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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Far more likely, IOWT, our chemical energy is converted into heat energy when we die, and simply dissipates into the surrounding environment. In fact, that can dissipation can be measured, and is used as a way to determine time of death by forensics teams. If the energy went into some parallel universe, coroners would always be wrong about time of death.
Quantum Physics also speaks of interconnectedness and the Unified Field. This theory makes a LOT of sense to me, and not from a wishful-thinking standpoint.

I don't believe in an afterlife or ghosts in the traditional sense, but I would not be surprised if we leave behind atomic footprints, energy signatures so to speak. Something we haven't yet developed a device to measure and something far more subtle than "Ooh, the ghost of Uncle Jerry is following me around."

I have indeed run into two or three people who seem to have that intuition many mistake for psychic or channeling abilities. If indeed all matter is interconnected, then it would go far towards explaining the seemingly genuine intuitive abilities of some. Why we get a 'funny feeling' when we walk into a certain building or meet a certain person. How we can tell we're being watched, how twins or close relatives can 'just tell' when something is up with their loved one on the other side of the country, that kind of thing.

That, and the atoms in our body are constantly moving about, in and out of us. No one atom in your body today was there 5-7 years ago. The next breath you take might contain a carbon atom that once resided in your husband. Very trippy when you think about it!
"If indeed all matter is interconnected, then it would go far towards explaining the seemingly genuine intuitive abilities of some."

There has been zero scientific evidence of anyone ever having more than 5 senses and there has been many tests. There are presently almost 7 billion of us. You'd think, if any of these ideas were true, someone would have displayed their 6th sense by now.

The fact is we all have maximum 5 senses. Stories about more are just that, stories. It's the same old BS as religion, Nostradamus and magic spells. Imaginative people dream up crap and others buy it because it allows them to think they are more than just an evolved ape.
Just because there is an "I" that is an emergent property of the electro-chemical interactions of one's brain does not mean that an "I" continues after those electro-chemical interactions cease, Third Law of Thermodynamics or not.

So, where does our energy go when we die? As Jason noted, some of it is heat that is dissipated to the surrounding environment. Also, note that we are not a closed, self-sustaining system: we have to constantly replenish the energy the body requires just in simple maintenance of life, let alone any of the other activities a body engages in, by eating. If there is no energy going in, there's no energy to maintain brain activity, and so no "I" emerging from that activity of the brain.

As to the rest of the energy and where that goes... microbes, insects, bugs, and other animals. They eat the body, sustaining their life.

I don't know and I don't pretend to know, but I'm not convinced that when we die, that is it. Game over. It may not be. One thing I do know. We're all going to find out someday.

Not necessarily. If it is the case, and it seems likely that it is, there will be no "I" to find out. You won't even know you are dead (so to speak).
I've been an Atheist for 40 years, as for me I have no fear of death at all, how I die, is a different matter and thus irrelevant. I see it as an adventure, the religious keep telling me I'm wrong, God exists or I'll come back as a dolphin or something, so I look forward to ending the debate. I read Dante's Inferno, according to him Socrates, Plato and friends are wondering around a grassed atrium discussing philosophy blissfully unaware they are in hell. Sounds good to me!
It's been my experience that the more you fear death, the less you live. I've swum with great white sharks, no cage, an amazing memory eye to eye with a 3000 ld shark and he chooses not to eat me, it was the most humbling experience of my life and it changed my life, my friend didn't join me out of fear of death, he now regrets the choice he made. Sure I could have died but I didn't, a bus will probably get me. I'm not suggesting you swim with sharks, just live big, go on the roller coaster, eat that scary food, tell death to sit in the back seat, you're taking over the driving, he'll just smile and go along for the ride, for that is what he does.
Humans, being so high in the food chain, sequester a high concentration of nutrients, but why? For whom do we sequester so many nutrients? The manner with which we entomb or decedents is inequitable to the environment. My desire is to be planted as food for an endangered Redwood tree.
Well I think that your fear of death is a large reason why religion exists at all; because it offers that of-so-soothing answer.
In fact, my girlfriend has a son who she was considering raising a deist because she was worried that the coldness of the reality of death would traumatize him.
I think that one of the most universal principles of atheism is that the truth is always the most important thing.
Maybe I'm not the best at giving death advice since I have no fear of death at all, but perhaps it would make you feel better to change your perspective from yourself or your family to the world - the human species. If you or someone close to you dies - nothing at all ends. The world goes on almost exactly as before, and everything is essentially fine. :-)
A christian guy I know said, "When my time comes, I'm ready to go".
Not me. I like it here on earth, a lot. I don't want to leave. It's not that I'm afraid. I was afraid when I was a believer. I didn't want to burn and I didn't want to see demons! Hell, even heaven seemed kind of scary!
Now, as an atheist, there's no christian afterlife to fear. There's probably just incomprehensible nothingness. But still, I don't want to go. This is the best place for me to be. I really want to stay.
I don't fear death. In fact, I have made preparations for it as early as ten years back. I have selected and purchased the spot where I will be buried and worked on the details of my memorial. No, I am not dying or terminally ill. Death is just inevitable. All a question of time. I live each day as if it were my last so to speak. :)
I wouldn't say I'm optimistic about death but I try to keep my mind open because the universe itself is so impossible and weird that maybe anything is possible. I look outside the window and I think that if my consciousness is the only thing keeping me separate from all that maybe death isn't so bad. Maybe there are other states of being maybe not. I suppose were all on a win win we believe in an afterlife and get it or we don't and we will never know or we believe we will be nothing and we get nothing or we get something as a pleasant surprise XD I don't want to die I love my life and I love the people in it but I suppose its a fair trade a life for a life.
I really admire those people who say "I'm going to die, there's nothing I can do about it. I accept it. Nobody knows what happens afterward, theres no point worrying about it I'm just going to live my life as best I can." I hope one day I can say that truthfully.
I almost feel guilty when people struggle to move past the fear of death because for me, and it seems I'm not alone on this site, the lack of fear towards death is natural. It does not feel like a trait that is any more admirable than being a brunette, it is simply one of those things. Honestly the idea of eternal life was far more frightening, unnatural and creepy to me than death ever was.
Perhaps it is a family trait. There are books and web sites devoted to positive things to be done after one dies that include everything from green funerals to becoming gem stones or coral reefs. That may help some feel more a part of the circle of life.

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