The Issue with Death

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Michael's picture
The Issue with Death

Hello, everyone, I just signed up and this is my first post. I was raised in a very devout Pentecostal family. Ever since I was a child, I have always had a hard time blindly agreeing with whatever the preacher was saying. I always found myself incredibly bored in church, and frequently fell asleep in the middle of sermons. With all that being said, I still believed in god for only one reason, death. I have always been terrified by the reality that I will die, and if I don't, then I will go to hell. This is the one factor that has kept me from completely rejecting Christianity. The other thing that contributes to this fear is that I'm gay, and I'm sure everyone on this site knows what that means. I have had to listen to many Christians zealously state that gays will go to hell. I have tried to "pray the gay away" but it has never worked. I realized I couldn't change being gay. I found some relief after reading "God and the Gay Christian" by Matthew Vines, but after awhile I couldn't help but notice that his rationalizations only worked partially, that the bible stating that being gay is a sin is an unavoidable aspect of Christianity. I tried to keep my sexuality concealed, hoping this would still let me get into heaven, but It's so miserable to be trapped in the closet just to avoid being cast into hell. To make things even more complicated for me, my father passed away last August. Losing him was a very painful experience, and I desperately want to see him again. Even with my growing doubt on the existence of god, I still want to believe that there is an afterlife where I can be reunited with all my loved ones. However, I find it harder and harder to believe that such an afterlife exists. My question to all the atheists reading this is: how do you deal with the reality of death? Why doesn't the risk of going to hell instead of heaven not terrify you? What do you think happens after death?
P.S Thanks for letting me rant, I have been holding this in for a long time.

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David Killens's picture
Thank you for your story

Thank you for your story Michael. Hugs.

If I was to express my opinion on life and death, it is like a fine bottle of wine. You know that it is finite, and once you drink that last drop, then there is absolutely nothing remaining, and you can never recover what was there.

So I relish each moment I have here, and live my life full of joy and love. I am going to enjoy that bottle of wine to the very last drop.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. ... Mark Twain

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” ... Mark Twain

Bad Santa's picture
Hi Michael,

Hi Michael,
Welcome to our little corner of free expression and rational thinking.
To answer your question whether I'm "terrified" of death or hell, the answer is "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!".
Death is part of life cycle, you can't avoid it. For me, on a personal level, death actually does not exist, think of it this way: when you're alive, there is no such thing as death, you're ALIVE! At the moment of death, believe me, you won't give a crap about it, because you'll be DEAD! There is nothing beyond it.

And yes, I lost my father many years ago and my brother to cancer three years ago so I know how you feel. I don't delude myself that one day I'll see them and we'll hang out on a little cloud singing kumbaya... It is enough that both of them still live in my mind and heart, and my children know the stories about them, that's what afterlife means to me, being remembered by your friends and family.

And rant away my friend, you've found a good place for it...

Idaho Mike's picture
I agree with you Bad Santa. I

I agree with you Bad Santa. I remember a quote I read awhile ago..."To be remembered is but not to die".

I always tell people, "Death? It's like mind over matter...If you don't mind it don't matter."

The fear of death while living keeps one from fully living their lives.

I just joined today and like what I see here. Many Atheist forums that are non-membership just have Christian trying to convince us to change. I'd rather go fishing!

Tin-Man's picture
Hey there, Idaho! Great

Hey there, Idaho! Great having you with us! Welcome aboard. Saw a couple of other posts from you. Looks like you will fit in nicely with this group of lunatics. *chuckle*... Glad you like our cozy little slice of (in)sanity. Make yourself at home and enjoy the scenery.

Bad Santa's picture
Hi Idaho, welcome to our free

Hi Idaho, welcome to our free and independent Republic! Feel right at home which means, use the kitchen, pillage the fridge, nobody will mind... (but stay away from the freezer, that's where I keep my Vodka).

..and don't believe Tin-Man when he says we're a group of lunatics... (he blurts shit like that when he's short on lube)
The main thing is: have fun and vent when you need to!

