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(The New York Times)   How should an atheist view death?   (nytimes.com) divider line
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415 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 21 Oct 2020 at 3:05 AM (24 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-21 8:29:43 AM  
The interviewee of this article is a thoughtful and sensible person, and I appreciated reading his take on this.
 
2020-10-21 8:30:22 AM  

Windle Poons: I've been practicing my board game skills so I don't have to find out.

[images.amcnetworks.com image 704x374]


Windle Poons: I've been practicing my board game skills so I don't have to find out.

[images.amcnetworks.com image 704x374]


The true activities of Section 31 were less spectacular than Dr. Bashir had believed.
 
2020-10-21 8:31:47 AM  
I view it as a final escape from religious zealots who will. not. shut. the. f*ck. up.
 
2020-10-21 8:32:58 AM  
Earnest Becker laughs at your fear of death.
 
2020-10-21 8:40:07 AM  
I hope Kirk Cameron is disappointed.
 
2020-10-21 8:43:29 AM  
i haven't 'feared' death in many years, only that my death will have painful circumstances.  if it would not destroy my wife, i would welcome the reaper's sweet kiss.
 
2020-10-21 8:50:38 AM  

no1curr: Pretty sure that's William Sadler



Then just melvin him and you can be on your way.
 
2020-10-21 8:55:58 AM  
Who cares....that's their problem.
 
2020-10-21 8:59:23 AM  
My big fear of death is from leaving stuff unsaid or undone - removing my support from those I love and leaving my work unfinished. I wish to live until my tasks are complete.

Nothing metaphysical really, humans will die - replaced by evolution or not, replaced by what we become, or not.  Sooner or later, the universe will die - the chemical reaction that moves our reality will run out of fuel. Everything is finite - everything.

So just love as hard and work as hard as you need be satisfied when you're snapped up by the jaws of oblivion.
 
2020-10-21 8:59:28 AM  
when it happens i won't know or care, so why worry about it now.  the universe will manage just fine without me, or any of us
 
2020-10-21 9:06:35 AM  
vignette.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2020-10-21 9:11:38 AM  
Speaking as an atheist, I view death and simply the end of your existence. I hate to burst your bubble, but this life is all you got
 
2020-10-21 9:14:06 AM  
All dressed up but nowhere to go?
 
2020-10-21 9:15:42 AM  

Devolving_Spud: Life is what matters, not death.  You only go around once, so make it count.

If......there is "something" afterward, which I highly doubt but can't 100% rule out the possibility, it sure isn't the biblical or quranic ideal.  There is no god who would go through creating an entire universe, only to put life on one little mud ball, only to obsess over what we do with our genitals.

"Welcome, Spud!  How was your trip?  Let's look in the Book here....kind to strangers, good....helped the needy, good....that time you rescued a kitty from the shelter, good....oh...oh dear....you rubbed one out...HOW MANY TIMES?   Yes, well, I'm afraid it's the Hot Place for you!"   (trap door opens)


I read that in Ellen DeGeneres' voice.
 
2020-10-21 9:39:19 AM  
Death is like falling asleep without ever waking again. We all ascribe too much importance to our own continuance. We exist for a time and then we don't. Isn't that enough? Perhaps be a bit less of a dick to one another while we are here?
 
2020-10-21 9:46:13 AM  

Jake Havechek: Who cares?  I want to make sure Jesus isn't a white dude.  God doesn't care if you believe or not, as long as you're a good person, so going to church is merely cathartic for you.


Psst..god's is just pretend
 
2020-10-21 9:51:43 AM  
I'm an old atheist and I don't fear death.  I'd like to personally slap each and every person who states "there are no atheists in foxholes."   I've come to my peace with ceasing to exist. I may grasp and fight for each last breath, but that's because I love life, not because I fear death.

Because of my atheism I've chosen to be a secular humanist, with a touch of pragmatist. I live my life, and interact with the people that I love right now.  I get one chance on this earth, one chance to be kind to others, one chance to make this a world worth living in a tiny bit better for those around me.  There's no second chance, no redemption in the afterlife.  We make our heaven or our hell right here, right now.

So, basically, atheism is simple, most of what I wrote above isn't about atheism, it's about other philosophies for how to deal with life.  All I have in common with other atheists, all they have in common with me is "we don't believe in a god/gods/reincarnation or any of that faith based spiritual stuff.   Atheism is clean and simple, how you choose to live your life takes a lot more thought.
 
