After reading further on about death I have come to evidence that makes me believe that having an afterlife is a FAR STREEETCH from reality, it doesn’t seem possible. It’s freaky, it’s depressing, but it’s real.


Atheism doesn't comfort you when you’re alone. It opens your life to the bittersweet birth that you were given, to make your life worth living. To enjoy the small things because your time here is PRECIOUS.


There are those people who die and claim to have gone to heaven, seen the light, seen angels, who have spoken to or who have talked to God.


Did you know that after your heart stops beating, your brain activity is active for 6 minutes before it fully shuts down? I think that what those people saw was merely a dream. Time slows down when you’re dreaming, therefore an accurate perception of how much time you spent in heaven wouldn’t be accurate of real time.


So what makes you so sure that your consciousness stays with you when you die? Your brain activity stops, and that is a fact. It is this very fact and reasoning to which I think that THIS IS IT, this one life is all you have.



I sometimes ponder the thought of dying when I'm alone, and this usually occurs when I'm lying in bed getting slowly falling asleep. Only to wake up with a mini panic attack realizing that I'm not dead after all. I Try to get rid of these taunting thoughts of never waking up. It just seems like life can be the most brutal, and unforgiving of all concepts. 


But I wonder how many Theists actually believe in such stories.... I finished watching this documentary;


(A man broke his leg and fell down a crevice etc. I don't know if it's possible to survive such heights, but that's irrelevant". Because in the short clip he mentions that he was raised to be religious, and that when he truly felt helpless, never once thought that saying a bunch of hail marrys could save him from death. 


I'm sure many religious people fear death (So do I), however how many of them would just sit there and rely on God for protection? I'm betting if they got out of it alive (And prayed), they would end up giving God credit for their own will and physical exertion to stay alive. 


Prayer= A placebo effect (You think it works, but it does jack shit).


I guess my question to all of you freethinkers is this; what makes you unafraid of death? What makes you welcome it with open and untroublesome arms?  To me this is the hardest part of being an Atheist (Or even human for that matter), without a way to pollute our mines with fairy tales, how can we ACCEPT our fate?




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Exactly Quality>Quantity. 

There are also factors such as being hit by a bus etc. That would make it inevitable to avoid death in the first place. I personally see no harm in having the occasional drink or cigar.

Well, atheism didn't help with my fear of death. 

Though nowadays I find it a lot easier to deal with that subject, than it was in the past. By the past I mean right when I became an atheist. 

I can't explain, just irrational really. I guess I love so much life that I do not want to even think of not being alive, or perhaps it's what Fred said, that it makes us feel so helpless because there is no fighting against it. Not sure. Just hate the idea and try to avoid thinking about it. 


I have reached the stage in life where the thought of death bothers me primarily because of all the things I would leave undone--things I want to do for those I love before I die. 


One thing to remember is that to Buddhists the cessation of one's existence as an individual is Nirvana.  I think that is exactly what will happen when I die.  As implied by the Twain quote above I will no longer have any individual consciousness and will simply rejoin the universe.  Or, as the Dalai Lama said to the hot dog vendor:  "Make me one with everything."

I am in the middle of 'The Happiness Myth' by Jennifer Michael Hecht and she brings up the history of death vs. happiness. The main point is that we do not see enough dead and dying people anymore. She points out that in a death bed scenes were common until recently because people died at home in bed and many friends and relations gathered around the dying and celebrated the moment of passing because - get this - even religious people did not take eternal afterlife as a literal promise but focused on the bald fact of human mortality. Especially children were called in to witness their eventual place on the death bed. Death bed scenes were rarely omitted from Edwardian and Victorian drama. Finally, in a survey taken [citation needed] most people over 70 had witnessed a friend or relative at the moment of death and almost no person under 30 had witnessed a death.


Hecht, a philosopher/poet/atheist claims that religion assisted us with a realistic view of death through rituals that increased our happiness by decreasing the anxiety about our own end.


BTW if you are not already listening to the Rationally Speaking podcast, episode 14 with Ms. Hecht is an epic win.

When you put it like that the concept of Death seems much more beautiful, than merely slipping into a dark void of endless slumber. Thank you, this did help me a bit =)

Maybe it sounds weird, but I was never afraid of death.  When I was a believer I was sure I would go to heaven, and now that I am an atheist I know my conscience will simply cease to exist.  No worries, no pain, no suffering.

That said, it doesn’t mean I would welcome death now. I have three children that need me, and my death would really harm them.  Let’s say my task is not finished yet.  And of course I find life very enjoyable.  It would be a pity to depart now, when I can still enjoy all the good things of life.  Dying would be like the end of a very good party.  When I reach old age, with all its limitations, I will probably think otherwise and welcome death.   But with a bit of luck I will still have twenty years of useful life ahead.

But thereis another important point here. Although I don’t fear death, I fear the process of dying.  Dying can be a very painful and protractedprocess. I hope I will die  with minimumpain.  Dying during sleep would not bebad.

"Dying can be a very painful and protracted process."


Especially if your caregivers are religious.

When I turned 20 I began having severe panic attacks about my death and the death of the ones I love. I would cry and shake and have all of the horrible thoughts that I couldn't seem to overcome. So, I can understand your fears and how the quiet of lying in bed can give you time to contemplate death and dying. Hopefully I can help your fears a little bit. I started working at one of our local hospitals a little while back on a Long Term Acute Care floor. When I started there I had no idea how much I would come in contact with death and it's process. I was terrified of having to be in the room with someone when they died and having to clean and shroud their body after they had passed away. Then the day came. I was standing in the room with one of my patients who had been suffering for quite a long time. His vital signs started dropping rapidly and I knew he was dying. For a moment I started to panic and felt that I didn't know what to do for him. And then it hit me, that this was his chance to be free. So I sat by his bed and held his hand and talked with him and prayed with him ( I didn't know what religion he was or if he believed in any but I felt it was right to pray for him or with him if he could still hear me as a comfort to him ) and told him that I hoped he was able to be free from what he was going through. And in a instant he silently slipped away. It was peaceful and quiet and I felt that he was finally able to not be a prisioner in his own body anymore. I know see death as a process that we must all go through. Sometimes it is painless, if we are lucky, and others it is seems more than we can handle. But in the end it is just peace. It's natural. It's freedom. We are all lucky to be here. And I can not say that there is no God or that when we die that there is no heaven or after-life. I don't claim to know it all. But what I can say is that from all the deaths and processes of dying that I have be so lucky to be a part of, is is a beautiful release of pain and suffering that none of should fear.  

I don't know if I could ever do that. I admire your strength and reasonable assumptions towards the whole God concept. Wether someone is religious or not, I don't think it really matters when it's time to die. 


There are some priests who at funerals will ask if the person was religious or not. Because even if a person believes in nothing, that nothing is still something. One should respect the dead regardless of their beliefs (Unless of course they were twisted serial killers or something...). 

Thank you for the above compliment. And I hope that I never come across a "twisted serial killer or something" in my entire life, lol. At the time I was a Christian. I have just become newly aware of the world around me and the fact that everthing I have ever been taught is fiction instead of fact. I am still not what you would call atheist but more a person seeking knowledge and willing to learn more at this point.

If you are interested, people gave me a few advices about this over here.


The predominant one, which I would like to pass on to you, is 'live your life to the fullest'.

I'll have to check later if it says so in the thread, but for those who want to live long enough to want to see the end of it, then each time you get the opportunity just wait and do nothing. Boring yourself to death is a guaranteed method to achieve inverse-Einsteinian spacetime manipulation. That is when inside your frame of reference your space shrinks and time slows down. If you do it well and often enough you could live longer than you desire.


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