How many atheists here, though not believing in God, Satan, heaven or hell, still believe in some kind of conscious existence after death ? Anyone ? I, for one, do not believe in any kind of conscious existence after death. Death is the end.

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We are made of organic material and when we die it is the definite end. Like all life. There is no plausible argument for concious existence after death.


Death will be the end of my existence.  Period.  No supernatural afterlife.  

Nothing. No immortality. Although, I kind of hoped they would make an exception for me. (Just kidding!)

Pat, appointment to SCOTUS won't be enough?

If I did get the appointment, I promise to open my mouth more than once every decade, unlike Clarence Thomas.

Good old Clarence. Every time I've seen mention of his speaking, it's always been at Claremont College, where no one will ask him a tough question.

I want to live long enough to read what Scalia says on same sex marriage. I'm wondering it it will be something like "No one did it it the Founders' time; we can't start doing it now."

Problem with Scalia is that, unlike Thomas, he is highly intelligent. And, intellectually dishonest. He combines those two, along with his staunch conservative Catholicism, to railroad his mythical version of the "original intent" of the founding fathers (as magically channeled through him) down the throats of the American public. I can't think of a more politicized member of SCOTUS.

No reason to believe in LAD. Without buying into some other aspect of the supernatural it just doesn't have legs.

This reminds me of a story that happened when I was younger. We had an older, cranky engineer who just happened to be Jehovah Witness. One day some of the other engineers were spreading lies and fishing stories when one of them brought up the fact that the JW engineer didn't believe in life after death. One of the other engineers, obviously joking about his crankiness, shot back that he didn't believe in life before death either.

The LAD part of the JW beliefs may very well be incorrect. I guess the important thing was the joke at the end. I always thought the dig at his bad attitude was pretty amusing. I never did understand why I was hired after being interviewing by him. That was the hardest interview I ever had and he was quite obnoxious in his attitude towards employees he consider himself superior to. Not my problem any more.

I am at the end of my allotted years and I am tired.  I do not want to go anywhere.  Eternal sleep is very appealing to me.  As Carl Sagan says, I am made of star stuff and will return to such.  I have had a wonderful life with cherished friends and family.  It is enough.

Yes Lilllie, well said.

I am near the end too but I want another decade to complete and publish lots of important research----that is to be my public legacy.

I have a more private legacy to produce too. I need the time to write a very full autobiography in order that my descendants may know me better than otherwise. My three children know a lot, my six grandchildren not very much---and those yet to be born obviously know nothing. Illustrated autobiographies are so easy to prepare in our new computer world. I would have liked to read the stories of my antecedents, right back to the days of the discovery of writing ......     

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly.


-Aaron Freeman

[Bold-mine. /NL]




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