2020-10-21 9:56:35 AM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: when it happens i won't know or care, so why worry about it now.  the universe will manage just fine without me, or any of us


I think subby means dead dead, not just dead for tax reasons :)
 
2020-10-21 10:00:13 AM  
After you're dead, you get 3 months to decide if you want to be ghost or not.
 
2020-10-21 10:24:02 AM  

Photoshop This: I've been working on a long term climate-change-themed art project. I'm hoping to "cheat" death or rather, create a legacy that will have folks inspired by, or at least talking about my work long after I'm gone. It remains to be seen just how far I'll get with it, but I'm hoping to do some solo gallery shows eventually. Leaving some type of footprint on this world after you're gone is the best we can hope for.


No one is really dead, as long as someone still remembers them as they were in life.  Once no one can easily call up a memory to go along with the name, that's when a person really dies.  Absent that personal connection, a legacy, good or bad, keeps people alive.  Better to go down in history as someone who was helper like Fred Rogers than someone like Stalin, Putin, Hitler, or Trump.
 
2020-10-21 10:24:48 AM  
For most people I think death is something that happens when they would rather do something else. Politicians view death as the loss of a tax cow.
 
2020-10-21 10:28:07 AM  
As many have said above, not existing is not a problem. If it is something else then I will adapt.

Whatever it is (likely nothing) I'm pretty sure it is not growing wings and floating around on clouds. I also doubt that there is an eternal torture chamber. Can you imaging the heating bills for that?? And it lasts for infinity?? Not sure what moron came up with that idea but they were not an accountant.
 
2020-10-21 10:31:23 AM  

adj_m: Death is the end of existence in this reality, that's really all we know. It could be nothing, or it could be something. I'm not in a rush to find out as we'll all get there eventually, but it is exciting to think there might being something else. And if there isn't, we won't mind.

Just as a fun thought experiment, this would be a cool version of what could really be going on. Entertaining this theory as a possibility is the closest I will ever get to religion.

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/h6fark_f​RYaI]


I'd like to thank me for posting this since I've been trying to explain this to me and I didn't even know I made such an easy to understand video, so thanks.
 
2020-10-21 10:38:22 AM  

Ker_Thwap: I'm an old atheist and I don't fear death.  I'd like to personally slap each and every person who states "there are no atheists in foxholes."


These guys agree with you.
 
2020-10-21 10:50:46 AM  
I'm not so worried for myself, it's everyone else that I'm concerned about. All those people who have been living their lives filled with love, hate, petty concerns and great schemes. When I die they'll all cease to exist as well since I am the only person in existence. I know that I'm real. Everything else in the universe is based on sensory input but I can't verify its accuracy so I doubt that it is real. I feel sorry for all the "people" suddenly blinking out of existence without realizing that they are all merely constructs of my mind and that they never actually were unique individuals.
 
2020-10-21 11:00:28 AM  
1.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size
 
2020-10-21 11:03:14 AM  
There is nothing to fear. There is nothing. Death is an end to struggle, to disappointment, to hatred, to lies, to pain.

Unless you believe in ghosts. Then maybe there's something.
 
2020-10-21 11:53:13 AM  
Meh. The fringes of our scientific understanding point towards a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of reality. So jury is still out as far as I'm concerned.
 
2020-10-21 11:55:11 AM  
Boomer reference:

th.bing.comView Full Size
 
2020-10-21 12:09:21 PM  
I hope there's an afterlife of some sort.  I still seriously fear not existing.

/I'm an agnostic
 
2020-10-21 12:44:03 PM  

Billy Liar: Boomer reference:

[th.bing.com image 400x300]


I'm Gen-X, I got it.

/lots of local TV/WGN TZ reruns for us Gen Xers in the early 80s though still.
 
2020-10-21 1:10:27 PM  
How do I view death? As the inevitable winner of this race I am running. But I'm going to make it last, and make it mean something to me.

fark you, death.

I'll get you eventually.
 
2020-10-21 1:46:35 PM  
It is simply The End of my conscious existence.

The ultimate cessation. After?

Nothing.
 
2020-10-21 2:39:12 PM  
The universe of Beetlejuice didn't seem to have a god. People died and just became infinitely decrepit.

As for the other issues, the mind is a drama with an audience of one.
 
2020-10-21 2:40:33 PM  
with equinamity
 
2020-10-21 3:13:37 PM  

cherryl taggart: No one is really dead, as long as someone still remembers them as they were in life.



A lot of people say this, and I wish they would stop because it doesn't make any damned sense.

