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Okay. so I am still new to this atheist thing. How long does it take before I will no longer dread and fear my death, knowing my existence will end?

Dreamrider 6 Apr 22

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1

It is normal to fear death to some extent and some people do so more than others. We hate the idea of ending the joys and challenges of life and losing contact with those who mean so much to us. But like the changing seasons it is beyond our control.
But consider for a minute what YOU were like, about one year before you were even conceived? A state of non-existence.
So for a while we as individuals, get to experience life just like every other species does, and we as humans have some consciousness, so we can have complex lives with ups and downs and do the best we can. The time will come when our systems and biochemistry fails and that consciousness will no longer be able to exist, and like the RAM on a computer, no electrical energy will remain to manifest it.
So again, YOU, your sense of self, and consciousness will again be non-existent.
Death is not peace like we hear so often, or feeling no more pain and suffering, but in truth just non-existence with no thoughts or feelings at all.
And because it is normal and natural and we have no alternative anyway, for me I do not waste to much time losing sleep over it. Maybe that comes from having led a rewarding life, and feeling fulfilled spiritually to be content and at peace. I admit I do feel sad when children or young people die without having had much chance to experience life. While we ourselves must die, humanity goes on, hopefully enriched a little by things we did and thoughts we passed on to others in so many small ways. While we are limited, Life itself is virtually eternal, but not in a religious sense.

15

How did it feel before you were born?

@Stevil lol

@Stevil
You Stevil,LOL❣??

@Stevil Ah, I did! Of course, it was all in my head, which may have caused problems down the road, but it still amuses me to this day!

12

Glad you joined us❣?
All things end. It's natural. It's ok. I'm terminally ill with a brain tumor. I got over myself. I did die during an operation...it was nothingness. No pain, no fear, just nothingness.
No big deal.
Life's been good. Forgive yourself & allow yourself to live. You're validated. Enjoy your life while you're here. ?

Emme Level 7 Apr 22, 2018
11

There is no point in dreading the inevitable. No one gets out alive. We all know, one day, we are going to die. Knowing that, make every day count. Do what you love. Cut toxic people out of your life, family be damned. Work on being the best at something. Take care of yourself, be smart, sensible, have a cookie. Learn something new, every day. Sing, out loud, every where. I have never stood at a coffin, looking at the deceased & heard, "they could have vacuumed more." Enjoy the day, plan for the future, kiss toads, tell grating people to feck off in no uncertain terms and make damn sure the Grim Reaper has to run to catch you.

Make that sucker work!

9

This was on NPR in 2005, spoken by Aaron Freeman...its basically what i want said at my funeral.

"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 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 her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her 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.

9

I’ve been an atheist just about my whole life and the sense of dread over the finality of death has never gone away completely. Rather than dwell on it, I use it as inspiration to live my life to the fullest.

One thing to consider is that for billions of years before you were born, you did not exist. It’s really not a big deal to return to that.

8

Death is not something to fear is just a fact just like gravity. Energy is recycled perpetuates the next instrument that absorbs the energy.

8

Dread and fear of dying are good thing when they make one appreciate the life one has right now and inform choices one makes to stay healthy and live well for a long time. Attention on now, not a future fantasy is the gift you are giving yourself. Celebrate!

jeffy Level 7 Apr 22, 2018

Celebrate, indeed!

7

Remember how mad you were about not existing before you were born? exactly.

7

When you come to the realization that there is nothing to dread and fear. Life just terminates and one ceases to exist. You will be dead but you will not be aware that you are dead. You will no longer exist and will not be aware of anything. I think your black graphic is a good analogy.

7

Not sure anyone can know. We all deal with death and finality in different ways. Some may become more comfortable with it while others may never fully reconcile it.

6

Remember how things were before you were born? That's how it will be after you pass.

I should have read some comments before posting one.

Yes makes sense but still sucks

@Dreamrider - Funny thing is that for me, it really doesn't suck. We're born. We live. We die. It's the natural order of things.

6

Mark Twain said it pretty well;
"I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

6

The idea that you weren’t afraid of death because of what awaited was based on nothing whatsoever and sold to you by snake oil salesmen.

Who wants to live like that?

Instead it’s the very acceptance of this fact, that allows me realize how special this happy accident is, not only of life, but the consciousness and security we have that allows us to ponder such things, aspiring to not waste it and live it to the fullest, before our molecules and atoms are recycled into the earth... and later... through the cosmos.

Just my thoughts. Hope it helps

Very nice indeed❣??

