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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

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Scares me too, but I think about the information gathered on pilots subjected to sufficient G-forces that caused unconsciousness, and their "experiences" matched those of people who claim to have "near death experiences".

 

I'm actually comforted by the idea that my mind is wired in such a way to insulate me from the cold reality that "no me" is about to occur.

 

And at the same time, there is also evolution to consider. This may be an immature notion, but it seems to me that brutal though nature is, nothing seems to go to waste. Perhaps some part of our consciousness is nonphysical despite the lack of measurable evidence. Perhaps an "afterlife" of sorts is in the making what with all the millions on consciousnessess that have lived and perhaps gone on. I don't know. Maybe that seems silly, but I'm not claiming this is the truth or anything dogmatic like that. It's what I would like. But based on evidence, the insulation of my mind is all I can depend on, so you can bet I'm making sure that insulation is nice and thick by continuing to put lots of things in my head.

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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

 

 

False dichotomy and what's wrong with no afterlife? That's what dying is...a lack of existence.

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Why be scared of it? If nothing is like the bit of deep-sleep you never realise occurs, then it's nothing to worry about, because there's nothing to worry.

 

Also, personal opinion on what you prefer to believe due to what it implies is absolutley no ground on which to believe it.

 

Fianlly, It's not just Jesus or nothing, it's Jesus, Allah, Bhudda, Shiva, Odin etc etc or nothing. It'd be beneficial for yourself if you appeciated that most people with religious beliefs aren't christians.

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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

 

What really is the big deal about nothing? There is literally nothing to it!

 

Were you upset with not existing before you existed? No? Neither will you be upset with not existing after you exist. Meanwhile you exist.

 

If you can remember what you were doing the day your mother was born, you will know what the non-after life is like.

 

It is natural to fear dieing, but don't get that fear mixed up with being dead.

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Having had to overcome a pretty terrorizing fear of going to hell, the thought that there might not be an afterlife does not really bother me to be honest.

 

I certainly don't want an afterlife with Jesus if he tortures people in hell forever, that's for sure. It's morally wrong to rejoice in heaven forever whilst so many people are suffering forever.

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I don't understand the fear people have the afterlife; it seems to be that death will be a welcome rest. It would be like sleep, but you wouldn't wake up to realize you were asleep.

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Why be scared of it? If nothing is like the bit of deep-sleep you never realise occurs, then it's nothing to worry about, because there's nothing to worry.

 

Also, personal opinion on what you prefer to believe due to what it implies is absolutley no ground on which to believe it.

 

Fianlly, It's not just Jesus or nothing, it's Jesus, Allah, Bhudda, Shiva, Odin etc etc or nothing. It'd be beneficial for yourself if you appeciated that most people with religious beliefs aren't christians.

 

I do realize this. In my statement "Jesus or nothing", I wasn't trying to slight the beliefs of others: merely that at this point, for me the only option is Christianity. All other religions are dead options.

 

Thanks for all your posts...somehow, this issue just never leaves me. Right now, I feel like I am in a transition phase, and I sometimes feel like I've put myself in the Twilight Zone where you can't distinguish which way is up.

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Well... I try to remember what nonexistence was like before I was born. Usually that does the trick.

 

If that doesn't work, I remind myself that no afterlife means there's no eternity where all my friends and loved ones can sit around and remember the stupid things I did in this life forever and ever.

 

I have the kind of family that doesn't let you live anything down. They probably wouldn't let me die anything down either, so the idea of no afterlife is preferable to eternal humiliation.

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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

 

Having been very close to dead, I can tell you - there is nothing to fear.

 

Why do so many Christians think about dying? It's like a death cult.

 

Nothing in the universe is permanent, why worry about it? Rejoice that you are here now, enjoy your life, make it fruitful and worth living. Live for now.

 

Many are scared of dying, and want some assurance that we can live forever. But there is no life after death, you never come back to life again.

 

All the more reason to give everything your best shot, to live righteously. When people ask about life after death they're assuming they accurately understand life during life. But do they? Do you?

 

When we die, we die. Dead, dead, dead. Gone, gone, gone.

