I had a discussion this am about what happens when you die.

I quipped to my friend, "The deeper some ppl push their heads into the sand, the higher in heaven they think they will go when they die!"

We both agree that when we die, it will just be what it was like before we were born---like nothing.

I told my friend, too, "At least my fear of mortality is a sign that I am facing reality and not putting my head in the sand with religion!"

J.

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My father just died. He is the first person to die (I almost said "pass") that I was really close to. He has been on a slow decline for 7 years so I have had a lot of time to prepare for this. It is also my first time to experience first hand how an atheist (me) handles the death of a loved one. The long lead time and the many hours I have considered the finality of death has made this a relatively painless experience for me. I know that we all die, that he is no longer in pain, and that he did live a good life for most of his years.

My main pain is for my mother. She was married to my father for 58 years. At 18 she went straight from her father's house to my father's house. She has never been alone. This is a kind of radical change that I have a hard time imagining. She says her faith has been a help to her and I hope she is right. But for my part I think my atheism has been equally helpful to me. I keep thinking of the following analogy: a religious person's belief in an afterlife is just like a kid whose parents told them that their favorite pet dog "went to live on a farm upstate".
My condolences regarding your father.

I experienced the death of loved ones early and often in my life. I'm only 31 and I've lost my mom, all of my grandparents, an uncle, and my best friend. My paternal grandfather died when I was only 5 years old. Since becoming an atheist, it has been easier to deal with death. When I was religious, I would always ask myself why it happened and worry about whether they went to Heaven or Hell. Eventually, I'd convince myself that they were in Heaven. Realizing that I wasn't going to see them again was probably the hardest part of my transition to becoming an atheist. Once I learned to accept that, death became much easier to deal with.
so sorry to hear about your father's death.

I too am re-learning to say "die" instead of pass and "dead" instead of passed or "no longer with us".

for me, it's about accepting finity in human living and that most things end.

Jencarlene
Being "middle-aged" I have a fine tuned sense and fear of my own mortality. I'm actually quite furious that we are so frail and have such short life spans. I feel as I've been cheated since I was born to early, before technology reaches a level in which to permanently extend and strengthen our minuscule existence. I'm still hoping there will be a quantum leap or two within the next few decades. If I could afford the cryogenic process I most definitely would. Even if there was some odd way one's consciousness could exist past ones own mortality I'm damn certain that it would be nothing like any of the moronic religions have decreed of the ages, of some all powerful tyrant condemning you on account that you didn't follow a group of arbitrary and illogical rules written by bronze age tribesmen. My bet is on science being our only hope of a prolonged existence.

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