Chicken's picture
I was lucky in that I wasn’t

I was lucky in that I wasn’t raised in a religion that had a concept of hell. Trust me I’ve seen a number of people who are shackled with that malignant lie, and it takes time to overcome. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have a better outlook on death and hell in order to make a support system for yourself. If you surround yourself with Christians who believe being gay is a sin and you’ll burn in hellfire for it then that isnt healthy. Get open minded friends, get a skeptical therapist, it all takes time. It’s hard to grapple with but think about it this way: there is no heaven or hell, but even if they existed, your family and friends would all be in heaven an you’d go straight to hell, so why would having an afterlife be better for you? Not like you’d see your family anyway. Why believe in a god that punishes humans for an eternity for transgressions? Doesn’t seem like someone I’d like to worship. The stronger your conviction that god doesn’t exist, the stronger becomes your ability to handle the concept of afterlife.

Sapporo's picture
If god/the universe is less

If god/the universe is less reasonable than yourself, there is little you can do to change that. I prefer to act in a way that I think is reasonable, because I can do no better than that. I certainly do have a fear of the unknown, which is why I am currently very intent on staying alive on my own terms. Death seems very remote to me at my age and is not something that has been especially on my mind in recent times. I can only say that I am happy to continue to live on my own terms, and that I see my time after death to be of little or no pressing value: ideally, that time will only be a concern if and when I am conscious in that state (although I consider the notion of consciousness after death to be an oxymoron).

Life can only be lived forwards, so it is only natural that humans suffer when loved ones die. I know that when a person dies, their individuality ceases irrevocably for all practical considerations. While nothing is ever truly lost, holding on to the hope that you might somehow meet a reintegrated form of a loved one in the very distant future seems silly: such concerns are only the desire of those who are living who have memories of deceased loved ones. When you are dead, you have no such concerns. Your memories, fears, desires etc. are representative of the identity of someone who is living.

Stone Jade's picture
Welcome Michael. I'm so sorry

Welcome Michael. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Asking these questions is a brave and sometimes painful thing. But also so important and potentially freeing.

The anniversary of my sister's death is coming up in a week or so and I find myself deeply pained at the thought of never seeing her again. But I remind myself that she's not in pain. Her life ran it's course. She is not being tortured, she has no regrets. And I still love and miss her deeply.

Christianity had me thinking that this world is the world of trials and pain and hard lessons, and the next world is one of joy and perfection. But really, the joy and perfection are here, stirred up with the difficulty and pain. And I find that to be beautiful. I love that I no longer live my life hoping for the next one. I get to be fully present here and enjoy the ride.

The Mark Twain quote that David gave above really encompasses the way I view death. I was dead for the entire history of the universe until about 32 years ago. Not existing didn't bother me any. Though I don't like the idea of this life being done, I trust that I won't have any opinions about it once I'm dead. I'll go back to that nothingness. And there's no harm in that. Now I just get to make the most out of this brief bout of consciousness.

David Killens's picture
I have faced death. I had

I have faced death. I had surgery that went very wrong, and three days later I had a massive infection of my entire abdomen. I was very aware of my odds of surviving as they wheeled me into the operating room. Of course I wanted to see tomorrow, but my sole thought was "oh well, it was a good life, I hope I wake up". There was absolutely zero fear.

A little over two months ago my mother passed away at the ripe age of 93. http://www.rushnellfamilyservices.com/book-of-memories/3590110/killens-l...

Of course it was painful, and at this moment I am stuck in the deep and painful process of grieving. It may take a few years. As I stood over her open coffin for the last time, I said goodbye, but understood that what I knew as my mother was long gone, and could never be recovered. The only thing remaining were the wonderful memories, which I cherish deeply.

Diotrephes's picture
Michael,

Michael,

While we know that we will all die it is usually hard to visualize us actually dying. As adults we have seen countless people die. Some have have what we consider "easy" deaths and others have died in horrible and painful ways. So from my pov although I am dying at this very minute I still can't visualize me taking my last breath. When it comes time for me to take the eternal nap I don't think I will mind as long as it doesn't take too long. A bullet in the brain, a fatal car accident, or a massive heart attack can sometimes look like good ways to go.

If you are or were a Christian then you should know that according to the biblical fairy tale people who are sexually immoral won't get into the golden cube after Judgment Day. So the question you need to answer is being a practicing homosexual sexually immoral? If you do then how do you expect to get into the golden cube when it says that you won't?

