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Goodbye Jesus

Life After Death


CDFree

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The realisation that there is no such thing as life after death was a main deal breaker for me, how did you cope when you suddenly realised you would never see loved ones again?

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You can still pretend you will see people you know after death; many people hang onto that belief in some other iteration.

 

Of course, if you will be hanging out for eternity with the people you once knew here, don't forget that includes all your ex-wives and nasty bosses. That pedophile uncle and the father who abandoned your family could be there, too. Of course some of your favorite friends and family members who weren't "saved" will be glaringly absent from your happy little reunion.

 

The Heaven concept wasn't really very well thought out, was it?

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because there is no life after death,,,, you should treasure what you have for thr moment

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because there is no life after death,,,, you should treasure what you have for thr moment

 

 

True and at least have the knowledge that you won't see those who hurt you again.

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When you talk about life after death, CDFree, it seems you mean heaven exclusively, not hell. I could never get any idea of heaven. What on earth would you do up there? And if we were all somehow "perfected," how would we even recognize all those friends and family members, since our personalities are made up of a bunch of quirks, many of which come under the heading of "sinful" here on earth and could have no place in heaven. And if we all weren't "perfected," would it end up being like some awful, eternal Thanksgiving dinner, with Uncle Ted cracking racist jokes and Aunt Ida boring the crap out of everybody with trivia?

 

I always figured I was destined for hell, anyway, so giving up a concept of the afterlife came as a relief.

 

I do miss the notion of having some vast cosmic purpose and can't envision personal non-existence. But when I think about it, it's probably easier thinking about just not being than it is to think about spending eternity with people who didn't really care much for each other here on earth.

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The realisation that there is no such thing as life after death was a main deal breaker for me, how did you cope when you suddenly realised you would never see loved ones again?

 

Well I've never been an "avowed" atheist at any point.  I converted from Hinduism to  Christianity, and then came back.  That said, at the moment belief in the supernatural isn't something I think about a lot, so in some ways I may be functionally atheistic (which is not a state I'm seeking to maintain, mind you!).

 

Hinduism teaches that you don't see your loved ones after death.  They are either reincarnated and begin new lives, or achieve union with God and don't care about their prior lives.  There's a story in the Mahabharata about how a certain warrior asks Sri Krishna to see his son (who died on the battlefield).  When the request is granted, his son barely recognizes him, and doesn't really care to even see his father; presumably this is because he's enjoying the bliss of the afterlife.  This is a story I've been told since I was a kid, so even though I grew up in a Western culture I never really had the expectation that I'm supposed to see my loved ones after death.  I've always viewed the body as distinct from the soul.  The soul puts on new lives the way we put on shoes, and discards them at some point in the future.  This life is transient, and that never bothered me.

 

Enter Christianity.  It taught that the body and soul are inseparable, that we will all be resurrected by God and receive new bodies that mirror the glory of Jesus Christ.  This is all well and good, except Christianity also taught that all my loved ones, who are decidedly not Christian, are going to an eternal hell.  This is certainly the worst news ever told (which makes it ironic that the gospel is "good news").  I persisted in Christianity for some time.  But when I left, the question of whether I would see my loved ones or not didn't bother me that much.  It was enough to know that they wouldn't suffer eternal conscious torment in hell.

 

Christianity is the worst of all news because it teaches eternal hell.  My recommendation is that if my fellow ex-Christians ever lament that they may not see their loved ones in heaven, then they should count the number of people they know and care about who would have been burning for all eternity, were their former belief in Jesus accurate.

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I'll answer your question with another question: was this realization gradual or was it, as you say, "all of the sudden"

 

I think that the minds ebbs and flows with the truth and never really gets hit hard with things it has not wanted to believe throughout life. A radical idea is something that rarely blindsides a person and an "all of the sudden" moment is usually a final acceptance rather than a blinding encounter.

 

That said, when the final click of acceptance rings true, I had a sad moment when I thought about friends or relatives that had passed on. But this was an encounter with truth and truth always bears more fruit than illusion.

 

The Greeks had a saying: "eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." If you grew up indoctrinated, this was a warning for cultures that mingled with "the flesh" so that people might not be gluttons or sleep around - or be "merry" because we all know that being happy is probably just too close to sin. But the saying doesn't say be gluttons or sleep with anyone you can, it says enjoy food - enjoy wine - because sooner or later we won't be here.

 

It's hard to argue with the culture that gave us the roots of western philosphy would give horrible advice and when I think about how sooner or later I'll be gone, I have more patience for people and take time to hug my wife and tell her I love her. After all, if the life we live in is the only live we can be certain we have we should probably do our best to do it right.

 

The greeks also believed that the path to eternity was to live a good life whether in battle or business or philosophy. They beleived that the only was a person could "live on" was for their story to be told again and again. In that aspect, the greeks had a much more sophisticated view of reality as 'eternity' becausse the concept only exsited for the living and the "afterlife" mythology was not taken seriously as were the gods of the city or of Olympus.

