Fear of Death
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07-07-2017, 05:49 PM
Fear of Death
Hi Folks:

In my coming out as an atheist, I have written numerous posts, on a private website (now defunct) and Facebook.

In trying to understand the reasons people believe in God or a deity (I am a former Evangelical Christian) I suggested the primary reason is fear with fear of death being the primary fear, one's own death and the deaths of those we love, but also fear of anything we cannot control.

Yes, fear is not the only reason. Inertia because that is how we were raised and community pressure. On a positive note, a sense of belonging to a community, but also political advantages for belonging to a widely accepted community. (It has been said an open gay will be elected President before an open atheist). etc etc.

During my journey from the deep emotional assurance of eternal destiny with an unconditionally loving Father to trying to accept when I die I am no more, is difficult.

I am trying to reorient myself to appreciating life as it is and the joy and wonder of life (as well as the loss and pain of life) and appreciating the days I have and the people I love and are loved by and realizing each day is precious.

Even though I have believed for years my consciousness will survive my body's death (near death experiences and all that), I am trying to accept that when I die, I cease. Simply cease.

And ceasing will not hurt (leading up to ceasing may hurt) because I will be totally not there. There will be no pain, no regret, no loss for me. I will not know I existed, I will not know.

The way I have said I believe death will be like is what it is like under general anesthesia. Those who have been under general anesthesia know what I mean. It is not at all like being asleep. When you wake up from sleep you know time has passed. Not so with general anesthesia, it seems as though no time has passed at all. It seems like you were just put under.

The major difference being, of course, you never return to consciousness.

Yes, despite my ongoing depression, I absolutely love the fascination that life involves. I particularly love the universe, the outer universe and inner universe.

I will admit (as probably most atheists honest with themselves will admit) it is very tempting to believe this amazing universe has a source, a "cause" and we naturally are inclined to think that cause is a being. How can this amazing universe just pop into existence?

As an agnostic atheists, I do not deny the possibility such a being or beings exist, but that their is no evidence for it's/their existence. So the jury is out as they say.
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07-07-2017, 06:30 PM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2017 06:37 PM by nosferatu323.)
RE: Fear of Death
(07-07-2017 05:49 PM)slw0606 Wrote:  Hi Folks:

In my coming out as an atheist, I have written numerous posts, on a private website (now defunct) and Facebook.

In trying to understand the reasons people believe in God or a deity (I am a former Evangelical Christian) I suggested the primary reason is fear with fear of death being the primary fear, one's own death and the deaths of those we love, but also fear of anything we cannot control.

Yes, fear is not the only reason. Inertia because that is how we were raised and community pressure. On a positive note, a sense of belonging to a community, but also political advantages for belonging to a widely accepted community. (It has been said an open gay will be elected President before an open atheist). etc etc.

During my journey from the deep emotional assurance of eternal destiny with an unconditionally loving Father to trying to accept when I die I am no more, is difficult.

I am trying to reorient myself to appreciating life as it is and the joy and wonder of life (as well as the loss and pain of life) and appreciating the days I have and the people I love and are loved by and realizing each day is precious.

Even though I have believed for years my consciousness will survive my body's death (near death experiences and all that), I am trying to accept that when I die, I cease. Simply cease.

And ceasing will not hurt (leading up to ceasing may hurt) because I will be totally not there. There will be no pain, no regret, no loss for me. I will not know I existed, I will not know.

The way I have said I believe death will be like is what it is like under general anesthesia. Those who have been under general anesthesia know what I mean. It is not at all like being asleep. When you wake up from sleep you know time has passed. Not so with general anesthesia, it seems as though no time has passed at all. It seems like you were just put under.

The major difference being, of course, you never return to consciousness.

Yes, despite my ongoing depression, I absolutely love the fascination that life involves. I particularly love the universe, the outer universe and inner universe.

I will admit (as probably most atheists honest with themselves will admit) it is very tempting to believe this amazing universe has a source, a "cause" and we naturally are inclined to think that cause is a being. How can this amazing universe just pop into existence?

As an agnostic atheists, I do not deny the possibility such a being or beings exist, but that their is no evidence for it's/their existence. So the jury is out as they say.

