I think the hardest part of deconverting is dealing with the fact that this is it. After being told from a young age that you will live for eternity after you die, it is sometimes hard to face reality that existance is much much shorter than originally thought. How do you all deal with this fact and get in the right mindset to best handle it?

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Actually, most of the time I do not even bother thinking about it. Sometimes I am even happy that this life is the only one I have and shall have. At other times, I would rather be dead. In sum, I do not want to live for ever either way, so I can only win.

There's really no such thing as "forever" anyway. Not in THIS universe.

No roasting in an ocean of fire. No boring Heaven, either.

Where is that fact? Just because you ask the dead and they remain silent, then any
fact derieved from that silence is only an assumption, right?

It always intrigues me that the religious can be so absolutely certain, so authoritarian, so dictatorial. And these certainties have been falsified again and again throughout history.  So they just make up new certainties.  They are just making wishful assumptions.  Nothing they propose has ever been shown to be correct.  Only doubt and uncertainty have resulted in progress toward a tentative notion of what is real.  Only a willingness to ask questions and pursue rational thought as best as can be done has created advances in human health, welfare, compassion or any other other category of well being.

I was a philosophy major, got an MA. My favorite philosopher was Ludwig Wittgenstein who held that many philosophical problems are due to mistakes in or misunderstandings of our use of language. When we die, we return to the state before our birth. Note that I didn't say "the state we were in," because before you are born, there is no you yet. I think Wittgenstein might analyze death this way: simply because there is a word for it doesn't make it exist. We don't have a word for before we are born analogous to "death." By having the word "death," it implies there might be a second state we go into, whereas there is nothing. The universe just starts doing without a you or me over again the same way when a leaf falls off a tree, the universe goes on without that leaf.

There is no such thing as death just as there is no such thing as a "we" before we are born.

This denies the grief that is felt by the living. I cannot prove that trees do not grieve when their leaves fall, but I believe that people* grieve when others die. Therefore, death is an experience - at least for those who are alive.

Interesting - my favorite philosopher is Bertrand Russell - who knew a thing or two about Wittgenstein..

* Other animals seem to grieve, albeit for shorter periods than is typical for humans - chimpanzees and wolves have been observed to display behaviors similar to human grief when members of the group/pack have died ... 

I recently saw a documentary in which a female Chimpanzee carried her dead baby around with her until the poor little thing was barely more than a skin-bag full of bones, before she finally abandoned it.

Pitiful isn't it.

I can't believe how many theists are of the opinion that animals cannot share the same feelings and remorse and happiness that we humans do. That they were put there for us to eat.

I guess only us atheists are of the opinion that they feel life too.

We are awake, and I like being awake.

Belief is a wonderful thing, isn't it? You believe something and you give yourself permission to act on it.

It could be that chimpanzees and wolves simply don't know what to do with a member of their circle who won't respond to them in the familiar way. To us, that kind of looks like grief but may actually be bewilderment. Actual grief, though, requires an understanding of death and mortality.

I didn't say that she knew it was dead, just that she seemed reluctant to part with it, which could be construed as evidence of love.

We can't really be sure that they do not understand though, can we? Any of the animals really.

They may know a lot more than we have discovered yet. We may never know. I don't close my mind to the possibility of this because I feel that we just don't know. Yet.

just my opinion though.


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