Sacramento Freethinkers Atheists & Nonbelievers (FAN) Message Board › Atheists better prepared for death than others . . . hmmm

Atheists better prepared for death than others . . . hmmm

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Anyse Joslin
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 52
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Yes, here is a link to an article entitled "Why Atheists are Better Prepared for Death than Believers":


Ok, everyone, discuss among yourselves . . . I am curious to know what others think about this . . .

A former member
Post #: 43
That was a really good article, thanks for sharing! I'm too young to be prepared for death. I don't like the idea and i still cry like a baby that I had to euthanize my cat and about my mom. IT HURTS!

Call me to discuss this Anyse because something in there reminded me of your life experience and I don't know if you want to share that with the group.

Anyway, the subject of death brings mixed feelings for a necrophobic such as myself.
Death is constantly on my mind. When you have those existential thoughts of alienation, I'm comforted to know i'm always welcomed into earth's aging skin. But I don't want be in the ground!

I always thought most non-believers seem so casual or lying to themselves about it like they get all brave, "yeh, we all die, and oh well" and even sarcastic, "what did you think will happen, you can't live forever, duh!" With religious people, they seem smug, "well, at least i'm going to heaven," but still scared, "when the time is right by god."

I don't know. I hate decomposition. I hate that my body becomes a quitter. I want to live forever, I really do. I like being conscious. But being conscious means that I'm aware that I will die. And since death is a must then I'd want only that part of consciousness to die. So i'm an atheist who hates death awareness so kill me! LOL. No wait, don't! I would hate that!
A former member
Post #: 23
When I think of death I always think of Neil Degrasse Tyson's description of the universe. How ALL of our atoms were formed in the core of giant nuclear furnace's known as red giants. These giant starts fused Hydrogen together to form the heavier elements that make up our body. Our atoms are billions of years old. They have been spread around the entire galaxy, and will continue to be. When I look up at the stars, death does not bother me one bit. I am part of the universe, and after I am gone, I will continue to be part of the universe. For billions and billions of years to come...
David Diskin
Lodi, CA
Post #: 55
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...and after I am gone, I will continue to be part of the universe. For billions and billions of years to come...

It sounds so hippy-newage, but it's true. Although with my luck, when I die my atoms will be used to make the next bible or Jonas Brothers album.

I think it's far more special to realize that we are all essentially "children" of stars, all connected in that mysterious yet awesome way, than to think we were created only 6000 years ago by some jealous, ego-centric god.
David Sales
user 9666563
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 19
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"It sounds so hippy-newage, but it's true. Although with my luck, when I die my atoms will be used to make the next bible or Jonas Brothers album."

Ha ha.
A former member
Post #: 4
I am not afraid of death itself.. I am afraid of dying before I have lived enough
Anyse Joslin
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 55
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Rachel, how true.

Marcella spoke about something I told her about in own life and how I deal with death as a result or how I dealt with it in the face of it with the most certainty that it was done.

In 1994, 10 minutes after our son’s birthday party in July, I came down with acute chronic pancreatitis. I spent about 10 full months in the hospital since then and was faced with death daily, going from a regular room to the ICU or to surgery a few times. I was given a choice toward the end: die without an operation or to have one without much promise to live, only 1 in 10,000 would survive what I went through. I went through preparatory goodbyes before the operation. I did not wince, I did not cry. It was an event. When told of this probability, I only said “Well 1 in 10,000 is better than none, so, let’s do it.” The surgery is called, technically, a pancreaticoduodenectomy (removal of the pancreas [most of it in my case] and the duodenum - the primary digestive part of the intestines just after the stomach. To do this, they removed the bottom of my stomach, removed the duodenum and routed the intestine to the pancreas, connecting them together with microsurgery. They removed a great portion of the pancreas before the resection, slit the intestine to make a way to resection the intestine to what was left of the stomach, This took 15 hours, 7 more than was originally planned. I lived. I never faltered in my atheism. If it were the end, then so be it!

Since then, should any of you wonder about my outgoingness and my enthusiasm, I vowed to live life to the fullest every day as this is all that there is and we can’t take any of if for granted. In a way, the life I have now is all gravy (an expression that means that I got more than I ever thought that I would have had). So, why not live it with passion, enthusiasm?