 

Sounds depressing? Why?

 

It's not the future that matters. Right now is what counts. When you are dead (whether you believe you go to a "heaven" or not) you will have no more say in life, no more control over what your children do, no more enjoyment of the sun on your face, the wind in the trees, typing riddles on your computer...........you'll be gone. You're missing out on this life, if all you worry about is the next one.

 

Ideas of afterlife promote a dreamy fantasy state that distracts us from seeing what our life is right now. Look at your life right now and LIVE IT.

 

 

for me the only option is Christianity. All other religions are dead options.

 

How so?

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I'm scared of death, and I hope it's a long while before it happens.

I used to believe in heaven, and then reincarnation.

But, I realised that none of this can be proven, and If it can't be proven you can't say it's fact.

I'v played the guessing game for years, and explored lots and lots religion's guesses.

If there is an afterlife you wont exist anyway because you don't take your body with you, so whatever happens after death, This is the last time you are you.

Your mind has your memories, thoughts, feelings and Your body is who you are now.

Nonexistance does scare me I mean this worlds such a big wonderful place, and I'd miss out on so much being dead.

But, finding comfort in some religion and believing something that has no proof is a waste of time.

There's no proof of an afterlife so, if it dosen't exist then believing in one wont make it true.

If an afterlife does exist then i'll be happily suprised.

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I've always found accepting no afterlife to be a lot easier to swallow than the ideas of an afterlife as proposed by any religion. Honestly, if you think about any of them... they're terrible things (even if you "win").

 

At my core, rejecting the idea of an afterlife was one of my natural first steps. In honesty, it probably really happened before I even moved beyond the idea that God existed.

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When I first escaped from christianity, I was similarly bothered about the whole question of "what's next"..

 

When you're in the religion, you spend so much time thinking about an afterlife, it's hard afterwards to get your mind adjusted to the idea that there's no such thing.

 

I saw a bumper sticker today that said "Driver Carries No Cash - Treasures are Stored up in Heaven".. Good luck collecting.

 

I think the idea of non-existence grows on you and becomes comfortable after awhile. I'm certainly convinced that it's the true nature of things. The true nature of all living things - humans included.

 

Like others that have posted here, the idea absolutely doesn't bother me in the least. It's like anesthesia, except you don't wake up. RIP.

 

beats the hell out of going to hell.

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The idea of life after death has existed, in many ways, since there were human beings. I think that is because having existed and interacted with reality, our survival instincts compel us to think up ways and scenarios that life just cannot end. But it does, that is a certainty, and we have no evidence whatsoever of another life or consciousness beyond this one.

 

I believe, that is not so bad. After all, if after death you have no consciousness, no sense of being, no sense of existence, no experience...where is there any pain, grief, regret, feeling of failure, anxiety, depression? There is simply nothing.

 

Therefore, live life while you have it, and when it ends, hopefully you will have a second to look back and say to yourself that it was good.

 

“I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.” (Mark Twain)

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How so?

I dunno, but after being raised in a Christian (well, half Christian) famliy, it was the only religion that seemed within my grasp. I mean, being born in the middle of white America, something like Islam is not just gonna reach out and grab me when there's a Bible on my bookshelf (I have since acquired a hefty Qur'an). After I had explored Christianity versus other religions, I figured that Christianity was the only one who seemed to really have any witnesses. Something like Islam was supposedly started and written by one man who was God's revealed prophet, but in saying that that sure sounds a lot like Jesus. Then again, Mohammad wasn't supposedly resurrected. The other religion which I have not really delved into that much, but which I give credence to, is Buddhism.

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witnesses
Witnesses?
Something like Islam was supposedly started and written by one man who was God's revealed prophet,
His revealed prophet through the angel Gabriel. Islam says that Jesus was a prophet, but not the son of god or god in some other form, as says christianity. It also claims that Abraham was the first Muslim.

 

As to Buddhism, I suppose Jun can tell you more than me, but I wonder if it's not the apparent parallels to Jesus that intrigues you about Buddha?

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Basically I think, who knows? I live my life and when it happens, it happens. Living in fear of the inevitable isn't living.

