studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
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23-05-2015, 04:59 PM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(23-05-2015 03:27 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Let me put it another way.

If a man is mugging you and puts a gun to your head, and you're not scared, then something isn't working right in your brain.

It'd really help if you'd quote the post you are replying to.

If somebody put a gun to my head I would be scared. I'd be scared of a painful injury or death and I'd be scared of losing the life that I had expected to live out. I might even be scared for how it would affect people I care for.

Being scared of the process of dying is one issue.
Being scared of losing out on a chunk of your life is a separate issue.
Being afraid of being dead is another distinct issue.

If you are going to conflate all three under "fear of death" then I guess you can call that semantics but I think it hides the distinctions and makes it easier to mislead people into thinking that there is a reason to fear being dead.

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23-05-2015, 05:19 PM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(23-05-2015 09:52 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I'm afraid of death. IMO there's nothing wrong with being afraid of death, and I would be concerned for anyone lacking that fear. If you say that you have no fear of death, you're probably either lying, or already dead. It's the fear that keeps us alive. However, there is absolutely no excuse for making up fairytales and telling them as truth, and I certainly wouldn't find it surprising if it's true that atheists make religious people think about death and doubts in their faith.
We have a strong instinct for self-preservation, which evolved along with some other mental biases to help us survive as a species. I have that instinct so when I have a bad day it's not some trivial decision, even at my age, to just say, screw it, I'm going to end it all.

You can even argue that this is a rational point of view because life is something you only get one shot at, therefore is valuable and not to be tossed aside casually.

On the other hand, I've dealt with the fact or my own mortality and I don't fear death, so much as the process of dying. If I were diagnosed today with some sort of disease process with at most 6 months to live, I would not be that person who would fight tooth and nail to live 18 months regardless of the suffering involved. In fact I might very likely end my life on my own terms if there were a lot of suffering or expense involved in my final illness.
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23-05-2015, 05:37 PM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(23-05-2015 08:12 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  http://news.yahoo.com/atheists-inspire-t...c_src=copy


interesting

tldr; atheists creep people out because we take away heaven. 'normal' atheists need to come out of the closet because Hitchens & Dawkins scare theists.

All that really shows is that religion's main purpose is to alleviate people's fear of death - fear of never knowing what happened to their loved ones. The big reunion in the sky is what many people cling to.

Personally, death doesn't scare me in the least. After all, I go to sleep every night. The only difference would be that I would not wake up - a fact I would not be aware of anyway. Death itself isn't scary at all.

I don't want to die before I have finished my stuff and have my affairs in order. And I don't want to die in pain.

[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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24-05-2015, 12:41 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2015 12:52 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(23-05-2015 12:38 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I think you fear the word fear.

I think you're entirely too comfortable pronouncing about the inner emotions of people you don't know. And I don't give two shits rubbed together whether you agree or not ... because I've got the evidence of this propensity of yours in this thread.


(23-05-2015 02:31 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I can tell you that for most of us, it would be a big deal, and it would be kind of sucky. And there's nothing wrong with that. We're hard wired (by evolution) to want to avoid death. It's a perfectly natural thing.

What you seem to be missing is that that is not necessarily fear.

Some of us have reconciled ourselves to the inevitability of death, and have learnt to let go of that emotion regarding it. The fact that you clearly do not understand how that could be doesn't change the fact that it is. Simply because you fear it, and many others do, doesn't mean that that fear is universal.

Here -- have you ever confronted the imminent possibility of death, Matt?
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24-05-2015, 12:50 AM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
<whoops, wrong key>
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24-05-2015, 06:02 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2015 06:27 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(24-05-2015 12:41 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Simply because you fear it, and many others do, doesn't mean that that fear is universal.

I'm not claiming that its universal, I'm only claiming that a person won't live very long with out it. We know that empathy and remorse seem to be missing in psychopaths, which make up a small percentage of the population. Maybe there is a similar percentage of the population that for whatever reason, is lacking a natural fear of death...who knows? I'm simply arguing that it's a fear of death (or desire to avoid death if we prefer to call it that) that makes you swerve back into your lane when you notice that you've started to drift into the lane of oncoming traffic. I would argue that it's a fear of death that keeps you from going inside a lion's cage. I would say that the "desire to avoid death" is what gets people to quit smoking, or make any healthy choices. Again, I think the word "fear" perhaps has too many negative connotations for some to accept it as the proper word.

For me:

Desire to keep living = desire to avoid death

desire to avoid death = fear of death

fear of death = desire to keep living

I suppose that if there is disagreement, then we might only be arguing about definitions of words.

Either way, I hope no one gets too upset....after all, I'm just a troll.
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24-05-2015, 06:17 AM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(23-05-2015 08:12 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  http://news.yahoo.com/atheists-inspire-t...c_src=copy


interesting

tldr; atheists creep people out because we take away heaven.

Good. The plan is working, then.
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24-05-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
Matt, I am a grandfather to the sweetest 4 yr old child you can imagine. I don't fear death. What I fear is the loss of being able to be in his life .

Its the consequences of what death means that cause a fear in me. I could step inside a lions cage, but the fear of being ripped apart causes me not to.

I would agree that swerving back into my lane on the highway is an instinct that helps preserve my life. I'm still not doing it out of a fear of death, but rather self preservation.

The instinct to survive is very strong in our species.
If anything I would say we fear the consequences that death brings, like the loss of connection to loved ones, instead of the actual feeling of death.

I've died before. I know what it feels like. For me it wasn't sudden. It felt like I was sliding down a long roof as you slowly lose connection to it all.

The instinct to survive drives us.
Toward the very end of our lives, we may even embrace death compared to the alternative of living another painful day.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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24-05-2015, 06:30 AM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(24-05-2015 06:02 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  For me:

Desire to keep living = desire to avoid death

desire to avoid death = fear of death

fear of death = desire to keep living

I suppose that if there is disagreement, then we might only be arguing about definitions of words.

Either way, I hope no one gets too upset....after all, I'm just a troll.

Fear of death has nothing at all to do with the desire to keep living. Age does. Thankfully. Otherwise the nuthouse would be crammed full of old people going berserk because they are facing death soon.

You are designed to be scared of death while you are child rearing age. Nowadays, that is about half of your life only. (Used to be people died at 40).

Get past that, and the fear of death is not at all a desire to keep living, it makes it even worse to notice your body falling apart. OMG, life is getting harder and harder, and the big cherry on top is death! What a miserable way to drag through the years.

Death becomes your friend as you go. Don't project your own attitude onto others, they may be in a place you haven't been to yet.

[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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24-05-2015, 06:41 AM
RE: studies - atheists inspire thoughts of death
(24-05-2015 06:29 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I've died before. I know what it feels like. For me it wasn't sudden. It felt like I was sliding down a long roof as you slowly lose connection to it all.

That's what happens when the brain is deprived of blood flow/oxygen. Anyone who has ever fainted has experienced that. Momentary absence of a pulse isn't the same as death. When I talk about death, I'm referring to brain death, which, if you're typing on a keyboard, you haven't experienced.
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