As atheist.. What keeps you going?
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24-07-2013, 07:49 PM
As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Greetings.

My name is Nikolai and I'm a Danish 17-year-old student.
I never really thought much about things like religion, spirituality, the afterlife etc. until around a year ago when I started on a technical school.

I found it interesting from the very beginning that at this technical school (Can't be more precise, it translates directly to "Higher technical examination" and is something you can attend after 10 years of mandatory, regular school) that it seemed like all of my classmates and teachers, with very few exceptions, just took it as a given that God didn't exist.

Now this got me thinking and got me researching, and especially these last few months I've been thinking a lot about life.

I am positive that no God exist. I accept other people believe in God, so long as they only do good in his name, and not things like "homosexuals burn in hell" and other drivel of similar sort.

I kind of believe that there could be some sort of unexplainable "power" that I imagine is somewhat like a guardian angel. Kind of just looking out for us, as humans, keeping us out of too much trouble, but in all honesty, I think I'm just subconsciously frightened of the thought of death. Logically it just seems naive to me to even think that there is some kind of "power" I just mentioned.

So my question is.. Are you scared of death? I assume it's natural that if you think the afterlife is nothing but worm-food, the thought of dying could be frightening. How can you accept it? Do you ever, like me, have sleepless nights of these kind of thoughts? What do you tell yourself to motivate you if/when you think about this?

Don't know if anyone out there will read this or answer to it, but either way, it's been nice to get it off my chest.
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24-07-2013, 08:21 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Fearing death is human. I think everyone does, even the most staunch Christian..

Sure there are those types who say they're not afraid...but I think most aren't being honest.

It's life. Enjoy it while it lasts. Even if you live to be 100, you're going to say it went by really fast.

Hug

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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24-07-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Hello Nikolai

consider what Richard Dawkins said:

"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.
Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.
We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people.
In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."

Don't dwell on death, but the fact that you have life! The very fact that life is temporary makes each moment that much more precious.
Also, my experience of 100years ago and 100years in the future are exactly similar... the only difference is that we are able to look forward towards the latter.

One thing that helps me as well, is the ponder how tortuous eternity would be.
Eternal bliss?
Without discomfort can we appreciate comfort?
Without sickness, can we appreciate health?
Without the searing hot, can we appreciate the cool,
or without the freeing cold, can you appreciate warmth?
What of rest without knowing weariness?
What of satisfaction without hunger or thirst?
What of wholeness without brokenness?
and what value do we place life unless there is death.
The 'pains' of our lives in fact allow us a sweeter existence.

I am okay with death and that there is no afterlife, because I know that even if there were a heaven, after just a few thousand years I would beg for an end.... eternity, even in heaven, is indescribable torment.

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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24-07-2013, 08:47 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Death scares me. I have nightmares about it sometimes.....horrible way to wake up.

But whether I'm afraid or not, doesn't change that it is going to happen........I just remind myself that I wont care when I'm dead.

I live my life as open and honestly as I can, open arms, all that, and I hope that I can affect people while I'm here.

That's it.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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24-07-2013, 10:15 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
I've thought about death for some time now and I still can't think of a reason to be afraid of it. Sure its and end to what makes me me but it is also a way out from the chaos of this world, An eternal peace if you will.

I also find that the idea of an afterlife is many more times scarier than death ever could be, In an infinite amount of time you will accomplish everything that can be accomplished and then its just a time for you to lose any sense of sanity you had left up until that point.

I would rather go into nonexistence happy; then exist forever in such a state that I may as well not exist.

I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder. Your disorderly world has a deficit of things worth paying attention to. -Tj
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24-07-2013, 10:21 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
― Mark Twain

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist and Levitating yogi, CAAT-LY.
Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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24-07-2013, 10:25 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
You know. It amazes me when people act like they dont mind death. I don't buy it. The end of your existence has to cause some emotion of fear, I dont care how much twain you hide behind. Tongue

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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24-07-2013, 10:37 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
I think there is a difference between normal self-preservation instinct/death avoidance and actually fearing death. I've almost died several times and wasn't especially afraid during any of them. When I think of "fearing death," I consider that ruminating on it too much, being obsessed, maybe being overly cautious. When I think about the idea of immortality, I am able to appreciate death. I figure that one day I'll get tired of being alive.

I fear dying a painful death, sure. But I don't see why death itself is scary (as long as it isn't looming over you right that minute, I guess). It's a bit sad, but I don't feel especially frightened of it. I'm more scared that friends/relatives will die than being scared of my own death.

As for finding motivation, I think of it more as trying to accomplish as much as possible while I am alive. I don't need any more motivation than that.
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24-07-2013, 10:47 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
(24-07-2013 10:25 PM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  You know. It amazes me when people act like they dont mind death. I don't buy it. The end of your existence has to cause some emotion of fear, I dont care how much twain you hide behind. Tongue

You're fear of death is just as alien to people like me as the idea of people not fearing it is to you. I cannot think of a reason that makes sense to fear death.

I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder. Your disorderly world has a deficit of things worth paying attention to. -Tj
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24-07-2013, 10:50 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Well yall should fear my death.

Life without Hobbitgirl would be -horrifying-

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." Soren Kierkegaard
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