Hi,

I'm a theist and I think you are absolutely right about fear being the main cause of belief, or at least one of the main causes.

I think the concept of cessation is not something scary, the opposite of it is actually very scary. After I had some kind of an OBE (out of body experience) I could never get rid of the possibility of life after death, and that fear kinda remained with me and pushed me towards the beliefs that I have now. My beliefs have given me security though, I no longer feel threatened by the possibility of life after death and in fact it is very comforting for me to think about it.

Quote:I will admit (as probably most atheists honest with themselves will admit) it is very tempting to believe this amazing universe has a source, a "cause" and we naturally are inclined to think that cause is a being. How can this amazing universe just pop into existence?
As an agnostic atheists, I do not deny the possibility such a being or beings exist, but that their is no evidence for it's/their existence. So the jury is out as they say.
That being doesn't have to be something separate from the universe, I like the idea that the being is the universe itself, it just started to manifest itself at some point and we ended up being the eyes through which it witnesses itself. If you look at it from this perspective, maybe "evidences" will be irrelevant.
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07-07-2017, 06:34 PM
RE: Fear of Death
This may help. Let me ask you.

What where you up to during the civil war?

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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07-07-2017, 06:37 PM
RE: Fear of Death
This shouldn't be a hard question.

What where you doing between Apr 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865?

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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07-07-2017, 06:40 PM
RE: Fear of Death
[Image: giphy.gif]

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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07-07-2017, 06:43 PM
RE: Fear of Death
Okay. So the answer is, nothing. You didn't exist. It didn't hurt you in any way shape or form. The world survived without you events occurred things changed and you aren't bothered it in the least. The same will occure after you leave.

It was Christipher Hitchens that said "It's not so much that the party ends when you leave. It's that the party keeps going even without you."

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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07-07-2017, 07:53 PM
RE: Fear of Death
I've been near several Christians as they were dying. They are ful of fear, all that I have known. Did Jesus really forgive allof my sins? Did I forget to confess one or two?
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07-07-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: Fear of Death
Well spoken.

Yep. I think the concept of a soul was the last and hardest thing to let go of. I'm still not 1000% sure...

Oddly, heaven and hell were easy enough to disbelieve. So if it exists, where does the soul go? I don't know. Maybe it lives on in other people's consciousness. But then, depending on what kind of person you are/were, you living on in somebody else's *mind* may be their own personal heaven or hell.

Without getting into a lot of detail, I worked for several years in a facility where.......how to phrase this(?) the shaken babies and others like them went. "Housed" there up to age 6 or outgrowing the large cribs or death, whichever came first. We knew going in that we could expect to lose one or two a year. Their lives were a version of hell on earth. No matter what your beliefs were going in, they were bound to change in some way by the experience.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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07-07-2017, 08:22 PM
RE: Fear of Death
I don't see the problem with fearing death a little bit. It's when you get an existential crisis that it becomes a problem.

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07-07-2017, 08:57 PM
RE: Fear of Death
(07-07-2017 08:10 PM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  Well spoken.

Yep. I think the concept of a soul was the last and hardest thing to let go of. I'm still not 1000% sure...

Oddly, heaven and hell were easy enough to disbelieve. So if it exists, where does the soul go? I don't know. Maybe it lives on in other people's consciousness. But then, depending on what kind of person you are/were, you living on in somebody else's *mind* may be their own personal heaven or hell.

Without getting into a lot of detail, I worked for several years in a facility where.......how to phrase this(?) the shaken babies and others like them went. "Housed" there up to age 6 or outgrowing the large cribs or death, whichever came first. We knew going in that we could expect to lose one or two a year. Their lives were a version of hell on earth. No matter what your beliefs were going in, they were bound to change in some way by the experience.

Damn, that's hard to read. My eldest nephew had a breathing problem; he would sometimes just stop breathing, at night, or just when sleeping, as a baby. My brother (one year younger) found him like that one time, and, scared to death, shook him. He knew exactly dick about resuscitating a baby. He's lucky that the boy didn't die, and him end up in prison. Though I will say that he probably didn't shake his son all that hard. My nephew is now 45 years old and a productive member of the community.
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