What do atheists think about death?

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  1. profile image0
    Baileybearposted 13 years ago

    I am thinking about writing a hub on death.  I'm curious to  atheist's thoughts on death and dying. 

    I'm particularly interested in atheists that were formally christians - how is it different for you now?

    I'm not interested in the burning-in-hell-for-eternity spiel from the god-botherers

    1. profile image0
      AKA Winstonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Before I had consciousness there was nothing.  I expect to return that state.

      1. hanging out profile image61
        hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Before you had consciousness there was a galaxy, a world, people had come and gone. A god that created all.. You were just not aware of all that and more.. so yep you will return to that state indeed, unless of course......
        (didn't want to sound judgmental or preachy lol)

    2. profile image0
      Stevennix2001posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      well bailey, your an athiest, right?  so don't you already know this answer?

      1. profile image0
        Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'm ex-christian and agnostic atheist, more atheist than agnostic.

        I'm interested to see if variety of views.  Have written hub - want to incorporate a few quotes and then need to finish editing.  Should be out in next few days

        1. profile image0
          Stevennix2001posted 13 years agoin reply to this

          oh i see. well that makes a lot of sense. you'll have to let me know when you publish then, as im curious to read it.

          1. profile image0
            Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            should be finished very soon

    3. Titen-Sxull profile image71
      Titen-Sxullposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      What do I think about death? I think it will suck. I used to be a Christian and I have to be honest that an eternity of nothingness sounds an awful lot better than having to either bow down before a throne and be forcibly happy or ending up with my flesh melting off... So while death still sucks as an atheist I think it beats the Christian after-life any day.

    4. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think you just die, your body decays and becomes something else, other organic material that supports the Earth.  It doesn't leave, it doesn't go off into Heaven, it doesn't come back half decayed retaining it's memories.

      I saw a bird that just died the other day.  I looked at it for a little bit, (a bit morbid I know) but I couldn't help it, I always look at dead things curious as to whether or not anything gets retained and it doesn't.

      The eyes are empty, it doesn't come back to life no matter how hard you wish it to but I do know what it will become and I assume that is also what happens to us.

      I don't think it is any different out in space either.  Stars go Nova, they might become a star forming region, it might become a black hole, it might become a space beacon (quasar) but it doesn't just disappear.

      I think when you die, you will, at random, become part of something much larger than what we believe we are in conscious form. 

      But in a Universal perspective, all we are is all we are.  You never leave.  And to me, having been previously Christian, that is eternal life.

      However when I am seeing it and thinking about it and wondering when my number will be up, I just hope I don't see it coming and it doesn't hurt. big_smile

    5. chatpilot profile image67
      chatpilotposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      As a former evangelist turned atheist I find comfort in the belief that there is nothing after death but emptiness. Once the brain shuts down so do you, existence is no longer relevant since the moment you die you cease to exist. Your physical body is there but it is nothing more than a slab of meat without your active consciousness to control it.

  2. pisean282311 profile image61
    pisean282311posted 13 years ago

    a natural and inevitable thing...

  3. thooghun profile image94
    thooghunposted 13 years ago

    I don't particularly like the fact that my consciousness will die with me, in fact, it terrifies me.

    But that's what atheism is about, isn't it? You base your beliefs not based on what you prefer, but on what appears to be the case.

  4. profile image52
    Exsecrabilisposted 13 years ago

    I have mentioned this before on other sites concerning death. Death is indeed inevitible and nobody really knows what happens after a life expires. To religious individuals, organizations and groups alike, their interpretation on death varies with accordance to their doctrine. But in all, they all share a common idea; they believe there is something more after death, and yet it is never being proven.

    P.S. Greetings and Salutations.

  5. mega1 profile image78
    mega1posted 13 years ago

    I believe we each have a spirit - and although I don't believe in god the diety and all powerful, I do believe that spirits have a certain power that lives on - but its a mystery to me how that is and I may find out that my consciousness (and therefore, spirit) just ceases.  or that is, I won't actually "find out"  or something, but nevertheless why we care so much about the "afterlife" experience I find even more interesting than the many things people think about it!  Maybe I'll write a hub too!  prepare yourselves.


  6. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    I was never a believer. A church-goer, yes, dragged by well meaning parents, but never a believer.

    Death doesn't bother me much. I don't like the idea of leaving my family, but I am sad for their loss, not for my own.

    I don't have a bucket list. If I ever wanted to do anything unusual, I have already done it.

