Science's reassuring tale. (In case you ever need one.)

The need for comfort is universal across humankind, many people have a tough time dealing with loneliness, illness, or death. And I think that's one of the main reasons for the existence of religion: The need for comfort.

I, as an atheist, have never had that kind of trouble, but I do understand the need for it and that made me think: Was there something science-based I could say to help someone be at peace with death?.

And this is what came out of that question...

Our bodies are made of atoms, atoms which were made in stars, stars that had to explode in order to create them, massive amounts of energy were needed to make you, and then you consumed a lot more during your life. And there's a good thing about energy, it is never lost, nor destructed. A lot of that energy is still there, in you, making up each atom of each element in your body, bonding them together, and THAT is the key.

Because when you die, and lie buried underground, your body will slowly start giving back all that energy and begin nurturing the soil, kicking off another cycle, feeding plants, which will in order feed animals, that will later feed other animals, and then, what else could you probably wish for?

You have now given life to a great number of other beings, your energy kept living, the atoms that once made you, are now part of many things, those atoms are now brightening a lady's face by being part of a rose her lover gave her, or coasting the sky making bird fly, pushing the road hard making a dog run, or became part of a baby saying its first words. So if you ever feel you cannot cope with death, just think about this, you were once living stardust and that stardust and life in you will keep on going, living in many things populating this wonderful universe, until the ends of time.

What do you think about it? How did it make you feel? Is there something you came up with for the same reason? Leave your comment and thank you for reading.

Views: 152

Tags: comfort, death, reassuring, science, tale

Comment by matt.clerke on January 28, 2013 at 5:11pm

My dog died over the weekend and this didn't really help me. I prefer to think that his ashes will be scattered around the place he was happiest: the garden.

Comment by Lewal on January 28, 2013 at 5:27pm

I prefer to think about alternative realities. Like in some alternate reality, I'm fat, and I have a beard, and I went to art school, and my girlfriend is much nicer.

Comment by Peta M on January 29, 2013 at 8:16am

Maybe as an Aussie we are uncooth and joke about everything i tend to think humour is a fantastic coping mechanism .

For example my Husbands elderly Dad sadly died Boxing Day 2011 and after much tears and shock then came remembering the good times and like his father 's ever present sense of humour which is how most people remembered him fondly my husbands sense of humour emerged, We giggled for ages when  my husband quipped " he always liked recycling now he's worm fodder ! Can't really ask for better than that can he?"

Incidently when we'd discussed death when his father had been alive his father had always said don't put me in a box just in case I'm not dead I'd rather be hung from a tree so when the birds start pecking someone will hear me say bugger off I'm not dead yet...

Comment by Eugenio Fernandez Miconi on January 29, 2013 at 8:21am

I see each has its own way of coping, and I think humour is a really good way of dealing with these kind of events, if you are able.

Comment by Charles Dent on January 29, 2013 at 1:41pm

I seems to me, that some atheists really need to feel special like christians feel when they think about themselves as god's children, each individually loved. It may sound pessimistic but I don't believe anybody is special. We are literally nothing, next to zero, when we try to compare our lives with the whole universe. We are no Einsteins or Shakespears so even people on this tiny planet will remember us only until last of our grandchild dies. However, after I'd seen following documentary, I must admit I felt better about the whole thing:

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