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I sometimes wonder how atheists or exchristians get by in life. What I mean is if you have loved ones like a wife, or husband, mom, dad, or children, doesn't it haunt you that when you or they die you will never see them again?

The thought for me is painful. I also think that how can this life be all that there is?

I am a Christian and I admit that I truly struggle with some Christian teachings. (ie) It is very difficult for me to understand the concept of eternal hell suffering for a person truly not being sure of what is right or wrong in this life.

I also have never really had a convincing answer to why God gives some people life and they are born on their way to hell.

 

But even in these difficult struggles I still want there to be a God because to live our lives and then nothing seems useless.

Please share your thoughts

 

Thanks

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Very, very recently I had a dear friend of mine die. At the young age of 24 she was struck down by cancer. She is dead... she's fucking dead and no amount of mental fantasy will change that in the least. Maybe it's easier to be in denial about this very basic fact of life... maybe if I could pretend she was floating around, it would make it hurt less. But it wouldn't... not really.

 

My friend lived each moment like the precious treasure it actually is -- without putting off her hopes and happiness in something to come 'later.' Her life is an inspiration to me about how we should live our lives... and what's important.

 

It comforts me more to know that right till the very end she was concerned about the feelings of others. It comforts me more that every sweet memory I have of her is of her smiling and laughing and enjoying life. There's no comfort in the myth of an afterlife... it's just displaced and delayed acceptance of reality.

 

Because I know that she's not alive any more... because I know that her day in the sun was marked by a beginning and an end... it is more special. Like fireworks... they are special because they bring light and joy for a brief moment and then they are gone. If they hung around in the sky forever, they would no longer be special... they wouldn't be treasured as much.

 

So... take your comforting blanket of eternity... and wrap yourself up in it. I hope it keeps the chill out when you're alone with the universe...

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Hi soor. Welcome.

 

I think you will find that most of us here who are atheists are far from hopeless or of the opinion that life is "useless".

 

I believe that, after I die, I will be exactly like I was before I was conceived. Non-existent. I believe that you will be the same. Regardless of your faith.

 

I believe that the concept of the soul is a man-made idea that helps to soothe the idea of death.

Your brain is what enables you to think. When your brain is no more, you are no more.

 

I don't have any problem thinking this way. I was a christian for a very long time, and I never could get too excited about Heaven. I was always hoping that there was more to it than the description in the Bible. Sitting around praising God for all eternity sounded kinda like hell to me.

 

I'm as happy and complete as I've ever been in my life. I live for today. Someday I'll be gone. Such is life. For me, for you, for all living things.

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Hi soor. Welcome.

 

I believe that the concept of the soul is a man-made idea that helps to soothe the idea of death.

Your brain is what enables you to think. When your brain is no more, you are no more.

 

 

 

Thanks for your post.

I understand how you feel and think, I admit I too sometimes have similar thoughts and feelings. I just don't believe I could ever get to the point of being comfortable with myself living life knowing I can never see the those I love after this life. I have often thought about that and to me that would be me living a hell.

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Soor~

 

I just don't believe I could ever get to the point of being comfortable with myself living life knowing I can never see the those I love after this life.

 

Why make yourself uncomfortable by not believing it? If you want to believe there's an afterlife and a time when you will be reunited with your loved ones.........there is nothing wrong with that. Like I've said before...............you're either right---- or you're dust.

 

Seems like a win/win situation to me.

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I just don't believe I could ever get to the point of being comfortable with myself living life knowing I can never see the those I love after this life.

 

And you think that believing this will make it so?

 

And, what about those you love who had no interest in accepting Christ? You wouldn't see them, according to your beliefs. Surely not everyone you love is a christian.

 

I could no longer believe a religion that was going to send so many good people who I knew to eternal suffering and torture.

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This is going to be weird to read but I’ve never been afraid of death. Mine or anyone I love. I guess I’ve always seen death more as a rebirth into an unknown life. I don’t believe in heaven or hell but I do believe that there is something after death and I really don’t believe that anyone really knows, even if they think they know, what lay behind the deaths door. So yeah, I’m sad when someone I love dies simply because I’ll never be able to see them, hold them or talk to them anymore but I’m not sad or scared or thinking that they’re lost or going to hell.

