As atheist.. What keeps you going?
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25-07-2013, 05:09 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
(24-07-2013 07:49 PM)Niko Wrote:  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.

Hello Nikolai, welcome to the forum.

To answer your question; I'm not afraid of dying, I accepted that reality long ago.

I'm fascinated by death, especially how people react to it. Seen people twice or three times my age blubbering at funerals like children over people dead, when I assume they would have acknowledged and accepted the reality and inevitability death by then.

My only fears relating to death are: discomfort at the idea of a painful demise; and my fear of failure. That is to say: I fear not achieving my goal of making getting myself known to the annals of history, I fear dying a failure.

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25-07-2013, 05:44 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
(24-07-2013 08:21 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Sure there are those types who say they're not afraid...but I think most aren't being honest.

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25-07-2013, 06:06 AM
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

I was nine when my grandfather died. For some time after that, I would lie awake some nights filled with horror at the concept of death, of non-existence.
I stared into the abyss.

Since then, the thought of death only makes me sad. I like being alive.

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25-07-2013, 07:18 AM (This post was last modified: 25-07-2013 08:59 AM by Dom.)
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

Really? I am not scared of death. I am not quite ready yet, but I know I will be when the time comes.

Your body will always fight to stay alive, it's instinctual. Your brain - it just acts on what it's learned and as you get old it learns increasingly that death can be a good thing.

The two people I watched die were totally at peace with it. Their affairs were in order, their bodies were getting useless, the body was not able to achieve comfort, it was time to shed it.

When your peers are dead or are struggling with every day functions, when little things you need to do to live on, like going to the bathroom, become a struggle because it's hard to move your body, when there are no future plans anymore because you know you can't achieve them, then your brain will be smart enough to make peace with death.

Have some faith in your mind and body's ability to work in harmony. Have you ever been in shock? Like a bad car accident for example will leave you in shock. You are all rational, and emotions and pain do not exist. You may imagine dying because you got hit by a truck as horrible, but actually it's not. You have built in defense mechanisms that will keep you from panicking, that let you think calmly, and you will be devoid of emotions.

How about dying from cancer? Scary shit, that. But, when you actually get near death's door, your brain has realized that there is no way to achieve physical enjoyment anymore and it is ready. All it wants to do is to leave with one's affairs in order.

Last not least, life is a choice. That becomes clearer as you get old. About every one and a half hours an elderly person dies from suicide. In young people, suicide is just a waste, most conditions come and go. But for the elderly, setbacks are usually final. Do you really want to be helplessly dependent on someone else's care for the rest of your life? Do you want to spend every day struggling to move your body around so you can perform every day functions?

No wonder so many religions center around death being salvation. Because it is.

Fear of death just means that you are still in your prime. It is unimaginable to just exit. And that is a good thing, or people would be killing themselves over all kinds of ridiculous shit.

But when your time comes, when your brain realizes that this body is not worth supporting anymore, you will be at peace. Even at a young age.

The surviving people are the ones in pain or terror, watching a dying body can be scary, the muscle reflexes look like a struggle and that is why we drug the dying so they lay still and look peaceful to us.

So, no, I am not scared of death. I was in younger years, now it's mostly about how much enjoyment I can get out of my life before my body wears out.

You are pretty much dead every day as you sleep. What's so bad about that? Nothing.

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25-07-2013, 07:34 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Thanks for all the replies.
I'm still having a hard time accepting the thought of death, but as I can gather, it is very natural and I will most certainly be ready in time.
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25-07-2013, 07:52 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
Hi Niko

Welcome!

I have no fear of death. Like everyone else that has posted I do not want a lingering exit but being dead poses absolutely no problem for me. I'm old enough to have had several family members and friends die so it isn't soemthing I've never experienced.

I watched my mom die from dementia and it took her several days when her body was shutting down. My only concern was for her suffering. I have no baggage about the afterlife so that issue wasn't there like it was for some of the family.

Everyone deals with this issue (or doesn't) in their own way. You'll get there Smile

So, you're Danish? I've been to Denmark several times (I have friends there). I have always enjoyed my time there.

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25-07-2013, 09:12 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
(25-07-2013 07:52 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Hi Niko

Welcome!

I have no fear of death. Like everyone else that has posted I do not want a lingering exit but being dead poses absolutely no problem for me. I'm old enough to have had several family members and friends die so it isn't soemthing I've never experienced.

I watched my mom die from dementia and it took her several days when her body was shutting down. My only concern was for her suffering. I have no baggage about the afterlife so that issue wasn't there like it was for some of the family.

Everyone deals with this issue (or doesn't) in their own way. You'll get there Smile

So, you're Danish? I've been to Denmark several times (I have friends there). I have always enjoyed my time there.

I've also had to say goodbye to several family members (4 to be exact) but I have never actually been there for the last few moments before the person died, so I don't know what that's like.
Oh, and good to hear you've been enjoying the little country of Denmark Smile
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25-07-2013, 09:15 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
What keeps me going is to live. I have a life I get to live and I am going to live it. I don't necessarily like the idea of death being something I can't control. The possibility of it being sudden and premature frightens me. But if life had no end, what purpose or motivation would there be to do anything? It would be like Groundhog Day where at some point, you just start looking for a way out.

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25-07-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
I was scared shitless for a while, when I realized that death wasn't just something for other people; I can't have been much more than 6 at the time...

As far as it's possible to direct your own feelings, it's pointless to be frightened of the inevitable.

I'd second what's been mentioned above; being dead is by definition not something to experience, and is therefore not something to worry about. Dying is some ways is frightening, since there are so many unpleasant ways to go. Most of 'em are rather unlikely, but still.

That you're alive now means you've probably got more time to play with than the vast majority of humans who have ever lived. So that's nice.

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26-07-2013, 02:46 PM
RE: As atheist.. What keeps you going?
I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid ambitious doctors will keep me alive when I should be dead.
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