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Would you tell a dying person their faith is wrong?

  1. TruthDebater profile image53
    TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago

    A person has religious faith that they are going to heaven when they die while they are a short time away from death. You are a outspoken atheist against religion and the person starts telling you about their faith in heaven and asking if you believe they will go to heaven. Would you lie about your belief in order to comfort that person or would you debate that person that heaven doesn't exist minutes before death?

    1. profile image0
      Precious Williamsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I wouldn't debate it. What I would say is "you believe in an afterlife - and that's all that matters"

    2. h.a.borcich profile image60
      h.a.borcichposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Flip it...If an atheist friend on their deathbed asked if you shared their nonbelief would you comfort or debate/witness?
      I personally think it is natural in the final moments of life for one to be mindful of their beliefs/nonbeliefs. As a christian, I would have been praying for them in my heart. As a human being, I could not contribute to great emotional distress on a dying person by assaulting their core values.

      1. TruthDebater profile image53
        TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Great point, works both ways. If everyone respected the opposite faiths like each other was on their deathbed, more might be accomplished. thanks

    3. Paraglider profile image89
      Paragliderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      The scenario seems very contrived. Why would someone on their deathbed ask that question?

      1. TruthDebater profile image53
        TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Possibly to get more reassurance and comfort in faith they are going to a better place? thanks

      2. Rafini profile image88
        Rafiniposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Not a believer, huh? 

        Even believers have doubts as to whether or not their worthy of going to Heaven.  (some faiths believe Everyone goes to Heaven eventually)

        1. TruthDebater profile image53
          TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Me? I believe a lot of things, just not everything taught. thanks

    4. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      If they asked me if I believe they would be going to heaven and I didn't believe there to be a heaven, then I would tell them that they would not like my answer and not to ask me that question.

      If I had to elaborate more than I would tell them the truth.

      1. Jewels profile image80
        Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        What would it achieve by telling them what your opinion was? I wonder if sending a believer to their death space in a state of confusion or anxiousness would achieve anything virtuous - to you or to them?

        1. lightning john profile image61
          lightning johnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          If they know you are already an outspoken atheist why would they ask such a stupid question?   Lets see if I can spell
          RETARDED!

        2. Cagsil profile image61
          Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          It's not whether or not it's opinion. The OP asked for a person's individual belief. Since, I am of the understanding that there is NO god, then that would be incorporated into what I say to them. Hence, why I stated what I said in my post. Sorry, if you happen to miss part of the post and only read what you wanted.
          Well, that is where you and I differ. I'm not willingly going to lie to them, or subject my own integrity, just so they can feel better about themselves. Apparently, you have no problem with lying, which is something I will remember in your future posts as well in your writing online.

          No problem.

          1. Sally's Trove profile image83
            Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Well, so much for the gift of compassion. So much for the small sacrifice of easing the pain of another with whom you may not agree, when doing so costs nothing when the final scales are balanced. I'm kind of surprised at your comment, Cagsil. Or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

            1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
              Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I think he could be truthful and still compassionate.

              1. tantrum profile image61
                tantrumposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                And how would that be ?

                And why someone would be so arrogant as to think he has the truth   ? How can he  be so sure, and why shattered the hope of someone dying ?
                How would that be compassionate ?

              2. h.a.borcich profile image60
                h.a.borcichposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I have my doubts compassion can be mustered by all.
                My Dad was in a coma when he passed. I do not know if he believed or not, but I held his hand until I was assured he was gone. Had he been alert I am certain I would not have caused him distress in those final moments. Anyone who can confidently claim they would be willing to argue in that moment, lacks not only compassion, but also personal integrity and love for a fellow human being. Nothing sacred takes new meaning.

            2. Cagsil profile image61
              Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              My presence there is compassion. Or did you miss the point of the OP? hmm
              The OP does not say if someone else is in the room when the question is asked. It is best to be honest. Honesty within me to be true to myself, before I can be honest with others.
              And, what was your point of pointing out my post? So, you can argue as well? hmm Think about it.

          2. Jewels profile image80
            Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            But is it a matter of lying, or being diplomatic in the way you express your beliefs?  As Rochelle said, truthful and yet compassionate.

            Perhaps when you really are in the situation of a person lying in front of you about to take their last breath, you may change your reasonings.  Or not.

