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Guest QuidEstCaritas?

Chances are I am a mortal in the purest sense of the world: namely, that when I die my body decomposes and recycles back into the earth eventually and I cease to exist as a conscious agent.

 

All the evidence indicates that this is what happens, not to say that other things couldn't happen.

 

But as far as "other things", I'll believe it if I see it :).

 

 

 

Not to sidetrack here, but wouldn't it be crazy if every human had some part of their brain that was multidimensional and when they died they wound up conscious in another universe as themselves?

 

That would be bizarre.. Might make for some good fiction.

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What are your views on death? What were your views when you were a xian?

 

It will happen at some time (hopefully a very distant time), inevitably. There may or there may not be anything after it. There will come the day when we all know for sure (sadly we will then be unable to tell the still-living what it's like).

 

This is pretty much what my views are today and what they were during my liberal xian past.

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I guess I should've been more specific. I meant views like are you afraid of it, do you just accept it because it's inevitable, etc. I used to be afraid of death because it was something that was unknown to me and it just seemed scary and depressing. I didn't think about it much, even when at a funeral. That changed after I took a Humanities class in my senior year of high school and I had to write essays on death. My teacher assigned us an essay on what we would want our funerals and burial plans to be. It was really disturbing and morbid to me at first to think about that, but I came to the realization that death is just another part of living. It's no more morbid to think about and make plans for death than it is to think about growing up. It's an inevitability and it should be embraced rather than shied away from. The only thing I fear about death is letting go of my consciousness with the knowledge that I'll never be conscious again. Dying in my sleep doesn't bother me at all. Dying in an accident where it happens too fast for me to know what's going on kind of freaks me out, too. I don't think about it all the time, though, and I'm not suicidal or anything. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think about it because I had to change my entire view of death and the afterlife (I don't believe in an afterlife, either) so I'm still kind of getting it sorted out.

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I'm kind of like Woody Allen - I don't want to be there when it happens.

 

Seriously, I think consciousness continues in a different body (rebirth). I always thought of it as the great adventure, even as a Christian. No one really knows what will happen, but something is going to happen.

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I'm more afraid of taxes than death. :phew:

 

Actually, a while back I really thought about my own death and it hit me like a lightning bolt. I WON'T EXIST, and that gave me a jolt. Since we cannot understand death, it can be unnerving. It wasn't until I also realized I didn't exist BEFORE I was conceived, that I got over the shock. Now I accept it because I am not alone. Everyone won't exist. I am unbelievably fortunate to exist at all what with god causing all those abortions and the sperm and egg meeting to make me, rather than another brother of mine.

 

When I was a christian, I wondered what heaven and a new earth would really be like. It never made sense to me. It was much easier to think of myself as immortal, living forever than being in heaven. It is too much of a ridiculous fantasy. Maybe that's why my christianized mind could not make sense of it. What would have made sense would be for god to allow us christians not to die in the first place, and live forever since accepting Christ. But I was just a sinful little wretch to think it.

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I'm leaning towards reincarnation as another human. I'm still looking into these things.

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I look at it like this: were you uhappy in the year 1851? What are your feelings about your life in 1851? Did you care about much of anything in 1851? Did you feel pain? Did you feel pleasure?

 

That is exactly how it will be the day after I die.

 

It's not good, it's not bad. I will not be aware, and I will not care. The longer I ascribe to this view of the afterlife, the more THIS life matters, and the less I fear death.

 

There is a chance that the brain (which can alter its perception of time) might slow down and literally "stop," wherein we think we've entered some timeless place, but it would be the concoction of our own minds. With that in mind, I will try to think happy thoughts just before the lights go out. Talk about a challenge, though.

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Guest dealdoctor
I guess I should've been more specific. I meant views like are you afraid of it, do you just accept it because it's inevitable, etc. I used to be afraid of death because it was something that was unknown to me and it just seemed scary and depressing. I didn't think about it much, even when at a funeral. That changed after I took a Humanities class in my senior year of high school and I had to write essays on death. My teacher assigned us an essay on what we would want our funerals and burial plans to be. It was really disturbing and morbid to me at first to think about that, but I came to the realization that death is just another part of living. It's no more morbid to think about and make plans for death than it is to think about growing up. It's an inevitability and it should be embraced rather than shied away from. The only thing I fear about death is letting go of my consciousness with the knowledge that I'll never be conscious again. Dying in my sleep doesn't bother me at all. Dying in an accident where it happens too fast for me to know what's going on kind of freaks me out, too. I don't think about it all the time, though, and I'm not suicidal or anything. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think about it because I had to change my entire view of death and the afterlife (I don't believe in an afterlife, either) so I'm still kind of getting it sorted out.

