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To be quite honest, I feared the unknown aspect of it for years despite my atheism until I read a (paraphrased) quote by Pliny the Elder: "I'll be as aware of my life after death as I was before birth." Now I have no fear. The act of dying is still not something that I look forward to but I'll deal with it when it comes.

The fact that Pliny's quote is nonsense doesn't bother you in the least?

According to Trace's paraphrase, the quote (to me) is saying clearly that we are unconscious of existence before we are born, and equally unconscious of it after we die, implying that in both cases, we don't exist.  You could say, it's a bit poetical.  Do you agree with how I interpret it?  Do you agree or disagree with the stated interpretation itself?  Myself I disagree, as I believe there is a strong possibility of life after death. 

Makes sense to me. What don't you understand about it?

Exactly. Death is inevitable. Since I have know way of knowing yet how it will happen, I can't say how I'll face it. If it's sudden, no problem. If it's a long, dragged out process, I'll have issues with it and I may attempt to find a way to hasten it and since I have no health insurance I'm sure that their are some who won't try to stop me.

Great quote!

Depends what you mean by death? The dying part still scares me somewhat, however I never really had a fear of nothing after death, rather it was a sadness at everything I may miss when I'm gone.

Losing my want of a heaven/afterlife came all of a sudden to me. I had for a while tried to comprehend nothingness after death when all of a sudden I had a click in my brain and I really came to grips with the idea of eternity. Not that I knew what eternity felt like, but rather the idea of something lasting thousands apon thousands of years would no doubt become torture, let alone millions apon millions of years (which still isn't even a dent on eternity). I think as human story tellers we have come to this understanding through the fantasy tales of immortals (vampires etc.) who have lived for a few thousand years and wish for death. We know as a species how torturous that length of time would be, yet we ignore that for our wish for an eternal afterlife.

This epiphany made me thankful of the nothingness we will have after death, as much as the nothingness before my life was just as painless. What is there, really, to be afraid of? Maybe a feeling that our own personal consciousness is so important that it needs to survive?

Me too! As a kid, I actually felt kind of scared of going to heaven, because it seemed like it would be endless and unchanging, even though it was supposed to be happy. I thought that after a while it would become like an uncomfortable forced smile that I would have to wear for all eternity. This seriously worried me.

You won't have nothingness after death because there will be no longer any you to experience anything.

Yeah, I've noticed you saying this a few times after people's comments. What else would you call it except nothingness? You don't exist so your consciousness doesn't exist so there is nothing, hence nothingness. What seriously is your issue?

And Pliny's quote does make sense.

The idea of death has never really bothered me, everything alive eventually dies so why agonize over it? That being said I certainly don't want to die anytime soon since I'm rather young. I also don't want to die in a drawn out painful or terrifying way. I'd much prefer a quick and painless death at a ripe old age.

I didn't.That bitch will have to take me against my will.

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