Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 10 years ago

Atheists how will you deal with the unknown (after life) when you are going to die?

Please this is a serious question.

Mark twain was an atheist and had a wife who was deeply religious. Mark kept feeding her facts about how God doesn't exist and she became an atheist too but when she was lying on the hospital bed she had a mental breakdown because she was scared of not knowing anything about the after life.

Please this question is not meant to offend you, I am just wondering how you will react when given such a situation.

24 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best answer

    In ancient times, philosophers and theologians embraced Plato's Idealism because they could use it to explain consciousness and mental abstractions as divine powers the gods themselves were willing to share with humans. Then, in the fourth century, St. Augustine combined Idealism with Aristotle's Solipsism and devised the human soul to explain how Christ's promise of an afterlife was supposedly possible. Augustine's readers were Roman Pagans familiar with Greek philosophy, -- Pagans he hoped to convert to Emperor Constantine's new religion, Catholicism. According to Augustine, each soul was supposedly a bit of God's own immortal essence, loaned to every person at the moment of their birth. Thus the soul was presummed to be immortal because it was supposedly a piece of an immortal Being -- a piece which would return to God when the mortal human eventually died. Until then, that bit of the Divine, the soul, was purportedly how it was possible that people were conscious, self-aware, and able to think This concept, that ideas themselves are the province of the gods, is the part that comes from Plato.

    The early Church built an enormous body of superstitious nonsense, all based on unsubstantiated, untested philosophies which they merely presumed were sound. They purported that the basis of reality was human mental experiences and that the physical realm was merely a hallucination created by the soul-based human mind. As one might expect, since they had no actual facts and didn't bother to test their superstitions, they were completely and totally wrong.

    Then, about 400 years ago, Galileo speculated and Newton proved that the physical realm not only exists, but that it is the actual basis of objective reality. In other words, the only reality ever proved to truly and objectively exist is the materialistic physical realm.

    This shot a big hole in Christian theology, which heavily depended on Solipsism to justify their assertion that human mental experiences were real and that prayer was literally capable of shaping reality.. What use are rituals and prayers, if human thoughts and perceptions are merely abstractions and not actually real?

    Then, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the final nail was driven in the coffin of superstitious theology. The EEG machine was invented and it was conclusively proved that the source of all human mental experiences is our own nervous system and self-contained living brain. We now know with utter certainty that souls have always been merely imaginary. Although souls have long been reputed to explain consciousness and immortality, those ancient make-believe entities actually have nothing whatever to do with our personalities or why we are conscious and self-aware. In other words, our mind has nothing to do with Augustine's imaginary bits of God's immortal essence. It is now a verifiable fact that our mind is entirely based on natural processes operating within our own living brain.

    This means there really and truly is no such thing as an afterlife. The truth is, when you're dead you're done, plain and simple -- because your mind cannot possibly exist without your living brain. Personally, I expect total oblivion and it won't matter to me one bit because "I" simply won't exist anymore. I expect it will be exactly like before I was born. ...simply nothing.

    I'm 63 and I can tell you that our attitudes about living and dying change as we mature. I'm old enough that more than a few of my friends and family are already gone. I was with some of them at the end and they felt little fear because they were reconciled to their fate. I fully expect I will die with the same dignity and as gracefully as my peers. I'd much rather understand the factual truth about life and death, than to wallow in the superstitions of our ignorant ancestors, that's for sure.

  • Laurie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Frankly, I don't understand your Mom's fear. I was much more afraid to die when I thought there might be a creepy guy waiting somewhere in the netherworld, to judge me based on some standard I could only guess at. Now that I am a non - believer, I am almost looking forward to death. It will be just like getting put to sleep for an operation. I'll never have to worry about anything ever again and I will finally be at absolute peace.

  • 10 years ago

    I'm pretty sure I won't have such a breakdown. I've accepted I'm going to die, and am consoled by the fact that my memory will live on after me. I just won't be around to see this happen, which is depressing in a way but not cripplingly so in any sense of the phrase.

    I do not of course know 100% though, since I'm only 17 and don't know what events in my life might change how I view death (and cope with it).

  • 10 years ago

    so far i'm agnostic, because i sometimes have a feeling like i'm wrong, but i also deeply disagree with the way some groups are practicing the three monotheistic faiths... however i have talked to some atheists and yes they're sort of afraid, but isn't anyone afraid of the unknown? although, you should take into consideration that everyone bases their beliefs on experiences too, and so far the only things to be scared of seems the heaven and hell concepts, but that possibly originated at a time when people could easily be manipulated, so it's generally not something that's worried about (and seems like a very human and made up suggestion- why would God want to do that anyway?)

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  • 10 years ago

    When a computer dies, its gone, it doesn't go to computer heaven. When you go to sleep, you don't remember a thing from when you slept. Thats death.

    The way I think about it, death is even a little bit comforting. I mean, if I'm dead when I'm like 90 years old, its time for it all to stop. No more daily stress of life. Just a relaxing eternal sleep.

    If there does turn out to be an afterlife, and I get sent to hell, what can I say? I was wrong.

  • 10 years ago

    Like everyone does with hopefully friends and family to comfort us. It isn't being dead it is the suffering that usually accompanies dying that one should fear. Death is just oblivion. It does not hurt.

    Your question suggests there is an afterlife to 'know' about. Maybe you are suggesting we should lie to ourselves and somehow that would make dying hunky dory???

    Why would the question offend anyone?

    I'm a nurse...dying can be prolonged. Death happens in the blink of an eye and all the pain and fear stops. Not so bad huh?

    Source(s): I don't know, I wasn't there. If Mark Twain badgered his wife constantly about death and made her terribly fearful that is sad, but I've never heard that story before. Source??????
  • 10 years ago

    If there's anything after I die I'll have no option but to take it as it comes. Being an atheist I don't expect there to be anything, but you never know. A religious person can't be certain about this any more than I can.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The situatin you describe is the reflection of your religious delusion. You are asking Atheist about something only a delusional person would be concerned about. There is no after life. The after life is mere dogma from your religion. It has no basis in fact.

  • 10 years ago

    If they are atheists they don't believe in an afterlife. Each person faces death in their own way - even if you are a religious person, being faced with death doesn't mean you will sail through and everything will be rosy - you'll be just as scared as a non-believer. Quoting 1 example of an "atheist" being scared means nothing.

    Source(s): Seen it
  • 10 years ago

    micheal,im really not sure how to answer this,as i dont know what my death will be like.

    but i will try.

    first of all,i dont believe there is anything after death

    no bright light,no floating above my lifeless body.

    i will just cease to thoughts or memories.

    like blowing out a candle,and blackness.

    i hope my last thought will be a good one.

    and i would hope i will slip away peacefully,into nothingness.

    i would also hope i will live on, in my familys memory.

    i probably havent answered this very well,but there you have it.

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