A question for Atheists.

Alright, So I’m one of those guys that spent his entire childhood growing up in the church and believing in God etc. Anyways after a few years of waning belief and lack of evidence to support my christian beliefs, not to mention evidence that actually goes against my faith, I am now an atheist. Or I guess agnostic would be closer because while I have no faith that a god exists I still hope one does.

Anyways here is my question. Now that I don’t believe I have found that I am terrified of death. Not the action, pain does not scare me, but the result. What can I say, oblivion, lack of existence, etc is scary. How do you deal with the knowledge that once you die, its over?
I’m 22 and in college, and this shit is keeping me awake at night. I can’t stop thinking about it. Atheists can stop reading here For you religious guys, don’t try to convert me back, I spent the better part of 10 years, half my life, looking for reasons to believe, going to classes on religion(s), studying the bible in historical and theoretical context, making my own theories on how evolution could exists side by side with God, and still I ended up not believing. Throwing out facts that countered my beliefs was never an option. Edit Take two, second time I’v tried to put this into the Religious catagory.

Answer #1

Sloppywolf I’m Atheist and x-xtian the only way for me to come to terms with death was the harsh reality. It is any ones choice to BS themselves in telling them that there is something special waiting for you on the other side, in the end it is about acceptance. Everything in life has a beginning and an end. Even if we DON’T want to accept that there is nothing on the other side, it IS going to happen and no one can change that even if they try.

If you think realistic about it, would you rather then believe there is life after death and fool yourself like millions or reality, which you already explored so much of. The only difference between your last seconds before death and a religious person’s death would be: The religious person would “think” in his mind that he is perhaps going to see his/her loved ones and his god or perhaps worry if they are not perhaps go to hell for a sin they which wasn’t forgiven. You on the other hand would (if you have the opportunity) appreciate the last moments with your loved ones or kind memories of them and sure as hell know NO ONE escape death, we all have to face it. You just need to change your mind set about death, because this fear were programmed into your mind and goes hand in hand with the fear of satan and hell. I’m not saying death isn’t scary or sad at all, I would actually go so far as to say, even religious people have fears about it, they just cover it up and ignore their own emotions!

When I’m thinking about death now, it only makes me sad in a way, to know I must say goodbye forever to my loved ones!

Take Care ;-)

Answer #2

Enlightening answers!… I always understood atheism to be synonymous with materialism as a kid… I didn’t know what materialism was at the time… but that’s what I equated it with… interesting that so many atheists don’t.

I’m not an atheist as I comprehend it.

I understand your sentiment. I always remember the line in The Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield is remembering his little brother. He can’t come to terms with the fact that his younger brother… who had died… can’t come in from the rain… he has to stay in his grave and lie there in the wet soil with all of the other dead people while everyone he loved and loved him flee from him to escape the rain. Holden can’t justify the seperation from his brother… the closest person he ever knew. It is the coldest feeling I have ever known.

Not to convert you… but if you haven’t researched other philosophies and their proponents… you should be aware of the dualists and idealists arguments. Research the Metaphysicists… and even mainstream Quantum Physicists. Perhaps you haven’t given the matter as much consideration as you think you have.

Whatever you conclude… don’t worry. No need in worrying about something that you can’t change. Live life to its fullest and enjoy the people and the pleasures you are graced with as much as possible. Life is possibility. Life is about the good things… dwell on them… overcome your fears… love at all costs. Never forget this is just a ride… you are in control… never fret.

Answer #3

I’m an atheist, and, like you, I was really scared when I realised that I couldn’t just accept God as an answer to get rid of the nothingness after death. But then I spoke to my brother about it and his philosophy, which I’ve now adopted (I guess it’s kind of like the humanist view), is that everyone dies, and it’s the price we have to pay to be given the gift of life. So, basically, rather than panicking at the fact that when we die we’ll be eaten by worms in the ground, why not live life to the best of our ability, and better life for others, and enjoy it for ourselves.

