People have a funny way of talking about death. This is true even of people who don't believe in an afterlife or soul. Many seem to talk and think of death as something they'll experience.
I often say, "Dying is an experience. Death is not."
Why not? Because you will be gone. Completely and totally at an end. You'll have become nothing. Even nothingness has a kind of existence. Even the void will have a kind of existence, but you will not. You won't know you're gone because...no more you.
You won't be seeing blackness. You'll be gone.
Instead of simply saying "I'll die," can you say "I'll stop existing. I won't know I'm dead because my existence will be at an end. Forever. I'll be gone and I won't know I'm gone because there will be no 'I' to know anything."
Even the memories of me will be gone because the people holding those memories will themselves be gone.
Eventually everything will be gone.
Yes, yes, when you're dead, you're dead. Period.
Don't dress me up and paint me up and lay me out; don't write sappy stuff in the obits, don't wish it otherwise, just accept it. Because that's the way it is.
I can understand why some people believe in gods, whatever their vague and contradictory definition of it might be. I can see how it made sense as an answer to the bigger questions in life before we had alternatives to consider. I can see how the idea has “stuck” and that even well educated people still do because they have been indoctrinated into it from a young age.
But what I can’t grasp is how people can actually believe that they are to become immortal for believing in their gods. I know this will sound condescending but I almost feel embarrassed for them when I hear adults say that they are going to meet with their god in Heaven or Paradise. I cringe a little on hearing it. Do they ever say to themselves “Isn’t it great that Jesus (or Allah) is going to make me an immortal?” I mean you are adults, how can you say that and keep a straight face? Come on, snap out of it – human do not become immortals!! Why is that so difficult to grasp??
I know one of the main reasons many cling to their faith is that they are not mature enough or strong enough to cope with the reality of human mortality. I often think that if Science could extend human life by another (say) 800 years and make it available to all with a genetic tweak that all of a sudden people would stop believing.
That got me thinking. The next time a theist comes along to “debate” with us, I am going to take a different approach. Instead of asking for a definition of their god or why they believe it, I am going to keep at them to explain what they mean by the afterlife and by Jesus making them an immortal. Whatever sense believing in a god makes, believing in an afterlife is just weird. I think that might be a weaker point in their faith defences. At least I will if I have not croaked before then!!
Voltaire said “One great use of words is to hide our thoughts”. Maybe this is what you were referring to earlier Unseen when you mentioned the terminology we use?
Kurt Vonnegut described death as becoming "stuck in time." Kind of poetic, but even that seems to imply that you still exist, but in the past.
I have a huge fear of dying, the process of it. I fear not being able to take care of myself in those times and being dependent on other people. Of losing my faculties and suffering. I fear death not because of the unbecoming of me, but the process being too long and painful.
But having said that, it's extremely important to separate the death of a body from that of sentience. I only say this because I am sick and tired of being told that "energy" doesn't ever die, which from my experience is a dialogue which always ends up somehow confirming the presence of a soul (what ever that is). Energy doesn't die, but a sentient mind cannot survive without a thriving body. The "energy" of the matter of my body may exist, in the same way a chicken still exists in someone's bowls after being killed, turned into sausage and consumed, but it's mind is gone. The physical matter of the chicken will continue to exist probably in some other form, but it doesn't matter...because without the sentience it once carried...the plain matter is meaningless.
arghhh, I cannot edit that now! lololol
I am going to get nightmares about this lolololol
Actually, you can delete it and replace it with a new and improved post. Just click on that little "x" in the upper right of your post. I'm not sure what happens to responses to the original, but that's how I've done it several times.