 

 

But even in these difficult struggles I still want there to be a God because to live our lives and then nothing seems useless.

 

 

That's very interesting wording. You still want there to be a God. Coming from an ex christian's perspective, I think it's a basic human desire, to want a God. If there's a God then that means that there's meaning to life, to all this havoc. If there's a God then we don't have to question our existence because God has a plan for everyone. If there's a God we're not alone and we're loved. If there's a God there must be something after we die, heaven and hell. I think it's a natural instinct to want a God be in control of everything.

 

But would it be so bad that if there is no god? No afterlife? That this is all we have? Scary shit to think about, even to me, but it's worthwhile to ponder over.

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My friend lived each moment like the precious treasure it actually is -- without putting off her hopes and happiness in something to come 'later.' Her life is an inspiration to me about how we should live our lives... and what's important.

 

This should be how we live whether we believe in an afterlife, or not. What a great legacy to leave behind.

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Why make yourself uncomfortable by not believing it? If you want to believe there's an afterlife and a time when you will be reunited with your loved ones.........there is nothing wrong with that. Like I've said before...............you're either right---- or you're dust.

 

Seems like a win/win situation to me.

I wouldn't exactly call it a win/win situation when such a belief is tied in to something like THIS.

 

Sure, keep the belief in a blissful afterlife going.

We need people willing to die to pull stuff off like that. :Hmm:

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Hi, Soor. I feel like you sometimes. Still, I can't see believing in God. He's either cruel or impotent or both. And then, I think personal nonexistence - or someone's atoms flying apart and going to make other things - is a restful thought. I don't mourn that I or my loved ones didn't exist in 1910. I don't mourn that they won't exist in 2110. I mourn and grieve when people I love die, because I miss them terribly. But that's it. Like Mythra, I think anyone's purposes in life give it meaning, not the purposes that an imaginary deity is supposed to have.

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:woohoo:

win/win

:woohoo:

 

 

So let me ask you something since I know that you (Fwee) will be bluntly honest with me. Do you feel that by believing there is an afterlife of some sort, it causes harm? Does it hurt you? Don't you think that how we live our life now has much more impact? I can honestly tell you that I rarely think about an afterlife unless it is brought up in a post. I don't dwell on it. I do dwell on living.

 

Why should the OP need to let go of a hope?

 

 

 

Sofi

 

 

 

 

That's because you're being slow and lazy.................. :Hmm:

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So let me ask you something since I know that you (Fwee) will be bluntly honest with me. Do you feel that by believing there is an afterlife of some sort, it causes harm?
When you tell anyone else about this belief and they embrace it themselves, have you helped to spread a truth, or a falsehood?

 

Does it hurt you?
When I first heard of the current relationship between Pitchu and her daughter, and how her daughter was raised, I was nearly devastated. Not only did I hurt for her, but I realized the possiblity of the very same thing happening with my own children in the future.

 

But no, your belief in an afterlife doesn't hurt me at all. But the possibility of my children being convinced of this lie in the future and therebye shredding family ties in the process, is a cloud that I keep seeing off in the distance.

 

Win/win? I don't think so.

 

Don't you think that how we live our life now has much more impact?
How we live our life now is the only impact. Quantity isn't really in issue. :HaHa:

 

I can honestly tell you that I rarely think about an afterlife unless it is brought up in a post. I don't dwell on it. I do dwell on living.
Why am I responding to these comments as if I initially directed something toward you personally? Better yet, why are you making comments as if I initially directed something toward you personally? :twitch:

 

Weird... ain't it? :twitch:

 

Why should the OP need to let go of a hope?

Sofi

Why is belief in an afterlife necessary to attain hope? How does one attain a genuine hope when it's based upon a belief?

