- Education and Science
Non-believers: Relax about Death
Thinking about The End?
Whether you consider yourself an Agnostic, Athiest, Non-believer, or Secular (fill in the blank), you may have a little anxiety about your own mortality. Relax, it’s no biggie. If you’re like me, you may have imagined yourself stuck in box in a dark hole in the ground. Doesn’t seem like that would be a lot of fun, right? Or maybe you imagined yourself missing your friends and family and favorite activities. Well I’m here to tell you - don’t worry about a thing. You’ll be just fine. It might suck for those left behind missing you, but you will be okay.
Look at it this way. Can you remember anything from the time before you were born? No, of course not. You might be able to imagine what things were like from historical accounts or anecdotes from older people but you don’t have any personal memories of that time. You can’t even remember yourself as an enthusiastic little sperm, frantically racing towards your other half.
That’s because you didn’t exist before then. None of us existed before we were conceived. What did we experience back then? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It wasn’t so bad was it? We don’t remember ourselves thinking “Aww shit. How long is this going to take before I start existing?” We don’t remember floating around in some dark void awaiting our arrival. And that was a long time not existing. From the big bang until our birth was probably billions of years. I don’t recall those years being so bad.
So when we finally cash in our chips, it will be just like the way it was back then. Nothing we haven’t dealt with before. Nothing we can’t handle. We can think of it like this. If we don’t experience anything before our existence, and nothing after, then it’s like we don’t have to acknoledge ever being non-existant. There’s no point. Except for when making a will or deciding on life insurance, there’s really no point in thinking about it at all other than to motivate us to get certain things done before that final deadline.
If a long string represents a timeline of your life – beyond the ends of the string there is nothing really noteworthy. You could tie one end of the string to the other and see it as a circle with nothing outside it other than other circles that represent the lives of others which occasionally intersect our own. Some circles just briefly touch ours and others are connected along a large portion of our circle. For all intents and purposes, we could see ourselves as being immortal since we will never experience our own non-existence. How’s that for a new perpective? Now you can go on with thinking about more positive things.