As an Atheist, how do you deal with it?

It's definitely, definitely the hardest thing for me. I think about how crappy it is to have a mother who is hurt by my religious decisions, but how much worse would it be to realize that when I lose someone in my family, they're gone forever?

A lot of the Atheists I speak to don't think about it, or don't seem to mind. What do you think?
(Hopefully this isn't a duplicate thread.)

Tags: death

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I think that we often disregard the old lessons left to us by great writers and philosophers because the bible is so prevalent that all that came before was nearly silenced. Think about Achilles from 'The Illiad'. Is Achilles dead? or Homer, for that matter? Achilles chose to die in order to live forever in our hearts.

Socrates did the same in order for his message to live on.

Sure, we have an allotted lifetime but look into the eyes of your children and you'll see yourself. Look at the building you designed or the book you wrote. Even simpler things than that can live on such as some brief but helpful advice to a young person who may go on to do great things. Those great things may produce even longer lasting results.

It's quite possible that all this religion around us has conditioned us to feel fear of what's beyond when the electricity no longer causes our brain to function. I figure that life is what it is and the time we're here is better to focus on.

My dad died last summer.  I think I cried a lot more initially than my religious counterparts.  My dad seemed  to be in perfect health and suddenly, just dropped dead.  I have found that, although, initially it was harder for me, in the end it has been harder for my religious family members.  I still miss my dad something awful, but I accepted his death from day one, whereas, they have not accepted it yet.  Perhaps it is their belief that somewhere he's still alive that makes acceptance harder.  They are also a lot angier than I am.  They have a long list of "blames" for why my dad died, whereas I just accept that it was his time.  I am not angry.  I'm still sad occassionally, but I'm okay.  I'm nore sure all of them are.

Sorry to hear about your dad.

Try this with your family... Remember when dad was here and 'he' or 'we' etc...

If the conversation goes toward death then change the subject. Maybe enough times of that might help them accept it too.

It's the best way I know to keep someone alive in my heart.

this thing is hard

lots of people block this subject out of their minds

others find solace in religion and other spiritual systems that promise endless life in some shape or form

i frankly don't know how i am going to survive the deaths of my parents

maybe only by reminding myself im also finite and someday the whole circus will end for me as well)

I feel for you - I lived in similar circumstances. But don´t fear losing your friends, you´ll probably never be as lonely as when you lived in your parents´ house.
I never cease to be amazed at the number of people, even some atheists, who think there is some mystery about "what happens after death". This is one of the simplest, most straightforward facts there is in life. When you die "you" as a conscious entity cease to exist. Period. Why is that hard too understand? Yes, of course our constituent atoms continue to exist, but that is completely irrelevant in any consciousness sense. To ask "where do we go when we die" makes no more sense than asking where does the flame go when you blow out the candle. As far as death is concerned, there is zero difference between humans and any other living thing that dies. As to emotional feelings about this fact, that is a different question, one that might rightly be entertained AFTER the hard fcat is determined, not before. I am an only child too, and have no children. I loved my mother dearly and of course I would like to see her again. But my (or your) wants are utterly meaningless as far as the facts are concerned. We can and we will eventually overcome death. There will be people eventually, who are truly immortal except for catastrophic accidents. The fly in the ointment is, that this will only be available to the rich and usual.

Not necessary only available to the rich and powerful. Washing machines where only available to the rich and powerful. The same happened to computers and any other technology.


We will one day all be immortal except for catastrophic accidents.


The first immortals in such a sense might already be alive today.


I agree with the rest of your post and also agree that it will probably only be available to the rich and powerful at the beginning.

Elderly people are a nuisance. It's best to hand them over to the welfare state for processing and forget about them. This may seem a callous way to treat relatives who will not be seen again but I don't care.

it is just not right to just leave the people that raised ypu behind.
Why not? If they truly are a nuisance I treat them with the same disrespect as I treat non-elderly nuisances. However, most elderly people I gathered around me are no nuisance, but wise, experienced people with allot to teach me. So I do not fully agree with Napoleon... although I suspect he is trolling somewhat. ;)


-AF- ATHEIST FUNERALS - AF  ...saving you time, money and inconvenience !


'My sister wanted a godless funeral. But still invited God'

I try not to think about or dwell on it. End of

Well, I'm sure I'm among a minority, but I don't believe something can truly cease to exist, once it comes into existence, and that it merely changes form. You can burn it, melt it, chop it to pieces, but it's still existing, merely in a different way. I equate life to computers. How a file can never really be deleted, merely be buried deeper within the computer, and unless you can rewrite someones consciousness, it's possible theres something more. Then again, we rewrite who we are everyday, killing our old self. 


To not go off in a tangent about my own theories, and philisophical definitions of life and death, I will merely say, I'm not afraid of what I don't know. 

Logically, we all agree, there is no one up there ready to welcome us with open arms for our good deeds, or damn us because were lacking there of. At the same time, I think we can all say the Universe, in all it's infinity, is not exactly something we can comprehend in it's entirety yet. Life after death? Sure as hell not on earth clearly, but hey, why not, I'm a freethinker.

Of course at the same time, I'm prepared if it really is somehow just -nothing-. In that case, I don't fear it either. If death = Non-existence of the mind and body, then it's not really something I can partake in. You can't partake in non-existence, cause you don't exist. I imagine it kinda like going to sleep, but not remebering what you dreamt. Nothing really.


It seems I ranted anyway, but in anycase, that was a good question.


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