This is a question I haven't heard asked by atheists or addressed by Christians before.
If you (as a Christian) REALLY believe you get to go to heaven when you die, why aren't you always hoping to die?
Why would you ever want life saving medical treatment (other than pain management)?
Why would you ever want to save or be saved from dying?
If it weren't a sin, wouldn't every Christian immediately commit suicide?
Why are you upset when someone is murdered or dies young?
Wouldn't the greatest Christian martyr be someone who murders whole churches at a time so they can all go to heaven early, even though the sin condemns him to hell?
Isn't it actually great news--the best possible news--when a Christian dies?
Think of it like your girlfriend being promoted to a big new job in Hawaii (or whatever you think would be a great place to live & work). Sure, you're a little sad because you won't see her for a while. BUT you know that you are also about to land a really great job in Hawaii and she's there waiting for you. So mostly you are really happy for her and you are really excited to get there yourself.
How come none of this actually describes how anybody thinks about death?
For me it's because I don't believe there is a heaven and this life is the best and only one we get.
But shouldn't Christians think about it this way? Why don't they?
My father and his siblings (all some form of Christian) did the same to my grandmother. When she refused treatment, they got her declared legally insane and pumped her full of more meds, just so they could get a few more months out of her. Rather than dying peacefully at the start of summer the way she wanted, my grandmother was forced to endure a half-year of pain, nausea and other issues because her religious family wouldn't give her the palliative care she wanted. She was three months shy of 70 and it was her third relapse of breast cancer in twelve years. After two mastectomies and about three years total of chemo, she didn't want to fight it any more. She was a month or two away from dying when her kids found out and took her decision away from her. She was also Christian and had just figured that if God kept giving her cancer, it was a sign that it was her time.
I'm with Misty & Aric on this. They doubt the afterlife because no one knows the answer to the hereafter. As any normal animal or human would do, we just want to survive. It's basic instinct.
I've asked this with no good response, mostly silence comes from 'em. Shouldn't they want to be there, where time is irrelevant in the presence of their god? That their families are in good hands when it's all said & done, right? Not in my opinion but in theirs it is. The biblical god is a blood thirsty tyrant. Maybe they know this or deep down realize it's utter bollock. I can't ever get a decent answer.
For a few (not sure how many) of them, they believe that "God has a plan" for them. Some believe that unexpected illness/death is due to the sinful nature of humans or Satan's interference, not God's will.
Some say all that just to avoid admitting that even following a religion that promises paradise after death, they are terrified of what might happen if they're wrong.
I'm sure there's probably also a few atheists who commit suicide/refuse treatment in the hopes that maybe the religious are at least right about there being a heaven. Of course, far more do it because they believe that non-existence is better than their present/future.
This is definitely an interesting question. It seems like, if we all go to heaven when we die, we should all immediately slaughter our babies as soon as they're born. Keep having babies and keep slaughtering them, and heaven would be packed. Obviously, killing our offspring would mean we'd eventually run out of people, but most of the people who'd lived would have a happy existence in heaven. Why should we bother wasting time being pissed off and miserable on earth if we have eternal bliss waiting for us after death?
But, I think a true Christian believes God created us here on earth. If he wanted all of us to be in heaven, he'd have just created us up there in the first place, right? I think that a good Christian life is not just about dying and going to heaven. And actually, a good Christian would say that whether or not he goes to heaven when he dies is irrelevant. Heaven should not be what motivates us. If we try to live decent lives just so we can have everlasting joy when it ends, then I think we're missing the point. The point is to live a full, happy life here on earth. Not to hope it ends as soon as it can. If we go to heaven when it's over, great. If we don't, I guess we'll rot in the ground.
It seems like most people don't really seem to understand what heaven is. I guess I can' say that I do, either. But I know that it's not a place in the clouds with all of your dead loved ones up there waiting to throw you a party when you die. I hope nobody actually believes that.
Two things are important here, the first being that a person must be a Christian and a very confident one if that, Christian's are forgiven once they are a Christian, but many find this hard to accept... to be able to come to some sort of a peace with death. But as a human, death isn't an easy subject for anyone... as explained before it means leaving your loved ones behind... and what of those loved ones who aren't yet Christians... will there be anyone else to try and guide them after you're gone?
The second is that God has a plan for people's lives and therefore, it's God's decision when we die (I won't go into all the ins and outs of different situations that result in death but suffice to say that most Christians either believe it was God's will... or that the person's life was taking by a person unjustly... but God is now taking care of them in heaven). This is why many Christian's aren't ready to die. And as many of us, aren't afraid of going to heaven (well maybe hell?), but more so the process of dying and the consequences on those they leave behind.
And let's not forget the survival instinct inherent in all of us. The will to survive is very strong, even in the most placid people, and it takes a lot to suppress it. I'd wager that to subsume the survival instinct enough to willfully die would take a fanatic's level of faith, and most people are not fanatical about their faith.
(Note that I am not including such things as clinical depression or other non-faith/belief influences that could push someone towards desiring death. I am speaking solely of being willing to die due to one's beliefs)
I was thinking about something similar this morning. Why waste time trying to hinder the progress of science? Why waste time in general on anything to do with atheists? Just let us have our little misguided hopes and dreams and leave us alone. Why do we even matter? According to them, we are all going to burn in hell anyway.
...unfortunately, logic and reason doesn't work with them or this discussion would never come up.
I as a christian dont want to die because i like being alive with my family learning new things about my life and where its taking me, and just basically being alive! Not only do i not want to die,i want to see my daughter grow up and when im gone i fear what she'll do without me. Us dying being with Jesus of course its amazing but us as our Family on earth aren't going to be together like a family in heaven, i cant say though cause i really dont know what it will be like in heaven. Thats what i fear what will it be like in heaven? Will i be able to Fill and be alive just like now? Will i ever see my mom or dad or my family again when im gone? I dont know nobody knows nobody's ever Actually died and been dead and came back to say what it was like, and nobody's been to heaven yet cause we haven't been judged to get there. We as humans are going to cry if our loved ones died because we are no longer going to see them anymore alive here on earth were not gonna talk to them anymore or be able to tell them that we love them. thats why we have to tell people we love them when we do cause we dont know if it'll be the last time seeing them. Nobody can actually be perfect because we all live in sin. And people love sinning because why? duh its fun, even i love to sin.. but will God except us to actually live in eternity in heaven if we live in sin? yeah if you ask him to forgive you, and believe he died on the cross for your sins, but what if i dont ask before i die and i was sinning before that? That's what i fear that i'm not good enough to be excepted in heaven because of the choices i make. I cant say because Jesus knows i love him and whatever i do i hope that he see's i try my hardest in everything i do. We dont kill ourselves because its a sin. Jesus dont give us a life for us to take it were not given a life to take it, regardless of all the shitty things that happen in our life and keep happening why not make the best of the life were given. And imagine all the memories you've ever had, all the thoughts you thought about. And just dying and that being it, no more you, no more afterlife, no more nothing. There would be no purpose of life??
You've stated that regardless of what might happen after death you want to live to experience meeting new people, watching your daughters growing up, etc. How does that change if nothing happens after death?
You suggest that Jesus knows that you love him, but that conflicts with your knowledge that no one has ever died, seen the other side, and come back to tell about it. Why then, do you believe that anything happens after death? Why do you think there will be a guy named Jesus there?