I recently wrote a post about this question at my blog that I'll summarize as: "Remember fondly, those you've loved who have passed away. As long as you remember them, they will live on. You are their afterlife."

I'm really interested to hear what ideas other people may have on the concept of a non-supernatural afterlife? It was a tweet that inspired me to think more on the subject so to that end i don't think i'm the only person who's come across the concept?

Without belief in the spiritual/supernatural and the promise of heaven if you're good and hell if you're bad i think it would be sort of nice to know that the good things we did in life will grant us our own afterlife is the memories that others hold of us after we've gone.

I'd like to leave a large "hole" in the concept open to debate as well, as my partner pointed out "bad people get remembered too" - i'd like to think that bad memories create a bad "afterlife" in the sense that you don't really remember bad things in a fond way so wouldn't really dwell on it, or keep it afloat in the same was as something that filled you with happiness?

i also realise i'm verging on the "hippy" side with all this ;)


Here's the link to the post btw if anyone's interested to read it, http://amplified-atheist.blogspot.com/2012/01/living-provide-afterl...

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Thanks for your reply, could you explain a bit more? 

I'm guessing what you meant was, its all very personal as to how one observes a persons'sachievements or mess-ups during thier life and choose how to remember them after they're gone. 

As many here are aware, the process of the brain shutting down leaves people with profound visions and feelings. The closest thing to an afterlife that I can think of is to experience that at a very slow pace, so only a few seconds pass but it feels like an eternity... Although I don't actually think this is the case, just an interesting thought.

That is an interesting thought :) and quite comfortingIn its own way, I like that.

Yes. The brain functions for roughly 2 minutes after the person's heart has stopped (legally dead). I've tried explaining this to friends (we know someone that has legally died and been revived, and had a 'vision') that you have two minutes to envision whatever you want, much like dreaming. AA I like your quote/summary "Remember fondly, those you've loved who have passed away. As long as you remember them, they will live on. You are their afterlife." I will be using this when asked about my Atheist view on after life.

I also like this quote and will be using it also when confronted. All the family stories we've been told, it is our job to pass them on to our kids, our grandkids and hopefully our great grandkids so they can continue our afterlife when we're gone.

I really like the quote... I normally prefer to refrain from using terms like "they will live on" or "after life" as if they exist.. but I think this one is self aware enough that I can agree with it :)

Yes, I just posted a video yesterday on the fact of life after death, as defined by a mentally healthy aka atheist person.... and also why I say an atheist should be labeled "He/she who has a Healthy Brain".

Feel free to use my videos to slap ChristPsychosis infected imbeciles with the truth that due to their dysfunctional brains, are not able to see.


Accepting the likelihood that there is no afterlife, for me, makes it far easier to appreciate what little time I have as a living/self aware being.

That said, and just for the sake of conversation, I can dig what Matt Clerke was saying. It's on par with having an intense dream that felt like hours, only to wake up and glance at the clock only to see you've been asleep 30 minutes. I think this scenario happens to everyone from time to time.

Also, again just for the sake of conversation, maybe it's possible we all go on to some collective consciousness. I.e., become one with nature in some unexplainable way that goes beyond the connections we currently feel with the cosmos. Some might refer to this oneness with the cosmos as "god", which is far easier for me to buy into than actual god that watches over everything and makes decisions/etc.

I can't see it being even remotely possible that we die only to still feel aware of ourselves as "individuals". The whole concept of souls reuniting in some afterlife sounds beautiful and sometimes comforting, I just don't think it's very likely. Some find it scary to think death might truly and simply mean "lights out", but it's nothing to be scared of as if this is the case, you won't even be aware of the fact that you are dead.

Death is that last great journey we all must take and no one, despite how intelligent or informed they may sound, knows for sure what happens when we finally kick the bucket. All we can do for now is assume.

the concept of a non-supernatural afterlife

Whoa. Excuse me, having some major cognitive dissonance here.

Afterlife would mean "after life", as in dead, deceased, gone on, an ex-parrot. This would include ones brain. So, no, there is no afterlife, at least from the POV of the dearly departed. The idea of an afterlife in other people's memories, while poetic and all warm'N'fuzzy, would probably be better termed a legacy as it is something left behind after you are gone.

Not having an afterlife (of any form) is, for me, one of the most important aspects of being an atheist. It means that this life is it, you get one shot, so better make the best of it.

Have never accepted the concept of any form of spiritual, preservation of identity after life, type of afterlife. As far as a historical afterlife goes, other than a very very small group of people who make it into the history books, I'd say you don't really have one of these either. I've always thought that ones historical existence falls into a period that is bracketed by your grandparents and your grandchildren - 5 generations. Most people can remember their grandparents, and hopefully live long enough to encounter their grandchildren. Your your active narrative covers that range, in general.

   I don't remember my great grandfather at all; I never met him. I did meet my grandfather when I was an infant, but I don't remember him either.  I do have a rather lengthy genealogical chart of my family tree going back 400 years or so; but I don't give a second thought to any of those people.  When I die, I will be gone forever. My descendants will not remember me.  Nor do I give a damn whether they do or not. I'll be dead!   I can hardly care, if I don't exist.

  If it isn't already obvious, I don't believe in any kind of persistence after death of anything that might be called a "soul."  Nor do I believe in ghosts (or gods).  As far as I am concerned, anything that happened either before or after my "eternity" on earth is irrelevant, immaterial, and uninteresting.

I like the third option. ;-)


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