Why atheism makes my wife cry
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01-05-2012, 04:58 PM
Why atheism makes my wife cry
http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-ma...eary-eyed/

Served as a strong reminder of just how much of a role fear of death plays in this whole theism thing.

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01-05-2012, 05:02 PM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
Crock-o-shit
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01-05-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
(01-05-2012 04:58 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-ma...eary-eyed/

Served as a strong reminder of just how much of a role fear of death plays in this whole theism thing.

I like it. ... I like it a lot. Thumbsup

(01-05-2012 05:02 PM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Crock-o-shit

When it starts to itch, it means it's time to change your panties.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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01-05-2012, 08:05 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 08:12 PM by cufflink.)
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry

(01-05-2012 04:58 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  
http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-ma...eary-eyed/

Served as a strong reminder of just how much of a role fear of death plays in this whole theism thing.

Thanks for sharing your blog post with us. It was poignant and moving.

The one thing I'd take issue with is viewing "the powerful feelings of loss associated with losing a loved one forever" as a kind of fear of death. They seem quite separate to me.

"Fear of death" is associated with the unknown. We don't know what dying and death is going to be like. Will it be painful? Will we suffer? What will it feel like? We don't know, and there's the rub. When contemplating suicide, Hamlet concludes that the reason an army of people don't kill themselves is fear of the unknown:

Quote:For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Of course if there's no life after death--no continuation of consciousness--it's only the process of dying that can be of concern. Once you're dead, you have nothing to fear: you won't suffer or feel pain, because there is no longer a you to experience anything. Not that that's easy to come to grips with . . .

In any event, the pain of loss is different. It's more about sadness than about fear--the sadness of having to let things go that you love. But loss is an inevitable part of life--and as you get older, it becomes a more and more dominant part. You're more than likely to lose a lot of your strength, your energy, your physical attractiveness, your hair. Places you love change to the point they're unrecognizable, continuing to exist only in your memory. Your pets die. Your parents die. And more and more, your friends too. Sometimes the pain in your gut from the loss can seem unbearable.

Religion offers a way out. Beauty hasn't been lost forever--it's being preserved by God. (That's what G.M. Hopkins's beautiful poem The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo is all about.) Mom isn't gone forever--you'll be reunited with her to share eternal bliss together in the sky (provided you've both said or done or believed the right things). And you won't lose yourself either; you'll go on and on. With this kind of (phony) promise, it's no wonder religion has a vice grip on so many people's minds.

Giving up such childish ideas is itself a loss, but on balance there's much more to be gained than lost. I thought this paragraph in your blog was wonderful:

lightninlives Wrote:By accepting the permanence of physical death, we can gain a new level of appreciation for life. More specifically, we can begin to grasp just how precious human consciousness truly is. Because, after all, when something is fleeting and finite, it becomes that much more valuable. And so instead of fretting about the looming specter of death, we can focus on living every moment of life to its fullest.

Well said.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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01-05-2012, 08:56 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 08:57 PM by lightninlives.)
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
(01-05-2012 08:05 PM)cufflink Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 04:58 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  
http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-ma...eary-eyed/

Served as a strong reminder of just how much of a role fear of death plays in this whole theism thing.

Thanks for sharing your blog post with us. It was poignant and moving.

The one thing I'd take issue with is viewing "the powerful feelings of loss associated with losing a loved one forever" as a kind of fear of death. They seem quite separate to me.

"Fear of death" is associated with the unknown. We don't know what dying and death is going to be like. Will it be painful? Will we suffer? What will it feel like? We don't know, and there's the rub. When contemplating suicide, Hamlet concludes that the reason an army of people don't kill themselves is fear of the unknown:

Quote:For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Of course if there's no life after death--no continuation of consciousness--it's only the process of dying that can be of concern. Once you're dead, you have nothing to fear: you won't suffer or feel pain, because there is no longer a you to experience anything. Not that that's easy to come to grips with . . .

