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Atheistic Dilemma - How do you deal with your mortality?
Posted: 14 February 2011 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Being a newly converted Atheist at approx 2 years since my realization. I had run into the biggest problem that I think that most Atheists go though. It’s the question of how do you deal with the idea that you are going to die and that the best thing you’ll be leaving behind is an imprint in the dirt? With Christianity, they can look forward to a super happy fun time for eternity with the guy they think is just super. But Atheists don’t have that luxury that so many other beliefs have. We have to accept that this is it. That there is nothing else. So how do you deal with this idea? Or do you not deal with it at all?

Edit 2/17

Me personally, I had a big problem with the concept of me no longer existing and that all my memories would die with me, but I eventually came up with my own answer and I hope it can help other Atheist.

My answer to the question:

How do you deal with your mortality?

I didn’t care about not existing before I was born, and I won’t care about not existing after I die.

I hope this answer works for some people.

[ Edited: 17 February 2011 10:27 PM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 14 February 2011 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have never learnt how to deal with it. The fear of dying diminished a bit after I had kids, as I now spend most of my time worrying about them, but I know the thought that I will die one day is always with me. Always. Oh well, as they say, that’s the price we pay for having consciousness.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Nice topic…

I’m not actually atheist (I’m agnostic)...but this topic is why I will never become or be able to become atheist…because I will not believe that we humans have a purpose of just consuming and that’s it…whilst everything else we interact with has a purpose and meaning of itself. It’s actually quite funny really…everything has a purpose and meaning but we humans struggle withour own…

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Posted: 14 February 2011 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I just sort of accept it.  I know I’m going to die, it’s really just a matter of how, when, and sometimes where.  There’s nothing I can do about my mortality so why should I get all worked up over it?  The only time it really bothers me to great extent is when I get depressive.  And everything bothers me then.

Honestly, the idea of eternity is kind of terrifying and horrific to me anyway.  It just seems like everything would get so boring, tedious, and burdensome after a while.

EDIT
Reworded some things.

[ Edited: 14 February 2011 07:38 AM by Dead Monky ]
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Posted: 14 February 2011 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 07:17 AM

Nice topic…

I’m not actually atheist (I’m agnostic)...but this topic is why I will never become or be able to become atheist…because I will not believe that we humans have a purpose of just consuming and that’s it…whilst everything else we interact with has a purpose and meaning of itself. It’s actually quite funny really…everything has a purpose and meaning but we humans struggle withour own…

Well, I don’t struggle with the meaning of life since I am quite aware that it doesn’t exist. I have no idea how one chooses to believe in something just because it feels good. Death scares me to death, but I am completely incapable of lying to myself, pretending it will not happen.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Affluenza what you believe has no affect on truth and the reason that I bring this up is because it sounds like you won’t become an Atheist because of a reality that you haven’t accepted yet. That maybe it’s all for nothing. Even if there was a God and a great battle of good vs evil, eventually good would win (per the bible) and then an eternal existence of super happy fun land with the big magic genie. Eventually it would all get old. Again, Our inability to accept the facts of our existence doesn’t change the facts of our existence, so it’s better to figure out where you stand and don’t let your feelings dictate your beliefs so much.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Great topic!  I was difficult at first for me to grasp the idea of death, too.  Try to imagine a time in the future when your awareness just flicks off like a television set, forever!  It’s SCARY!  And presumably this is the reason religions were invented in the first place.

But think about it.  Plants and animals die all the time, without us giving it a second thought.  That’s basically all we are, in the grand scheme of things.  If we were all eternal, we would soon fill up the Earth.  We’d have to stop having children because there just wouldn’t be room for them.  After that—imagine an eternity with no new people, no new ideas, no new anything!  That’s the reason we are mortal, because we have to make way for the next generation.  I can live with that.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 07:17 AM

Nice topic…

I’m not actually atheist (I’m agnostic)...but this topic is why I will never become or be able to become atheist…because I will not believe that we humans have a purpose of just consuming and that’s it…whilst everything else we interact with has a purpose and meaning of itself. It’s actually quite funny really…everything has a purpose and meaning but we humans struggle withour own…

Well some humans do…

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Posted: 14 February 2011 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 07:17 AM

whilst everything else we interact with has a purpose and meaning of itself.