    At 62, my affairs are always reasonably in order, although genetics says  i am likely to be around another thirty years or more.  If I knew that I would die in my sleep tonight, I would just sit here doing the same things I am doing now. Maybe an extra email to some old friends, but probably no goodbye web post.  I'd be extra sure to kiss my wife goodnight and hold her hand a little longer as I drifted off, but nothing else unusual.

    I do fear weakness and ill health. Again, that is because I do not want to be a burden on anyone else. I hope to die in my sleep.

    Having loved my wife for 44 years, the most painful thing to imagine is which of us will go first. I would be lost without her, but I would not want her to suffer the pain of my death. That is the hardest part of death for me.

    1. thisisoli profile image70
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Fully agree with all of that, an I would hate life if I was crippled or slowly dieing.

      One reason I am for euthanasia is because I the thought of dieing slowly and painfully from an incurable disease sounds like the worst thing that can happen to a person, and an even worse thing to happen to that persons relatives and friends.

      1. Pcunix profile image90
        Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        And it infuriates me that the legal obstacles to that come from religious people.  Why should I as an atheist not be able to end my life? Their imaginary god-thing supposedly doesn't like the idea, but I don't believe in such things.

        1. fatfist profile image63
          fatfistposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Actually, the arrogant God-YHWH-thing would love to vaporize you right this very second.
          But the loving, kind-hearted, and gentler version, the God-Jesus-thing, would love to see you tortured with flames and hot Devilish pokers for eternity.

          1. hanging out profile image61
            hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            be afraid be very afraid or read some hubs and become up to date and educated about hell. You will be surprised to LEARN that the old testament and new testament do not support; torture with flames and hot Devilish pokers for eternity. they do purport separation from God and if you think that aint gonna sting....lol. But relax, after an undisclosed amount of time, extinguishment awaits! This is a loving Gods just end: "that those who believe not should partake not".

            if God vaporized all the sinners, it would be a very different world. You see, sin destroys society and in a perfect world there would be no sin. Is that what people want? Instead of being so arrogant yourself you should be thanking Him that those who sin are not smote, dare i say, hence you live. Everything today is made possible by jesus, so to call him a thing should have got you smote. Now give thanks. smile

            1. fatfist profile image63
              fatfistposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Hanging Out,

              And this Divine Drivel is supposed to be taken by the audience as 100% certainty.....especially when the clown spewing this drivel is the SAME clown who told me that “WIND MOVES TREES” in my hub: God & Jesus are worthless concepts.

              Do concepts cause motion in your religion, Mr. Hanging? Do concepts move trees?
              Do you understand the difference between an object and a concept?
              Do you even understand the basics of language? If not, then that explains why you believe in a “God”.

              Does your God Hypothesis assume that God is an OBJECT or a CONCEPT? You don’t even have the slightest clue what your God Hypothesis entails, do you?

              You had absolutely NO argument to debunk my hub and ran with your tail between your legs, and yet you have the NERVE to spew your Divine BS in a public forum??? What did you think, that people will believe someone who can’t even get the basics of language?

              Here, let me educate you....you’ll need to pass this test and talk coherently before they let out of the padded walls of your Insane Asylum: creation is impossible and God-The-Creator is IMPOSSIBLE.....get over it and get a life!

              1. hanging out profile image61
                hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Yah sounds impossible that wind moves trees. LOL and your rebuttle was to have 2000 people tie ropes to trees and shake them.
                Your hub absolutely stunk of fatted up self flattery and bolluck arguments. honestly i had a laugh as you floundered around trying desperately to stay afloat.

        2. hanging out profile image61
          hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          The reason society won't allow euthanasia is because like everything else it will become corrupt. Somebody will kill somebody and then be offed nice and quietly, or people will pay people to kill someone then take euthansia and their family will be supported financially. Euthanasia will be used to avoid the justice system.
          The reason religiosity is involved is because years and years ago, in fact the farther away from the days of jesus we get, the more ungodly the world becomes. At one time jesus died last week now its 2000 yrs later and god has become a laudable ideaology.

          but to answer your question pcunix,     Its like this. Every day of life is an opportunity to accept jesus and be saved. Once that happens, miracles can occur. Illness sometimes is a vehicle for saving grace, although i am not a huge endorser of 'death bed repentence' (as there are no works and no growth to the christian life and often it is like when a non believer gets scared about what's next, they quickly pray, but God knows the heart. enough said. Gods word does say:
          2 Corinthians 7:10 "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death". So there is a difference.
          Once a person accepts jesus and repents, their deadly afflictions can (and have) turn around, yes a miracle!.
          This is why God frowns upon suicide as it finishes the work that God can do in the persons life.
          Now i am sure you will want to say, but what about the person who cannot remember who they are, etc... Yes there are always exceptions to the rule, every time. I am not here to debate those exceptions, lets just hope that you or somebody you know does not become one of those exceptions.