6

It's coming eventually, no matter what you do. Worrying never gets one anywhere. So don't worry.The best thing is to make your days count.Enjoy your life while it lasts.

5

Remember before you were born? It’s kinda like that.

5

I've been an atheist for nearly 4 years now and I still struggle with this. There are a few things that I try to remind myself of when the dread starts to overwhelm me.

  1. Stressing over it will not change it. I cannot will myself out of it. This helps to abate the thoughts but my subconsious will often hold onto the fear for a while.
  2. What were we before we were born? were we dead then too? We show a lot less concern over that than the end of life.
  3. consider that, from hundreds of millions of sperm and millions of eggs, you were born. Then consider all the possible genetic permutations. But, you are you. You are unique to a degeee that's nearly impossible to calculate.
  4. Barrowing from Neil, we are made of star stuff. We ARE the universe. Not only that, we are the universe trying to understand itself. This is kind of fun to think about and helps to make me feel a bit more important.
  5. Lastly, would you rather spend your time dreading about something you cannot change, or would you rather make this one life, this one amazing lucky life, worth something?

I know it's still scary, but you can worry about it tomorrow. 'Cause today you have shit to do.

5

You may always be concerned about death. Just don't forget to live.

5

Until science unlocks the secret of biological immorality, death is a reality for everyone. My suggestion is to not waste time worrying about death, rather spend your time living.

5

Congratulations on overcoming Pascal's Wager! I will only say this: was the nothingness before you were born so terrible? Then neither will be the emptiness that comes after. It's really only the transition that makes me nervous, but there's not a lot to be done about it.

It IS nothingness. It's ok, really.

4

What are you afraid of? I don't fear death because I know that no matter what, I have lived a good life. I sometimes wish I could live forever just to see how it all turns out. Then sometimes I get afraid that I will see how it all turns out in the 80 to 100 years I do get. But my death in and of itself holds no power to make me sfraid.

Cheri Level 5 Apr 23, 2018

Here is a thought exercise if they developed which they may in the future a technology which would allow for clinical or cybernetic immortality would you take that route if offered? Say for example if they could transfer your consciousness into a computer/robot body which given access to replacement parts could last indefinitely? I am curious. I would simply as a way to extend my life and observe the human animals descent into death or emergence into something better or maybe just a sort of half life were technology keeps us just outside the edge of destruction. Or maybe into the body of a deep space probe to explore the universe for a few hundred years and then die some where far far away.

4

Do you remember how you felt before you were conceived? Because that's exactly how you'll feel after your demise. The year 2100 has no less to fear than the year 1900 did.

4

Fear of death never really goes away no matter what you believe. But I have found a cancer diagnosis tends to force one to live more intentionally with less fear.

4

The reason existence is good, is that it's fleeting... If it lasted forever, what's good about that? Everything would become lackluster after a while... It's normal to fear death.
Pack what you can into the time you have, and don't take your days for granted.

4

I dread and fear it, but not because I will cease to exist, but because I'm in love with living.

I've died twice, and honestly I don't fear dying. Right before you die you fall into this amazing comfort and you're so comfortable you don't care anymore that you're about to die. In my experience anyway.

@LadyAlyxandrea
I died as well. I didnt find it uncomfortable at all. It was a simple ceasing to exit. I only became aware of my death when they brought me back after more than several minutes and told me that I died. Really, it was not bad.

@Emme I was aware enough to know I was going to die, but I remember thinking to myself "oh well, this isn't so bad". Even with my father saying "breathe Alyxandrea breathe" I thought "no, if I breathe I'll hurt, this is much more pleasant"

The part that scared me was how easily I had let myself drift off and did not want to return. However when my time comes, I'm not scared. That was my idea of heaven. Blissful black nothingness. No pain, no thoughts, nothing

@LadyAlyxandrea
That's EXACTLY it❣? It's not nearly as frightening as people think. Not EVEN close.

Agreed!

4

Excellent question!!! I believe we all fear the unknown. If most theist would be honest even though they claim to have "Hell Insurance" ...they still don't want to die. Even those guys will have no existence after death..."ashes to ashes, dust to dust"

My best advise to myself is to enjoy life as much as possible and consider death as a sort of time to go to sleep after a great day. ?

I agree wholeheartedly. Besides, if they really truly believe in heaven why the hell (pun intended) would they want to live on earth?

I thought a lot about this when i was younger because my mom passed away. I was still a believer back then and missed my mom more than anything. I constantly thought about walking into traffic, cause it's not really suicide if someone else kills me... Thanks religion, you really fucked up 8yo me.

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