What are some of these purposes anyway?  Tools we humans create have a purpose, yes.  But that’s because we humans created them and thus gave them their purpose.  Nothing else really has a purpose.  Until we assign it one anyway.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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For me, the only purpose that we have is that which we create. In my opinion, the two best purposes are to enjoy life, and to make life better for others. Preferrably both at the same time. When death comes (and I don’t want it to any time soon) I really won’t care about much any more; therefore, it makes sense to make the most of what I do have whilst I care.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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ExMachina - 14 February 2011 07:36 AM

Affluenza what you believe has no affect on truth and the reason that I bring this up is because it sounds like you won’t become an Atheist because of a reality that you haven’t accepted yet. That maybe it’s all for nothing. Even if there was a God and a great battle of good vs evil, eventually good would win (per the bible) and then an eternal existence of super happy fun land with the big magic genie. Eventually it would all get old. Again, Our inability to accept the facts of our existence doesn’t change the facts of our existence, so it’s better to figure out where you stand and don’t let your feelings dictate your beliefs so much.

Which reality? Death or no meaning to life?

I know the only certainty in life is death…so I’m relatively comfortable with the thought of death…

As for meaning to life…I would like to believe that we humans have a part in some purpose, because everything else does…so must we…

I’m not even talking in theological terms…logically I look around and literally everything has a purpose and meaning…if you can name me something that hasn’t…I’ll give you a cookie.gif.

Dead Monky - 14 February 2011 08:44 AM
Affluenza - 14 February 2011 07:17 AM

whilst everything else we interact with has a purpose and meaning of itself.

What are some of these purposes anyway?  Tools we humans create have a purpose, yes.  But that’s because we humans created them and thus gave them their purpose.  Nothing else really has a purpose.  Until we assign it one anyway.

Yes tools…and also things we didn’t create nor have no control over…the sun, sea, gravity, earths atmosphere…literally everything and anything.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:32 AM

As for meaning to life…I would like to believe that we humans have a part in some purpose, because everything else does…so must we…

What is the purpose of, I dunno, the sun? To keep us warm? To give us a tan on our holidays to make our friends jealous?

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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George - 14 February 2011 10:37 AM
Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:32 AM

As for meaning to life…I would like to believe that we humans have a part in some purpose, because everything else does…so must we…

What is the purpose of, I dunno, the sun? To keep us warm? To give us a tan on our holidays to make our friends jealous?

Yep all of those…and more…

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:43 AM
George - 14 February 2011 10:37 AM
Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:32 AM

As for meaning to life…I would like to believe that we humans have a part in some purpose, because everything else does…so must we…

What is the purpose of, I dunno, the sun? To keep us warm? To give us a tan on our holidays to make our friends jealous?

Yep all of those…and more…

Okay, so we got:

1.) Keeping us warm; and
2.) Giving us cancer.

Ergo, the purpose of the sun is to keep us alive and to kill us. My purpose of life is to collect stamps and not to collect stamps.

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:32 AM

Yes tools…and also things we didn’t create nor have no control over…the sun, sea, gravity, earths atmosphere…literally everything and anything.

And those purposes are…......?

If you say, “To support life” I’m going to slap you.  grin  Seriously.  angry

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Posted: 14 February 2011 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Dead Monky - 14 February 2011 10:55 AM
Affluenza - 14 February 2011 10:32 AM

Yes tools…and also things we didn’t create nor have no control over…the sun, sea, gravity, earths atmosphere…literally everything and anything.

And those purposes are…......?

If you say, “To support life” I’m going to slap you.  grin  Seriously.  angry

Get your hand ready…

“To support life”...

George good for you…I’m happy for you.

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