            1. Cagsil profile image61
              Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I would be truthful. If asked that question by someone at that point in time. I would ask them if they really wanted to hear my answer. Because, if I am by their bed side at the time of their death, then we must have had some strong relationship and they would know what I was going to say. So, I guess the question is moot then. I would not lie to them and tell them something I didn't think was true, especially when I am of the understanding there to be no such place.

              Not likely.

              1. Jewels profile image80
                Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                The question is certainly moot.  I know for myself, and I'm not you, that if I had strong beliefs one way or the other, they would be rendered irrelevant in such a situation.  I'm hoping that my human ability to comfort would be the most important thing and placing a person in the space of doubt wouldn't be helping the dying person.  I would always have my truth, but it is mine, it's an individual stance.  Interesting though to be pondering on a possible future experience.

                1. Cagsil profile image61
                  Cagsilposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Unfortunately, you are avoiding the question. You are on here banter with me about it, when actually, you are trying to justify the act of lying. And, yes you are lying to them, if that is NOT what you believe.
                  Doubt? You are kidding right? Doubt is what made them ask the question to begin with, which means that they DID NOT have faith. They only held on to hope and nothing more. My words would change nothing.
                  Yeah, I can see that and that is why you see things like you do. I'll leave it at that. I'm done.

                  1. Jewels profile image80
                    Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm sensing some tension here Cags!  Of course your words would change nothing, which is a really good reason to shut up about what your beliefs are. You don't have to lie, you would perhaps do well to not engage the conversation in the first place.   It's obviously irrelevant at the moment of someone elses death what you believe in, it's your belief.

      2. Valerie F profile image60
        Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        How about, "I personally don't think there's such a thing as Heaven, but if it exists, I hope you go there?"

        Otherwise, I think it's rich for an atheist to request that someone not ask questions.

    5. tantrum profile image61
      tantrumposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Life as it is, is in our minds. So I think anyone about dying will be going where their beliefs lead them. At least for a few seconds.

    6. sooner than later profile image56
      sooner than laterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      yeah, especially if it was the other way around

    7. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Why would a Believer ask an athiest if they (the Believer) are going to heaven?

    8. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I would be honest with them. There is no god or heaven. And if there was - I would certainly not be qualified to tell them whether they are going to heaven or not.

      You think lies comfort people?

      And I will turn that back on you sooner:
      A person has religious faith that they are going to heaven when they die and unbelievers will burn in hell for all eternity while an atheist is a short time away from death.

      You are a outspoken evangelist against non-belief and the person starts telling you about their lack of faith in heaven and asking if you believe they will really burn in a lake of fire for all eternity for not believing the Kristians. Would you lie about your belief in order to comfort that person or would you debate that person that hell does exist and they will burn, minutes before death?

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image80
        ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        these things don't matter when you die. what matters are the people you care about, the things you fought for...faith takes a side step.

      2. TruthDebater profile image53
        TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, sometimes, but there are different levels of lying. A person can lie to get ahead for themselves or a person can lie out of empathy to comfort another. Agreements comfort people, disagreements stress people out, so if I was lying to agree with a dying person, I think it would comfort them to lie and agree rather than having a debate about my personal beliefs before they die. thanks

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          So - you would lie to comfort them? How about years before their death? No comfort for them? The imminent death makes it OK to lie? For the last 10 years you have been shouting that they will burn in hell, now you relent and say "I didn't mean it"?

          How odd.

          1. Sally's Trove profile image83
            Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            If I were on my death bed, I think I would want comfort. Like the comfort my mother gave me when I was hurting.  Her words were something like, "It's OK, things will be better in the morning." Well, maybe that was a lie on her part, but it brought comfort to a child, because I trusted her. When you are on the death bed, you are a child.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              Well - that is how religion spreads. The lie that comforts. Then they recover and attack homosexuals as an abomination against the Lord. sad

              Personally - I would not be asking a well known evangelist who has been saying for years that I will burn in hell to tell me I will not.

              Lucky you were never told "It will be OK" while you had leukemia. Or is that an acceptable lie also? And who really benefits? The liar or the recipient?

              A simple "I don't know " will usually suffice.

              1. Sally's Trove profile image83
                Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                Religion and evangelism and homosexuals have nothing to do with what I said.

                But that's nice that you bring all that up. Someone's ears should be paying attention.

                There is nothing good that comes out of a young child hearing from a parent, "I don't know" when the child is afraid. The parent's job is to assure the child that whatever the boog-aboo is, it will be taken care of.

                I don't know what kind of parents you had, but mine put my mind at ease when life was painful...they gave me comfort to face a new day and a belief that a new day could happen.

