Author Topic: So, how does one go from believing in the eternity of the spirit to considering  (Read 2595 times)

that soon we will all be nothing more than a rotting piece of flesh in a coffin?  Big change in belief.  I am having a hard time grasping the possibility that we will all be a rotting piece of meat in a coffin, nothing more, no afterlife for the people and animals I love (loved)...that I will one day no longer see the people and animals  I love (loved).  Mainly the God I believed in with all my heart and soul--or what I thought was a soul--is just magical thinking of the human brain.  How do I handle this...?...that we all are just a wink in a moment of time.  That you, me, them will one day be nothing more than a name...just a name in a census record...just a name.  And this will happen soon especially if one considers, really considers, that the earth is literally Billions of years...Billions of years old.  Billions.  And billions of humans have walked this earth...nothing special about you, about me, about the people I love (loved) including the children I have loved.That we are no more when we die...just creatures who die with nothing immortal about our souls...that souls don't exist.  So how does one go from believing in this to all this? Btw,  I have had too much wine to drink.  Because...because the thought that the mother I loved, that the animals I loved, end at the grave.  It's too much for this primitive animal brain to handle.

Help me please to handle this possibility sez the secular nun.  Big change...oh, yeah.

Offline aitm

If you cannot handle it, then by all means don't . Not that hard.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline doorknob

Maybe it's just me but, it's really not that hard. Death is a part of nature that every one must face head on. I can't tell you what happens after we die so why bank on the next life that may or may not exist? I have this life, the one I know exist and I have. I will live this one to  the fullest and when death comes to get me I'm prepared to take a big dirt nap.

Offline Munch

I've not had a hard time of it adapting to this way of thinking, it just is.

I think of it like, stars turn into supernovas, and die, its matter blasting out across space and time, leaving a void at the end. There is no longer a star, just the husk of one. And if even stars and the planets surrounding them all go the same why, why bother getting upset about it, its just what it is.

Maybe try and just live each day and do the stuff you want with the people you love, and be happy to get to do it, not everyone even has that advantage, like those with mental deficiencies or genetic oddities that cause it. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabeties at age two, and if I was born 100 years before I'd be dead, so I'm just thankful i get to live, love, experience stuff, in the time I'm in. 

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Don't make death into more than what it is. It's just a dreamless sleep, like before you were born. And as evidenced by accounts of near-death experiences, our brains have mechanisms to make death easier.

So, how does one go from believing in the eternity of the spirit to considering that soon we will all be nothing more than a rotting piece of flesh in a coffin?
I'd imagine it's roughly the same process that one goes through from believing anything outlandish and unrealistic to something much more realistic but also more uncomfortable.

Life sucks and believing differently doesn't change that fact.  Might as well face the music head on.  In fact, trying to sugarcoat it might inadvertently make things worse by introducing new anxieties (like hell).

Can you really imagine living forever? We put to much value in this life, I mean just look around at the chaos of this world. Donald fucking Trump is President, I'm not sure I'm happy to be alive right now. Honestly you'll be much more comfortable dead, where you won't have to worry about anything.

On that note, if you're really concerned you might as well try to be immortalized through history and make a great change in the world. Then at least you can die content. I'm sure that would make your loved ones proud.
"To have faith is to lose your mind and to win God."
-The Sickness unto Death - 1849

that soon we will all be nothing more than a rotting piece of flesh in a coffin?  Big change in belief.  I am having a hard time grasping the possibility that we will all be a rotting piece of meat in a coffin, nothing more, no afterlife for the people and animals I love (loved)...that I will one day no longer see the people and animals  I love (loved).  Mainly the God I believed in with all my heart and soul--or what I thought was a soul--is just magical thinking of the human brain.  How do I handle this...?...that we all are just a wink in a moment of time.  That you, me, them will one day be nothing more than a name...just a name in a census record...just a name.  And this will happen soon especially if one considers, really considers, that the earth is literally Billions of years...Billions of years old.  Billions.  And billions of humans have walked this earth...nothing special about you, about me, about the people I love (loved) including the children I have loved.That we are no more when we die...just creatures who die with nothing immortal about our souls...that souls don't exist.  So how does one go from believing in this to all this? Btw,  I have had too much wine to drink.  Because...because the thought that the mother I loved, that the animals I loved, end at the grave.  It's too much for this primitive animal brain to handle.

Help me please to handle this possibility sez the secular nun.  Big change...oh, yeah.
Quite a culture shock for you apparently.  I can understand that.  To come from a sincere belief and to then realize (or be in the process of that realization) that a belief held with sincerity is just that; still a belief.  There are no facts of evidence to support said belief.  That is a big step to take.  But examine the things you are talking about.  Have you seen any evidence that supports immortality?  Or god's love for that matter.  Either is something is natural or it doesn't exist.  There is nothing I've seen that is super natural or beyond nature.  If you have to have a belief to support a belief, then it just really isn't anything other than a fantasy you want to be true.  I have lost many (people and animals) that I have loved.  And in my thoughts I still love them; and they live on in my head.  But one day I will become scattered atoms that will be used in the construction of something else.  And that's that.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Maybe it's just me but, it's really not that hard. Death is a part of nature that every one must face head on. I can't tell you what happens after we die so why bank on the next life that may or may not exist? I have this life, the one I know exist and I have. I will live this one to  the fullest and when death comes to get me I'm prepared to take a big dirt nap.

