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Should athiest really be saying 'rest in peace'

Considering we claim it's unlikely for there to be an afterlife in the majority of cases and most of us think death is just that, ceasing to exist. Should we still be saying RIP, isn't that pandering to the same false hope of those religious folks?

JoelLovell 6 Mar 17

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I think resting in peace is fine, especially if your life was full of suffering at the end. Cancer, Alzheimers, or other health problems, death is personal peace, an end to suffering. Does not have to have anything to do with what you believe comes after.


It is a meaningless phrase that most peole say because they can not think of anything better to say and is accepted by society.


They are ritual words, nothing. A traditional way of saying you're sorry so and so died. So it doesn't really matter.


Well, there's this alternative:


You got no fucking choice but to rest in pease because your dead

Love it. My sentiments entirely.


Why can't we live in peace? Now that would be nice!


I never thought of that as a religious statement or a reference to afterlife.

The opposite of rip is bih- burn in hell. So probably a little bit religious.


Perhaps there could be an atheist version to reflect what really happens after death? RIP - Rot, Insensibility, Putrefaction.

Jnei Level 8 Mar 17, 2018

Well, that's delightful. LOL Perhaps we won't tell anyone what it stands for. Ha ha


It's just a made up phrase the living say to comfort the living


Its no big deal to me. I don't mind things like that all that much cuz they are meant for respect and honoring ppl. its the negatives that religion push that I focus on mostly. RIP just shows u respected and are honoring a passed away loved one to me.

jorj Level 8 Mar 17, 2018

They're culturally vestigial. It has limited meaning. Goodbye is a contraction meaning god be with you. Should we stop saying goodbye?

"Should We Stop Saying Goodbye" would make a great song title 🙂

@Jnei Sounds like a Country & Western song to me.......Help!!!!!!!!!

@ipdg77 oh jeeze

@Jnei Yeah, I mean who was more country than the Jackson Five? 😀


I think it's ok to say, it's more a mark of respect and closure (for me at any rate) For example, if a celebrity or music star I particularly admired has died I would post a Youtube link on my Facebook page with RIP Joe Bloggs.


Rest in Pieces. lol


Would "remember in peace" be to wierd...


I see your point. However, in lieu of anything else that sounds better, it's nothing more to me than an inoccuous platitude. The believers are being pandered to by far worse than me, whenever I say that.


I stopped saying it because I feel it's pointless.

Same just like I don't say bless you when someone sneezes. Makes you look like a bit of a wanker but really these things make no actual sense.


Absolutely not. It's a prayer. And the alternative to resting in peace is burning in hell (like hawking is now according to the xtians). I'm not part of that.

It is words to me , just words words that are expected - like 'I am sorry for your loss!'
I don't connect them to anything religious as I haven't had much exposure to religiousness. For me its as innocuous as saying "hallo how are you?" I don't think words only have one meaning, it depends upon your inflection and your facial posture your whole body stance facial colour - we 'talk' with everything we have otherwise how would we know when someone was lying?

@jacpod But this phrase has religious connections which can't just be ignored as you seem to suggest. So according to your logic it's ok to call someone a bastard if you tilt your head & smile & have the appropriate "facial colour"?

@GoldenDoll You know a lot about religion that I don't because I have never been religious,
and I still don't think it makes me 'religious' or 'not an atheist' to say words to someone that can be interpreted one person as comforting ,and by yet another person as being somehow compromised - And no I don't think I would ever call anyone a bastard.

@jacpod I know a lot about religion because I am an atheist. I have never been religious either.


It's certainly better than that "In a better place" BS the religious like to trot out. Especially when I've just lost someone, even a cat! Not nearly as triggering, because the "better place" should be with me, and I'm sure my father, my 3 miscarriages, and my two most beloved cats would all rather still be here with me.


Eh, I'm not a purist here. My late 2nd wife and my son suffered in life in various ways, and at least they are beyond the reach of their suffering. In that sense they are "resting in peace". It is unfortunate that the only peace many people ever get is found in oblivion.


I just think nonexistence is a good form of being peaceful. No more suffering or fear, because there's no "insert person here" left to experience it.


The athiest god will strike you down if you do!

godef Level 7 Mar 17, 2018



Yeah no good reason not to.. heck it almost sounds secular to me.. no implication of resurrection or anything weird.. I think it’s also partially a way of saying it’s good that their problems are over.


Nothingness I don't know how much more at peace you could be ...


I would say sorry for your loss amd wouldnt overthink it people expect you to say something comforting & I don't mind doing that because its ritual time and the whole ending of life is ritualised.


My go to response to someone dying is "So sorry for your loss" and/or "My deepest Condolences"

Honest response.


I have no problem saying "Rest in Peace". I won't say that 'I'll send prayers', but I will say 'your in my thoughts'. I'll offer my condolences and respect.
I also say gesundheit or bless you (though I do feel silly) when someone sneezes. And I wish people a happy St. Patrick's Day and Merry Christmas, even though I don't recognize 'Saints' or 'Christ'.
I have no issues with the simple things that express some sort of concern or well-wishes to someone else.
It's a little difficult to navigate the word as an atheist when Christianity is so engrained into societal norms.

But we need to be aware of what we perpetuate by using such phrases as rip. Resting in peace as opposed to burning in hell is not something I'd say.

@GoldenDoll I tend to agree, and you (everyone) have to make that choice with that in mind.
As I mentioned, I still say 'bless you" when someone sneezes. I'm saying it out of courtesy & compassion, but would really like to find an alternative. Hopefully one that I don't have to explain every time I say it.
There's something to be said, also, for hijacking a term and de-god-a-fying it... There are lots of common terms, sayings, actions, that started with one meaning and evolved to mean something more. The handshake, for instance, was initially developed to show that neither of you had weapons. We're a little past that, I suspect.

@scurry I say "Your health" when someone sneezes. Pretty self explanatory.

@GoldenDoll that's not a bad alternative. I'll have to try it out. 🙂 Thanks.

@scurry I and my family have always said “gesundheit”, Pennsylvania Dutch sneeze protocol. Means health.

@Barnie2years I've said that as well, on occasion. I should really try to get in the habit of using it (or some variation) more.
Cheers - and Health.
>>> Mmm - Thought >>> I wonder if I could get away with saying "Sláinte" (Gaelic for Health)

UPDATE: My Boss just sneezed and I said "Sláinte"
Yay Me!! LOL

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