 Look at this way: as an atheist, I know that when I die, regardless of how I've spent my life, I'm not going to heaven to be joined by my loved ones or hell for punishment, and I think, really, that that would suck. Honestly, life is a blessing, and so is death. If you lived forever, what would you have to live for? Death just focuses life, and makes you want more to live it better. For example, if you knew you had forever to do what you wanted to do, you'd just be less likely to try hard to do it. 
 Also, fear of death, is, in my view, just engrained in us all, like the conscience, for example. But if we let ourselves be pioneered by it, then we are wasting our lives. For example, if I decided never to take a risk, on the grounds that it could kill me, I'd never get the reward, and I'd never leave my house, and life would suck. 
 So, basically, what I'm trying to say is that, without death, there would be no life, because it's a part of life. And death forces us to live life to the full, so live life to the full, and enjoy it.
Answer #4

im an athiest too, always have been and back when I was little athiesim simply meant you didnt beleive in any god it had nothing to do with what you beleive will happen after death so as far as im concerned, you can beleive in whtever you want when it comes to what will happen to us when we die as an athiest I dont beleive in a heaven or a hell, at least not christianities version of it but that doesnt go to say that I dont think I’ll be happy werever I go there are a few things I thnk that might happen death scares me too,and I hate thinking how it would be to not exist anymore, but as for what happens when we die. I dont know and I doubt anyone else does, so we’ll find out when we eventually die you can still beleive that we go to good place and bad place, or in anything else you want to.

Answer #5

that is the sole reason why heaven was concocted in the first place

you shouldnt be scared, fact is even if you did believe in heaven it would still be the same…

instead of fearing death you can start loving life, and live everyday to the fullest…

Answer #6

I’m an atheist Buddhist, and I have the belief that after death, there is rebirth…I, too, can’t imagine that once we die, there is nothing more. Under our bodies, we are beings of energy, and that energy needs to go somewhere.

Answer #7

im partialy atheist becase religion is just hope and crap they make up to keep you interested so I think that you can beleive anything you want to

Answer #8

well im christian (dont worry, not going to try and convert you, everyone has to make up their own mind!) and I have not fear of death, aside from the thought that it maight occur in a rather unpleasant fashion… but even if I was an athiest I dont think I would have any fear of death itself. As long as I was living the best life I could based on whatever beliefs I had accepted to be true I think I would be doing all I could really!

I do find it quite funny the replies suggesting they know for absolute certain there is nothing after death considering the only people who know are not about to tell us…

Answer #9

Well, it’s natural to fear death. How do you deal with it? Really, like any fear, the only way to overcome it is to face it. When you find yourself contemplating eternal nonexistence, don’t shut the thoughts off. Dwell on them instead. Is it really so bad not to exist? For eternity past (or at least 14 billion years) you didn’t exist. Does that bother you? If not, then how is your future nonexistence any different?

When you sleep at night, your consciousness dies. During periods of non-REM sleep, you are not even dreaming. There is just nonexistence of consciousness. Is it unpleasant?

Answer #10

I’m a skeptic/rationalist, and I’m kinda of the same mind as filletofspam. For one, there’s no point in worrying about death- worrying about it doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to happen, it just wastes time worrying. Secondly, I imagine death being a lot like sleep without dreaming. Think about it- we happily lose consciousness for 6-8 hours a night, and that doesn’t bother us. I imagine death to be much the same- we lose consciousness, like going to sleep, only after we go into that sleep, we cease to exist.

Answer #11

I believe dead is dead. Even with this viewpoint there is no rational reason to fear death. Death is the end of consciousness. No pleasure and no pain. I believe Epicurius said it best, Where death is I am not, where I am death is not. We have a natural fear of death which is necessary for our species to survive. If we had no self-preservation instinct we would have gone extinct. It is this psychological fear that religion addresses.

Answer #12

Now that I don’t believe I have found that I am terrified of death. Not the action, pain does not scare me, but the result. What can I say, oblivion, lack of existence, etc is scary.

death is just a new beginning of a new life,weather you believe in God or not. We are all going to live again after we die.

I am terrified of death you are right we shouldn’t fear death because every one will face death at one point in their lives but after we die then we can worry because this life we living contributes to the outcome of the next life.

Answer #13

Much like jazlovestoskate I’m an atheist too and always have been. I agree with what it meant when she was little, what you believe will happen, and how theres no heaven and hell (I hated the whole idea of that ultimatum, and how you don’t have control over yourself…) I do have different ideas from her on what will or might happen though… Unlike her though I believe in a reincarnation of sorts, I don’t think you’ll come back as a human and have the same soul or anything like that, but I don’t think you fully leave the earth when you die, more or less I think you become PART of it. Kind of like a lingering memory… I guess I’ve just always liked that idea because to me it means that your never really forgotten and not out in the oblivion, it’s like a purpose to your death…

Anywho I hope that made SOME sense =P haha

Answer #14

well your more atheist than agnostic. agnostic people have no clue wether he exists or not, you sound like your sure. yea it can be scary but we didnt exist before we were born. its just life. things come and go. but I just wont try to think about death until my time comes, or im like taking some kinda of risk that might result in death.

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