The truth is I'm glad there is no eternal life. I've never been so arrogant or self deceiving as to think, when I die I'm going to heaven because I really deserve it. I've always been bad about holding grudges, arguing with my parents, per-marital sex, fighting, etc. I'd be at the top of the list to ride the hell bound gray hound. it's good that it's all a load of crap then for me at least.
When I realized that there was probably no god, I was in your place. I felt uneasy having a mindset that disagreed with most of the population. But then I watched a video called, Science Saved my Soul. It made me feel so much better.
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6w2M50_Xdk
I hope it helps,
PattyJ - great link, thanks!
Gold, Patty, is one of the heavier elements, and does not occur naturally. Here's what I mean by that:
The original stars were comprised entirely of hydrogen. As the nuclear processes within a star "burns" hydrogen, it fuses hydrogen atoms into helium, a slightly heavier element. When stars above the size of 2.5 times the mass of our own sun, explode, as they must, that helium is blown out into space where, over time, it becomes gravitationally compressed to form another large star, which fuses the helium atoms to form yet heavier elements.
It takes the Supernovae of three successive stars, each contributing their elements to the building of the next star, to finally create the materials necessary to form a star whose planets can contain the element, gold.
That means, Patty, that the atoms that comprise you and I were not only compressed into the singularity that became the Big Bang, but were also present in the three giant stars that, one by one, exploded, then collected again to eventually form our own solar system, and us. Can you see how incredible it is that those elements just happened to be collected into the debris that formed this planet, rather than Saturn, or Jupiter, or Mercury, and came together under just the right circumstances to cause life to occur, and eventually, for you and I to be born?
We are all, as the late Carl Sagan once phrased it, "star stuff," and it is to that, that we will one day return.
Pretty amazing, isn't it?
PattyJ - here's one for you --
Very wonderful vid.
I have been in this wonderful state of mind many times. I miss them when they do not come often enough.
On the positive side, when one considers that the Christian version of the afterlife consists of spending eternity praising god (who must have SERIOUS self-esteem issues, to require so much praise), permanent death seems like such a pleasant alternative.
One shot on the wheel of life- Make it a good spin
Well, I'm Hindi. (Probably not as popular in an atheist forum, since we have at last count somewhere around 330 million gods.) And death ... well, it doesn't scare me. I've been dead before. Not in a reincarnationist belief sense, more in a clinically dead after a car accident sense.
There is no "I." As an attempt at an analogy: If a child pretends he's Batman, then gets called to dinner and stops pretending, does Batman die? Such is life.
Well, I'll give you one point for not just falling into the religion of your family/culture without question. Do you mind sharing the criteria that brought you to Hinduism?
I was a devout Christian, praying to God for guidance, and Sri Shiva revealed himself to me in a blinding light which knocked me to the floor. No, I don't have any proof. No, I can't really differentiate it from the multitude of other cases of people claiming to have seen God (under whatever name). Or angels, or aliens, or inhabitants of Lemuria, or whatever. Yes, I fully realize it may very well have been an hallucination or mental break of some sort. No, I don't expect anyone else to believe me or change their lives based on this.
So, in sum, you're not telling us anything at all.