Free from fear
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27-08-2016, 07:01 PM
RE: Free from fear
(27-08-2016 03:01 PM)marinesky Wrote:  I was listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast today, which is something I've started to do a lot at work. I work as a room attendant, which is not a very positive job for me, and listening to Seth speak about various topics really helps me get through my shifts. Today I was listening to an older podcast about fear of death and how to deal with that topic as an atheist.
I'm sure former christians know how common fear of death is amongst themselves. Hell is not far away from their thoughts, even if they have lived a righteous life. In my church at least we believed that you could be a really good christian and yet be sent to hell because of one unpardoned sin. ONE sin. How scary!
I was very much a dedicated christian as a teenager, and yet I still was scared. It was literally the fear of hell and damnation that made me want to be saved. Years after that when I finally left the church I was even more afraid at first, especially of the rapture.
But as I listened to the podcast today, now that I have been atheist for about two years I realized I'm not afraid anymore. Right now I'm living in a new country that I love with my whole heart and I'm pursuing my dreams. I'm doing whatever I can to have a good life and I'm a lot happier than I was in the church. I've come to see death as just another part of life, a natural ending to the story, something that doesn't have to be ugly and scary. I think it's just beautiful that after all these years of fearing death I'm able to think like that. It's the beauty of atheism really, as it liberates us all to be who we truly are and embrace life with both arms.

To be fair, there is an evolutionary view of nature, which is what you are talking about. But the word "atheist" isn't club or cure all either. It merely means "off" on one claim. I also advise atheists not to get into the same trap of thinking we all think the same things, we don't. And not even "atheist" will automatically determine if a person will only do good. It is a position on one claim, not a moral code, political party, or religion. It merely means "off" on god claims.

But yea, seeing death as merely the end of a cycle does free you up not to live in fear of something you can't stop anyway. I do myself fear prolonged pain and fear not being with my loved ones. But I don't fear fictional threats of hell. Some fear of death is healthy, and is why we look both ways before crossing a busy street.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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28-08-2016, 12:45 AM
RE: Free from fear
(27-08-2016 06:07 PM)ricepudding12 Wrote:  I'm not going to lie. The fear of hell, death etc, comes back for fraction of a second.

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It is indeed an issue us former believers will never be 100% rid of. Still, it doesn't rule our minds anymore. It's just something that's at the back of our heads that comes out sometimes, but now it's something we can deal with. Hell and dying frightened me the most as a christian, and to think that I don't feel like that anymore is amazing. I never thought it was possible.
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28-08-2016, 12:53 AM
RE: Free from fear
(27-08-2016 07:01 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(27-08-2016 03:01 PM)marinesky Wrote:  I was listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast today, which is something I've started to do a lot at work. I work as a room attendant, which is not a very positive job for me, and listening to Seth speak about various topics really helps me get through my shifts. Today I was listening to an older podcast about fear of death and how to deal with that topic as an atheist.
I'm sure former christians know how common fear of death is amongst themselves. Hell is not far away from their thoughts, even if they have lived a righteous life. In my church at least we believed that you could be a really good christian and yet be sent to hell because of one unpardoned sin. ONE sin. How scary!
I was very much a dedicated christian as a teenager, and yet I still was scared. It was literally the fear of hell and damnation that made me want to be saved. Years after that when I finally left the church I was even more afraid at first, especially of the rapture.
But as I listened to the podcast today, now that I have been atheist for about two years I realized I'm not afraid anymore. Right now I'm living in a new country that I love with my whole heart and I'm pursuing my dreams. I'm doing whatever I can to have a good life and I'm a lot happier than I was in the church. I've come to see death as just another part of life, a natural ending to the story, something that doesn't have to be ugly and scary. I think it's just beautiful that after all these years of fearing death I'm able to think like that. It's the beauty of atheism really, as it liberates us all to be who we truly are and embrace life with both arms.

To be fair, there is an evolutionary view of nature, which is what you are talking about. But the word "atheist" isn't club or cure all either. It merely means "off" on one claim. I also advise atheists not to get into the same trap of thinking we all think the same things, we don't. And not even "atheist" will automatically determine if a person will only do good. It is a position on one claim, not a moral code, political party, or religion. It merely means "off" on god claims.

But yea, seeing death as merely the end of a cycle does free you up not to live in fear of something you can't stop anyway. I do myself fear prolonged pain and fear not being with my loved ones. But I don't fear fictional threats of hell. Some fear of death is healthy, and is why we look both ways before crossing a busy street.

Of course being an atheist isn't like being in a religious club where we all share the same values. But isn't such diversity the beauty of all of this? We don't have a rulebook we have to follow, we don't all have to be the same. We discuss our different views and don't have to agree on everything. We do agree on this though: we don't believe there is a God.

And that alone erases everything that comes with the Biblical God for us, including hellfire. Sure, I do agree that we shouldn't just jump off of cliffs and not fear the consequences, but I at least feel that now I'm finally free to live the kind of life I want and not constantly worry about sin and damnation. I've accepted death as something inevitable and I'm very much aware of it. Knowing that death will one day come makes me live the best life I can today.
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28-08-2016, 07:29 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2016 11:22 AM by The Organic Chemist.)
RE: Free from fear
personally, the concept if hell used to scare me. I would lie awake at night praying for god to overcome my doubts and quench my fears. This actually lasted into my 20s, I would lie awake next to my new wife and beg god to reveal himself to me. The fear was still there but that was only part of it. That's why I think Pascals Wager is so powerful to christians. To them, hell is just as real as trees and water. It was the last and most dificult thing to let go for me. Now, the only thing I fear about death is it happening too early where I can't see my kids grow up or leaving my wife too soon.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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28-08-2016, 07:41 AM
RE: Free from fear
Coming from a never-believer, I respect and admire you all for overcoming ( and continuing to battle ) this additional fear.
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28-08-2016, 08:11 AM
RE: Free from fear
I guess I was real lucky. I just never could believe there was an actual devil or hell. And the catholic nuns always emphasized heaven and how to get there, there wasn't really any brimstone talk.

I guess Catholicism has it's good points. Tongue

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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