                As I said before, when on the death bed, it's wanting to be comforted. You and others may disagree, but I know I want to be assured, as I was when a child. I don't want any debate.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes - I get it. Not sure what this child has to do with anything - where did this child come from exactly? Nothing to do with the question at hand - any more than homosexuals do. lol

                  You think an adult is not capable of discerning a lie - because they are on their death bed?

                  Odd.

                  1. Sally's Trove profile image83
                    Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    I made my case for the "child" in my previous posts. What are you missing here?

                    I don't think an adult cares a hoot for discerning a lie on the death bed. I think the adult want a peaceful passage, and if another human interferes with that, that's wrong.

                2. Lisa HW profile image82
                  Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  When my children were young I wouldn't lie to them about what I didn't know would be OK, because I figured, if things didn't turn out OK I'd lose credibility in their eyes when it came to the big things in life.

                  If there was something like a grandparent close to death and having surgery, I'd say something like, "Well, we're all worried; but people have surgery all the time and things can work out well.  It's very serious, but so-and-so has good doctors and is a strong person.  I figured they needed to be aware of not-so-OK situation and be ready for the worst, while I also needed to do my best to help them feel as reassured as possible (within the context of what I knew to be the truth).

                  Another (and different) aspect to the dying-person scenario, though, is that dying people are adults.  When I'm on my deathbed I don't want anyone else putting themselves in a parental role, as if I'm a child "just because I'm dying".  I want to be the "star" my own death show, and I don't think I'll want too many people in that audience either.  I don't want or need other people's comfort in my difficult times now, and I don't think I'm going to want or need it when I'm on my way out.  I suppose I'd put up with having a close person or two in the area, only because I may think it will make them feel better.  If anyone were to start "giving me trouble" about religious beliefs I'd let my last words to them be, "Get out!  You're filling my last hours with stuff I don't want in them at this time when I'm the one who has the right to decide what I want in my last hours on Earth."

                  If I'm not fit to talk I hope I have a doctor, family member, or friend who'll kick the jerk out.   yikes

                  1. Sally's Trove profile image83
                    Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    And there's the key...you want what you want, and you sure as hell don't want someone else debating that, whether it's by way of comfort or an intellectual argument.

                    I wonder if last words on a death bed ought to be a part of a living will.

              2. Valerie F profile image60
                Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                There are ways to comfort people without lying. I'm specifically not allowed to tell anyone "everything will be all right" or any words to that effect. I can say, "I'll do everything I can for you," because that is true.

                If someone asks me about religion, I'm not lying when I say, "This is what I believe."

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Well - you are the exception then. You do not say "there is a hell" you say "I believe there is a hell".

                  Good for you - I am glad you can be honest and say you don't know. Unusual for a believer.

                  1. Valerie F profile image60
                    Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    But let's not confuse belief with vague, unsubstantiated hunches. I also believe that, based on sensations, observations, and memories I interpret as evidence, I am sitting in a chair at the moment I'm typing this post. It is my opinion that, while believing is not always knowing, all knowing is believing- it being illogical to know something, yet not believe it.

                    But I digress. I have always entertained the idea that God might not exist, but I've found acting as if God exists and requires us to behave better than we might require of ourselves beneficial.

                    You are as much a believer in the nonexistence of God as I am that God exists, maybe even more so. The difference is that you come across as much more likely to state your belief as incontrovertible fact and that everything else is a lie rather than admit that you might not really know.

          2. TruthDebater profile image53
            TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, I would swallow my pride. If you are dying, it's not about me and my beliefs, it's about you and your beliefs in your final days. If I told you that you were going to hell for 10 years before your death, I would apologize and say it doesn't matter what I said in the past as long as you are happy in your final days. thanks

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I see. So why not stop saying it for the last ten years instead?

              You think that is OK? To behave a certain way for X number of years - espousing a certain point of view - and then relent and say you were lying all those years?

              Why not retract it now instead?
              What has pride got to do with it?

              1. TruthDebater profile image53
                TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                I haven't been telling you or anyone else they are going to hell for the past ten years, but if I was, I would stop immediately, great idea. I don't agree with lying or witholding my belief of the truth all the time, only when compassion and empathy are more important. Many people sacrifice lives for others, why wouldn't they sacrifice telling the truth for others also if it benefited them? On the death bed, lying would actually likely benefit both, the dying one would have comfort, the lying one could also have comfort that they made the person feel at ease before death. People live their lives with certain beliefs for the majority of their lives, are you saying it's too late for a person to learn and change?
                Pride has everything to do with it, disagreeing pride could keep a person true to their word getting in a stressful argument with a dying person rather than comforting them.  If that person were to swallow their pride, they wouldn't argue with the dying person even if they disagree with them.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Of sorry - I thought this was hypothetical. My mistake.