BTW, according to the biblical fairy tale when you die you go to one of three places: death, the sea, or hell. The good news is that they are all temporary and everyone makes bail on Judgment Day. And just because a person was in hell it won't prevent him from getting into the golden cube. The bad news is that you can get thrown into the lake of fire, along with death and hell and Satan and the beast.

As I've said before, it seems that most people believe in the Islamic version of hell rather than in the biblical version of hell. In Islam when you die you stay dead until Judgment Day. Then you get a private paradise with 2 90 foot tall translucent women type creatures, some common women, a herd of cute boys, rivers of wine, all of the other goodies,and
a constant hard on.

If you end up in the Islamic hell most of the people there will be women and everyone will be tortured in the worse ways possible for eternity. You don't want to end up in the Islamic hell. But if you end up in the biblical hell don't sweat it, you'll get out on Judgment Day and won't have to go back.

As for seeing loved ones after Judgment Day don't count on it. If a person's works don't make the grade it's off to the lake of fire.

Tin-Man's picture
Hello there, Michael. Welcome

Hello there, Michael. Welcome to the AR. For starters, thank you for sharing your story with us. Personally, it means a great deal to me when somebody is willing to open up and trust a group of strangers to offer advice for a difficult problem. And I am very happy and proud to say you have come to the right place. We have some good folks here.

I hope you don't mind my being blunt, but when I hear stories like yours there is a part of me that tends to get a bit enraged. It truly baffles me to no end as to how and why we still have so many narrow-minded and ignorant people in the world during this day and age. You should NEVER have to hide who and what you are. And more importantly, I find it utterly despicable that there are those who would try to make you feel ashamed of yourself and threaten you with hell just because you are gay. To me, that is totally wrong and inexcusable. Young man, please allow me to stress this as best as I can in written text..... DO... NOT.... EVER... BE.... ASHAMED... OF... YOURSELF... FOR.... THAT. Period. And DO NOT ever apologize to anybody for it. There is nothing wrong with you, Michael. You are not defective. You are not some sort of mutant mistake that should be kept in a closet. Dammit, dude, you are a HUMAN BEING. And any pig-headed, judgmental, holier-than-thou, bigoted moron who is unable to accept that is worth less than a drop of rat piss, as far as I am concerned. And the opinion(s) of that same individual (or group) should mean even less than that. And anybody who gives you any shit about being gay should promptly and politely be told to mind their own fucking business. Okay, didn't meant to rant like that. My apologies. I just hate seeing innocent people being oppressed and ridiculed. That sort of behavior does not go over very well with me. Now on to your death issues...

Buddy, I hate to break it to you, but when we die we are gone. Just... simply... gone. My Mom died almost two years ago. I sat there and held her hand as she took her very last breath, even though her brain was dead long before that last breath. I will never see her again. Plain and simple. I loved my Mom, and as long as I remember her and all the things she did for me during my life, she will never be totally gone. And there are things that she taught me in life that I still carry with me to this day, meaning there is that part of her that still lives in me as long as I am breathing. But I will never see her again. And no matter how much wishing and hoping I do, that will not change. Michael, death is part of life. No way to get around it. No way to avoid it or escape it. As the saying goes, "Nobody gets out of this game alive." With that in mind, you say you are afraid of death mainly because you are terrified that God is going to send you to hell for being gay, right? Now, bear with me on this next part for a moment as I share with you something you may have never considered....

Real quick, let me clarify that I am assuming you are referring to the God of the bible, since you said you are of Christian faith. So, if that is the case, then this God you choose to worship, and upon which you place your trust and the fate of your "eternal soul" is supposedly Omniscient (ALL-knowing), Omnipotent (ALL-powerful), ALL-forgiving, and TOTAL love and caring. Oh, and it is TOTALLY PERFECT. That pretty much covers the highlights, I suppose. Now, take a minute to allow all of that to process and sink in............ And now let's break that down a couple of notches into more practical terms...

