Afterlife
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03-02-2015, 02:40 PM
Afterlife
Here goes my first post to the forum, let me know how I did Smile

This has probably been asked before on this forum, but I've noticed something in my personal life a trend that happens, especially once someone dies. Now before there are mixed ideas, I do not mind the religious being upset when someone dies their earthly life, which in my opinion is the only life you get. If they weren't to mourn, I would probably question their relationship with whoever had died. It makes sense in the world we live for people to become saddened at the death of someone, be that a family member, friend, or even an acquaintance.

But what I don't understand is this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end, but that it's a new beginning. I mean, they say that they accept that an actual eternity of life is waiting after this life, and yet they mourn and are sad for weeks and months on end. Which is perfectly reasonable and makes sense to those that think this is all you get, but for them, this isn't all you get. Not only an eternity of life, but an eternity of a perfect life. I just don't get it, shouldn't those that believe that you live forever in perfect harmony celebrate at the death of a person who held the same "truth"?

Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone, because you don't live after death, that's it, the end, you cease to exist. Which is something that really sucks but it's where the evidence points.

And I continue to see this underlining fear at the point of death held by the religious. They seem to be more uncertain, more shaky, more terrified at the prospect death. Key phrases I notice in my personal life for example "We won't live forever." or "Everyone dies someday, this is the only life we get, so we should live it to the fullest" or "You only live once". Now everyone of these things I agree with, but I don't see how they can agree when they accept that these phrases are technically a matter of fiction, death doesn't exist to them, it's life forever. Even if it's in hell, you still are "alive" for the rest of eternity. Conscious in forever bliss or forever agony.

It makes sense for them to be upset if they think you go to hell, I'm talking more on this idea of heaven though. Which in my own opinion doesn't seem much better than hell. You'll live there for 1 trillion years, and still somehow never get remotely close to becoming bored... I use the living a googol-seconds analogy to get a picture of what living forever would look like. A googol-seconds is quite literally hundreds of millions of quintillions of years! It's crazy to think that some people actually want to live this long, sounds like an eternity of boredom and insanity. I believe that it is an actual impossibility for a finite mind to be able to experience an eternity of events.

What my question is is whether they truly believe these things to be an accurate representation of reality? I question the scale of which they accept this idea. Personally, I think they, in a way, know that it's very unlikely for life to exist after death. There's something in the back of their mind that just tells them the reality and finality of death, and to that, they get afraid and latch onto this religious delusion. Even though they latch on religion, they still don't truly believe that they, or others will live for an eternity.

Tell me what you think, and whether my thoughts are the same as you've experienced. Do you think a majority truly believe they will live forever, or do you think that it's most likely something they want to believe, but really don't. I know everyone doesn't think this way, many probably do truly think that they'll live forever. Just in my own personal circle, I see their views of afterlife being created out of fear of what they basically know is the end to come.
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03-02-2015, 02:48 PM
RE: Afterlife
You'd think a religious person would see death as kind of like when school let out for the summer and you wouldn't see one of your friends until the following fall. You'd be sad but you'd know that next fall, you'd be buddies again. It must be that they're just not really sure about death. You think?
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03-02-2015, 02:53 PM
RE: Afterlife
(03-02-2015 02:40 PM)The Hidden Atheist Wrote:  Here goes my first post to the forum, let me know how I did Smile

This has probably been asked before on this forum, but I've noticed something in my personal life a trend that happens, especially once someone dies. Now before there are mixed ideas, I do not mind the religious being upset when someone dies their earthly life, which in my opinion is the only life you get. If they weren't to mourn, I would probably question their relationship with whoever had died. It makes sense in the world we live for people to become saddened at the death of someone, be that a family member, friend, or even an acquaintance.

But what I don't understand is this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end, but that it's a new beginning. I mean, they say that they accept that an actual eternity of life is waiting after this life, and yet they mourn and are sad for weeks and months on end. Which is perfectly reasonable and makes sense to those that think this is all you get, but for them, this isn't all you get. Not only an eternity of life, but an eternity of a perfect life. I just don't get it, shouldn't those that believe that you live forever in perfect harmony celebrate at the death of a person who held the same "truth"?

Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone, because you don't live after death, that's it, the end, you cease to exist. Which is something that really sucks but it's where the evidence points.

And I continue to see this underlining fear at the point of death held by the religious. They seem to be more uncertain, more shaky, more terrified at the prospect death. Key phrases I notice in my personal life for example "We won't live forever." or "Everyone dies someday, this is the only life we get, so we should live it to the fullest" or "You only live once". Now everyone of these things I agree with, but I don't see how they can agree when they accept that these phrases are technically a matter of fiction, death doesn't exist to them, it's life forever. Even if it's in hell, you still are "alive" for the rest of eternity. Conscious in forever bliss or forever agony.