          1. profile image0
            AKA Winstonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            (The reason society won't allow euthanasia is because like everything else it will become corrupt. Somebody will kill somebody)

            Well, Duh! 

            This is kind of like saying "we can't legalize marijuanna because someone will smoke a doobie".

            1. hanging out profile image61
              hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              just so ya know
              Not really the same thing but i don't care to get into it with ya

              1. profile image0
                AKA Winstonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Yes, I forgot that in your religion you can euthenize someone without killing them.

                1. profile image0
                  kimberlyslyricsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  ha lol

                2. profile image0
                  Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this


                3. hanging out profile image61
                  hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  oh now i get it... i could not figure out what you meant. Apparently i am euthanized but not dead or killed.
                  Of course that is your opinion.
                  my opinion is that my life is far more lovely and wonderful and exciting because of God. I have met wonderful NONsinners who are positive and full of life.
                  But as i have said before, those that are spiritually dead, ohboy... are euthanized and still walking
                  man i am good.

          2. spookyfox profile image60
            spookyfoxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            "in fact the farther away from the days of jesus we get, the more ungodly the world becomes."

            Ah, the good ol' slavery days, when everything was so godly. smile

    2. Jonathan Janco profile image60
      Jonathan Jancoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Pcunix, I couldn't help but be very moved by your reply. I wasn't going to respond to the post but you inspired me. At death, I will have hoped to have accomplished something I can leave behind that the living will find useful or atleast noteworthy. I have to admit that I at one point considered myself atheist, mainly because I wasn't interested in religion. Now, and those who have read my hubs will know this, I consider myself Luciferian. I've noticed some people get routinely disturbed even by the mere mention of the term, but I give wayyyyyyyyyyy less than a f*** about what other people think of what I believe. But if you want to know I don't mind sharing. Luciferianism is all about experiencing love . . . truly deep, emotional, spiritual, personal love. You have a mind, heart and soul for a reason, so use it for good. When you die you won't be judged by your creator, you will judge yourself when you return to the spirit.

  7. thisisoli profile image70
    thisisoliposted 13 years ago

    Death doesn't particularly scare me, I view it as the point where my life, conciousness and all, ends.  Once it's over it won't really be my concern anymore.

    What worries me about death is the affect it will have on anyone I leave behind.

  8. Pcunix profile image90
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    I have nothing more to say for reasons quite obvious to those who are not religious.

  9. Tirzah Laughs profile image60
    Tirzah Laughsposted 13 years ago

    I think that the idea of no afterlife sounds peaceful.  No more expectations, no one's needs to fulfill. 

    I've always dreaded the idea of an afterlife.  Or worse yet, to be reborn and have to do this all again.

    Life should not be thought of a dress rehearsal.

    I don't think all atheists should he painted with the same brush.  You can't assume that all atheists will agree.

    Do all Fundamentalist Christians match Catholics or Protestants agree?  All are loosely Christian but all vary greatly.

    I'm  not sure I believe in God.  And no, I don't want anyone's religious guidance.  Religion is one of the reason, atheistic beliefs start to  sounds appealing.   But then again, some atheists are just as annoying as the over zealous Bible thumpers.

    I hope that after life, it's just peaceful quiet darkness like being in a deep, deep sleep without dreams.

  10. getitrite profile image69
    getitriteposted 13 years ago

    I didn't want to die in my youth, but when I become old, and all my old aquaintances are gone, the world will be lonelier.
    At that time I will welcome death.

    As far as an afterlife--Why would I desire to be resurrected if death has already relieved me from the stress of living?

  11. profile image0
    kimberlyslyricsposted 13 years ago

    Just curious as to what my beliefs about death, as an atheist or not, have absolutely anything to do with your poem, are clearly not an atheist?  Maybe we'll post enough your imagination will creatively place them all together for some awesome, not boas reading?

    Respectfully, I just am not sure your point

    But have a great evening nevertheless


  12. brimancandy profile image77
    brimancandyposted 13 years ago

    I wouldn't call myself an atheist, but, I don't think there is really a true place where our supposed souls will go after we die. It is obviouis that once you are dead that's it.

