I’ve recently started to shun my religious upbringing and it has already led to some great improvements in my life. I was just wondering how you guys personally deal with the fact that there is no afterlife? Do you just try to live the most out of everyday? How do you console yourself, or do you face the truth head on? Sorry if the questions are stupid, like I said, I’m new. Thanks in advance.
The strange thing is? I never really thought about an afterlife when I became an atheist. It just wasn’t so high on my list of things to worry about. I assume it is because I was young.
Since then I have thought a bit about death and have only this to say. And it echoes Stephen Hawkings. Our brain is hardware. Our minds are software. The notion that the mind can exist without the brain is ridiculous, but that is what a soul is. The notion that should our 2.5 Kg brains stop working, we will somehow continue to live.
Everything you are were, are and will be is encoded in chemistry. You are one continuous and wonderful chemical reaction that stops when you die.
But that has a price. That means every thought and every action is a product of that chemistry. While this is impressive and indeed far more marvellous than simply waving a hand and claiming it occurs by magic or a divine spark, it does mean one thing. That we only live once, and it is just this life that we have. When we die we stop.
There is no heaven for broken computers.
But we cannot change this. We can delay it. We can cheat death. I am a professional death cheater. I do things to ensure people do not die today and instead die at some point in the future. Ultimately it is futile but so is building a sand castle. But you don’t see the value of even a minute of life that a mother gets to share with her child or the years given to others. Time? Is meant to be used as we see fit. You cannot hoard it. And time wasted on pleasure is hardly a waste to me.
We have long claimed that we live in the Kingdom of Gods, that they rule us. Through logic and reason we probably live in the Republic of Men and it is our duty to try and make this world a little bit better for those that follow us. That doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy ourselves, but that we do so responsibly so that all may enjoy the 70 to 90 years we live for.
And when we die? It is sad and it is scary, but it is a fact of life. Prayer to the gods of your choice isn’t going to change that. It is better to have reached that stage with no regrets about how you used your life. Paradise lies at your feet if you have love in your heart. Corny, but true. The things you love make the world a better place to live in. Be it your hobbies, or your actions or the people you choose to live with.
It is our job as humans to try and create heaven where we can and in what capacity we can for us and each other. And that is the sort of world I wish to live in so it dictates the sort of actions I have made. I may not be perfect, I may not be special. I may make mistakes. But the thing here is that we all make them and it is up to us to grow as humans and define ourselves as more than just homo sapiens and to never stop improving.
The world may never be perfect, but what we create endures.
Everyone dies, we all die scared. Some of us are lucky to be unconscious. To say that I do not fear death is a lie, but I accept it exists. What I choose, is how I deal with that fear. I do not let it consume me and leave me a wreck. I fear death but I know I cannot change that. So I aim to enjoy what time I do have and live my life.
And this is heaven and the only heaven we are likely to see. And so we must build heaven at our feet.
The purpose of life is to live.