Ok here we go!!! First post!! Ok so while here, I stumbled along a few other threads and I have now found the courage to write one of my own yay! So, before I get to the subject of the post I would like to apologize for any future misspellings, punctuation errors or individual mistakes that may infuriate anyone.
(Again I am apologizing now because I am young, I don’t know when to restrain myself when responding and somehow, grammar always escaped my attention in class.) :)
So, let’s talk life, death and meaning for existence!
I basically want to know what many of you think when it comes to the purpose for our existence and how you find solace in the fact there is no life after death.
(Just a presumption since we are all obviously atheists)
How do you all cope with the reality of death and well….. your own existence? Have you ever felt anxiety after thinking about death? Has wondering about your meaning for existence ever worried you and have you ever tried to explain how you’ve come into existence [Big bang, spontaneous existence, billion of years of evolution?] Which one works best for you?
Also some thing interesting to ask > Does your perceptions affect your every day routines, emotions and attitudes towards others? Does it bring more meaning to things you do?
Now I am pretty sure this has already come up somewhere and this thread is a mixture of previously stated questions and I apologize for that and the fact that it’s a lot of questions. Since this is my first thread, I just thought of asking what I have always wanted to ask to the “normal” population around me. Unfortunately for me, every time I ask someone in my town they basically look at me like some freakish madman! I suppose it may be the heavy influence that religion has on my community or the fact that I live in a small town that impedes progress, curiosity and wonder?
I can only say that I no longer fear death for the same reason you do. I dont really see my own self worth and therefor have no reason to panic if I do in fact die. Now, there was a time when I did fear my own mortality, because as a child I was often scared into believing in hell - so you could say that I at one point believed in divine punishment......just not divinity itself. (I was a confused little child, that being said I could not reason)
So the occasional feeling of guilt and remorse simply remind me of death's presence; I now have no fear of my own death but of the death of others.
I do in moments of weakness believe that all things have meaning.......and then I remember Uganda and pretty much every other simple act of violence through out history. So I am constantly looking for a reason to exist. I've tried many things from simply improving my family's life through kind gestures and sympathy, to applying for medical school and hoping to later improve many other lives.
One of the reasons I asked if these perspectives changed your attitude, is because they greatly affect mine and sometimes I lose motivation to do just about anything. I think that because we evolved we have the capacity to continue evolving but I doubt I can really do anything to improve that.... but that's a different story
Welcome! This is a very interesting subject to discuss. Without a belief in life after death I think it helps me appreciate the life I have with my kids and my family...my parents are getting older...in their '70's, so I've been dwelling more on their eventual deaths than my own lately. I just hate to see them getting frail and dependent because they've been so active and independent, traveling for example. Now I worry about my dad's driving and the possibility that he's going to get Alzheimer's because his father died as a result of that dreadful disease.
I am grateful for medical breakthroughs and scientific discoveries...I think that 'progress, curiosity, and wonder' will always outshine the backward teachings of religious dogma. Being curious will be enough to get you to old age, if you ask me. Always feel like you can learn more by keeping up on current events and reading the subjects that interest you the most. I hope you won't be discouraged and cynical and pessimistic like so many people are becoming.
I like to think of death as the final chapter of my life but that my life will have been filled with many interesting chapters beforehand....some painful, some joyful. Like other people have mentioned, I fear pain and suffering more than death. I also hate the idea of being dependent on somebody else...it's a pride thing. And I also don't like the idea of people 'praying for me' on my deathbed and me being unable to say...HEY, KNOCK IT OFF, I'M AN ATHEIST! My kids will know the kind of funeral I want and a religious ceremony WON'T be a part of my 'send off'.
I am impatient with people that have easy answers about death and 'leaving it in god's hands' and 'let go, let god' and that sort of mumbo jumbo. I try not to roll my eyes on the OUTSIDE because people mean well and I have to constantly remind myself that my way of thinking is in the minority and most people in the U.S. have a belief in the afterlife. Just think of all the people that believe in the literal interpretation of the bible and you're bound to get a bit discouraged...but remember, freethinkers are around and you can discuss this sort of thing with them anytime when you want to vent. A lot of us feel like outsiders in our communities, so we can certainly relate!