In any event, the pain of loss is different. It's more about sadness than about fear--the sadness of having to let things go that you love. But loss is an inevitable part of life--and as you get older, it becomes a more and more dominant part. You're more than likely to lose a lot of your strength, your energy, your physical attractiveness, your hair. Places you love change to the point they're unrecognizable, continuing to exist only in your memory. Your pets die. Your parents die. And more and more, your friends too. Sometimes the pain in your gut from the loss can seem unbearable.

Religion offers a way out. Beauty hasn't been lost forever--it's being preserved by God. (That's what G.M. Hopkins's beautiful poem The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo is all about.) Mom isn't gone forever--you'll be reunited with her to share eternal bliss together in the sky (provided you've both said or done or believed the right things). And you won't lose yourself either; you'll go on and on. With this kind of (phony) promise, it's no wonder religion has a vice grip on so many people's minds.

Giving up such childish ideas is itself a loss, but on balance there's much more to be gained than lost. I thought this paragraph in your blog was wonderful:

lightninlives Wrote:By accepting the permanence of physical death, we can gain a new level of appreciation for life. More specifically, we can begin to grasp just how precious human consciousness truly is. Because, after all, when something is fleeting and finite, it becomes that much more valuable. And so instead of fretting about the looming specter of death, we can focus on living every moment of life to its fullest.

Well said.
Thanks for the props, cufflink. I truly appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It was a pretty powerful moment for me.

I agree that equating the pain of losing loved ones with the traditional meaning of "fear of death" isn't completely accurate. I tried to emphasize that by mentioning that her "fear" wasn't what most people immediately think of.

The way I look at it, there is still fear there, but it's of losing others as opposed to losing yourself. Much like a jealous lover fears losing the object of their affection.

That said, you make some great points about the mounting level of loss that is experienced as you grow older. I'm only 35 but I'm already beginning to see what you've described and it's definitely not easy to live with.

Thank you very much for the perspective. It's extremely valuable to me.


(01-05-2012 06:21 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 04:58 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-ma...eary-eyed/

Served as a strong reminder of just how much of a role fear of death plays in this whole theism thing.
I like it. ... I like it a lot. Thumbsup

(01-05-2012 05:02 PM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Crock-o-shit

When it starts to itch, it means it's time to change your panties.
Glad you enjoyed the piece! It was a powerful experience for me. Far from a "crock-o-shit."

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01-05-2012, 09:28 PM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
Finitude
A powerful tool to learn how to live.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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01-05-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
This kinda thing I'm a total asshole about. Death, can't hardly wait. Prolly gonna rush it along, next month I'm thinking. I know what happens after death. Non-locality and loss of identity. I kinda despise myself so that last bit doesn't bother me. It's the self-absorbed that sweat said detail. I wouldn't make my Gwynnies last forever. That's not about love of another, that's about love of self.

I contend that such may come across as harsh, but if wanted the soft serve, you'd be posting on a theist board. Theists are full of shit for whatever their reasons, but this is one I usually let slide. Yet the self absorption of this species is definitely one of the reasons I can't wait to GTFO.

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02-05-2012, 07:15 AM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
(01-05-2012 09:56 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  This kinda thing I'm a total asshole about. Death, can't hardly wait. Prolly gonna rush it along, next month I'm thinking. I know what happens after death. Non-locality and loss of identity. I kinda despise myself so that last bit doesn't bother me. It's the self-absorbed that sweat said detail. I wouldn't make my Gwynnies last forever. That's not about love of another, that's about love of self.

I contend that such may come across as harsh, but if wanted the soft serve, you'd be posting on a theist board. Theists are full of shit for whatever their reasons, but this is one I usually let slide. Yet the self absorption of this species is definitely one of the reasons I can't wait to GTFO.
Definitely don't share your point of view, but I can appreciate it.