ALL-Knowing: I don't know about you, but I was taught as a kid that meant God knew about me many eons before I was ever conceived. And that he knows every single thought I have, every single thought I ever had, and every single thought I will ever have in my entire life. What's more, this same God already knows what is going to happen to me after I die. Matter of fact, God supposedly had this knowledge eons before I was ever born. Therefore, whether I believe in this God or not is absolutely irrelevant. Makes not a damn bit of difference what I do, say, think, or feel. IF heaven and hell do actually exist, then it is already determined where I will go. So why in the name of unholy fiddle-faddle would I ever want to waste my time worrying about something over which I have absolutely zero control? Just sayin'....

ALL-Powerful: This God can supposedly do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. After all, it supposedly created all of the Earth and the surrounding universe, did it not? Now, combine that with the ALL-Knowing part, and this particular God should be waaaaaaaay more than capable of doing whatever it is that needs to be done to make me believe in it. Just extremely basic and rational logic and reasoning. However, why would it even matter in the first place? Remember, this God ALREADY KNOWS exactly where I will be going after I die. No matter what I do, say, think, believe makes any difference whatsoever. (Are you starting to catch on to the absolute absurdity of this whole thing yet?) But, wait... It gets even better....

ALL-loving and caring: This all-powerful, all-knowing God is soooooooooo loving and caring that it demands you fall to your knees and grovel at its feet your entire life so that it is not "forced" to toss you into a pit of fire (that IT created, by the way) to be tortured for all of eternity after you die. OH, and here is the best part.... That PERFECT God is also the same God who made you the way you are. According to the bible, we are ALL made in his PERFECT image, are we not? Yet in that very same "holy book" it condemns those who are gay and makes it quite clear they make this "All-loving" God unhappy. So much so that this "All-loving" God finds it necessary to toss them into his favorite barbeque pit to roast forever and ever. (EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE ONE WHO CREATED YOU THE WAY YOU ARE.) Do you see yet just how absolutely ridiculous this whole thing is, Michael? Why would you ever care what a being like this thinks, much less want to worship it?

Actually, there is much more I could say on this subject, but this post has already gotten long enough. I do sincerely hope you will stay around and ask more questions and listen to all of the advice I am certain you will be getting. We have some great folks on here. Gonna go ahead and end this now and go read what others have posted. Again, stand up and be proud of who and what you are. Never apologize for being you.

Rohan M.'s picture
I’m an atheist, and the way I

I’m an atheist, and the way I always like to think of someone dying is that when they die, your memories of them will remain with you in your heart. They will always remain with you.

If you ask me, this is a MUCH better way of viewing death than being convinced that they are now away from you in another invisible place, isolated away from you until AFTER YOU ARE DEAD YOURSELF. Not to mention that if they happen to be from a philosophical opinion other than your own, then you won’t have to worry about the possibility that they might be punished in a lake of hellfire for the rest of eternity.

While they may be gone for good, don’t worry; a part of them will always live on in your heart.

This is how I like to view losing someone. While I personally haven’t yet lost anyone who was very close to me, when I inevitably have to go through that, this is how I’ll find reassurance.

ʝօɦn 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Not an atheist but..
xenoview's picture
Michael

Michael
Welcome to AR!
Let's be honest, do you think you can hide being gay from god?

You do know that Hell is a human construct? It is used to control people.

As an Atheist I live free of the guilt of sin and the fear of Hell.

You sound like you are losing your religion. Starting your first steps to Atheism.

Edit

Cognostic's picture
STEP ONE: Hell? Do you

STEP ONE: Hell? Do you know what in the hell you are talking about? Do you know that HELL was not even a part of Biblical Teachings until the New Age Christians began spewing their shit. The whole idea of God VS Demon God came from ancient Babylonia and Zoroastrianism. You can follow the creation of the Christian idea of hell through history/. Satan is also a Christian invention. Knowing the history of this BS renders it all fairy tales. Knowledge is power. Where do you think this idea of Hell came from? Where do you imagine Satan came from? Your issue is not death. Your issue is that your history stops around the 18th century.

Grinseed's picture
How do you deal with the

How do you deal with the reality of death?

Like I deal with the reality of life. Its real and its final. And no-one, let me repeat that, no-one, knows what happens after you die.
As Shakespeare put it "The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns."
Not even near-death-experience survivors know what happens, afterall they did not die, and all the while they were trying to die their brains were in such a deranged state you'd be foolish to rely on their opinion on it.

