ANSWERS: 21
  • There are a few ways of dealing with the knowledge that nothing happens after death. Some atheists believe in reincarnation. Some are pleased that there will be no superior being judging them. Some take pleasure knowing that in death, their bodies will become one with the universe. My feeling is, it doesn't matter at all whether there is an afterlife because it doesn't change who I am today or what I will do with the precious seconds I have today. I will do my best to live every moment to the fullest, and I think that is a joyful and liberating concept.
  • I like to deal in realities no matter how hard they are to swallow.
  • I think this goes away when you take responsibility for your life. Nobody is going to save you, and that's a loss if you felt like you needed to be saved. But you don't need to be saved, you just need to be yourself fully and appreciate life fully. Likewise, nobody is out there to give life meaning: it's your job to make life meaningful. If you do that, it's meaningful... if you don't, it's not. Nobody is out there to make you OK, that's also your job. The more you take responsibility for life, the more you feel at home in the world -- the more it's YOUR world... yours to enjoy, yours to contribute to, yours to care for. Where else would you want to be? This is it. This has always been it. When you make peace with that, it's whole and complete. That's true spirituality, without the mythology.
  • I've learnt to accept the fact that it doesn't really matter. We don't have to be an important part of the world or universe - just let whatever it is, be whatever it is. There's no reason to assume we're being special.
  • Life's a bitch and then you die
  • Just think back. Before you were born did it hurt in any way? Were you scared? Yes, we hurt when we lose loved ones, but at death they no longer miss you nor hurt if they were ill before death. After you die you will not be aware you are dead, so you have a brief time to live, explore love, laugh, and yes hurt and then it is over. You won't lie around being sad one bit. Soldier up!
  • You could have been a slime mold. Or a garden slug. Or nothing at all. But you were lucky enough to be a human, who can think abstract thoughts, interact with other intelligent beings, feel complex emotions, and experience the world in more depth than most life forms. And although it's relatively brief timespan that you're alive, it's still better than nothing at all. And you are free. No basic plan rules your destiny, no underlying purpose is driving you toward one goal or another. You are free to make your life whatever you want it to be. Don't be sad, because nothing has basically changed. You are still responsible for your own happiness. "I feel like I'm drifting aimlessly in a meaningless void." "So pick up an oar and start paddling, damn you."
  • Be Happy.
  • You adjust and enjoy the life you have to the fullest
  • It fills me with saness that non atheists often live their lives doing right out of fear of being punished, or at best being nice but misguided. How do religionists deal with the truth that one day they they will cease to exist and they will have spent their life not trying to attain an unattainable afterlife. What a waste. Atheism gives you the freedom to find your own moral path and can lead to a deeper philosophy than that provided by an off the shelf religion with an afterlife. Grasp it, you have nothing to lose but your chains.
  • You were taught to feel this way, remember. You were trained to feel that the only happiness comes from religion and that the ultimate reward comes after death. But many of us feel that this isn't true - that happiness comes from life, not death. Find happiness in your life, instead of focusing on what comes after. There is no after! When I was young I actually found the idea of heaven overwhelmingly sad. Partly because I never fully believed in it, but also partly because I couldn't find happiness in the idea of everything going on exactly the same forever. There can be comfort in the idea of completion, that there is a beginning, middle, and end. And who knows what else is outside of that- maybe you start again, maybe you become part of everything. But it will not be me personally going on forever in perfection, and I'm fine with that. I think part of shaking off these deeply-planted beliefs is learning about what people believed and felt before christianity and outside of it. Learn about other religions and their beliefs, learn about other cultures. Other cultures have and have had very different attitudes towards death that are in many ways healthier - see the Mexican Day of the Dead, or Japanese Shinto festivals. There is an idea of continuity and cycles of life that can make a healthier mental framework for you. Also, leaving religion can be very lonely. Hopefully you have other people in your life who understand what you're going through and that you can talk to. Take your time with this stuff. You don't have to work everything out right now, and you don't have to be okay with everything either. Death is frustrating and awful and unfair, and everyone whether religious or not grapples with this from time to time. Talk out your feelings and believe more than anything else that today is good and precious, and that's what really matters.
  • If you cease to exist, then it's not like you're going to be aware of it. I know that sounds a bit negative, but it's true. I mean, it's like stressing over how much surgery is going to hurt and how terrible it will be when someone's cutting you open, when you're going to be sedated the whole time anyway.
  • I normally don't answer if more than 9 people have already answered before me. This is a very important question though and I think I have a good answer for you: http://www.richarddawkins.net/firstChapter,5 This is the first chapter of Richard Dawkins' book 'Unweaving the Rainbow'. It gives you another perspective of life.
  • Since there is absolutely no evidence that those who believe in God will continue beyond the grave either, how could that possibly matter? The idea that there is something after life is simply ludicrous.
  • God is a myth, an illusion, and can even be a lie. I understand that if you have used him as a crutch then it may feel like there is an emptiness in your life - but that will pass. Freeing yourself of the illusion, like freeing yourself of a heroin addiction, might get tough at times but it will free you to think for yourself. To think rationally. To work toward solving issues in your life rather than praying for your imaginary friend to fix them for you. . As for death, that's nothing to be afraid of. It's simply like before you were born. Without the false promise of heaven (or threat of hell) you can realize how precious living is and really enjoy it. . +5
  • by not being the kind to think about the future. sure, if i do cease to exist, its not gonna be great, but i exist now, and thats enough. although im not atheist...:s but i dont believe in afterlives, so i guess im still qualified to answer :D
  • its called maturing. and the sadness is the very real equivilant to drug withdrawals. you need to know that everything is ok and learning is our forte as humans. so grab a "good book" and go to town Xp
  • i don't think you may want to be atheist... if you still love your god and it's haveing an effect on you you should try looking at it logicaly. how does god love so much yet punish adam and eve and cast them out? how does god love so much and be so "awesome" yet not like the evil in the world enough to flood it around noahs time? look for loopholes that don't make sense to you. don't ask anyone else for help. think about it deeply and with sense. none of this because we don't see the picture that is god he is so awesome he can blind us with how much love he holds for us and truth in his judgment. i like to think of the resons he doesn't exist. and exactly how he does when noone's seen him and it's awfuly convenient that he decided not to show himself again when he wanted to. i'm skeptical of the bible to make it make sense in a way that delets my beleifs. yeah it's a nice story to read. but it's as fake as fairies.
  • perhaps scientific pantheism would suit you better. http://www.pantheism.net/
  • to be honest, it is not an issue - there is no sadness... it is an acceptance that one day I will never see the sun rise again, and that is it!
  • The thought of death is a terrifying reality, but as with everything, there is a balance. I had the privilege of life, therefore I must have the sadness of death. Yin and yang.

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