I was interviewed for this article about how atheists respond to signs of their own mortality. It’s a little unsurprising…atheists don’t expect to live forever, after all, so there’s no news there.
I am very uncomfortable with the comparison between my recent experiences and what Christopher Hitchens is facing. I had a little cardio-hiccup and quick & easy surgery to correct a potential problem (and a little warning to make some life style changes); Hitchens has a serious disease that is likely to take his life. These aren’t the same thing. These aren’t even close.
I’m also feeling pretty good right now. I’ve been in cardiotherapy three times a week, which has been feeling a little peculiar — I get strapped into an EKG monitor and exercise with a class of 70-80 year olds who’ve had recent heart attacks. It means for the first time in my life it’s like being the jock in PE class. I can run rings around those nice folks. And finally, the instructors have decided I’ve got no problems to worry about, and I’m graduating on Friday.
This is excellent news, because the class was scheduled right before I have to teach here at the U. So no more rushing back to class all sweaty and fatigued, and most importantly, no more keeping my chest shaved (hint if you’re going in for routine heart monitoring: a good shave will save a lot of annoyance when they start taping electrodes all over your body).
So yes, atheists are aware that they’ll die someday. And this atheist is fairly confident his death isn’t imminent, OK?