Why doesn't the risk of going to hell instead of heaven not terrify you?

Because there is no hell or heaven. All christian religions are originally derived from Judaism. There is no punishing hell in Judaism, although there is supposed to be a place of repentence and prayer, after which with due humility you can enter heaven. I dont beleive all that either, but I'm not kosher.

The hell of burning sulphur lakes and eternal damnation comes with christianity, Pauline christianity, specifically and frankly Paul was a violent, egotistic, ambitous charlatan and this view has been supported by many bible commentators and literary critics for several hundred years.
Jeremy Bentham was a radical christian in the early 1700s. Under the threat of great personal harm, he wrote a denunciaton of Paul, to the horror of the churches at the time, called "Not Paul, But Jesus", available here, free:
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42984
If after reading this you still think Paul was an apostle, a christian, a man of god, or even a good person, then you would have to be a hard core theist and there's no hope for you.

What I am trying to get at is religion is not about god and afterlives, its about history, what men did, said, wrote, believed and claimed and as you can guess the most of it was bullshit.

What do you think happens after death?

I have no idea, but I think more about the life I am living right now, its all I really know. I dont pretend to know anything about the supernatural and I dont think there is anything other than reality; no spirits, no ghosts, holy or otherwise, no gods, no spooks, no magic, just solid tangible reality, the sun, moon, sky, wind, dark, everything.

I lost interest in the Beatles after they split, but I thought John's best later lyrics were,
"Imagine there's no heaven, its easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky". Thank you Mr Lennon.

And to echo Tinman, never let others tell you how to feel about yourself, they are only admitting how they feel and frankly if they dont like what they feel thats their problem.

See you around in AR, its the place I like to come and rant in.

Dan Morris's picture
Michael,

Michael,

Hello my friend and welcome to common sense and reason. You will find many folks here that will listen and sympathize. So sorry for your loss!
I've lost both parents and a brother and think about them often. Wanting to see them again is very normal. My heart aches when I think of the memories and good times we enjoyed.

As a former christian, I found it hard to let go of my former beliefs. I struggled with the guilt and fear until I finally figured out that neither was based on facts. A person reaches a point in their thinking where you just can't ignore the outlandish and extreme teachings of the bible. The idea of hell for eternity cannot be reconciled with a loving god. Can you imagine the injustice?

May I make a suggestion? Read the bible again and stop to consider, not only the contradictions, but does it sound like something that would come from a perfect being?

Do you remember falling asleep last night? What if you had not woke up? You would have not known anything. Eternal sleep is nothing to fear.

And you know what? I could never figure out why one sin was worse than others when I was a believer. Christians usually give strait people a pass on indiscretions, even when it's public knowledge! No one should sit in judgement of someone else that way.

When you finally make the decision to break from religion, you will indeed be free to live life the way you choose!

I look forward to hearing from you again.

arakish's picture
@ Michael

@ Michael

Ain't much I can add on what is already posted. However, I shall add this (posted elsewhere):

You are born. You eat. You defecate. You reproduce. You die. Can't get much simpler.

As I have done my whole life, I have done what I could to help promote the well-being of humanity no matter how small or insignificant. I ain't had the illusion of self-importance. Ever. I just try to do the best I can, even if my best never gets recognized as ever having occurred.

Fear death? Why? I shall live forever. My physical part will, my mind, not so much. When I die, my body will be transformed into something else; thus, as I said, my physical part will continue forever. Shall I be remembered? Doubt it. Do I fear not being remembered? Don't rightly care.

I focus on this life that I do have and do as written above.

rmfr

arakish's picture
@ Michael

@ Michael

Was re-reading this thread and had a Fuzzy jump into me mind.

My wife and I were atheists. However, we always preferred to be called Rational Free Thinkers. We abbreviated this to RaFTs because we floated above that horrible baggage that religion causes. Yes, we studied the Bible. How else were we going to refute it?

Anyway, tha Fuzzy was a thought about some our "parties" we had with other RaFTs. Some were gay. Some were lesbian. Some were bi. Most were heteros. Never had any transgenders because they still had to hide in the closet. But the LGBs were coming out. At one of our parties, my wife told me how she overheard some our gay friends talking about my butt. Her response was that it made her horny for me. And I also had to admit hearing lesbians talking about my wife and making me horny. I also have to admit that my wife and I never experimented in that... that... what the hell was it called? Swingers? Whatever it was called when couples did threesomes and whatever. We always felt we were enough for each other that we did not need that. However, it still did not stop us from fantasizing about it. We just never did it.

