Overcoming fear of death
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17-06-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(17-06-2015 03:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(17-06-2015 02:41 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  If you think of non life as nothingness instead of death it might help. Before you were born you were nothing and nonexistent, but you certainly weren't dead. After you stop living...in a way you aren't dead, you just don't exist.


Nothing...........................(something).................................no​thing. Kinda sums it up.

I don't think atheism can prove that some form of consciousness post physical death is impossible. If death is total oblivion then at least that is peaceful. If 'something else' what can we do? By living life with consideration for others and to the full we seem to address both possibilities.

It would be science, not atheism, that will provide proof. Atheism makes no claims.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-06-2015, 04:16 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(15-12-2012 11:17 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Ya know what fucking irks me? People so in love with themselves that they pontificate on their signature every chance they get. Dodgy

Moving on... the OP is messing it up by assuming oblivion as a taking away. Happens to nearly all. When we are born, we start counting thingness with sequence of memory, and when the mind turns to death, as it will, it naturally assumes a taking away.

It is fucking wrong. Every fear of death is based upon a false assumption. Emptiness, darkness, sequence in eternity; but all these concepts are based upon a taking away of thingness.

What happens when you die is that you are no longer separate from the universe by the illusion of I. People who hold on to a fear of death have issues with their ego. Tongue

What a bunch of woo. All the atoms in the universe started in the same dense space. But that does not make us one with the universe, anymore than a current cloud has any connection to one that existed 1 million years ago. I wouldn't put it the way you did.

I would say our organization isn't a matter of oneness, but a result of countless multiple factors of conditions that lead to us. It is amazing to me that there is not one single atom in me now that was in me when I was conceived. I would put it more like that we are finite fractals, blips in a giant weather pattern.

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17-06-2015, 11:08 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(15-12-2012 10:12 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(15-12-2012 05:42 PM)kim Wrote:  Maybe you're not really afraid of death. Sounds a bit as if you might be afraid of life.

Girly might be afraid of being afraid, ... Fuck that shit, Girly ain't afraid of dick.

Only idiots are fearless. Bravery is the overcoming of fear.

Unless of course you're an idiot. I have no opinion on this matter as I do not know you.

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17-06-2015, 11:24 PM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2015 11:51 PM by Banjo.)
RE: Overcoming fear of death
Sorry to double post.

Death has been a constant with me now for about a year. I saw it often during the 8 months I lived in a cancer ward in hospital. Death itself does not scare me as such. After all I was not alive in 1730, and it did not hurt me. On the contrary I am afraid of what I shall miss.

Recently I had a birthday and turned 51. I was invited to my brother's house to spend it with him, my sister in law and two year old niece. For a time I was left with my niece and she was jumping all over me. And I was staring at her in wonder. Sheer disbelief that I was witnessing this event. I had come so close to dying on so many occasions that life to me now is more precious than ever. And I want more of it. My niece is 28 months old. She wont remember me if I die now. And I want so desperately to see her grow up. I adore her so much.

I just don't want to leave. Not now at least.

Death is coming and we cannot avoid it. But we can rage and fight against it. "Do not go quietly into that night!" Just don't. I plan to fight tooth and nail to continue this existence. I saw so many religious idiots fall into the arms of Jesus or whatever god. I had no god, just life. And living kept me living!

Today I got a look from my Dr that shook me to the core. I got home from the hospital 1 hour ago. I have no answers. You know what I did? I bought a bag of fruit chews a cheese sandwich and an orange juice to take my mind off it.

It did not work. So I came here and saw KC's mum's cancer thread. Learned she is okay but another woman is ill! Bloody hell!

There is no avoiding this shit!

We are frail animals a hair's breadth away from death. Make the most of life I say. Make your life as interesting as possible. Better to be sad to leave life than glad to leave life.

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18-06-2015, 05:23 AM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
Why would you WANT to get over your fear of death?

It's an evolved survival instinct. It gives you at least ONE reason to keep living - even if you don't have any other.

Granted - it's not a fun one -- but anything that keeps you above ground and sucking air is a good thing in my book...

Cuz it beats the alternative.

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18-06-2015, 05:45 AM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
It makes all the sense to be scared of death until you are finished raising your own kids. It's a necessary instinctual thing.

After that, your body starts increasingly limiting what you can do with your life. By the time you are old and decrepit death starts looking like a good option.

Regardless of where in your journey you are at the time, you likely have the appropriate attitude towards death. What's not healthy is dwelling on it excessively.

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18-06-2015, 05:45 AM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(18-06-2015 05:23 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Why would you WANT to get over your fear of death?

It's an evolved survival instinct. It gives you at least ONE reason to keep living - even if you don't have any other.

Granted - it's not a fun one -- but anything that keeps you above ground and sucking air is a good thing in my book...

Cuz it beats the alternative.

Well said.

Currently having an interesting conversation with my brother regarding death. All on Whatsapp. My brother thinks we do not live long enough to work it all out. I quoted Dickenson about the nows being forever. He called life a moment. Perhaps the nows all make up the moment.