 

 

That's because you're being slow and lazy.................. :Hmm:
Do you have Microsoft Excel on your computer? :Hmm:
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I sometimes wonder how atheists or exchristians get by in life. What I mean is if you have loved ones like a wife, or husband, mom, dad, or children, doesn't it haunt you that when you or they die you will never see them again?

The thought for me is painful. I also think that how can this life be all that there is?

I am a Christian and I admit that I truly struggle with some Christian teachings. (ie) It is very difficult for me to understand the concept of eternal hell suffering for a person truly not being sure of what is right or wrong in this life.

I also have never really had a convincing answer to why God gives some people life and they are born on their way to hell.

 

But even in these difficult struggles I still want there to be a God because to live our lives and then nothing seems useless.

Please share your thoughts

 

Thanks

 

I no longer 'make pretend' in any fashion. I can handle the bad things in life without trying to fool myself with belief and superstition to dull the pain.

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Sofia, I also think that believing in an afterlife makes people less motivated to make this planet a better place to live. People may not be conscious of it, but I suspect that if everyone on earth was convinced this is all there is, then more people would work for the greater good of everyone. This may be a little optimistic, though... some people may work even harder at gaining power and money at the expense of others.

 

But for the most part, excluding suicide martyrs and the like, belief in an afterlife doesn't directly cause society much harm. I just see it as an absence of good thing.

 

While many Christians (you included I am assuming) don't think Heaven is the ultimate goal to be focused on while on earth, you have to admit that without it, traditional religion is useless. Everything in Christianity and other world religions hinges on "them" vs. "us", saved and unsaved, Heaven-bound and Hell-bound. This kind of thinking is the direct cause of much turmoil on this planet.

 

Soor- To answer your question... what I mourn when I mourn my father, my unborn child, my grandparents, my cousin, countless friends, etc... is the life and experience of them on earth. Seeing them in Heaven will not allow my father to experience my high school graduation. It will not give me the experience of raising a child and seeing how she would have been like me and different from me. While it would be nice to see them again, I am still missing the main thing that I mourn. Also, my father was an agnostic. He will not be in a Christian Heaven. I lived several years believing my father was in Hell. I can assure you that is far worse to suffer through than just wondering if I will see him again.

 

Death will be a sweet release for me. While part of me wishes I could travel the universes as a particle of oxygen and witness everything (no part of me wishes to worship a god FOREVER unless he/she/it decides to majorly change things up a bit), I also take comfort in nothingness. My mourning will truly come to an end once I die, at least I am assuming.

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I sometimes wonder how atheists or exchristians get by in life. What I mean is if you have loved ones like a wife, or husband, mom, dad, or children, doesn't it haunt you that when you or they die you will never see them again?

 

I get by just fine because I find no reason not to believe in an afterlife. There may not be one, but there may be one; no one's come back from the other side so we can't say for sure. We may create our own afterlife according to the beliefs we held in this one, we may find some unthought-of afterlife awaiting us, or we may just dream forever and not realize it. We'll find out when we get there.

 

What I do know is that if the Xian myths were true, 99% of my loved ones would end up in hell because, Xian or not, none of them really live by bibilical law and so forth. I'd have to accept that my loved ones would be tortured for all time if I were a Xian, and I choose not to believe such a sick thing.

 

Why make yourself uncomfortable by not believing it? If you want to believe there's an afterlife and a time when you will be reunited with your loved ones.........there is nothing wrong with that. Like I've said before...............you're either right---- or you're dust.

 

Seems like a win/win situation to me.

 

I'm totally with Sofia on this point. There's nothing wrong with believing something that doesn't cause a person harm, and if it gives you hope and settles a spiritual question without messing with your head too badly, why not just accept it? If you're wrong, you won't know it when you go *poof* anyway. Just because someone believes in an "afterlife" it doesn't mean they believe in a cruel god of wrath and judgement.

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Who knows? I'm an atheist, but I border on agnostic when it comes to the afterlife.

 

Maybe time is cyclical, maybe reality is a holographic illusion (implying information is never destroyed - in a hologram, every piece of a destroyed hologram contains all the original information), maybe there are parallel universes. Between string theory, quantum mechanics and everything else, the only thing we can say for sure about cessation of consciousness is, who knows?