                  You have been telling them for the last ten years in my hypothetical. But yes - this is the lie. Not sure I would think that anyone that knows me would swallow the "Yeah - sure - you will go to heaven and see your childhood dog."

                  1. TruthDebater profile image53
                    TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    I answer your questions and you start calling me names because you jump to conclusions of the thread and other things. This is pride. thanks

                2. Sally's Trove profile image83
                  Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  You've been silent for most of this back and forth. You were the one who asked the question. And here you speak your opinion. I admire your ability to hold onto your words until the rest of this community had their say. You surely did ask a question that draws gunfire. Your question asked about empathy and compassion, although those aspects of the question were masked. Interesting how this forum ran with it all.

                  1. TruthDebater profile image53
                    TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    Hello Sally, thank you. I think it's amazing how a single question can make someone question their own truth and moral character. I really didn't have that as a previous motive, I asked the question on impulse simply to see the variety of thoughts and answers. Thanks

    9. seanorjohn profile image83
      seanorjohnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I might have got it wrong. I'm not infallible. Good luck and promise to contact me if you get to heaven.

    10. KeithTax profile image79
      KeithTaxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I am full of quotes today so I'll keep it up.

      Voltaire is on his deathbed. The priest begins to give last rights and asks Voltaire, "Do you renounce the devil and all his works." To which Voltaire replies, "Now is not the time to make enemies."

      I think it was Voltaire. Anyway, it sure is funny.

  2. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago

    I never try and change anyone's religious beliefs. Like Precious says, if the dying person believes, that is all that matters at that moment.

  3. TruthDebater profile image53
    TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago

    I think that is very respectable thanks. What is the difference between some trying to change others faith of a heaven on here? How can it be certain those people aren't on their death beds? thanks

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Now that is an interesting question.
      I'm pretty likely to die with my hand on a keyboard.

      1. wyanjen profile image84
        wyanjenposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        lol

        Well, when you are on your death keyboard, I'll be happy to keep you company. We'll chat about whatever you want to.
        I'll even put in some smileys. Or frownies. Whatever you need.

        1. Jewels profile image80
          Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          You'll type your way through the afterlife Rochelle. lol

      2. Lisa HW profile image82
        Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Rochelle, and making people reading what you've written smile.  You do have a way with words (and particularly, forum posts).  smile

        1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
          Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I do look for things to smile about-- and usually don't have to look too far.
          I know this is a serious discussion, but If I am dying at my keyboard, please try to make me smile. Send an e-mail.

          And, Yes, I have been at the bedside of a dying loved one. It is a deep sadness, but also a difficult realization  to know that they would not wish you to be  so sad.

  4. eltravose profile image60
    eltravoseposted 7 years ago

    I would tell them their faith is wrong, just for the humor....I mean sure they're gonna die.  But they might feel a bit of relief before they kick the bucket.  That's just me.

    1. TruthDebater profile image53
      TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You think it would give relief to have a stressful debate of your faith rather than comfort you are going to a better place before death? thanks

  5. Rishy Rich profile image75
    Rishy Richposted 7 years ago

    I wouldnt bcoz its not going to matter to him nor to this world. He is going to leave this world in an hour or two & theres no point of hurting him. Besides, he is going to know the truth in few moments anyway...

  6. Origin profile image60
    Originposted 7 years ago

    If a person is on his/her deathbed, I would comfort him/her no matter my stance on the position.

    1. Lisa HW profile image82
      Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That's because you're a normal person who is capable of putting the needs of the other person ahead of your own "need-for-whatever", and respecting the momentous nature of a person's death as something that belongs to him and not you.

      1. Sally's Trove profile image83
        Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Amen.

  7. profile image0
    Will Bensonposted 7 years ago

    A priest advised Voltaire on his death bed to renounce the devil. Replied Voltaire, "This is no time to make new enemies."

    A dying person's beliefs are set and if they ask a question concerning the afterlife, they're probably just looking for confirmation that they're right. I'd say give them that assurance.