It makes sense for them to be upset if they think you go to hell, I'm talking more on this idea of heaven though. Which in my own opinion doesn't seem much better than hell. You'll live there for 1 trillion years, and still somehow never get remotely close to becoming bored... I use the living a googol-seconds analogy to get a picture of what living forever would look like. A googol-seconds is quite literally hundreds of millions of quintillions of years! It's crazy to think that some people actually want to live this long, sounds like an eternity of boredom and insanity. I believe that it is an actual impossibility for a finite mind to be able to experience an eternity of events.

What my question is is whether they truly believe these things to be an accurate representation of reality? I question the scale of which they accept this idea. Personally, I think they, in a way, know that it's very unlikely for life to exist after death. There's something in the back of their mind that just tells them the reality and finality of death, and to that, they get afraid and latch onto this religious delusion. Even though they latch on religion, they still don't truly believe that they, or others will live for an eternity.

Tell me what you think, and whether my thoughts are the same as you've experienced. Do you think a majority truly believe they will live forever, or do you think that it's most likely something they want to believe, but really don't. I know everyone doesn't think this way, many probably do truly think that they'll live forever. Just in my own personal circle, I see their views of afterlife being created out of fear of what they basically know is the end to come.

When I was still a Christian, I had a friend that was Japanese, a person firebombed the apartment of someone that lived beneath his apartment, the flames rose and burned his apartment, he was killed. My friend did not know Jesus, probably was a Buddhist, according to my Christian worldview, he is now in hell. Much reason to mourn his passing, but having an ideology that says that their suffering is just beginning makes it even worse.

The inherent injustice and evil of it all, it was highlighted by this incident.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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03-02-2015, 02:56 PM
RE: Afterlife
"....this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end..."

I think the pervasiveness of doubt in the religious mind, always makes them aware that it very likely is the end, but they don't want to accept that as a possibility.

"Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone, because you don't live after death, that's it, the end, you cease to exist. Which is something that really sucks but it's where the evidence points. "

I don't think it's insane. Some people are awful and vile human beings, I might celebrate their passing. And some people deserve to go out as a celebration of their life. I have cried many a tear and had many a laugh from the memories of loved ones who've passed away. Celebration of life because of death, is perfectly fine in my book.

As for their fear of death, they have an additional fear which is (as you point out) a fear of eternal torment, which they are told they deserve. So in their mind, the possibility of hell is a very real one where they will be punished for being human and making human mistakes.



You've hit the nail on the head that a lot of us who were former believers have pondered over this a good deal. As a matter of fact, death and the idea of an afterlife were the hardest things for me to give up and were the primary reason I remained theistic/deistic for as long as I did. Basically, someone promised me eternity and eternal happiness, and my selfish mind didn't want to give up on it. But eventually I realized the present was hollow, a gift wrapped box of nothing. Once I realized that, my one and only life seemed infinitely more valuable.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-02-2015, 03:42 PM
RE: Afterlife
(03-02-2015 02:56 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  "....this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end..."

I think the pervasiveness of doubt in the religious mind, always makes them aware that it very likely is the end, but they don't want to accept that as a possibility.

"Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone, because you don't live after death, that's it, the end, you cease to exist. Which is something that really sucks but it's where the evidence points. "

I don't think it's insane. Some people are awful and vile human beings, I might celebrate their passing. And some people deserve to go out as a celebration of their life. I have cried many a tear and had many a laugh from the memories of loved ones who've passed away. Celebration of life because of death, is perfectly fine in my book.

Re: I actually agree with this point, sometimes the celebration of a persons death is warranted for what they did in life. For example, when Osama Bin Laden was taken out, many thousands of people celebrated his death, which I don't think is insane. When I said "Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone" I was more talking about those that really didn't have a negative impact on the past, but actually a positive impact. And you're right, I too have had a celebration of life, recently in fact, which is perfectly fine, to remember those you care about in a fun and happy way, and not in a sad and grim way.

As for their fear of death, they have an additional fear which is (as you point out) a fear of eternal torment, which they are told they deserve. So in their mind, the possibility of hell is a very real one where they will be punished for being human and making human mistakes.

Re: That's a very real possibility, they don't have an absolute certain guarantee they will enter heaven, and are therefor afraid of, like you said, the possibility of hell that they "deserve". I went through this from the moment I got "saved" to the moment I started questioning. There was that thought in the back of my mind "What if I wasn't sincere enough? What if I get left behind?" These questions truly horrified me, and I'm glad I finally got out of that uncertainty and fear.