Everyone makes mistakes and missteps. I can’t really make much of these anymore. What is, is. I can’t judge people on their mistakes as I have made more than my fair share, I am sure. I own up to them with the reality that is there for me. I am harder on myself than anyone else can be when I err. So, I own up and move on, U see errors as a chance to learn or to grow, hopefully not to make that mistake again. Life if precious. We live it once. We cant’t take one another for granted. I am fiercely loyal to those whom I consider my friends. Here, at SacFAN, I would love to make as many friends as I can. There are so many interesting people. I have a deep distrust of men. Won’t go into why. So, I tend to reach out to women more, although, were one to look at whom I have considered as friends, the numbers seem to be equal here. This is a testament to the calibre of those who belong to this Meetup group in general.
A former member
Post #: 30
Ironic, I just logged into our group after I finished reading "Good without God" I too feel Im prepared and can handle myself better having read this book. I relate to so much of what the author shares and when he discusses death, I am relived to know that not only can I be ok but I can also be of comfort to those who are religious without faking a meaningless prayer or empty traditional "kind words. this is what I read:

"We now come to the final moment in the physical existence of Donald Burke, with repsect, honour affection, regard and love. His passion and intelligence we commit to our memories. His humanity and caring we commit to our hearts. His body we commit to be burned and returned to the cycles of nature he understood so well. "Earth to eath, dust to dust, ashes to ashes""

Jane wynne Wilson book "Funerals Without God"

I too just fear for my loved ones who won't have me to help them through life...meaning my children growing up without a mother should I parish too soon or my mother if she had to grow old without me to help her. I worry who would care for my loved ones and these are the fears I think about. I fear no afterworld.
A former member
Post #: 12
I had/have a serious neurilogical disorder that ten years ago made me ill to the point of thinking I would not survive it.
My first concerns were (as someone else has posted) how my death would affect my elderly parents.
Then I had the frustration of not accomplishing/finishing some of my personal goals.
To many times, I chose to work hard and put off till later, enjoying the fruits of my labor.
Also not being prepared (no will) to distribute my acquired wisdom and personal belongings after death, bothered me.
Far from preparing me for death, my religious upbringing only irritated me more, as I thought about all the precious hours of life I wasted in temple and religious school.

So if you want to be better prepaired for death:
1) have a good balance between advancing your own goals and helping your family and friends,
2) find a good balance between work and play,
3) have your will (for material things) and your living will (end of life medical interventions) prepared and updated regularly.
4) be kind to yourself and others and never pass up an opportunity to uplift a stranger, friend and/or family member with a compliment, kind word, or bit of helpful advice.
5) don't hoard things and money that you can comfortably share with others.
Forgive this flip observation and please feel free to comment on it.
I'm curious to know what you think.

"Atheist are better prepared for life and believers are better prepared to die"

I prefer to be better prepared to live than to die.
Given the choice, I would not unlearn the rational/science/reality based foundations for my lack of belief.

Is there anything factually untrue, that you would would be willing to believe (or tell someone else), if it caused no harm and made you or someone else feel better?

Would religion be as objectionable if there belief in untrue things were limited to that which would not harm themselves or others? (if that were possible)

The only "life after death" that I have witnessed, is offspring/seeds, and the zombie like state that some of my family and friends exist/existed in after they succumbed to brain killing diseases like Alzheimers and dementia.

There is no beginning/birth end/death, only change.
Will your way of thinking allow you to embrace it, or make you fear it?
A former member
Post #: 13
One of my family members who is both religious and a 11 year cancer survivor who just spent a week in the hospital after a failed operation, infection and followup operation to cleanup after the first one, had this advice for me.
Don't waste time arbitrarily putting off till tomorrow that which you might enjoy today, because life is precious and you never know when you are going to run out of it(I paraphrase).

Clearly a life long belief in after-life, has not removed that persons concern about wasting real-life.

It's a common observation, but it merits repeating.
The closer you get to running out of gas, the more you care about where you drive.
Imminent death concentrates your attention on life (not on afterlife).

One of my problems with religion (and FOX news) is it's cynical, self serving manipulation of the truth and peoples emotions, being used to maintain/increase it's market share.

In my life, I have sometimes been asked to pretend to believe, and pray for someone/something.
Do to my lack of belief, prayer has no meaning for me, so I am not comfortable pretending to pray.
When someone I know recently asked me to pray for there dying spouse, without mentioning my lack of belief, I replied that I hoped for there comfort during this difficult time.

Hope for a positive outcome is my way of dealing with unavoidable adversity. Planning/reason/science/education are my ways to deal with avoidable adversity.

Happy Trails....

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