  8. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    whatever anyone believes, those moments are sacred in themselves.
    words should be few. comfort, love...

  9. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 7 years ago

    ..I'd be a pretty selfish person if I were to even have any inkling to discuss my views at such an intimate time...'it's not about me'.

  10. earnestshub profile image89
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    I would not discuss religion with a dying person unless they asked me to.
    If they asked me, I would tell them the truth just like in any other situation. smile If they were in doubt about their faith and wanted re assurance I would not be the one to give it.

  11. Rafini profile image88
    Rafiniposted 7 years ago

    I would not discuss it.  What another person believes regarding religion, whether dying or not, is not up to me to argue with them about it.

  12. Sally's Trove profile image83
    Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago

    For cryin' out loud, hold the person's hand, look into their eyes, and make a human connection that isn't based on who is right or who is wrong or who has some kind of egotistic sense of righteousness. When I go to meet my maker, I'd just like to have a hand to hold. If there isn't one there, I'll hold my own. But I would like to have a connection, in the last beat of my heart, with someone whose heart beats just like mine.

    1. Jewels profile image80
      Jewelsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That's what I would like also Sally. A sense of someone caring would override any need to justify a religious belief.

  13. lightning john profile image61
    lightning johnposted 7 years ago

    This topic is obsurd!

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Would that be like obtuse and absurd at the same time?

      1. lightning john profile image61
        lightning johnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Correct!  ha ha

        1. Lisa HW profile image82
          Lisa HWposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          It's "obsurd" and "abtuse", but I've realized it seems to have given some people (me, anyway) the chance to be blunt about people pushing whatever believe/non-belief they have in a "safe" way (maybe because how absurd, hypothetical, and isolated a situation the one in question is).

    2. Sally's Trove profile image83
      Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      That would be "absurd", and I agree.

      TruthDebator, if you want to debate truth, maybe you can find something plausible instead of something absurd.

  14. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    What possible good would arguing religion with a dying person do?
    If you're a diehard atheist and simply can't bring yourself to suck it up for the sake of the dying person, at least keep your mouth shut. Or better yet, offer to call in their preferred spiritual adviser.

  15. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Good one, Rochelle!

    1. lightning john profile image61
      lightning johnposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Really good!

  16. jenblacksheep profile image79
    jenblacksheepposted 7 years ago

    I'm pretty sure that if I was at someone's death bed they'd know me well enough to know my feelings about religion and know better than to ask.

  17. profile image0
    Twenty One Daysposted 7 years ago

    why would it matter? They're dying. If a split second could change a persons life, than that is a lot of wasted seconds. Their 'faith' is what is holding them back. Having 'faith' is a totally different story. -just my thoughts, James.

    edit: if you had x number of years to tell them before that moment and didn't who is at fault, them or you...

  18. ceciliabeltran profile image80
    ceciliabeltranposted 7 years ago

    I certainly think upon death, they have other things to worry about than what you think of their faith. Yeah, I would just let them die and tell them that I appreciate our time together.

    Can I just say, the nerve to even tell somebody that their faith is wrong. Why do people like shoving their opinions on others.

    wrong, right...hilarious

  19. Stevennix2001 profile image84
    Stevennix2001posted 7 years ago

    After reading the original post here, I truly don't think there is a right or wrong answer here to this question.  As many of us share and have different beliefs.  Even though I don't agree with Cagsil completely on this topic, but I can see where he's coming from on this.  Thus, I respect his opinion on this issue, and I don't see anything that might be construed as offensive about it.  Like I said before, there is no right or wrong answer on how to handle this situation. Plus, as Cagsil alluded to, you wouldn't be there beside that person's death bed if they didn't know you very well, unless you want to count doctors and nurses. 

    Having said all that though for me personally, I would lie to the person and just humor them as they're not long for this world anyway.  although I do believe there's a god.  However, just for the sake of argument on this forum, and assuming that i was an atheist, then I would lie to the person and tell them that there is a god.  this way when they die, they won't die being scared.  However, that's just me.  You all can condemn me here if you want, but that's just me.  besides it's like christian bale once said in "The Dark Knight":

    "Sometimes the truth isn't good enough.  Sometimes people deserve more.  They deserve to have their faith rewarded."

    Anyway, that's just my opinion anyway.  As i for one wouldn't have the heart to tell someone that's dying their religion is based on a lie. besides, they'll find out anyway when they die.  why ruin what little time they have left in this world?