To my point. I could care less how other humans want to live their lives as long as it does not cause any harm to others. I feel all humans are free to love whomever they wish. They are also free to think of themselves as whatever gender they desire. Hell, I even dated a transgender for about 14 months before I got the job at Yellowstone and had to move out west. She was a most wonderful person to be with, to talk with. In my opinion, she was a beautiful person both inside and out. If I were still in North Carolina, she and I would still be in a relationship.

Be "YOU." Don't let those Religious Absolutists convince you otherwise. They are the ones who are "broken." As far as I concerned, only us RaFTs are truly human.

rmfr

Great hope's picture
Hello Michael, I'm somewhat

Hello Michael, I'm somewhat of a newbie here as well. I was just looking at when the first debate post was made back in 2013 and there has been 3720 threads started since then wow, and then I saw your post about death, which is my favorite fascination. So I read your post. Thank you for sharing so openly and honest. There are some really great people here so feel free to talk about anything. There is a way to message someone personally by going to their profile, if you want. I'm sorry for your loss and pain. Life is so vast and everyone is always going through something, so what has helped me get through so much of the shit monsoons of my life, has been looking at what I can do for others. It seems to get me out of my own sorrows fast and works every time. I've seen so much death of my family and growing up in Las Vegas "Sin City" it's never ending. My dad actually killed himself and I never got to know him.

So as the fear stuff goes. Everyone fears death. It's "The Great Unknown" humans greatest fears are based on the unknown. I personally get excited for it. For it is the conclusion of life. Did it mean something? Did I matter? Was it all for nothing? Or was it bigger than I could ever imagined? All will be answered in the twinkling of an eye. Super exciting!! So it's good to always question one's self and never stop learning and give an honest effort to look at things from different perspectives so it gives to more complete understanding. I've been trying to put on athiesm for sometime and I simply can not wear it because the claim of no Creator can never be solid. But the experience one can gain from genuinely seeking The Creator is undeniable. With so much at stake and our feeble little knowledge, it's darn near impossible not to be humble. From there, you will be guided by the spirit and you'll find the right path for you. "Acknowledge God in all your ways and your paths will be made straight." That is of course if you do want to know God? Much of the athiests I've encountered fall into one of these scriptures. Because of an expectation not met or they simply don't want to know God the way God designed it. Instead of seeing and hearing God's word. All they see are words on a page and wonder how they've missed the experience.

-2 Corinthians 4
1Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, HAS BLINDED THE MINDS of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

5You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

-Satan works through the flesh to gain control of the spirit.Christ works on the spirit (heart-inner man) to control the actions of the flesh.Titus 2:11-14

-2 Thessalonians 2:10
He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.

If God exists, then by default there is a plan and an order. The Bible was written with the core assumption that those who read it will want to know God. From that belief, the spirit will bring God's word to life and you will be given ears that hear and eyes that see the truth. "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:13 

There is a lot of people who cared about me when I was living recklessly and only thought of myself producing only restlessness. Even though I had everything I ever wanted. It was never enough. Until I was able to let go of what was coming between me and God that I was able to see that everyone who cared about me was 100% correct. So I let there Love in and started to care for them. My life has never been the same since. Filled with too many undeniable internal and external miracles to count. It's not the life I ever wanted or could dream of. It's more.

I'm sure that there is people who really care about you. Maybe they don't know how to communicate it well enough or if you're like me, not hearing it correctly. But if you start with asking them why they care at all about you. You'll be able to sort out the real from fake. And then just go from there. God is love and hope. Even if it ends up being a delusion? It's by far the best one and most complete. It also yields the greatest results like for sure dying with hope and love. But the miracles along the way will be enough to show you God is more real than the life He gave us to chose with. Message me if you like, I'll be happy to talk with you.

Great Hope

Edit to add: Where's Sheldon?

