Why are Atheists afraid of death?
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15-04-2014, 08:54 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(14-04-2014 10:58 PM)Leefboy Wrote:  So I've recently lost my faith in religions and became an atheist and naturally I started to think about death a lot. I mean, if you're religious, the issue of death doesn't nag at you for your entire life because you have an all-convenient reassurance that life continues after death. But if you're an atheist?? Life suddenly loses all of its meaning and you're left pondering what the purpose of anything is. As an ex-religious person, it's easy to see why religion is able to have such a strong grasp on so many people. It's a terrifying ordeal to have to deal with death for what it is. Atheists seem to be the more intelligent and logical people who see the inconsistencies of religion and simply accept the fact that they don't know what happens after death or they just accept the harsh reality that we are gone forever once we die. Some atheists have completely accepted their mortality and may say something like "if you're not even conscious of your own unconsciousness, you have nothing to worry about."

But something about this whole notion of death bothered me. Not because it scared me, but because it started to make less and less sense the more I thought about it (similar to how I lost faith in religion). Most atheists see death as the ultimate end to our lives... an eternal state of darkness. But if you think about it, this can only be true if we have a unique, metaphysical quality such as a soul. If we died and truly remained unconscious forever like we think we will, that would mean we were each assigned a soul that had the opportunity to see the world for a split second and then went back to sleep. But atheists don't believe in souls... that is a religious concept. So why are atheists afraid of death? You can say you're afraid of the death of your 'ego', which is everything that makes you "you," (your talents, physical characteristics, personality, etc.) but to say you're afraid of the death of your ability to experience and be conscious of reality? That's an assertion that's not even logical to begin with if you really think about it. It's logical to assume that when we die our consciousness, or simply our ability to experience reality, lives on in SOME form (most likely not in it's current form). Ultimately, if you die, you're not going to become lifeless soul forever sleeping in darkness... you're going to be simply "nothing" at all. How can nothing "experience" anything? If we are "nothing" we may as well just be anything else that is conscious in the universe.

But who will we be next? How exactly does consciousness live on? Well that's an entirely different issue with a lot of different speculations and theories, but the one that makes the most sense is that we are in fact all conscious beings experiencing life one at a time. This addresses the issue of how there are multiple, different conscious beings in the universe and how new ones are coming into being. We are simply all of them (obviously we can't understand how this works but there is a lot of truth to this). I think Alan Watts explains what I'm trying to explain fairly well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMRrCYPxD0I

But how consciousness continues is just theory at this point. The main point i'm trying to address here is that logically life continues on after death simply because of the fact that we can't be aware of our own unconsciousness. It won't be the same life... that's what we're conditioned to believe in... that if life does indeed continue after death, that it will be in the same manner as it is now. But our egos will most likely die forever. It's our consciousness and ability to experience the world that won't. You don't need faith to believe in life after death... just logic. I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Obviously you don't understand what death means to an atheist (which means you likely aren't one as you claim).

The universe came into existence over 13 billion years ago. Between that time and when you were born, how much were you aware of? The answer: absolutely nothing, not even darkness. You were aware of nothing because you were literally nothing. After you die, you will be that same nothing again. It's that simple.

Why are atheists afraid of death? First, only some atheists are afraid of death. And the reasons vary. Some probably don't like the idea of their life simply coming to and end. Others may fear how they will die more than death itself. But many also don't fear it at all. Fear or none, it doesn't matter. We will all have no awareness at all of anything after we die because we will no longer be.

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15-04-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 08:31 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  
(15-04-2014 08:21 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Life has no meaning if there is no god or afterlife. This is commonly said by people but when you talk about meaning or purpose....... to who? I think it is your responsibility to decide what your purpose in life is and to find your own meaning. There are all sorts of ways of finding meaning such as your work, your family, art, music, poetry and the list goes on and on.

I think if you need some external, unknowable being to give your life purpose then that is pathetic. It is a sign of a defect or psychological weakness if you can't find any meaning in life. I would recommend treatment by a mental health professional.

It is not logical to believe in something for which there is no evidence, period. Despite all the anecdotes and claims we have zero evidence for an afterlife as far as I know.

I don' fear death. I fear getting too old to do the things I like such as hiking and the outdoors but I think by then I will have other things that I like to do just as much like play with my grand kids.

I am much more worried about living than dying. I want to enjoy the finite time I have and not waste a minute of it. One of the consequences of the belief in god is that you can't wait for this life to be over so you can go to heaven. I think that is monstrous. This life is wonderful and it is most likely all we have.

Don't fear death. Live every day as if it is your last one. Choose a purpose for your life that uses your mind to the fullest and brings you happiness. That is your highest moral purpose.

You've completely missed my point.

I got your point. You get some kind of comfort from believing that your consciousness goes on after your body dies. On what basis? As I said it is not logical to believe in something for which there is no evidence so live this life as if it is all there is because that is most likely reality. It does not mean that life has no meaning.

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15-04-2014, 08:59 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
Wait....this.....it's...but...??... Facepalm

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15-04-2014, 09:06 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 03:57 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  In other words you are immortal because consciousness still exists in the universe even after your body dies. There are no gaps to consciousness itself since you can never be conscious of being unconscious. Sleeping or being under an anesthetic is not a good argument for death being a permanent state of unconsciousness because they are not the same thing as being dead. This is not science. This is not religion. This is logic. I didn't suggest the existence of a GOD or a divine purpose. I'm saying why I don't think death is really what most Atheists think it is. Death is not the end to everything because consciousness is immortal.
Sorry no, this is not "logic" at all. Consciousness somewhere may continue to exist after my death, but my consciousness will not.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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15-04-2014, 09:16 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
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[Image: colin-farrell.gif]





















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It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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15-04-2014, 09:24 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 08:34 AM)meremortal Wrote:  
(15-04-2014 07:14 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  I do believe in some kind of higher power though. How can you not? Life itself is a miracle and if you can't see that then this thread is pointless and won't go anywhere.