 

Well.....if you really want to think it through why not take a course with a Professor named Stanley Kagan from YALE...it is a freebee..enjoy..

http://oyc.yale.edu/philosophy/death/content/class-sessions

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I tend to think of death as what happens when I die.

 

Does that help put things into perspective?

 

mwc

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I am more afraid of becoming old, feeble, and especially senile. Death itself doesn't scare me at all...whether there's an afterlife or not, I don't care.

 

At the moment I am intending to party it up as much as I can for as long as I can. Maybe that's somewhat immature. I don't care.

 

I do plan on choosing the time of my death unless some accident beats me to it. Hopefully it will be another 60+ years from now. :D

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What are your views on death? What were your views when you were a xian?

 

I just think people die and are gone like everything else. All that will remain when I die is my stuff and people with hopefully nice memories of my life. :) When I was a Christian I was convinced I was going to hell and there was nothing I could do about that. So I'm much more at ease now.

 

Funny thing...recently my dad called to tell me my great great aunt died. The death part isn't funny, but I wasn't sad either because she was very old and had lost her mind and ability to take care of herself a long time ago. I just said, "Oh, well she lived a very long life." My dad's response was, "Well she was a good Catholic, so I'm sure she's gone to heaven. It's pretty sad." I have some big problems with those statements. All my life, my Fundamentalist Baptist parents demonized Catholics. They were guilty of idolatry and weren't "real" Christians. So I was always under that impression my parents didn't think their path led to heaven. Why else would they so vehemently reject it? I guess if they personally knew the Catholic, my parents will let them into heaven. ;) And why follow all this by "It's pretty sad." If they REALLY believed in heaven wouldn't they be jealous she already got to go and look forward to seeing her later?

 

When my grandma died when I was in 8th grade I didn't cry once. I was sure she was in heaven and I just felt like we were living in different places and I'd see her later. Now I realize my grandma did not worm her way out of death by shoving religion down the throats of the children she babysat. And I will never get to see her again. The thing with Heaven and Hell is that every "believer" seems to kind of be their own master of these places deciding who gets in and who doesn't. This arrogance is reprehensible and naive. I have no respect for it. Death is death and there isn't a jerk in the sky ready to save people from it.

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It wasn't until I also realized I didn't exist BEFORE I was conceived, that I got over the shock.

 

Hey, I had that exact same thought! I mean, trying to think basically "what was it like before I was conceived?" You know, "What was I feeling/thinking, what was existence like for me, before I existed?" :) That sounds goofy, but ya know what I mean. And I realized, well, basically, nothingness. No experiences, no emotions, no memories because that's what nonexistence is like. And maybe it'll be that way again, going back to nonexistence.

 

That sounds nice, actually. Peaceful. I don't mind the idea of being dead, except that I want to be here with my husband, kids, and grandbabies. Other than that I don't care.

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Well, as an RN for 17 years, I have seen more than my fair share of it and seen people's last breath. I don't think being atheist makes one scared of death as one would assume. I have seen some very peaceful deaths of nonbelievers, and Christians scared as hell. Myself, I literally believed in a literal heaven, and such, mostly when I was alot younger.

 

After I deconverted, I went through the whole WHAT if I am wrong? phase, and I would burn in hell. Eventually came to peace with that and more secure in my atheist beliefs. If I have any fear of death, it is that it happens with no control by me, there may be unfinished business I might have, things I wanted to say that I didn't, how would my kids and husband manage without me, etc etc. Therefore I try to live each day to it's fullest, not ignoring the real moment I am in and savor it in favor of thinking of the big Pie in the sky and if I am sinning or something ridiculous.

 

Don't know if any of you have read this, and it is long, but beautiful! In particular, the last 2 paragraphs. This whole essay was a huge comfort to me in coming to terms with my thoughts about death as a nonchristian

 

http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/stardust.html

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I am fascinated by it...Well,it's hard to explain,but I'm actually comfortable with the idea of eternal non-existence (or "atheist nirvana",as I like to call it ) ...

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I AM MY BRIAN...

 

If my brain is injured, I will be a different person, when my brain stops altogether, so will I.

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Samuel Clemens was once asked whether he feared death. He responded that he did not, in view of the fact he had been dead for billions of years before he was born and had never suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

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I hope there is some sort of afterlife, but if there isn't, there's nothing I can do about it. I'm 42 and seeing the effect old age has had on my parents is a bit depressing. They[re in their early 80's and get around ok, but mom's starting to forget things (mainly if she asked me something) and dad, who used to be pretty spry even up until he was in his mid 70's has slowed down a lot. Besides death, the scariest thing is the ravages of old age. I really don't want to take a half a dozen pills everyday,get a hearing aid, or even have to use a cane, but one day I might have to.(Note to self, start exercising and lose some weight ya lazy bastard.)

 

The only thing I really know in order to deal with death, is get as much enjoyment out of the time I have left, however long that may be.

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