I actually think that being self-absorbed, self-centered, and generally egotistical is an inescapable state of being that we inherited from our biological ancestors. I don't get to indulge in it as much as I used to (my two-year old has made sure of that) but there's nothing wrong with it, in my opinion. I just don't make that next leap to think that "I" am going to exist forever.

Man, would that get boring, and perhaps even downright masochistic...

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02-05-2012, 11:01 AM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
(02-05-2012 07:15 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  I actually think that being self-absorbed, self-centered, and generally egotistical is an inescapable state of being that we inherited from our biological ancestors.

I agree. My problem is that dang Gwynnies got herself married before I could get my shit together. I'd definitely be more self absorbed if she was part of my self, know whut I'm sayin'? Wink

(02-05-2012 07:15 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  Man, would that get boring, and perhaps even downright masochistic...

Absolutely. I had this event back in 2001 where I was walking down the tunnel towards the light with no memory how I got there. Looked like I heard about, so I figured I was dying and it was time to go, and it was cool as fuck so I was on my way. As I walked, all this crap associated with being human seemed to flake off like dead skin. I kept getting lighter and lighter, becoming "aware" that "we're not what we think we are."

But then I started to forget Gwyneth. "Fuck no," I said to myself, "I can die anytime; Imma go back there and get me moar Gwynnies." So I did.

As a NDE, it is as sucktastic as the lot of 'em; where it has value is as a verified hypothesis. Like in 2010 I had an MI and got five stents for my trouble (that's a massive heart attack, Bucky Tongue) ; the pros said I was dying and it sure hurt like it. But I had a picture of my Gwynnies in my brain, and I didn't give a fuck. Actually didn't consider dying so much as their probe thingy popping out of my chest like some kinda Alien wannabe and causing even more pain... Big Grin

Now I got this near-absolute anti fear of death going on. Get any kinda ache, pain, or frustration and I'm like Die now? cause dying is cool. As can be imagined, I'm too extreme a case to represent a solution set (can't have peeps knowing what I know 'cause there wouldn't be no more peeps) but fear of death is one of them things that's gotta go.

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02-05-2012, 11:11 AM
RE: Why atheism makes my wife cry
(02-05-2012 11:01 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(02-05-2012 07:15 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  I actually think that being self-absorbed, self-centered, and generally egotistical is an inescapable state of being that we inherited from our biological ancestors.

I agree. My problem is that dang Gwynnies got herself married before I could get my shit together. I'd definitely be more self absorbed if she was part of my self, know whut I'm sayin'? Wink

(02-05-2012 07:15 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  Man, would that get boring, and perhaps even downright masochistic...

Absolutely. I had this event back in 2001 where I was walking down the tunnel towards the light with no memory how I got there. Looked like I heard about, so I figured I was dying and it was time to go, and it was cool as fuck so I was on my way. As I walked, all this crap associated with being human seemed to flake off like dead skin. I kept getting lighter and lighter, becoming "aware" that "we're not what we think we are."

But then I started to forget Gwyneth. "Fuck no," I said to myself, "I can die anytime; Imma go back there and get me moar Gwynnies." So I did.

As a NDE, it is as sucktastic as the lot of 'em; where it has value is as a verified hypothesis. Like in 2010 I had an MI and got five stents for my trouble (that's a massive heart attack, Bucky Tongue) ; the pros said I was dying and it sure hurt like it. But I had a picture of my Gwynnies in my brain, and I didn't give a fuck. Actually didn't consider dying so much as their probe thingy popping out of my chest like some kinda Alien wannabe and causing even more pain... Big Grin

Now I got this near-absolute anti fear of death going on. Get any kinda ache, pain, or frustration and I'm like Die now? cause dying is cool. As can be imagined, I'm too extreme a case to represent a solution set (can't have peeps knowing what I know 'cause there wouldn't be no more peeps) but fear of death is one of them things that's gotta go.
I don't know what you're referring to when you say "Gwynnies" or NDE, but I enjoyed reading your take nonetheless.

Thanks for sharing, and down with fear of death!

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