Atheist Meme of the Day: Death is Part of Life


Scarlet letter Today’s Atheist Meme of the Day, from my Facebook page. Pass this on; or don’t; or edit it as you see fit; or make up your own. Enjoy!

Atheism does have comfort to offer in the face of death. Among other things, it offers the idea that death is an inherent part of life — necessary in order for life and change to move forward. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.

Comments

  1. Ramel says

    I think we’ve been here before… Call me selfish if you must but I don’t find the idea of life moving forward without me and those I care about to be all that comforting.

  2. says

    Some of the facts of life are simply ugly and death is one of them. If science ever succeeds in conquering death we’ll be more than happy to see it go.
    And how do we know death is necessary for change? For the world to “move forward”. Maybe immortal humans could come up with better ways to make progress possible than by killing off everyone who’s ever lived a generation at a time.

  3. valhar2000 says

    I have to agree, I don’t think there is anything comforting in an atheists view of death. However, I don’t think that most theistic views of death that I have heard of have anything better to offer and, in fact, nothing after death is much preferable to many of the after-lives I have heard of.

  4. says

    And again, I say: If you don’t find this particular view of death comforting, that’s fine. Some people do. I do. And I think it’s important to let believers — especially believers who are considering atheism or who are on the fence about it — know that atheism doesn’t have to be a bleak and depressing way to live.

  5. says

    No, the nonexistence of God or an afterlife does not entail that life must be bleak or depressing.
    But death is still an unpleasant reality—one can, of course, find life wonderful and still acknowledge that there are facts about life that truly suck.
    Saying that death is “an inherent part of life” doesn’t change that. Why should anyone who’s actually thought the proposition through carefully find it comforting that death is an inherent part of life? The only way I see to do so is to be tacitly embracing some sort of vaguely Taoist or pantheistic woo.
    Whether its legitimately seen as comforting or not, though, you’re also making a rather dubious claim: that death is “necessary in order for life and change to move forward”.
    Says who? I don’t know anyone who’s observed a society of immortals as a basis for comparison.

  6. says

    The problem for me is that this meme smacks of reverence for nature. Or perhaps I should say Nature.
    But nature is not a thing to feel reverence for. Awe and wonder and a sense of the sublime? Sure. But, as beautiful as it can be, nature is also a blind, mindless, pitiless thing. Its order is not to be revered. Its to be improved upon.

  7. ToppHogg says

    Maybe it’s just how I am. but I first went to a funeral at age 4. I remember thinking that many of my relatives were acting very strangely, as if they wanted to take away the attention I thought was being focused on my dear departed grandfather.
    I have never felt that someone dying was sad in and of itself, provided that the deceased had a chance to live life as much as possible and that the cause was something outside of human control. I do care a great deal if someone lost that life involuntarily, and feel very sad when that happens. Murdered children especially tear me up.
    I hope that shows I’m not completely without emotion regarding death even as I accept that it is a part of life.

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