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I don't think you should lie to make yourself feel better.
      The truth IS good enough.
      Besides, in the afterlife they will remember the last thing you said to them was a lie. smile

      1. Stevennix2001 profile image84
        Stevennix2001posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        yeah, but if there's no god or heaven, then what would it matter anyway?  however, what do you mean about lying to them for my own benefit?  i wasn't thinking of it that way at all.  the way i see it, the person is going to die and find out the truth anyway, so why should I ruin what little happiness this person has left?  would you rather i told them something along the lines of, "it sucks to be you buddy as there's no heaven nor god, so hope you die happy." does that work better for you?  please tell me. lol.

        look, as i said before there is no right or wrong answer to this question, as I think any type of answer you could give whether to be honest or compassionate, there is no wrong answer.  as you could just as easily debate any answer.  if you said you'd rather be honest and tell them there is no god, then people can argue with you saying that your being cruel and mean.  if you say that you would lie to comfort the person before they die, they could say exactly what you just said to me.  you get the picture?  ANY TYPE of answer you could give about what you would do could be perceived as negative or positive, depending on how you want to look at it. 

        its kind of like euphanasia.  sure, you can say it's murder to have someone put to sleep if they're dying of some uncureable disease.  or you can argue that it's more cruel to selfishly keep him alive in unspeakable pain for your own selfish need to not want to see him die.  Like I said, there is no right or wrong answer here.  just like this forum question. 

        eta:  plus if i was an atheist lying to this person to comfort him/her by saying there is a god.  then what would it matter anyway, as i'd be going to hell for being an atheist to begin with if there is a god.  lol.

  20. Rochelle Frank profile image88
    Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago

    I don't think Cagsil's beliefs are irrelevant. I appreciate his truthfullness and integrity.

    If I were dying over my keyboard and he told me that there is no God, but he thought some of my hubs were funny and I was a pretty good writer, I would know he is being totally forthright.

    I would think he was mistaken about God-- and he might be mistaken about my hubs, but at least I would know he was being straight with me about what he really believes. MY hubs are IMMortal! smile

    Jesus is the epitome of compassion. Did He tell white lies to make someone feel better?

  21. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    I like that, who are we to tell someone their belief is wrong?

    1. Stevennix2001 profile image84
      Stevennix2001posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      exactly.  thanks for the support. smile

    2. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Telling people what you believe is not telling them they are wrong.

  22. 2besure profile image84
    2besureposted 7 years ago

    A person that truly has faith in God and that his reward is in heaven can no be dissuaded by anyone.   Besides an atheist does not believe in anything, so what truth could they offer a dying man?

  23. mysterylady 89 profile image60
    mysterylady 89posted 7 years ago

    Coward that I am, I think I would be evasive.  I would give a big hug and change the subject.  I had a brother who died of a rare form of cancer.  His religious beliefs were totally different from mine.  Had I been at his death bed, I can believe he would have tried to "convert" me to his faith, and so I can understand the question originally posed.  I would not, could not, lie to him, but I also could not tell him he was wrong.  All I would be able to do is to assure him of my love.

  24. wyanjen profile image84
    wyanjenposted 7 years ago

    Here is a twist
    What would you do in this situation:

    I'm an atheist (obviously). Not long after my daughter passed away, an old friend (now EX-friend) told me, with every bit of compassion, that she would care for my little girl for me in heaven, forever and ever amen & what-not.

    Then she said, "I won't even tell her why you're not in heaven with us. She doesn't need to know you are in hell. I will try to teach her that you are a good person anyway."
    Normally this wouldn't make me blink an eye, but this was a person who knows my beliefs, and she hit me with this song and dance knowing that I was still very much grieving.

    (BTW- I would not lie - I've been in this exact situation, where a dying person asked me this question. I did do a little dodge: I asked the person what she thought about it. It worked out good - it gave her a chance to talk it through.)

    smile

  25. profile image0
    woolman60posted 7 years ago

    I would not answer them with what I may believe, but would say to this person, I know god is in your heart, and the time has come for you to be in his arms for eternity.

  26. mysterylady 89 profile image60
    mysterylady 89posted 7 years ago

    To wyanjam -- I cannot believe the cruelty!  Isn't the Golden Rule "Do unto others as they would do unto you"?

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Not exactly-- It's "as you would have them do unto you." I like people to tell me the truth, personally.

