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Auzzie's picture

First of all let me say that I'm not here to "convert" anyone to be believe in God or abandon your beliefs.
Last night my wife and I went to visit a good friend of ours who was in hospice care; she had terminal cancer and she was a loving, Christian, who after only a few hours after we left, passed away very peacefully.
My curiosity got the best of me afterwards and I googled death bed experiences of famous atheists. Needless to say I honestly felt heartbroken after I read them because of the many that I read about, their accounts of their last words if you will reminded me of a child watching a scary movie and they couldn't turn off the tv.
Atheist, Christian, whatever you are, each of us will take that next step alone when it's our time. I have faith as a Christian that when its my time, that I will be in a better place but that doesn't mean it's not scary to think about what it will be like to leave behind everyone you love and everything you know. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, you can't take it with you.
I'm not very good at this kind of stuff, and I'm not trying to offend anyone here. I'm just someone who lost a dear friend to a terrible disease and wanted to share and see what someone else thought.

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Nyarlathotep's picture
So because some people die

So because some people die scared, therefore ???

ImFree's picture
You were not in pain before

You were not in pain before you were born were you? That is the same state of non-existance you will experience after you die.

Worrying about something that does not exist is futile but for the sake of being open minded lets consider what an eternal heaven would be like:

100 years later – not too bored yet, will feel bad thinking of my relatives/friends in hell from now on. They were good moral people but didn’t believe-major offense!
1,000 years later - Ok. this is still good. Got kinda bored with some of the stuff but there so much I can still do. Got to meet Adolph Hitler, said he confessed before he died. Just because he killed millions no problem, welcome to heaven.
1,000,000 years later - Well, I guess we could go do that again. It's better than doing the other again.
1,000,000,000 years later - Holy hell I'm bored. There's absolutely nothing left to do I haven't done 100,000 times already.
1,000,000,000,000 years later - Kill me. Kill me now.
1,000,000,000,000,000 years later - *sobbing uncontrollably*
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years later - *laughing maniacally*
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years later - *persistent vegetative state*

ImFree's picture
I like this video on the

I like this video on the subject of death:

watchman's picture
"I'm not very good at this

"I'm not very good at this kind of stuff,"...

No argument there...... so which "famous atheists"?

and what are they supposed to have experienced ?

(Please reference of where you get your info from.)

CyberLN's picture
With all due respect of your

With all due respect of your do you know that person died peacefully? How do you know? You don't. You don't know precisely what anyone was feeling when they died. No one does (with the exception of the Bene Gesserit or a Vulcan in certain circumstances).

Pitar's picture
All life's philosophizing

All life's philosophizing aside, death is a very humbling experience to anyone who observes it first hand. It doesn't matter what your mind has been made to believe, that experience pushes everything aside and reveals the sheer gravity of the event. Watching the lungs stop, the body goes limp and flat from the lack of blood pressure, the coloring goes to white and no one who sees that can honestly say they weren't alerted to life's preciousness. No god, theism, atheism, stoicism need apply. Witnessing death takes you entirely for those few moments and transforms you into someone you've never been before and holds you there until your own passing. You are permanently changed by it.

I used to salvage crashed passenger plane sites. You can imagine the carnage and mental imprint that can't be unseen. It doesn't make me any less an atheist, in fact it's a reinforcement of it, but not one I'd like to be carrying around.

Anyway, has anyone noticed death's character rebukes even the most proselytizing? There's a reason for that.

Mitch's picture
It sounds like you might have

It sounds like you might have been at this persons bedside often before they passed away, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that you're grieving.

Agony, and sorrow, are parts off loss. We are better off for having someone with us through that pain, as often as is possible, and regardless of where that person thinks we go when we die - or if we go anywhere at all. You were a loving friend, and I think this could have provided your friend some comfort.

Kataclismic's picture
I've recently lost a friend

I've recently lost a friend (fellow atheist) very suddenly. No death bed, no last words - just gone. I think he would have wanted it that way though, I think most of us would. I keep thinking he knows all about the after-life (or lack-of) but the sad part (and what I think incites fear) is that if the logistics of death are as apparent then he knows nothing.

It's hard to imagine knowing nothing.

cmallen's picture
"It's hard to imagine knowing

"It's hard to imagine knowing nothing."

True, that.

ThePragmatic's picture
In my humble opinion...

In my humble opinion...

Death is a natural part of life.
It can cause extreme grief and heartache, but in the end the only option is to accept and move on. Personally, I found that when having to deal with death and grief, it is much less confusing with a naturalistic world view. Without the supernatural hocus pocus.
Death is what it is... the end of a life. No more, no less.

This, to me, is one of the things that prove how religious faith is just wishful thinking.

Most religious people are not convinced enough in their religion to actually react as if they really believed. They may try to put a comforting blanket of faith on the situation, and repeat the mantras "She's in a better place now", "He is with Jesus now", "We will see her again in paradise", over and over again. But they still keep reacting with the same fear, sorrow and grief as if they did not believe at all.
Sadly, fear of accepting reality keeps them hooked in the fantasy taught by their parents / churches / society / traditions.

The few who do act as if they believe in the promised afterlife, tend to be extremist, brainwashed soldiers of faith. Why do we never see the extremist Mullah's joining in on the suicide bombings themselves? Even though they should be the once with the most conviction, they keep sending their foot soldiers. How strange...

Johnny Moronic's picture
I'm not offended Duncan, but

I'm not offended Duncan, but you also didn't ask a single question or clarify what it is exactly that you'd like us to comment on. Do I fear death? No. Will I have second thoughts about atheism on my deathbed? No. Do I want this life to end? No. Do I understand that it will end some day? Yes. I've lost people. I've held three people's hands while they've drawn their last breath. That's the end. Is it a sobering thing to think about? Yup. So I'm making sure that until it's my turn that I am having the highest quality experience possible. What other questions do you have?

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