...and there it is...

You came to an ATHEIST website. Are you really surprised that we DON'T believe in "some kind of higher power"?

You aren't going to get anyone here to accept your concept without any evidence. It's really that simple. And you keep using "reason" and "logic". I don't think they mean what you think they mean.

No I'm not surprised. But where else would I go? Religious people are dead set in their beliefs. Atheists are at least open to new ideas (or so I thought).

First of all, are you denying the existence of a higher power? By higher power I simply mean "supernatural" or "outside the laws of physics." Cause and effect is a basic physical law... yet SOMETHING had to exist without a cause. This fact alone means that a supernatural reality exists, whether you believe in it or not. We just don't know what this supernatural reality is. Don't tell me you can honestly deny its existence.

So any theory about the universe is possible. That is why people are able to believe in God. Life is supernatural at its base. We don't use evidence to talk about these things because we can't. We can only use logic and reasoning to choose the theory that makes the most sense. From what I can tell, MOST atheists believe that matter essentially came from nothing and that when we die everything ends. This is also a theory all I'm trying to do is explain what I think are flaws in this theory
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15-04-2014, 09:25 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 08:40 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  
(15-04-2014 08:24 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The vapid fiat assertions and the flat-out admission that you don't feel a need for substantiating evidence?

WHAT kind of evidence could you possibly want? I'm trying to argue why I think consciousness continues NOT IN A SCIENTIFIC WAY.

I initially posted this in the philosophy section but it didn't post so I just posted it here. Would this make a lot more sense if this was in the philosophy section? I didn't think there would be much difference.

So consciousness continues to exist, but not in anyway that is observable, verifiable or measurable.

In other words magic.

And you wonder why people mock the idea on an atheist forum.

Here is my answer: I cannot accept a premise that rests on special pleading, and that when challenged you say forget science because it misleads people?

Please stop using your computer, electricity antibiotics, refrigerator and car...because they are all products of the misleading science.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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15-04-2014, 09:32 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 09:24 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  No I'm not surprised. But where else would I go? Religious people are dead set in their beliefs. Atheists are at least open to new ideas (or so I thought).

First of all, are you denying the existence of a higher power? By higher power I simply mean "supernatural" or "outside the laws of physics." Cause and effect is a basic physical law... yet SOMETHING had to exist without a cause. This fact alone means that a supernatural reality exists, whether you believe in it or not. We just don't know what this supernatural reality is. Don't tell me you can honestly deny its existence.

So any theory about the universe is possible. That is why people are able to believe in God. Life is supernatural at its base. We don't use evidence to talk about these things because we can't. We can only use logic and reasoning to choose the theory that makes the most sense. From what I can tell, MOST atheists believe that matter essentially came from nothing and that when we die everything ends. This is also a theory all I'm trying to do is explain what I think are flaws in this theory

Again special pleading of your case.

Provide evidence of the flaws and the theory will be amended to the new evidence.

And most believe the universe originated in the big bang. What existed before that is not known and going by default to the supernatural is just using a watered down version of god of the gaps.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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15-04-2014, 09:32 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 12:14 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  
(14-04-2014 11:52 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Leefboy.

I think you are trolling. You gave yourself away within 3 lines.

Your idiotic statement that if you're an atheist life loses it's meaning is a dead give away.

As an atheist who has nearly died twice in the last 8 days, I can assure you life has meaning for me. It is the only one I will ever know and I treasure it greatly.

Now stop pretending to be something you are not, and stop bothering us.

Such a transparent thread. If not a troll the only other possibility I take seriously would be a moderator or admin attempting to liven up a quiet forum.

So, which is it?

No I am not trolling this is a very serious question and you clearly didn't read my entire post let alone understand what I'm even trying to say. I'm not here to debate about the meaning of life. From a purely objective point of view, life ultimately has no meaning. You can argue with me all day that you GIVE your life some kind of temporary meaning but that's a different argument and it's not even what i'm trying to address here. I'm trying to point out the misconceptions atheists seem to have about death. Please read my post first before calling me a troll.

I've posted this several times on this forum but I'll do it again...just for you. Life is temporary and fleeting that's the very thing that gives it its worth, makes it beautiful, creates excitement. The very transient quality of our one and only life makes it more valuable than one with an eternal afterlife that supposedly goes on and on and on and on and on......... Because we are here for a brief moment we must make it as wonderful and pain free for ourselves and for all our fellow living brothers and sisters. This gives life super, extra-ordinary meaning.

The idea of an afterlife dulls the senses of this living moment and creates a crutch for those who don't want to include people of different cultures and ideas. The notion of an afterlife with a hell for those who aren't worthy is not only a dreadful way to travel through life but , frankly, a shitty way to look out at a world of people who don't follow your worldview.

I don't know if you are a troll and I don't care. But if you are you might learn a few things about atheists and realize that death isn't all bad. It's nothing just like before you were born was 14 billion years of nothing. So don't worry about it. Like the old comedian (Stan Laurel?) said on his death bed, "Dying is nothing, comedy is hard".

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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15-04-2014, 09:38 AM
RE: Why are Atheists afraid of death?
(15-04-2014 08:15 AM)Leefboy Wrote:  I don't expect you to change any of your beliefs.

Good, because we have no beliefs, so you couldn't change them.

[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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