Have any of you  really thought about it?.........Do you want to be buried in a religious  cemetery, after all the things  we say about Theists......Many of us  do want to be interred with family members...but what about those  families that have disowned  their Atheist son or daughter?......Maybe  what we need is a place  for Non Believers  to rest in peace......How about   a green funeral  where  the coffin  disintegrates  easily into the surrounding earth to enrich  new life.....I do know  The American Humanist  Association...offers  to officiate  at an Atheist/Humanist  funeral service, but not sure  if there is a cemetery  just for  us.....Something  to think about.....I would  appreciate  your  comments.....

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Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 10, 2014 at 10:15am

Pat, thanks for the heads-up about returned body parts.  I'll have to make sure I look into all the details and read the fine print. 

Future, I really like your idea of being turned into a diamond.  I had heard that was possible.  It sounds very "Victorian" in a way.  I think people from that era were very much into funeral and dead body keepsakes. 

Ceil, I'm not surprised that people feel the need to be buried in a special place here on earth.  Even among those who are being cremated, most wish to have there ashes scattered in specific and special places.  To me, it appears that it must be a universal human quality to make one final statement that we were physically here as part of the earth and that we mattered in some way.    

Comment by Pat on August 10, 2014 at 9:35am

Donation of your mortal remains for medical/scientific research is a wonderful and laudable idea. Except................

You may want to read the fine print in some of those documents wherein you donate your body. With a lot of medical schools and research facilities, the fine print says that once they are done using your remains, they can bag them up, give them back to your family, and your family or estate is financially responsible for the disposal of the remains. They get a freebie, and your family is still stuck with the bill.

I tend to agree with both Ceil and Daniel. I tend to think of human burials as a waste of real estate, so I lean in favor of cremation. On the other hand, if the burial does not involve crypts, vaults, and pickling the corpse, but rather natural decomposition, where you are absorbed back into the environment, I suppose I could go for that. However, I'll probably just be cremated. Where they dump the ashes, I really don't care. I'll be dead.

Comment by Ceil on August 10, 2014 at 9:29am

My mom, who had a reserved space next to my father and half of a headstone allotted to her, changed her mind when she was dying of cancer.  She wanted to be cremated.  One of my sisters was very upset by this but it was my mother's choice and we honored it.  We buried her ashes in her "spot" to appease on sister and did this on the sly as weren't sure if the cemetery would approve.  Unbeknownst to one of my sisters, one sister kept some of the ashes and has them on her mantelpiece in a little urn.   The truth is that after a few years visits to grave sites drop off and then there are future generations.  I know I have grandparents buried somewhere but except for one grandmother (who I loved but whose grave I have never visited), I have no idea where they are.  Burial seems a very religious thing to me too.  Is the body to be kept so it can rise again?  Or is our body like those of the natural world around us, something to go back into the natural world as do other dead creatures and plants?  The idea of a "green" funeral strikes me as funny as what does it matter how long it takes for the coffin to disintegrate if the land can not be used afterwards? 

Maybe it's man's obsession with his own mortality and a lusting after immortality that needs him to have a special place on this earth after his death.  Again, it seems like a religious notion to me. 

Comment by Future on August 10, 2014 at 9:25am
I want to be turned into a diamond, and hopefully start a trend where future generations of my family do the same. A neat piece of artwork, perhaps a family tree, could have us all inset into it and be passed around from family to family ... until some creep breaks in and steals it.

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/19/263128098/swiss-company-compresses-cr...
Comment by Grinning Cat on August 10, 2014 at 7:02am

I'm another person who'd strongly prefer not to be taking up real estate after death. Let my body go to save and improve lives: whatever's usable for transplants, then research and education for the rest. I won't be around to care about medical students cutting it up.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 9, 2014 at 11:51pm

Michael, your movie and CD story reminds me of that old line:  "One of these days you're gonna wake up dead." 

Comment by Michael Penn on August 9, 2014 at 11:37pm

Green burial is nice and I've also thought of cremation. That would work for me. Possibly cremation and scatter my ashes, but have a small service before cremation so survivors could view me.

When I worked at the factory one old trouble maker asked me how I would feel about my movie collection and my music CD's if I died and left them to my daughters and the kids just abused them or threw them away. What would I do? I told her that I wouldn't do anything because I would be dead.

Comment by Cory "The Fox" on August 9, 2014 at 11:16pm

I also like Sentient Biped's idea!

Though if I had a bench, I would actually like the slogan from George Orwell's 1984 across it:

"War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength." In the hopes that people would pause for thought... And realize that the fictional novel is coming true in so many ways that it is frightening.... And also it'd turn a death memorial into a positive 'think place'.

Comment by Cory "The Fox" on August 9, 2014 at 11:12pm

I wanted a pyre like my viking ancestors....

But I learned that's illegal now! Not to mention the theists would automatically deem it 'pagan' (which, at least initially it wasn't even religious, just a show of respect/love for the departed) and a 'not okay' activity. So cremation will probably have to do.

I guess I'd like to be distributed in a forest. The plants in my favorite form of terrain would do well with the carbon-based charcoal that remained of what was once... Me.

Comment by k.h. ky on August 9, 2014 at 10:57pm
I like the idea of green burial but I don't know if it's possible where I live. And if it is l don't want the graveside service. I think those are just far too much to put a family through. And my family would be praying which pisses me off to even think about. So I'll probably go for cremation. Even though l don't like the fuel it uses. Or the toxins it releases into the environment.

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