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A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
#1
A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
Apparently, this went viral on Facebook and now it's making the major news sites. A 36-year-old, non-religious young mother died from breast cancer. She retained her joy and zest for life (as well as humor) until the end. It's a great example of the fallacy a lot of religious have about how bleak it must be to be an atheist. To be fair, this woman wasn't necessarily one but she did write letters before her death imploring people to not to console her daughter with religious platitudes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/young-mom-wh...ny-letter/
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein
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#2
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
Atheism gives one the opportunity to live and die in the real world; in the end, everyone dies in the real World, because, there is no other World in which one can live and die in!  Religion is a form of mental substance abuse; atheism's motto is, "Just say 'No'!"  The woman in the news story decided to embrace reality and not fantasy.
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
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#3
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
That's a great attitude to have.

I remember hearing that religious fantasies about afterlives can stifle the grieving process and prevent people properly coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

I've never understood the whole "meaning" argument. They seem to have it entirely backwards. If someone thinks this life is all there is, they are more likely to value it than someone who thinks it's just a relatively short introduction to the "real" life.
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#4
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
After death you will only exist in the memory of those who knew you, asking where you go after that is like asking where the music goes when the band stops playing.

I have thought about my death, I have planned my funeral, arranged the music, everything, the first line in the plan is "At the funeral there should be no priests, vicars, ministers, shamans, witch doctors or other peddlers of superstitious nonsense."
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#5
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
(December 23, 2015 at 2:31 am)robvalue Wrote: That's a great attitude to have.

I remember hearing that religious fantasies about afterlives can stifle the grieving process and prevent people properly coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

I've never understood the whole "meaning" argument. They seem to have it entirely backwards. If someone thinks this life is all there is, they are more likely to value it than someone who thinks it's just a relatively short introduction to the "real" life.

It's all the "real" life, no less real than the coming one. The question to me isn't whether or not this life has meaning to an atheist or not. It's more that the atheist is not experiencing the entire meaning of life because he doesn't believe in the afterlife. This life here has much meaning to me and when it's time to go I'll probably experience some sad feelings because I'll think about missing loved ones and so on. God doesn't want us to just waste our lives on earth because of what we anticipate in the next life, otherwise there would be no reason to live here. Belief in an afterlife should, in no way, diminish the quality of our lives here, but rather enhance it. We don't need to be shaken by the difficulties and bad experiences we encounter. If we are suffering here and can't change our circumstances, we can know that we will have a better existence for eternity. Maybe a fantasy about the afterlife could stifle someone's grieving process, but I'm not going to teach my children that there is no afterlife so that they can grieve easier no more than I'd tell them some other lie to soothe them.
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#6
A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
[quote]Belief in an afterlife should, in no way, diminish the quality of our lives here, but rather enhance it. We don't need to be shaken by the difficulties and bad experiences we encounter. If we are suffering here and can't change our circumstances, we can know that we will have a better existence for eternity. Maybe a fantasy about the afterlife could stifle someone's grieving process, but I'm not going to teach my children that there is no afterlife so that they can grieve easier no more than I'd tell them some other lie to soothe them.[/qoute]

But not everyone needs to believe in an afterlife in order to find joy or hope in unfortunate circumstances. Many people are capable of happiness and appreciation even in the direst of times, without relying on the concept of an afterlife.

And conversely, I think the idea of an afterlife could actually have the opposite effect on some people that you think it should. If I was suffering terribly in this world with no end in sight, and I believed I was entering into a heavenly afterlife as soon as my life on earth ends, I might be inclined to just hurry up and be done with it.

Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#7
A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
Quote:Belief in an afterlife should, in no way, diminish the quality of our lives here, but rather enhance it. We don't need to be shaken by the difficulties and bad experiences we encounter. If we are suffering here and can't change our circumstances, we can know that we will have a better existence for eternity. Maybe a fantasy about the afterlife could stifle someone's grieving process, but I'm not going to teach my children that there is no afterlife so that they can grieve easier no more than I'd tell them some other lie to soothe them.[/qoute]

But not everyone needs to believe in an afterlife in order to find joy or hope in unfortunate circumstances. Many people are capable of happiness and appreciation even in the direst of times, without relying on the concept of an afterlife.

And conversely, I think the idea of an afterlife could actually have the opposite effect on some people that you think it should. If I was suffering terribly in this world with no end in sight, and I believed I was entering into a heavenly afterlife as soon as my life on earth ends, I might be inclined to just hurry up and be done with it.


Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#8
A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
Quote:Belief in an afterlife should, in no way, diminish the quality of our lives here, but rather enhance it. We don't need to be shaken by the difficulties and bad experiences we encounter. If we are suffering here and can't change our circumstances, we can know that we will have a better existence for eternity. Maybe a fantasy about the afterlife could stifle someone's grieving process, but I'm not going to teach my children that there is no afterlife so that they can grieve easier no more than I'd tell them some other lie to soothe them.

But not everyone needs to believe in an afterlife in order to find joy or hope in unfortunate circumstances. Many people are capable of happiness and appreciation even in the direst of times, without relying on the concept of an afterlife.

And conversely, I think the idea of an afterlife could actually have the opposite effect on some people that you think it should. If I was suffering terribly in this world with no end in sight, and I believed I was entering into a heavenly afterlife as soon as my life on earth ends, I might be inclined to just hurry up and be done with it.

[/quote]

[/quote]

Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#9
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
(January 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm)LadyForCamus Wrote:
Quote:Belief in an afterlife should, in no way, diminish the quality of our lives here, but rather enhance it.  We don't need to be shaken by the difficulties and bad experiences we encounter.  If we are suffering here and can't change our circumstances, we can know that we will have a better existence for eternity.  Maybe a fantasy about the afterlife could stifle someone's grieving process, but I'm not going to teach my children that there is no afterlife so that they can grieve easier no more than I'd tell them some other lie to soothe them.

But not everyone needs to believe in an afterlife in order to find joy or hope in unfortunate circumstances.  Many people are capable of happiness and appreciation even in the direst of times, without relying on the concept of an afterlife.  

And conversely, I think the idea of an afterlife could actually have the opposite effect on some people that you think it should.  If I was suffering terribly in this world with no end in sight, and I believed I was entering into a heavenly afterlife as soon as my life on earth ends, I might be inclined to just hurry up and be done with it.  

As a christian I wouldn't take my own life because I belong to God. That wouldn't be an option. I could see that if someone believed that, no matter what, they would have a blissful existence after death and didn't owe their life to God, that they would use suicide as an escape from their suffering. But it doesn't go along with the beliefs of christianity.
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#10
RE: A Non-Religious Person's Meaning in Life and Death
Sure it does.  Intentional martyrdom is suicide. Knowingly giving up one's own life for one's beliefs. You think of martyrdom as a virtue, but suicide an escape...so they can't be the same thing....ignoring that they are interchangeable in the most "virtuous" of situations, wherein the martyr fully understands the consequences of their actions.

I met plenty of people who committed suicide precisely -because- they belonged to god...I met them briefly and violently, generally, at the end of their lives.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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