I remember people who have died. They still have no pulse, no movement, no brain activity, etc. They are dead, despite me thinking about them. My thoughts didn't bring anyone back.

Now if you want to say that no one who is remembered is truly gone, then that's a little different. It's still wrong, but it's not as egregiously wrong as saying the person who is remembered isn't really dead. The dead people are still gone.
 
2020-10-21 3:37:37 PM  

cherryl taggart: Photoshop This: I've been working on a long term climate-change-themed art project. I'm hoping to "cheat" death or rather, create a legacy that will have folks inspired by, or at least talking about my work long after I'm gone. It remains to be seen just how far I'll get with it, but I'm hoping to do some solo gallery shows eventually. Leaving some type of footprint on this world after you're gone is the best we can hope for.

No one is really dead, as long as someone still remembers them as they were in life.  Once no one can easily call up a memory to go along with the name, that's when a person really dies.  Absent that personal connection, a legacy, good or bad, keeps people alive.  Better to go down in history as someone who was helper like Fred Rogers than someone like Stalin, Putin, Hitler, or Trump.


But hey, think of the lunch-table conversation in Hell....
 
2020-10-21 4:04:28 PM  
I view it as a massive unknown because no one knows what happens afterward. Like a few have stated upthread, I think it will be like it was before my birth, just a blank. I only fear death because it will take me away from everyone and everything I love.
 
2020-10-21 4:08:31 PM  
I think of it as a big recycling program.  If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, all the energy in every cell you have has been a billion things before this and will continue to be a billion things after this.  Part of why I like cremation, free those bits of energy to the wind and let them fall where they may.
 
2020-10-21 4:46:30 PM  

crzybtch: I think of it as a big recycling program. If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, all the energy in every cell you have has been a billion things before this and will continue to be a billion things after this.  Part of why I like cremation, free those bits of energy to the wind and let them fall where they may.


Everybody gets shipped to China until they decide there's too much contamination in the US
 
2020-10-21 4:49:51 PM  
Roy was right

/ like tears in rain
 
2020-10-21 5:02:10 PM  
I fear the process, not the outcome.
 
2020-10-21 5:52:52 PM  

Billy Liar: But hey, think of the lunch-table conversation in Hell....


Great. Listening to entitled morons talk about the people they hate.

Way too republican for me.
 
2020-10-21 8:05:22 PM  

Windle Poons: I've been practicing my board game skills so I don't have to find out.

[images.amcnetworks.com image 704x374]
---


Which Bill & Ted was that from?
 
2020-10-21 9:26:38 PM  

Bob Down: Well I hope it's the end because any alternatives suck.


I hear the devout talk about going to Heaven and being there for eternity.

I'd like to ask them if they have TRULY pondered an eternal existence. You would have time to read every book, watch every movie, hear every song. More than that, you would have time to MEMORIZE all of that.

You'd have time to become fluent in all 4000+ languages on Earth.

And that's all in just the first MOMENT, when you compare it to the rest of the time you'll have at your disposal.

Think about what you did today. Now, try to imagine doing the same thing every day, forever.

Doesn't sound like a heaven to me.

Some folks believe that if you perform a "mortal sin", you're damned for eternity. Imagine going through K-12 school, but you're told you have to continue on to grad school. So, you spend 3-7 years doing that, jumping through all the hoops. You defend your 675-page dissertation, only to be told that while the research and writing were all top-notch, you don't get ANY sort of degree because you weren't paying attention on a Thursday afternoon in late February of 4th grade, when the teacher asked you a question and you missed it. Now, the devout will say missing a question isn't the same as multiple murders, but the outcome is no different. There's no chance for redemption. What is the line between a forgivable sin and a mortal sin? Is it really clear-cut? If not, have some of us already passed the point of no return? If there's no return, why continue to follow society's rules?

IMHO, an eternity in Heaven is no different than an eternity in Hell. Unless the diety or dieties allow some way out, eternity would become an endless nightmare, no matter how nice it might be.
 
2020-10-22 2:05:45 AM  

nanim: Windle Poons: I've been practicing my board game skills so I don't have to find out.

[images.amcnetworks.com image 704x374]
---

Which Bill & Ted was that from?


Bogus Journey
 
2020-10-22 1:16:58 PM  
You don't meet 'god' in the between-life.
Just like you don't meet the president on your first day of kindergarten.
It's an on-going ascension. You'll find out I was right when you die.
Some folks just stay in the holo-deck, in the Las Vegas of the next world.

i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
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