At 83, my expiration date is looming. (Actually, some days I think it's past due and I've been stood up by the Reaper.) Naturally, as an atheist, I have no illusions about an afterlife, as presented by most known religions. What I do believe is that, being comprised of matter and energy which we know can be neither created nor destroyed and has therefore always existed and always will exist in one form or another, (take a breath) "I" will simply be recycled when I lose consciousness for the last time.
With this in mind, my question is this: what is the most efficient way to recycle the remains, with as little waste as possible? Of course, I'm an organ donor, although I doubt there will be much of use left to donate. I mean, my heart is shot, my lungs barely function, and my skin would have to be thoroughly ironed before re-use. But, aside from whatever parts could be harvested, what about the other stuff? I could donate the whole thing to a medical school for research. I could go the traditional routes of either burial or cremation. I might be able to induce my son and some of his friends to conduct a Viking funeral or just dump me into the sea, as is. But I'm sure I'm overlooking other options and am searching for ideas.

So, what do you think is the best way to recycle the leftovers?

Tags: death, energy, matter, recycling

Views: 1

Replies to This Discussion

I don't blame you, EB. They are some fine looking dudes. And hung like horses!
Thank you, Ruth, for posting this! It's so nice to have other atheists with whom I can share thoughts of death.

I'm the same as you, I'd like to donate as much as possible. I've been thinking of leaving my body to The Forensic Anthropology Center, or, as it's better known, The Body Farm. I think it's a good way to contribute to both science and society at the same time.

It's such valuable research and most people are so squickish about having their bodies left to rot in the elements. I honestly don't care what happens to my body after I die. The idea of being drained of blood, filled with formaldehyde, and then stuffed inside a lead filled coffin makes me think of vampire legends, quite frankly - Especially when I watch priests consecrating the graves at funerals. So much residual superstition for the long ago problems associated with burials that we've got licked because we understand the physical process now.
Well, FWIW, since none of us are gonna be buried, I found a cool website called the Tombstone Generator:
http://www.jjchandler.com/tombstone/
Just remember the movie "Soylent Green ..."
I think the idea behind "Soylent Green" is an excellent one...why not process the protein and other nutrients that comprise the human body into food for the living? What a great way to contribute to your fellow man and insure immortality at the same time! And about as "green" a solution as one could find. I've written elsewhere about my desire to be made into cat food and given to my fur-kids (they already like the way I taste), but I'd be just as willing to let people make me a sandwich. Why the hell not?
Of course. I have to be cooking pork chops tonight.
I hear that human tastes just like pork ...
Have you tried the liver? I hear it's very tasty, especially with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
only if I'm pissed.
Oh! That would piss off the fundies. It is a great idea, but unfortunately, our religious based culture would fight it with tooth and nail. I can see it as a Proposition during an election year. Feed your mama to the cat! Can you image the political mud slinging...LOL. The comedians would have a field day!
I used the "church sign generator" to make an icon for my group "Pray for Atheism". Same people run both sites, I think.
I love those sites - there's also a sign site and a few others.
You could always ask your relatives, when you have expired, of course, to tie a rope around your neck, truss your arms and legs together and dump your body in a marsh. Then, in a thousand years time, archaeologists can find your mummified remains and say: "Ah, they still used human sacrifice in the twenty-first century!". :-)

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