 

So, eat drink and pursue happiness because we can't be here forever. If you can manage, leave a good story or two for your grandchildren to laugh at. My grandfather is pushing 80 and its funny how, after leaving christianity, I look at him and think: in the grand scope of things we're practically the same age. In the whole of history we've lived in the same time and seen some of the same things. Isn't that great? Isn't that something better than a fantasy that the most devout believers know is ridiculous? I know that he can't live forever but I'm practically right behind him. Sooner or later we all find rest.

 

Much Love

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There are people I love who are atheists that wouldn't be in the Christian concept of heaven, my boything being one of them, I'm not sure I'd want to go on for all of eternity without them!
I didn't have a problem not existing in the world before I was born, so I don't see not existing in the world after I die as much worse!

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I believe in life after death, not the heaven and hell stuff, but I believe we are not our bodies, what that life is I don't know, I don't think we remember as we don't remember being in the womb either.  I have met people who I consider "old souls" and how do we explain child prodigies? Maybe its wishful thinking on my part,

but I don't believe everything is a coincidence.

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Some days I think about this and I get scared. But when I do, I just remember that I won't even know I am dead when I am dead. I won't have any consciousness of it. That's a really comforting thing to me for some reason. 

 

Other days, I hope that at the very least there is a universal sort of god who is in a transcendental realm and our souls go there and find peace in loving others. I hope this because I want my boyfriend and I to be together forever. I want to always be conscious of him because I love him more than anything. He is my soul mate without a doubt. If I could spend eternity with only him, doing the things we both love in a soul-form (whatever that is), I would be happy. And not the Christian heaven either. Because I won't be able to love him in the way I want. We would always have to love God above all else. Boooorrring and laaaaame.

 

That's why every moment I spend with my sweetie now is more precious to me than anything. More than when I was a Christian.

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Actually, there is no proof that we won't. God's nonexistence, if he/she/it does not exist, doesn't rule out the possibility of an afterlife. The universe is so complex. We discovered things that used to be in the sci-fi realm only--black holes, other dimensions, and now they're talking about parallel worlds. Who's to say there isn't an afterlife?

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You can still pretend you will see people you know after death; many people hang onto that belief in some other iteration.

 

Of course, if you will be hanging out for eternity with the people you once knew here, don't forget that includes all your ex-wives and nasty bosses. That pedophile uncle and the father who abandoned your family could be there, too. Of course some of your favorite friends and family members who weren't "saved" will be glaringly absent from your happy little reunion.

 

The Heaven concept wasn't really very well thought out, was it?

 

You always put things in perspective. lol.

 

I personally would not want to see Jeffrey Dahmer or Adolf Hitler walking around in heaven. There's some bizarre assumption that everyone will be nice in heaven. Really? We're talking about people here. Unless everyone gets a lobotomy in heaven I'm not seeing peace there.

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The realisation that there is no such thing as life after death was a main deal breaker for me, how did you cope when you suddenly realised you would never see loved ones again?

 

I may be the oddball but I don't understand the need for a family reunion in heaven. I had a great childhood. I loved my parents. But we didn't visit each other that much because we were enjoying our own private lives. I miss my parents but I don't really expect to see them ever again nor do I think this is a bad thing.

 

shrugs :-)

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. And if we all weren't "perfected," would it end up being like some awful, eternal Thanksgiving dinner, with Uncle Ted cracking racist jokes and Aunt Ida boring the crap out of everybody with trivia?

 

People tend to forget about how irritating family members were, even if they loved them and had a decent relationship. There's a reason "a man will leave his mother and father..."

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I remember the idea of life ending with death scared me in my early deconversion. It's why I took a detour through New Age land before making my way to atheism. 

 

I don't know why, but it doesn't bother me anymore, the idea of not existing after death. It seems more peaceful. Like completing life. Like being done and finishing a journey. Like getting to go to sleep without ever having to wake up again. 

 

I feel fine with it. It's sad when someone I love dies, but I'll die too some day, and it reminds me to love my friends and family more while we're all still here. 

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RaLeah, you're damn smart, for a woman. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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I remember the idea of life ending with death scared me in my early deconversion. It's why I took a detour through New Age land before making my way to atheism. 

 

I don't know why, but it doesn't bother me anymore, the idea of not existing after death. It seems more peaceful. Like completing life. Like being done and finishing a journey. Like getting to go to sleep without ever having to wake up again. 

 

I feel fine with it. It's sad when someone I love dies, but I'll die too some day, and it reminds me to love my friends and family more while we're all still here. 

 

+1! I can't figure out why everyone assumes that life after death would be a pleasant experience?! If "God" cares as much about us up there as down here - we're in for a rough ride.

 

People who constantly assume that in the end "God will come through" are like abused spouses who think their abuser will somehow change eventually. It drives me nuts!

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