Michael's picture
Thank you all for your kind

Thank you all for your kind words. There are times where it feels like I'm very close to losing my religion, with death being the only factor that keeps me clinging to it. I have been trying to look at my father's death from an atheist perspective. While it saddens me to think of him as gone forever, the thought of him fading into the blackness of nonexistence, free from the pain of his past and his illnesses has become a very peaceful thought. I still wish it were possible for me to see him again, but I'm starting to realize that he is almost certainly gone forever. The one thing I' am certain of right now, is that my father would want me to move on an live my life, and I definitely plan on doing so.

Cognostic's picture
There is no atheist

There is no atheist perspective. The only atheist perspective is that we do not believe in God or gods. People just die. You don't have to attach meaning to it. There are more dead people than living people on this planet. If we took a survey, "DEAD" would be the normal state for human life. Even with 7 billion people in the world today, that would only account for about 10% of all people who have ever lived. DEAD is extremely NORMAL. Atheists do not have a view on death. You are looking for something that just isn't there/. You are trying to find another magical story to replace the magical story you gave up. FACT OF LIFE - People die, and then we miss them. (You don't have to make shit up!!!) No one knows anything about anything called "after life." Anyone who says anything about it is flat out LYING. That's not an atheist perspective. IT IS A FACT.

Tin-Man's picture
Hey there, Michael. Good to

Hey there, Michael. Good to see you back with us. And it is good to hear you are learning to let go. Just like Cog said, there is no "Atheist View" about death. Every individual has his/her own personal views on the matter and each of us handles it in many different ways. You simply have to find the way that works for you. As for me, I have had many, many friends and family die over the years, and some of those deaths were quite gruesome. Bottom line is, though, no matter how it happens, death is death. The results are the same. The individual is gone, and we will miss him/her. Some will be missed more than others. And some will be more difficult to get over than others. It varies from case to case. But, again, it is a totally natural process. Remember, nobody gets out of this game alive. You are definitely on the right track, however, when you said, "The one thing I' am certain of right now, is that my father would want me to move on an live my life..." In my own humble opinion, that is one of the best thoughts you can have. Would your father want you moping around and depressed all the time? Or would your father prefer that you carry on with your life and be happy and make the absolute most of what unknown amount of time you have left in this world? If you truly want to honor your father and have all the sacrifices he made for you during you life actually mean something, then GO OUT THERE AND BE HAPPY. LIVE, DUDE! Be who you are, and be PROUD of who you are. Laugh. Love. Make others laugh. Make yourself laugh with others. Do not rely on the methods of others or look for some "other way" to follow. Make your own rules. Live by your own code. Do what you believe would make your father proud of you. That is how you remember and honor him.

Diotrephes's picture
Michael,

Michael,

As rational adults we know that we will die. We just don't want to die although we have seen countless people around us die in all kinds of ways. We usually have difficulty imagining us getting old and infirm like other people we have known throughout our lives. The bottom line is that sometimes people live too long for their own good. When it comes my time I just don't want it to take all day.

For your own well-being get over it. Your time will come soon enough and it's not good to cry over the dead.

"Sirach 28:16-23 (CEB) = On mourning

16 My child, let your tears flow for the dead;
as one who is suffering terribly,
give voice to your sorrow.
Lay out their bodies in accordance with their wishes,
and don’t neglect their burial.

17 Let your crying be bitter and express your sorrow fervently,
and make your mourning worthy of them.
Mourn for one day or two so that there can be no criticism,
and then be comforted from your grief.

18 Too much grief can lead to death,
and grief in one’s heart will sap one’s strength.

19 Grief also lingers in misery,
and the life of the poor is a curse upon the heart.

20 Don’t give your heart over to grief;
stay away from it,
remembering your own end.

21 Don’t forget that there’s no coming back;
you won’t do them any good,
and you will hurt yourself.

22 Remember their sentence,
because it’s yours also:
“Yesterday it was I, and today it’s you!”

23 When the dead are at rest,
put their memory to rest,
and be comforted for them when their spirit has left."

Meepwned's picture
Welcome to AR. Feel free to

Welcome to AR. Feel free to rant as much as you want, about anything you want. I'm fairly new and I've been welcomed in with open arms.

