jewel of humanity.

Tags: accountabilty, afterlife, death, kharma, neocon, paying the piper

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Yeah, I guess pissing on their grave is about as good as you'll get.
ugh, I wanted to post something about this topic for a long time. The only real "problem" I have with my atheism is death. It just freaks the hell out of me! I know is the biggest fear of all, but damn...is hard to cope with. I firmly believe that when you die you just turn off, and for that, we should make the effort in this life to make the world a better place and "transcend" in the people we left behind, in our work, personality, etc. But the firmness of my stand fights with the fear I have to the nothingness...is weird. Of course an eternal happy life is ridiculous; how can anything be considered happy if nothing is ever wrong? Eternal happiness sounds like hell to me.
I know is silly, but I found some relief in the triology of books "His dark matters": the idea that when you die, your become one with nature (physically or spiritually) is more logical and beautiful (the concept is everywhere, I just red it in those books). I'm glad I red those books being an teenager
I still get freak out time to time with the idea of turning off D:
You know, a lot of your comments sound (dare I say) almost religious..
How can we possibly know what happens when we die, and almost everyone here goes on about not existing like it's fact. But, just like god, it can never be proven or disproven.
You know, in my opinion I do not think it is AT ALL necessary to believe in a god for you to believe in reincarnation for example. In fact it seems like a decent alternative and even makes some logical sense if you think about it long enough.
Sadly, however, because it cannot be proven or disproven it falls under that category of belief. So it's probably not worth thinking about.

By the way... who ever said we have to be onboard with the idea of "not existing" when we die to be atheists?
It's all just a society malfunction, as i would call it.
It's our responsibility to prevent other people abusing our system and other people. Even with a huge amount of people in the planet at the moment, it's not impossible, it's just very hard. It would be easier within smaller groups.
I think believing in judgement in afterlife is just a way avoiding this responsibility and one of the many reasons why we are failing to stop those people. It's just the easier way out.
Ofcourse this doesn't reflect my views as well as i would like it to, but there's so many things you have to consider in things like this. I was going to rant more about the matter, but i'm one of those with very visual mind and i can't hold my thoughts together long enough, so i decided to make this short.
Boiling things down as much as I can:

1. A conventional definition of death necessarily involves the the permanent cessation of brain function.

2. There is no compelling evidence that mind can exist outside of a functioning brain (*).

3. Therefore there can be no experience after we are dead.

4. The first 13.75 billion year void when I didn't exist wan't very problematic, why should the next one be?

It works for me.

(*) Assuming some mad transhumanist doesn't upload it :-)
Well if a random assortment of matter and energy can give rise to me "being alive". Then who's to say that that specific combination (or indeed maybe another) won't somehow in the far future happen again, and thus give rise to me "being alive" again?
Of course I would have no previous memory, and I would be a completely new being independent of who I am now.
Maybe it's already happened :-)
I used to be afraid of death. I think that when the times comes I'll probably be afraid of death again. I used to cling to a belief system that included spirits and reincarnation because I'd rather believe in a fantasy than deal with my own mortality. Then I changed my mind....

You see there is no reason to believe that we experience anything after death, which would mean that once we die we do not know it. In my experience the closest thing to that would be the time I loose when I'm sleeping but not dreaming(at least that I can recall). This isn't an unpleasant thing for me. Sleeping isn't scary, it's one of the most pleasent things I get to do. Why should I be afraid of being unaware?

Living under the assumption that death is finite has changed my out look on life for the better. My life as I live it today has more value now then it ever did when I was worried about reincarnation or an after life. I'm inspired to do something with the time I have, to try to live my dreams, because life is the most precious thing I have.

This assumption has also increased the value of human life. It makes war and murder the most awful things. It makes seeing others' basic needs denied uneccasarily absolutely disgusting. And you know what? It inspires me to do something positive with this life.
You know Felch I have been struggling to understand why religion and belief have such a hold on for the most part, not stupid people. The more I read and the more I understand, it all seems come around to death and an afterlife.

The afterlife implies a do-over, even sinners are told that it is a penance, meaning that they might one day get another shot at it. As I see it most religions and new age belief stuff are in some way peddling an afterlife. I know that ultimately all I am is fertilizer. The nice thing is despite all their supposed worth... Cheney, Rumsfeld and the others are ultimately exactly the same thing. They don't get another shot, no matter what they believe. That was their life and they wasted it from what I can see.

Knowing that this is the life you have, is an awaking experience. I don't dis-agree with an earlier commenter, that if enough people woke up tomorrow, knowing this is all there is, they might actually be inclined to do more then just pray.

I want my time to be worth more then the base amount of fertilizer I represent, not like those other assholes (Oprah included).

"It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living."

-- Terry Pratchett
So say we all brother!!


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