How can atheists feel comfortable about death?
June 5, 2005 5:45 PM Subscribe
I am an atheist. My inevitable death and the deaths of those I love causes me occasional mental distress. I have no afterlife to look forward to, only oblivion. Is there a way of thinking about this that will make me feel better about it, or should I resign myself to feeling really down about it from time to time?
posted by obiwanwasabi to Religion & Philosophy (76 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The idea that there will probably be a time in which the human lifespan will be considerably longer, and possibly indefinite, is particularly irksome. Some future obiwanwasabi living forever with his loved ones while I am reduced to dust is quite depressing.
"There's nothing you can do about it - accept it" isn't comforting at all. "It happens to everybody" used to be vaguely comforting, until I realised that it probably wasn't true for some future humans. The idea that some particularly advanced and benevolent humans will time travel, snatch my mind at the point of death and "resurrect" me and and my loved ones to live in their perfect universe doesn't sound terribly likely (though I am keen to hear of other ways in which atheists might be able to enjoy an 'afterlife').
I'm hoping that there's some way of looking at it that I haven't considered that helps me to think about it in a better way. You know the old trick of rephrasing "What is the meaning of life?" as "How can I live a life that is meaningful to me?" I'm hoping there's something like that for kicking the bucket.