    We came into this world as a creation from a physical act between a man and a woman that resulted in our births. We don't become aware of who we are until a few years after we are born, and life is a total learning experience until the day we die. And, then you no longer exist, except in the minds of the people who are still living that knew you.

    A real eye opener is driving down the road and seeing that dead animal on the side of the road. In some places that same animal will be laying there for weeks until other animals have devoured it, or it decomposes. The same thing would happen to every dead person, if they were not burried in the ground.

    I am half tempted to believe that death and heaven or hell are one and the same. I don't think you will be able to think like you would if you were still alive. To think that you would be able to see and experience any heaven or hell after you are dead leaves a huge question mark in most peoples minds. I personally don't believe you go anywhere other than where you are burried, died, or cremated sitting in a jar on someones fireplace mantle.

    My dad was cremated when he died. Now he is in a box about the size of a shoebox, burried in the cemetary near my parents house up north. I would like to think that he went to a special place, but, all I really know for sure is that he is dead, and, he is never coming back, and, when I die it will be the same.

    I still think it is very sad that wars are being fought over this idea, and the only thing it is accomplishes is more dead people. If there is this wonderful God, and this place called heaven, why is it that we have to wait until we are dead to go there? Why can't we see this place while we are alive?

    Seems like the act of a very selfish person. Do everything I say and want you to do or else. Yet there is supposed to be all this love and greatness, that scares the shit of people. Why?
    And, the thing that irritates me the most, is when you start asking questions. Those bible thumpers will get angry, and get into your face and shove the Why's down your throat.

    Sorry. But, I think the whole thing is crazy.

  13. spookyfox profile image60
    spookyfoxposted 13 years ago

    "The reason society won't allow euthanasia is because like everything else it will become corrupt."

    That very well could be the reason, but I highly doubt it is. Society has a tendency to rebel against anything and everything new, specially when considering what everyone else says and what's politically correct. Same reason ideas like women's rights, race equality and recently sexual orientation choice are rejected, along with abortion and euthanasia. Very often people outside this subjects and completely unaffected by them are those with the strongest opinions against them. Most people don't like change.

    1. hanging out profile image61
      hanging outposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Do you ever wonder why we have so many rules and regulations? Because somebody has found to circumnavigate the rules. This always happens in society. 13yr olds could not be charged in adult court so they were hired to kill people and they would get a slap, so the courts lowered the age of adult court in these situations. The sexual consenting age used to be 21 but due to unwed mothers and sexual awareness through political correctness the age was lowered.
      I don't understand how you can say "That very well could be the reason, but I highly doubt it is" You doubt people who want to euthanize themselves will not be stopped as they approach the EUcenter and be given a contract that will greatly assist their families for a favor.
      I highly don't doubt it is one of the reasons... Its not that someone will use it as in legalize pot and someone will smoke a doobie, lol, that was a drunken statement lol.. but someone will find a way to corrupt it and this could have serious ramifications, moreso that someone smoking a doobie.

  14. tonynosense profile image59
    tonynosenseposted 13 years ago

    When I first lost my religious faith, the loss of immortality bothered me some. Not so much anymore though. Who really wants to live forever? Endless trillions of centuries of praising someone would be hell no matter where you ended up!

    1. Jerami profile image59
      Jeramiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      What IF ??  that is exactly why the earth was created.

         What if living a physical life here on earth could be seen as having a weeks vacation from our hum drum eternity.

         And Gods laws are kinda like being told ,,  Don't do such and such while you are in Mexico.  They will put you in their jail and mess up your whole vacation.

  15. Salvator profile image61
    Salvatorposted 13 years ago

    As a former Jewish born, Christian raised (in school) 60 year old Humanist, I know that death is the final curtain. My life after death is only in the memory of others, in my children but nowhere else. This means I need to live every moment, and recognise that there are no second opportunities. Were I a writer or painter or musician, my 'immortality' would be on the written page. I do not expect to be reunited with those who died before me, and before you ask, I do believe that GOD is that good spark in mankind - each and every one of them. Sadly though the evil tends to be stronger and this destroys the GOD within.

    I respect those who have faith, be they Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or any other religious sect. I just do not feel that superstition is for me.

  16. earnestshub profile image80
    earnestshubposted 13 years ago

    Nice post Sandra, makes sense. smile


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