Discussion with my Christian friend about death
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19-09-2014, 12:12 AM
Discussion with my Christian friend about death
I'd like some opinions on this conversation. Anybody encounter someone like this and how should proceed with this conversation if he brings it up in the future

My Friend: I've been thinking a lot about death and just thought damn I'm going to die someday. Are you afraid of death?

Me: No, does it scare you that you will be dead someday?

My Friend: Yes its terrifying to me.

Me: But you are a Christian, when you die, doesn't the bible promise you immortality in paradise.

My friend: Yeah you right.

Me: So why are you afraid of death?

My friend: I don't know. I guess its because I'm worried about not accomplishing everything that I want in life.

End of Conversation

Honestly I think deep down he understands that these religions are bullshit, but I don't know how I can help him alleviate his fear of death.

Anybody else have conversations with Christians who are terrified of dying? How did you handle them?
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19-09-2014, 01:47 PM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
Hitchens said something to the effect of 'dying sucks not because the party is over, but because the party is going to go on without you.' I can relate; it sucks to leave a good party.

I see no reason to fear being dead. We've all been non-existent, right up until the point we began to exist. The billion years before I was born weren't bad (I can't remember a thing, actually); I'm guessing the billion years after I'm dead will be just as peaceful.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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19-09-2014, 02:27 PM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
An interesting point to ponder - are they afraid of death, the dying process or both?


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



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19-09-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
(19-09-2014 12:12 AM)Aldiesel18 Wrote:  ---
My friend: I don't know. I guess its because I'm worried about not accomplishing everything that I want in life.
---

Well then, he better hop to it. Wink
***

Actually, many people worry about not accomplishing everything they want to do in life; being theist or atheist has nothing to do with that kind of anxiety. If one gets all one's shit done right now, there will always be something else to start getting done.

For some reason, being content with right now does seem to be more difficult or maybe daunting for those with some notion of an afterlife. That whole promised afterlife is just too ass-backward for me; it's like putting the cart before the horse.

Why focus on or concentrate productivity on something not yet begun (death)?
Do your shit now while you are alive and when death comes, do that. Drinking Beverage

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22-09-2014, 06:36 AM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
I haven't really talked to anyone about death, much, but I can remember being in a similar boat when I was still Christian.

I remember it being conflicting. Part of me really looked forward to this whole "paradise" thing, but at the same time, earth is all I ever knew, and part of me realized that I didn't know heaven was real. There was a little bit of fear about not finishing everything I wanted to and more fear about whether or not dying would hurt.

So, it could all be summed up about fear of the unknown and of pain. I never felt immune to that, even as a Christian.
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22-09-2014, 07:33 AM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
People seem to think that they must matter, that there needs to be a legacy and all that.

Obviously, when you are dead it doesn't matter whether you mattered, death is the big equalizer. Beggars or kings, it's all the same.

So why is everyone so worried about leaving a legacy?

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25-09-2014, 08:43 AM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
I can't help but believe even theists know in the back of their minds that this is it.
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25-09-2014, 09:17 PM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
(22-09-2014 07:33 AM)Dom Wrote:  People seem to think that they must matter, that there needs to be a legacy and all that.

Obviously, when you are dead it doesn't matter whether you mattered, death is the big equalizer. Beggars or kings, it's all the same.

So why is everyone so worried about leaving a legacy?

It's just comforting while you're still here. Kind of like a tiny little part of you isn't really dying. Completely pointless after you pass, of course, but while you're here it helps calm fears.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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25-09-2014, 09:36 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2014 09:41 PM by yakherder.)
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
Death and the process of dying are different, and I think that differentiation is important to the conversation. The concept of not existing is easy to accept philosophically. Facing a situation that can result in you dying is instinctively difficult to do, however. It is not an abstract concept, it involves intense, prolonged pain in all but a few lucky people. Even for those who think they've got it handled for the simple reason that they've never had to do it before, the reality sinks in when you are facing a danger that causes a thought along the lines of "holy shit I might die in a second" to cross your mind at which point fear, in the physiological rather than philosophical sense, happens whether you think you've overcome it or not. I think it's the visualization of this happening that people have trouble with.

Here's a quick quote that, although unfortunately made popular by a cheesy movie (Ghost Dog), rather than it's origin, is relevant for those who feel they might have trouble dealing with it, and can be adapted to different situations with a little imagination.

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the way of the samurai." Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure

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26-09-2014, 01:35 PM
RE: Discussion with my Christian friend about death
(19-09-2014 12:12 AM)Aldiesel18 Wrote:  I'd like some opinions on this conversation. Anybody encounter someone like this and how should proceed with this conversation if he brings it up in the future

My Friend: I've been thinking a lot about death and just thought damn I'm going to die someday. Are you afraid of death?

Me: No, does it scare you that you will be dead someday?

My Friend: Yes its terrifying to me.

Me: But you are a Christian, when you die, doesn't the bible promise you immortality in paradise.

My friend: Yeah you right.

Me: So why are you afraid of death?

My friend: I don't know. I guess its because I'm worried about not accomplishing everything that I want in life.

End of Conversation

Honestly I think deep down he understands that these religions are bullshit, but I don't know how I can help him alleviate his fear of death.

Anybody else have conversations with Christians who are terrified of dying? How did you handle them?

Although your friend didn't actually say so, I wonder if it's the uncertainty that causes the fear. Sure, if God judges you as such, you go to heaven (according to your friend's belief), but what if he doesn't? That, of course, means hell. Or if purgatory is part of the beliefs, then there may be some fear about that as well. Or, since it is often taught that one should fear God, there could even be a fear of being with God. But if the true fear really is about not accomplishing everything he wants in life, he could take some comfort in that his belief indicates that he may have an eternity to do so.

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