You've hit the nail on the head that a lot of us who were former believers have pondered over this a good deal. As a matter of fact, death and the idea of an afterlife were the hardest things for me to give up and were the primary reason I remained theistic/deistic for as long as I did. Basically, someone promised me eternity and eternal happiness, and my selfish mind didn't want to give up on it. But eventually I realized the present was hollow, a gift wrapped box of nothing. Once I realized that, my one and only life seemed infinitely more valuable.
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03-02-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: Afterlife
(03-02-2015 03:42 PM)The Hidden Atheist Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 02:56 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  "....this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end..."

I think the pervasiveness of doubt in the religious mind, always makes them aware that it very likely is the end, but they don't want to accept that as a possibility.

"Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone, because you don't live after death, that's it, the end, you cease to exist. Which is something that really sucks but it's where the evidence points. "

I don't think it's insane. Some people are awful and vile human beings, I might celebrate their passing. And some people deserve to go out as a celebration of their life. I have cried many a tear and had many a laugh from the memories of loved ones who've passed away. Celebration of life because of death, is perfectly fine in my book.

I actually agree with this point, sometimes the celebration of a persons death is warranted for what they did in life. For example, when Osama Bin Laden was taken out, many thousands of people celebrated his death, which I don't think is insane. When I said "Of course I think that's insane for someone to celebrate the death of someone" I was more talking about those that really didn't have a negative impact on the past, but actually a positive impact. And you're right, I too have had a celebration of life, recently in fact, which is perfectly fine, to remember those you care about in a fun and happy way, and not in a sad and grim way.

As for their fear of death, they have an additional fear which is (as you point out) a fear of eternal torment, which they are told they deserve. So in their mind, the possibility of hell is a very real one where they will be punished for being human and making human mistakes.

That's a very real possibility, they don't have an absolute certain guarantee they will enter heaven, and are therefor afraid of, like you said, the possibility of hell that they "deserve". I went through this from the moment I got "saved" to the moment I started questioning. There was that thought in the back of my mind "What if I wasn't sincere enough? What if I get left behind?" These questions truly horrified me, and I'm glad I finally got out of that uncertainty and fear.


You've hit the nail on the head that a lot of us who were former believers have pondered over this a good deal. As a matter of fact, death and the idea of an afterlife were the hardest things for me to give up and were the primary reason I remained theistic/deistic for as long as I did. Basically, someone promised me eternity and eternal happiness, and my selfish mind didn't want to give up on it. But eventually I realized the present was hollow, a gift wrapped box of nothing. Once I realized that, my one and only life seemed infinitely more valuable.

"That's a very real possibility, they don't have an absolute certain guarantee they will enter heaven, and are therefor afraid of, like you said, the possibility of hell that they "deserve". I went through this from the moment I got "saved" to the moment I started questioning. There was that thought in the back of my mind "What if I wasn't sincere enough? What if I get left behind?" These questions truly horrified me, and I'm glad I finally got out of that uncertainty and fear."

Your post got embedded within mine, so I plucked it out.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-02-2015, 03:44 PM
RE: Afterlife
I had those same fears, because it is natural to wonder if you're wrong. But religion makes you feel ashamed of that human trait, like it does for so many other behaviors and feelings.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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03-02-2015, 03:45 PM
RE: Afterlife
Quote:But what I don't understand is this idea of being SOOO upset when a person dies if you truly accept and believe that this isn't actually the end,

Don't dismiss the very real probability that they are full of shit.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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03-02-2015, 03:48 PM
RE: Afterlife
(03-02-2015 02:48 PM)Toney Wrote:  You'd think a religious person would see death as kind of like when school let out for the summer and you wouldn't see one of your friends until the following fall. You'd be sad but you'd know that next fall, you'd be buddies again. It must be that they're just not really sure about death. You think?

Re: I'd agree, they're just not sure what's really going to happen, so they live in this fear and uncertainty and maybe they try to suppress that uncertainty.
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03-02-2015, 07:16 PM
RE: Afterlife
(03-02-2015 03:42 PM)The Hidden Atheist Wrote:  That's a very real possibility, they don't have an absolute certain guarantee they will enter heaven, and are therefor afraid of, like you said, the possibility of hell that they "deserve". I went through this from the moment I got "saved" to the moment I started questioning. There was that thought in the back of my mind "What if I wasn't sincere enough? What if I get left behind?" These questions truly horrified me, and I'm glad I finally got out of that uncertainty and fear.

I think that would be a legitimate concern of any Christian, can you convince an all-knowing god that your intentions are correct? Or are you a Christian because you fear hell?
How do you know you have faith or fear? How would this god view your mindset?

You really wouldn't know until you are judged whether your faith was true or not.

Oh and while you are ascending to those pearly gates, hopefully you didn't yell "goddammit!" before you died or have a twinge of lust towards that nurse bent over you. You've just committed a sin and now you'll fry!

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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