I grew up in a very anti-gay family. Regardless, I never understood why being gay was bad. In fact, I never understood why being atheist, communist, fascist, etc. was bad. If you stay true to yourself, I cannot fault you. I can, however point out where your thinking is fallacious or factually incorrect.

Death is something that I have not contemplated very deeply. I fear very little and death is one of those things.

Asclepius 's picture
One thing that I know for

One thing that I know for sure why I won’t be going to hell is because I had done nothing wrong, or at least better myself. If I were to be burnt in hell for lack of belief in a big daddy more vigorously than those who commit crimes against other humans but have belief in a big daddy, then you’re in for a ride with an unjust god, and chances are you’re having front row tickets to a pantheon coup. Similarly, if you were to have a boner from a guy and will be burnt because of this, I’m sorry but this is ridiculous. I’m not an expert in matters of death and relief, so I shall stop here, but one thing I know is that everything ends, and very probably those tiresome Newtonian equation of high school will end in oblivion.

LogicFTW's picture
@Michael's Original post:

@Michael's Original post:
Welcome to the boards. This is probably one of the best places to get opinion that is not colored by the various religions. We all deal with death in our own way, as an atheist it is frequently different then it is for the typical religious person that believes in some sort of afterlife.

I personally do not believe in any sort of afterlife, when you die it is like going into a deep sleep you do not wake up from.

Humans creating humans is just more of the same, that is life, when you partner up with the opposite sex and a baby happens it is really more of the "same" the child is going to be 99.9% the same as you. In a lot of ways it really is you, just in a different, separate stage then you are. Of course the same is true for your parents, when you die, you live on in other people, both in memory and the continuity of the "same." What does die when you die? Your consciousness, your own memories and being. I feel as long as there's other human being alive on the planet I will live on in part, after I die.

If this is hard to wrap your mind around, think of an aspen grove. Aspen groves spread via roots and put up new "shoots" of trees every so often. They are all connected underneath, but they keep growing new trees that reach for the sky. One tree can die, but the aspen grove lives on. Now humans are not physically connected together via roots like trees, and we do the "reproduction" cycle that is different then trees, but the basic concept of we live and we are all connected still stands, genetically, the dna code etc that is the blueprint that makes us, tells us how to be outside of "nurture" step we get from our parents and peers, is all 99.9 percent the same. Sit down next to a random stranger on a plane leaving an international airport, and that person you never met, might not even speak the same language is still 99.9% the same as you are.

Fearing the permanent loss of your own consciousness, thoughts and memories is scary. How do I deal with it? I recognize what I gained when I realized there is no god or afterlife, and that is freedom, that is realization that this life is precious, there is only 1 act, there is no waiting around for the afterlife and "heaven" make your own ideal life on this planet, the one you have proof for, the one that matters, right now. I live in the present, not some "future" afterlife, and I do work and plan for the future so when that becomes present time I can enjoy that too. I take care of myself and those I care about, so what I have to look forward is more good days. I am one of the happiest, calm, at peace, easy going, person I know. While you can only take my anonymous written word for it, these words are not my own, but how others have described me that do know me well, in person.

Being gay, is natural, it is also a wide spectrum, you can be just a little bit gay, perhaps bisexual, with an emphasis on hetrosexual activity, or you can be the type that is only interested in very particular type of man and the thought of lying with a woman is revolting to you. Or anywhere in between. Some people are just born gay, it can be a big part of who they are, and no amount of praying, or drugs, or anything else will change a basic core part of you. And there is nothing wrong with it! The only people that have a problem with gay people are deeply insecure people that likes to believe what ever drivial their church/peers tell them, and cannot think for themselves.

I am an lgbtq ally. And it does enrage me some that people treat lgbtq so poorly due to their own baseless fears. A big part why I am also anti-religion is because how so many religions treat lgbtq. LGBTQ people hurt no one being who they are, yet they can find themselves more poorly treated then a convicted felon, something is seriously wrong with that.

Well dunno if anyone read all this, I hope it helps a little, guess I went off on my own rant. Oh well.
 
 

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arakish's picture
@ Logic

@ Logic

I read it. I like reading your treatises as much as you seem to like mine. I too am an ally of LGBTQ. I just sum it up differently.

Love is Love, regardless. male = female = HUMAN, regardless.

rmfr

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