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Though I am not Atheist, there is a strong Atheistic streak within me. Ultimately, I'm Agnostic first and foremost, but draw wisdom from several different religions, including Buddhism, Asatru, and LaVeyan Satanism. They all have different teachings about the afterlife or lack thereof.

 

Right now, I have no reason to believe there is an afterlife - nor any reason to think there is not. For all I know, if I do live on after death, I dream endlessly - or perhaps I create my own afterlife which is shaped according to what I choose to believe in now?

 

Or perhaps it's nothingness that awaits.

 

Either way, I'm fine with it. It would be fun to make my own afterlife, I probably wouldn't realize if I were only dreaming for all eternity, and if I simply cease to exist - well, I was ok with nothingness before birth, so I'll be ok with it after death.

 

Jen, I was much like you when I was Xian. I just couldn't even consider other belief systems as valid enough to replace Xianity. But one day, I had too many questions, and those other religons (which I had let priests and pastors tell me were only man-made lies) looked better and better - or, at least, equally viable. And after having studied many religions, I can say the as of yet short time I've invested in it has enriched my life immeasurably.

 

Closing your mind only limits what you can learn.

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When I was deconverting, the first thing to scare the shit out of me was the idea that there might not be a god. Next, was the idea that there's no afterlife. I'm not quite Atheist, yet, but I grant almost no credence to the idea of an afterlife. If you think about the soul, it is kinda hard to believe in, and what exactly is there for us to exist in, in this afterlife, and who could stand to be eternal in any form?

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All other religions are dead options.

 

Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that you have cognitive dissonance about Christianity, but apply critical thinking to other religions?

 

Thanks for all your posts...somehow, this issue just never leaves me. Right now, I feel like I am in a transition phase, and I sometimes feel like I've put myself in the Twilight Zone where you can't distinguish which way is up.

 

When I first realized that Christianity was indeed false I went through a grieving period over the loss of hope for an afterlife. Since I had grown up with the concept and had always assumed it was real, it was very real and quite painful for me to let it go. That was many years ago. Acceptance comes with time. Some like to hold on to their beliefs because beliefs give them comfort. I'm just one of those strange people who would rather have the truth even if the truth hurts. :shrug:

 

 

The idea of life after death has existed, in many ways, since there were human beings.

 

 

The other day I watched a series on the evolution of the ape man on Google video. It was quite eye-opening and thought provoking in many ways. This was one. It has only been in the past 10-20k years that humans started to bury their dead, indicating that they had developed a concept of the afterlife. Prior to that they would leave their dead where they lay pretty much like most other animals do now. Watching the series you get a perspective on how short of a time period 10-20k years actually is when measured against the scope of the development of man. It's barely a blip on the radar screen.

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Jen - The other religion which I have not really delved into that much, but which I give credence to, is Buddhism.

 

;)

 

My 2 yen worth, getting into "Buddhist priest lecture mode."

 

Yes, quite often Buddhism is referred to as a "religion," and indeed one of the four types of Buddhism today is "religious" Buddhism.

 

Despite the Buddha's own explicit account of his awakening, it has come to mean (even by some Buddhists) something mystical, something otherworldly. Something beyond most people's grasp.

 

The problem is that religions invariably reduce complexity to uniformity while elevating matter-of-factness to holiness. Over time, Enlightenment has come to be something that only monks and priests in temples may possibly attain. Religious Buddhism leaves the layity out in the cold. Emphasis has been placed on reaching "Nirvana" or "Absolute Truth" through religious rituals.

 

The original Four Noble Truths to be acted upon have been turned into four propositions of fact to be simply believed. It is at this point that Buddhism becomes a religion. So to most (and some Buddhists) a Buddhist is someone who believes these four propositions.

 

In claiming that these four propositions are in fact "The Truth," Buddhists distinguish themselves from Christians, Hindus, and Muslims who believe different sets of propositions. So then, the Four Noble Truths become the principal dogma of a belief system called Buddhism.

 

The Buddha was not a god, or a mystic with supernatural powers. His awakening was not a shattering insight into the mysteries of "god" or the universe. He didn't claim to know how the universe ticked, where we came from or where we go. Only when Buddhism became religious did people attribute these grandiose claims to his awakening.