 

The only thing I know for certain is nobody's ever been able to come back and tell us. :scratch:

 

Of course, all the facts point to non-existence, in which case I reckon it will be a lot like a deep sleep in which you don't dream. So if that's our fate, well...not much we can do about it. Yet.

 

But to echo others, that's what makes life so precious and important now. We may only have this one shot at it. :twitch:

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I sometimes wonder how atheists or exchristians get by in life. What I mean is if you have loved ones like a wife, or husband, mom, dad, or children, doesn't it haunt you that when you or they die you will never see them again?

 

No, not really. To be honest I don't give death much thought.

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To the original post:

 

Whenever I think of Heaven, I ultimately remember Hell and why I can't worship a god who would torture people for all of eternity simply for belonging to a different religion or no religion at all. If you want to worship a god like that, that's your perogative, but don't expect everyone else to.

 

I don't know whether reincarnation exists or not, but it makes more sense then a god who tortures people. Still, I can't blindly believe in things anymore. So when it comes to alternative versions of the afterlife that aren't biblical in nature, I just have to say, I don't know. Believe what you want, but don't proselytize.

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But even in these difficult struggles I still want there to be a God because to live our lives and then nothing seems useless.

Please share your thoughts

 

Thanks

 

Hi Soor,

 

We don't necessarily want there to be no after life. We just follow the evidence and that is where the evidence leads us. I lost my best friend to cancer a few months ago and it sucks accepting the fact that I will never see her again. I want to see her again, but wanting it to be so does not make it true. I'd love to be proved wrong but I can't stay intellectually honest with myself if I follow my emotions and not the evidence that is currently availabe (and not available) on this.

 

Very, very recently I had a dear friend of mine die. At the young age of 24 she was struck down by cancer. She is dead... she's fucking dead and no amount of mental fantasy will change that in the least. Maybe it's easier to be in denial about this very basic fact of life... maybe if I could pretend she was floating around, it would make it hurt less. But it wouldn't... not really.

 

My friend lived each moment like the precious treasure it actually is -- without putting off her hopes and happiness in something to come 'later.' Her life is an inspiration to me about how we should live our lives... and what's important.

 

It comforts me more to know that right till the very end she was concerned about the feelings of others. It comforts me more that every sweet memory I have of her is of her smiling and laughing and enjoying life. There's no comfort in the myth of an afterlife... it's just displaced and delayed acceptance of reality.

 

Because I know that she's not alive any more... because I know that her day in the sun was marked by a beginning and an end... it is more special. Like fireworks... they are special because they bring light and joy for a brief moment and then they are gone. If they hung around in the sky forever, they would no longer be special... they wouldn't be treasured as much.

 

There are quite amazing similarities between your friend and my best friend whom I also lost to cancer recently Eric. She was 35, amazingly alive, amazingly intelligent, amazingly fun, and amazingly much too young to die. It is what it is.

 

I understand how you feel and think, I admit I too sometimes have similar thoughts and feelings. I just don't believe I could ever get to the point of being comfortable with myself living life knowing I can never see the those I love after this life. I have often thought about that and to me that would be me living a hell.

 

When I realized I no long believed in an afterlife I went through a greiving period and ultimately moved on to something like acceptance. It's not a living hell and on many levels it is very freeing.

 

So let me ask you something since I know that you (Fwee) will be bluntly honest with me. Do you feel that by believing there is an afterlife of some sort, it causes harm? Does it hurt you? Don't you think that how we live our life now has much more impact? I can honestly tell you that I rarely think about an afterlife unless it is brought up in a post. I don't dwell on it. I do dwell on living.

 

Why should the OP need to let go of a hope?

 

 

 

Sofi

 

 

You didn't ask me, but I'll answer anyway :HaHa:

 

I think the answer hugely depends on the person and their values. I value truth and honesty above comfort. I don't want to deceive myself in the name of comfort. If the doctor tells me I have six months to live, I want to know about it. Denial is not a process I'm comfortable with. That's just me.

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