      1. tantrum profile image61
        tantrumposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        And what is the truth regarding death ? yikes

        Can you tell me ? LOL

        1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
          Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Who can? But people can tell you what they truly believe. That's what I mean.

  27. mysterylady 89 profile image60
    mysterylady 89posted 7 years ago

    You are right.  I misquoted.  But I got the essence.

  28. KCC Big Country profile image85
    KCC Big Countryposted 7 years ago

    I would simply try to comfort them by saying that one's faith or beliefs is a personal journey and that no two journeys are the same.  I would look them square in the eyes and tell them to hold firm in whatever they chose to believe for that is THEIR truth and I would be nearby as they made those final steps of their journey.

    1. tantrum profile image61
      tantrumposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I totally agree.

  29. relache profile image86
    relacheposted 7 years ago

    I believe that to argue a dying person's spirituality with them on their death bed is unconscionable.  But my belief system also considers proselytizing to be sinful.

  30. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    There's being outspoken, and there's being an atheist (or whatever kind of believer, doubter, or non-believer someone is).  Being outspoken doesn't necessarily mean someone can't ever button his lip when it's appropriate.  Being an atheist doesn't necessarily mean being cruel, either.

    I pretty much think it would be a rare person who'd get into that kind of thing when someone was on his deathbed.

    Jewels had a good point about how people are going to believe what they believe, no matter who says what; so in a way, the deathbed matter would more be a matter of how imprudent and inappropriate it would be to get into a debate about anything with a person on his deathbed.  Besides, if whether someone thinks it's "lights out" when we die or thinks they're heading to another life, most people have already made some peace with the inevitable as they see it.  Most people who are truly on their deathbed aren't about to be debating anything anyway - so there's that too.   hmm

  31. waynet profile image46
    waynetposted 7 years ago

    Yeah, because that's just the kind of spiteful person I am and if they asked for some morphine, I say shut it!!!!!!!  and I'll just add a LOL!

  32. luvpassion profile image60
    luvpassionposted 7 years ago

    I agree...I would tell them the moon was made of cheese if that would help ease their passing. Their welfare should be more important then morality at that particular time.

    Saying..."Well, I don't want to lie to you so the answer is no, there isn't life after death...to bad you went all your life believing that; Now...I've told you the truth, (Even though this may not be the truth, only what I believe,) you're worm-dirt.

    Seem's cruel. Compassion shouldn't be restricted to religious people.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image83
      Sally's Troveposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      It doesn't seem cruel, it is cruel.

      And it's got nothing to do with religious people. It's got everything to do with arrogance and pride, which are things that arrogant and prideful people don't know how to cast aside in the face of another's need.

  33. Lisa HW profile image82
    Lisa HWposted 7 years ago

    It isn't even just cruel and arrogant (and the rest).  It isn't even reasonable thinking. 

    I mean, suppose "Fred" is on his way out in a matter of hours; and suppose I'm an atheist and he isn't.  If Fred is right, he'll discover he was right and I was wrong - so the last things I said to Fred would have been wasted, empty, untrue, words.

    If Fred is the atheist and I'm not one who isn't, and if I harp on how Fred had better shape up and get ready for his after-life and whatever else I think there is; if Fred is right and I'm wrong that would mean the last human interaction Fred on in his life was my harping on what would turn out to be wrong (before it was "lights out" for Fred forever).

    The only other scenario might be that Fred is the atheist, and I'm the believer.  I harp at the end of Fred's Earthly life, make him feel aggravated or otherwise rotten about what's going on in last hours on Earth, and it turns out Fred discovers he was wrong, and he's actually "meeting his maker".  Even if that were the case, what goes on beyond a person and his "maker" is his own, personal, business.  I don't think it would make whit of difference to Fred's "maker" that Fred had someone who tried to make him "see the light".  In the meantime, Fred could look back/down on his last minutes on Earth (when he had some shred of mental peace before dealing with whatever he would later face) and think, "That rotten person took away my last moments of peace before I came to this afterlife."  I don't think any "maker" wants anyone appointing themselves "savior" of their fellow man.  In fact, I have a feeling if any human beings appoint themselves "savior" of others there's a good chance they're the ones in for a shock if there's an after-life.  hmm

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Well - lets see what the OP was attempting to do with this question:



      Clearly a contrived question. As I said - I would be honest and not offer false comfort. What possible difference could that make? Their last few minutes based on what an atheist said? I think not.