 

When the Buddha was asked what it was he had awakened to he said, "Freedom of heart and mind from the compulsions of craving."

 

The term "Buddhism" is a European term. In Asia you won't hear it. People don't refer to themselves as "Buddhists." They simply practice. In much of Asia, Buddhism is practiced alongside the native religions and co-exists in peace with them. Much the way 95% of the people who practice Zen with me are Christians. Buddhism has no fixed dogma or beliefs to follow, it can be practiced by anyone of any faith.

 

Dhampir - As to Buddhism, I suppose Jun can tell you more than me, but I wonder if it's not the apparent parallels to Jesus that intrigues you about Buddha?

 

So, parallels with Jesus - not that I can see.

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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

 

No existence = no suffering. The problem is... what exactly?

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Feel way better thinking we all go to 'sleep'. The real issue is Hell not Heaven Jen.

 

You know what. I did not exist for probably billions and billions of years and it never bothered me then. I think the same will be true after we die. It is not going to bother me one iota. It will bother me to think about it too much right now. But you know what, it is such an insane scientific improbablity that you even got to exist. Take advantage of it.

 

Here is the thing for me. You cannot PROVE there is no 'god'. You would have to be omniscient to do that. However, you CAN rule out the god of the bible. You can rule that out completely and it is not even hard. So embarassed that I believed in it in a fundamentalist way for so long. (Moderates at least have some wiggle room with the embarassment factor)

 

Most intelligent people who read the Bible without the pre-Brainwahs that it is true will reject it handily.

 

Sorry, that was a tangent. Here is another thing for me about "Jesus". I am WAY more comforted thinking he does NOT exist! (I am certain by the way) This is because I no longer have to believe that basically everyone I know IS IN EVERLASTING TORMENT!!!! Also, I no longer have to worry that for some reason, even though I beleived, JESUS MIGHT NOT BRING ME AND TELL ME I NEVER KNEW HIM!!!!!!! What an awful system that Christianity is (At least the fundy variety.) It is already so hard to come to believe the right doctrine. (i.e be born in the right country, get in the right church that teaches we are so drepraved that only grace without works can save, THEN Jesus himself says to people who thought they were Christians, "Um, no, you really were not a Christian, get away from me into everlasting fire".

 

Even as a CHristian I used to think things like "I would trade my eternal life, and everyone elses, to free all the people in Hell, and simply let us all not exist anymore."

 

Remember the old "What will you ask god when you see him?" question. People always say "I would ask him this or that, maybe take a flight around the universe, etc. I would have asked him every single day for al eternity to let people out of Hell! Would have petitioned him for all eternity.

 

-former evangelical of 17 years

 

 

 

How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

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I relate to Jen.

 

I think it is a process that you eventually phase out of....

 

Death doesn't hold as much horror and uncertainty for me as it did when I was "saved."

 

I believe I consider myself an atheist now...But I think I have a different life after death take than most...

 

Perhaps, after we die, for awhile our conscious might continue...We may have a beautiful dream about our ideal afterlife before we slowly fade away into non existence...

I don't know if that is true, but that is my belief(and I think the basis of many NDE's), and it is comforting to me. I would also like to believe that my life force(or energy)goes on to be apart of the universe again.

That is my special belief and it takes away the gravity of ultimate finality for me...

 

Nope, I don't believe in god. And I don't believe in some "heaven" where we will wear crowns and sing hymns all day...

 

But that is fine with me. I honestly, don't fear that anymore. I don't know what I was doing before I was born, and I won't know when I fade away....back to oblivion.

 

:)

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How do those of you who convert from Christianity to nada deal with the idea of no afterlife, or no existence afterwards? For me, that is what has always scared me...either it's Jesus or nothing. Thoughts?

 

The fact is, we're a bunch a slowing evolving species that really doesn't know what's going on out there in the universe with an certainty.

 

And we certainly have NO idea what will happen when we die. So yes, there's no need to worry about what's going to happen after we die, because there's no way to know for sure. All we can do is live our lives as best as possible.

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