Thinking a lot about death tonight........

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29-06-2015, 03:52 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
My only fear of dying is to die without having at least one kid and without realizing at least one of my goals. To live 80 plus years and have people who would not be around if you didn't exist is a full life.
(16-06-2015 08:51 PM)RyujinZero Wrote:  Yes, I know this thread is old but I'm going to bump it anyway.

Lately I have been extremely disturbed by the idea of my mortality. Since I finally acknowledged that I am an atheist, I've mostly been able to focus on other things and just live my life. However, during the last few days it's been hitting me very, very hard. Not so much dying, but just being gone and it lasting forever. I used to believe in ghosts, so even when I wasn't actively Christian I still took it for granted that my consciousness might/would survive death in some form. It wasn't until recently that I realized I hadn't reexamined that assumption. I start thinking about it, trying to conceptualize the idea of just stopping existing, and not ever existing as a person again, and the end result is that I cry until I find something to distract myself. I've been starting to worry that the extent to which I've been thinking about it is unhealthy.

I've been reading various articles and blog posts and watching videos about handling the fear of death as an atheist, looking for help, but to be honest, most of them haven't been helpful to me, and in some cases, just made it worse. The answers tend to boil down to variations on:

"Just forget about it and focus on living your life to the fullest because it's a waste of your life to spend it worrying about when it's over."
"It's stupid/selfish/childish/egotistical to fear death. I'm not afraid of it and you shouldn't be either."
"Our energy and bodies will be reabsorbed into the world/universe, and the people we leave behind will remember us, and we leave our legacy, whatever it may be, behind us, so essentially we'll still be around in some form."

None of these have provided me comfort. I'll still be gone after I die and I won't be me anymore, and there will be no me ever again, forever. I was beginning to get scared about how scared and upset I was getting and how much crying I was doing over it--I was wondering if I was going crazy, if I'm just psychologically not capable of handling being an atheist, if I was going to spend the rest of my life terrified of something I can't avoid. You can overcome a fear of heights or spiders or the dark by facing it, and come out on the other side of your life, but how do you overcome a fear of death when by definition death is always going to be ahead of you, until it comes?

Then, just earlier today, I had an epiphany about my fear and the other emotions attached to it that is helping me handle it and not be afraid of my fear.

I realized: I am going through the stages of grief.

It's just that instead of mourning someone else, I am mourning the loss of my belief in my consciousness's immortality.

I read over a couple of articles about the grief process, and it makes sense. I've been in denial for some time. Sometimes I feel angry--it's not fair, why should we just have one shot, what about all the infants and children and young people that die with hardly a fair chance? Sometimes I'm just depressed about it. I suppose the temptation to go back to organized religion or supernatural woo in order to be free of the fear of death is a form of bargaining.

As painful as going through these emotions is, though, looking at it as a grief process is already helping me. If I hang on through the fear and the emotions then I have hope of eventually coming to acceptance. So even though I still cry and feel scared about death, I'm at least not scared of my fear or that I'm going crazy and can't handle being an atheist, which was what I was beginning to think. I'm going through a perfectly normal and natural psychological process, which is difficult but will eventually be resolved, and I'll have good days and bad days but it won't last forever.
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29-06-2015, 04:52 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(18-06-2015 05:45 AM)Banjo Wrote:  My brother thinks we do not live long enough to work it all out.

Oh, dear! We will never work it all out because it all keeps changing! Your bro would need eternal life, and then he would spend all of it chasing "the solution". Life is all about change, whether we like it or not. Soon as you think you have caught up, the goal posts change.

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29-06-2015, 09:02 PM
RE: Overcoming fear of death
(29-06-2015 04:52 PM)Dom Wrote:  Oh, dear! We will never work it all out because it all keeps changing! Your bro would need eternal life, and then he would spend all of it chasing "the solution". Life is all about change, whether we like it or not. Soon as you think you have caught up, the goal posts change.

He is at peace with that. Does not expect to work it out and goes about his profession as well as possible.

In my immediate family there has been much discussion of death of late because I am dying. (We are placing our hopes on a new trial drug).

The conversation is not all about me. We are all of us dying. Just dying at different times. Mine will likely be sooner than later. Probably before my brother. Or my brother may get hit by a bus. The point my brother was making really is that life is fleeting. I agree with him. Our lifespans are shorter than I'd personally like. But then we'd have over population etc. The point is that the species continues.

The OP is scared, and I understand. I prefer to turn away from whatever fear I may have though and console myself with the fact I am alive right now.

Lately I have been reading my old worn out copy of Meditations. I like the stoic philosophy and adore the writings of Marcus Aurelius. In his Meditations he often spoke of death and passages such as this console me:

"Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else."
Marcus Aurelius


Unsure if I welcome it. After all the Romans had a very different attitude to death than we in the modern world. But as he said it is part of nature. Just as my birth was a part of nature, so too will be my death.

My brother feels the same, but his attitude is more pragmatic I think. "You will never work it out, so just get on with it!"

I can and do respect his attitude.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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