As a lifelong atheist, I have never been afraid of death. I'm comfortable believing there is nothing afterward.
Now I'm in my seventies. While I enjoy good health, death is inevitable and draws closer every year.
I have lived an honorable life because that's what I chose to do. I have been married fifty years. I have lovely children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I adore. I haven't accomplished all that I hoped, but I'm not done trying.
I would love to hear from other atheists what they think about death without God.
Are you comfortable facing death?
Do you believe death is final?
Do you discuss death with your children and grandchildren?
What do you tell them?
What are your fears?
How do you want to be remembered?
Death without gods?
Yes, and also without anyone's stuffing tubes down my throat.
Several weeks ago I gave my doctor my DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order and it's on my ID card. Because EMT's won't take the time to look for my ID card, on walls where I live I posted the required legal notices and signs with "DNR dammit!" in a three-inch font.
And this: I don't use the euphemism "pass" in place of "die" or "kick the bucket".
I thought the "mortal coil" referred to the physical body. It seems that scholars have been unable to definitively discern what Shakespeare's actual beliefs about religion were. It's interesting that in this same soliloquy he refers to death as that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns, as opposed to saying something like no traveller except Jesus returns.
Thomas, that is a good idea, DNR tattooed on my chest. My family knows I don't like tattoos, and I suppose that is why they got theirs. Would they not be surprised to learn that I had a tattoo?
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life. (3.1.56-69)
~ Shakespeare, Hamlet
Are you comfortable facing death? No. I don't fear death, but I would rather live on because there are tens of thousands of things I still want to learn and do. Also, if I could explore the universe, I'm sure there a billions more things that I could learn and do. I'm sad that I have to die.
Do you believe death is final? I don't believe anything. I gave-up believing when I gave-up religion. I'm certain that death is final because there is zero evidence to the contrary.
Do you discuss death with your children and grandchildren? I only have step-children, and they are in a strongly religious family, so I don't.
What are your fears? A long lingering painful death, that a religious society might force on me.
How do you want to be remembered? It would be nice to be remembered as the great-grandfather that was the first in the family line to break-out of religious indoctrination and help others to see the truth. Of course, when I'm dead, I won't care how I'm remembered.