This is actually Hindu (Shiva worship) and Buddhist ... it has to do with the meditation on the cremation ground (and the god Shiva, the uber-meditator, covering his face with human ashes).

Typically the Greco-Romans weren't so morbid.  The Judeo-Christians, a W Asian culture, brought in elements from pessimistic Egypt, Babylonia, Persia and India.

It was Buddha, contemplating the poor, the sick, the dead ... who renounced a perfectly good job as luxury prince.
שלום

Offline Baruch

The unexamined life isn't worth living anyway .. and everyone has unexamined beliefs that they tie themselves into knots over.  Though I think the point of self examination, isn't nihilism, but clarity.

Most Western people believe in linear time, that we have one life only, and think that time passes them, not them passing time.  Many Eastern people believe in circular time, and that we live many lives.  Most people assume they are alive, that they are conscious, that they are good.  These are all unjustifiable assumptions.  Consider that you might in fact be dead, a zombie.  In Greco-Roman afterlife, most people ended up in Hades, as a kind of ghost, but some also believed in reincarnation after you had drunk from the river Lethe (forgetfulness).  This reappears as the Christian Purgatory and Hell.  Hell corresponding to the maximum security prison of Tartarus, where the elemental Titans are kept prisoner.  How different would you be if you were a Greco-Roman pagan?  What if Christianity is a form of Jewish-Buddhism, or Catholicism is Roman paganism continued by other means?

My ex was a nun ... so I understand that kind of crisis of faith (fairy tale).  In my case, as a Jewish Kabbalist, I am tolerated here as theist comic relief.  So this is a kind of Purgatory for me, but nicer than Hades.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 12:18:42 AM by Baruch »
שלום

Your mother does not end at the grave, and neither do you.  You suffer and enjoy the consequences of your actions, and here's the kicker, others are similarly affected.  Your mother lives on in you and everyone else she's made and influence on, and you'll do the same.  That moment of patience and kindness that your mother showed you, that you may not even remember, has in some small way made an influence on you and everyone you've come into contact with.  Similarly, those moments of selfishness and cruelty will have detrimental affects, far beyond what you can imagine.

Even centuries beyond their deaths, there are some whose influence perseveres and gives them a kind of immortality, for good or bad.  Will you and everyone else be dust in "billions of years?" Of course, but there is so much possible happiness, goodness and fulfillment in your lifetime and the lifetimes of your loved ones, that the distant future has no significance.

Enjoy your life and do your best to pass that on to others.  Cheers.

 

Offline Cavebear

that soon we will all be nothing more than a rotting piece of flesh in a coffin?  Big change in belief.  I am having a hard time grasping the possibility that we will all be a rotting piece of meat in a coffin, nothing more, no afterlife for the people and animals I love (loved)...that I will one day no longer see the people and animals  I love (loved).  Mainly the God I believed in with all my heart and soul--or what I thought was a soul--is just magical thinking of the human brain.  How do I handle this...?...that we all are just a wink in a moment of time.  That you, me, them will one day be nothing more than a name...just a name in a census record...just a name.  And this will happen soon especially if one considers, really considers, that the earth is literally Billions of years...Billions of years old.  Billions.  And billions of humans have walked this earth...nothing special about you, about me, about the people I love (loved) including the children I have loved.That we are no more when we die...just creatures who die with nothing immortal about our souls...that souls don't exist.  So how does one go from believing in this to all this? Btw,  I have had too much wine to drink.  Because...because the thought that the mother I loved, that the animals I loved, end at the grave.  It's too much for this primitive animal brain to handle.

Help me please to handle this possibility sez the secular nun.  Big change...oh, yeah.

Smash a housefly with a swatter.  It is dead.  We all will be equally dead some day. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch

You are safe.  It takes a really big flyswatter to smash a bear ;-)
שלום

that soon we will all be nothing more than a rotting piece of flesh in a coffin?  Big change in belief.  I am having a hard time grasping the possibility that we will all be a rotting piece of meat in a coffin, nothing more, no afterlife for the people and animals I love (loved)...that I will one day no longer see the people and animals  I love (loved).  Mainly the God I believed in with all my heart and soul--or what I thought was a soul--is just magical thinking of the human brain.  How do I handle this...?...that we all are just a wink in a moment of time.  That you, me, them will one day be nothing more than a name...just a name in a census record...just a name.  And this will happen soon especially if one considers, really considers, that the earth is literally Billions of years...Billions of years old.  Billions.  And billions of humans have walked this earth...nothing special about you, about me, about the people I love (loved) including the children I have loved.That we are no more when we die...just creatures who die with nothing immortal about our souls...that souls don't exist.  So how does one go from believing in this to all this? Btw,  I have had too much wine to drink.  Because...because the thought that the mother I loved, that the animals I loved, end at the grave.  It's too much for this primitive animal brain to handle.

Help me please to handle this possibility sez the secular nun.  Big change...oh, yeah.
Can't help, I've been rational all my life. (Except for the time I volunteered for a job that would probably get me killed, but that was military, not religious.)

I can say that it's easy to live without expectation of an afterlife, as easy as living without the "sure and certain hope" that Santa will be here in a few weeks.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Cavebear

Can't help, I've been rational all my life. (Except for the time I volunteered for a job that would probably get me killed, but that was military, not religious.)

I can say that it's easy to live without expectation of an afterlife, as easy as living without the "sure and certain hope" that Santa will be here in a few weeks.

Agreeing with you on this.  Once you catch on to the fact that there is no "afterlife", this one becomes more valuable. It the only one we get.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950