    2. TruthDebater profile image53
      TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      It is kinda like giving a death row inmate their meal of choice before death. A sign of respect to put that person in some state of comfort considering it's their last day/days, no matter whether you disagree with them or not, you still give them the meal of their choice.

  34. luvpassion profile image60
    luvpassionposted 7 years ago

    My understanding was the person dying was a religious person and the one comforting an atheist...In this situation, If you love this person, why not tell them what they're begging to hear?

    Screw the moral implications at that instants...face the lie later if you must, don't face the look in your loved one's eyes as you tell him he's a fool.

  35. AEvans profile image65
    AEvansposted 7 years ago

    I would listen to them but I do not try to change another person's belief. They believe what they believe and I believed what I believe. smile

    1. TruthDebater profile image53
      TruthDebaterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      What if the person thought they were going to burn in hell for living a bad life and they were highly stressed, would you try to tell them different? thanks

      1. Valerie F profile image60
        Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I would at that point share my belief that there is still a chance to make amends.

  36. Diane Inside profile image81
    Diane Insideposted 7 years ago

    The person who is dying only want reassurance. If I were and unbeleiver, I would just say I don't know. Because that would be the truth. Noone who is atheist knows for sure. So just responding honestly by saying I don't know would be the best answer.

    1. vivekananda profile image72
      vivekanandaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      The person who dies whether good or bad, has all the deeds recorded in his/her soul. The heaven or hell is just an inbetween feeling to the departed soul. If the soul has more negatives recorded in it during its life time, it feels uneasiness and torture until it enters or takes birth in the next body. That is hell. Thinking about heaven is nothing but thinking positive. So, without hesitation give assurance to him that he will be taken to heaven.

      The ultimate goal of all living or non-living things is liberation from the cycle of birth and death.  Indians call it as moksha. Whatever matter, living or non-living thing that exists on earth is still not free from this cycle of birth and death. Only the good deeds and positive thinking during its lifetime as human being can take it to moksha. This moksha is attained by selfless thinking and helping to survive. The person may belong to any country, any religion, any race. But he must be an ideal person, ready to help or sacrifice for the sake of the people and animals in this mortal world.

      When earth gets destroyed, everything is destroyed. But they take birth again, once the footprints of life starts back on earth. Every thing takes birth again and again until they get liberated. They are all in different forms because the proportions of air, water, fire, earth, and space(or ether) are different in them.

  37. defenestratethis profile image57
    defenestratethisposted 7 years ago

    Someone on their deathbed? I'd tell em whatever they wanted to hear, and whatever I knew would bring them comfort. Its not my personal beliefs that are important at such a time, its their comfort and peace of mind. Heck, I'd tell em that they looked beautiful in their new yellow prom dress and that johnny is gona flip when he sees em, if thats the direction they were going in their mind. Having worked with the sick and dying for many years, I know that the act of dying is no picnic...no, not at all. So why not make it as easy as possible for em? Yeah..I am a self important SOB, but not so much so that I cant later deal with a momentary lapse of honesty on my part when Im talking to a dying man (or woman).

  38. salt profile image59
    saltposted 7 years ago

    their faith is their faith, sometimes i point out the difference between faith and organised religion. Religion is the structure, faith is the link or connection to what you think god or your creator maybe. Or thats how I define it at times.

  39. katiem2 profile image58
    katiem2posted 7 years ago

    I would say this, "Please share with me all that you'd like to pass along to me as I want to hear all about your thoughts"

    They no doubt would talk and if not I'd ask them to tell me about their fondest memory.  It would be my desire to have them leave in the most positive state of mind possible.  Good energy!

    It is none of my business what anyone believes nor none of my business what others opinions are.  It's simple for me to stay out of something I know nothing of.  I know nothing of being on my death bed and therefore just listen.

    Imagine what I might hear and take away from such an experience I certainly would not allow my mindless babble to interfere with that.

    Peace smile

    1. Jerami profile image73
      Jeramiposted 7 years ago

      I have sat at bed side with numbers of dieing loved ones.

        I truly beleive that they knew everything was coming to the end for them.  If they ask me a question I know that they deserve  "THE truth" as to what I thought, or they would not have asked.  We do not know what their thinking was at the time that they asked.  SO  ,,,  give them the truth as delicately as possible.  I say this for your benefit and not for theirs. 
         You do not want to feel guilty later for being inconsiderate.   But if they ask ?
         Did they want an  honest answer ? 
         Don't be self minded; take all of the above into consideration. And be nice.

         That is what I think !

     
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