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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Here's what I say to my kids (10 & 4 years old), when they ask about death or like "where do we go when we die?", I say, "Do you remember where you were before you were born?". They usually answer "No." So I simply say, "That's where you go. To that same place you came from."

It's kind of similar to what Dawkins is saying in that clip, (btw, thanks for that.) What I say to slightly more mature friends is, "We've all been dead already. We've been dead for most of history. It's only now, this moment, that we're alive. And it's extremely short time wise. So we should enjoy it. Live for today. It's all we've got". Ironically, it's similar to what Jesus Christ was saying.

Here's a meme to spread. Jesus was an atheist. Most likely I think. He was too smart not to be.
I agree with you that we are probably go back to where we were before we were born when we die but I don't remember being born or much of my infancy but does that mean it didn't happen? I'm not going all religious on you I just thought it was an interesting point to make.
Maggie,
You are right, in that we do not know what did happen, or what will happen. However, it makes sense to act according to that which we believe is most likely to occur. There certainly are many bad ways to die! To reduce the chances of experiencing one of those, it makes sense to me to try to have alternative possibilities - with the following caveat:
If one becomes obsessed, depressed or otherwise overwhelmed with the thought, it's probably best to simply continue to avoid thinking about it. Death will occur with or without a person helping it.
I don't fear death; it'll happen, eventually, so there's no point getting upset about it. And after I've died, there ain't a me to care one way or the other, so worrying about it now seems rather pointless. I certainly don't want to die — at least not at this point in my life — but neither do I want to live forever. If I do contemplate my own death, what scares me is the manner of death rather than death itself. There are plenty of horrible ways to die.

As to the death of others, I'm not particularly bothered by it. I'm not unsympathetic or callous about it, but the simple fact is we die. I acknowledge that, and that acknowledgement allows me to accept it.

C'est la vie.
Me I try not to worry about dying because I feel that me being alive is the greatest gift of all time. I watched a certain documentary with Richard Dawkins about the odds of all of existing. The right sperm and the right egg had to come together to form you, then you had to survive the 9 months until birth, then if you were a sick baby like me you had to survive after being born. Don't worry about death, focus on living. Read all the books you can enjoy your family while you have them and focus on the positive things in life. Life is too precious to be wasted thinking about death or fearing it. You are doing the very thing billions and billion of people who were never born got a chance to do, LIVE!
I think the most significant thing to note is that they're no longer in pain.

After that, you realize that mourning death is for the living. We will miss them, regardless of faith, and our days will be darker without them in it. The promise of seeing them again...well, there's nothing that can guarantee that in any case. Some heavens say that we will be who we died as; do I have to be overweight for all eternity? Some heavens say that we will be the best of ourselves. Will I recognize my great-grandmother in her early twenties?

There's nothing in any book that says you can't miss someone. When you love someone, and they pass away, your life is forever changed. But I say this: celebrate them for who they were when they lived, and love them for who they were, and worry less about what happens to them after they die, and more about how you will carry on their memory once they're gone.

We all want our loved ones to go on to a better place. But what if that better place is simply a nothing, a less than the physical or emotional pain they knew here?
I didn't read all the posts, but what always makes me feel at ease it the fact that I don't recall feeling anything when I was a baby, or when I first started feeling anything (consciousness), so have no fear of what happens after I am no longer here. We can worry about how we are going to die, but it is always a better use of energy to focus on how we are going to live.

I was raised in a religious home, and the idea of death is more comfortable for me now. This is probably due to accepting that we are a part of nature, and this gives meaning to the days we do have.
We tend to dwell on the possible pain, loss of self, etc surrounding death. As we really don't know, can't we just as easily assume it will be painless, or that we find our 'self?'

Which I suppose is where all the stories of happy-happy-joy-joy afterlife comes in.

Mostly, I fear the pain of actually dying; those few moments of not being able to breathe, or will I feel the bus smash my body to bits. But on the other side of it, the couple of major injuries I've had, the immediate moment of impact is almost always pain-free. Either the I-didn't-know-what-hit-me effect or even if I know, that sudden rush of adrenaline is a most amazing physiological process.

I figure if I didn't feel my knee tear in 4 places and my collarbone break in the last wreck, I probably won't feel the bus that smashes into me either.
The certainty of death is the most disturbing reality that any person has to face, which is one of the principal reasons why religions, most of which promise an afterlife, have endured for millennia and will likely continue well into the foreseeable future. Realistic atheists face this certainty with courage and with a hopefully enhanced committment to living happily in the now, that is by trying to make the most of our hour upon the stage. Religious faith offers solace, moral certainty and eternal life, but at a price that the non theist declines to pay.

Is the non believer better off? I can only answer that highly subjective question for myself. Yes, I am better off, but recognize that the understandable and inviting appeals of reassuring religious doctrines are no more than comforting delusions. The courageous person must turn away from religion's mirage just as we must decline myriad superficially attractive doctrines and substances that are not good for us. Facing and living life as it really is and not just what we would like it to be is not an easy undertaking.
The last 13.75 billion years didn't bother me the least when I wasn't alive yet, then why should the rest of time bother me?

It's dying that I am afraid of. Dying an leaving loved ones behind, that's the real problem.
I think that death being the finally thing is a comfort for me. My son committed suicide in Nov. of 08. It was a comfort for me to know that he is not suffering. He was an Atheist to so I'm glad it was final for him. Sure I will miss seeing him. He was having such a hard time with his life I'm glad for him. His ashes sit in my living room along with many pictures of him. I feel at peace with what he did.
Its a fact of life. We're only here briefly. All of our lives are finite,no one is granted an exception. What is the point in even thinking about it. You live til you die.

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