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family_guy
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:55 PM)
There's nothing to tell. You die. Nobody knows what happens after.
Rudimental
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:56 PM)
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http://existentialcomics.com/comic/178
Lothar
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:56 PM)

Originally Posted by snacknuts

You're going to talk about the concept of heaven, or tell them that it actually exists and that's where people go when they die? If the latter, I have to ask why. And at what point do you tell them you were intentionally lying to them about all of it?

The latter.

Well I'm not going to tell them "The fact that nothing lasts forever makes life all the more precious. " because I believe that's a crock of shit. The alternative would be telling them it's all meaningless since we die because that's what I believe. God, I hope they never think that. I certainly would never at any point tell them that. I would hope they go through their whole lives believing the opposite of that. Nor would I tell anyone I care about that when they're experiencing a loss.
Mahonay
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:56 PM)
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Death is natural. Everything ends at some point. I'm fine with it.

The universe is mind bogglingly vast and complex. I'm happy I'm here at all.
Kai Dracon
Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
(04-21-2017, 03:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by TyrantII

Star dust to star dust.

It's wierd, but I find it illogically comforting that the things that make me up were born in the celestial furnace of a star, and that's where some of it will end up again.

I don't think this is weird or illogical. More people could benefit from understanding the scale of the cosmos and their relation to it.

The human mind is built for continuity. The insecurity of the ego can be soothed by internalizing the idea that you are truthfully part of everything, and that chain literally cannot be broken - particles aren't destroyed, just knocked around.
Last edited by Kai Dracon; 04-21-2017 at 03:59 PM.
NandoGip
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(04-21-2017, 03:57 PM)
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Atheist societies are stupid. Gathering together in non-belief doesn't make sense to me

I don't believe in any religions or gods so I guess I'm technically an Athiest. My belief is that when you die, everything goes black and thats it. You are kept alive in the memories of your loved ones. Since when you die, you're dead, I just do my best to be happy every day and to improve my life as much as I can.
capitalCORN
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:58 PM)

Originally Posted by NandoGip

Atheist societies are stupid. Gathering together in non-belief doesn't make sense to me

I don't believe in any religions or gods so I guess I'm technically an Athiest. My belief is that when you die, everything goes black and thats it. You are kept alive in the memories of your loved ones. Since when you die, you're dead, I just do my best to be happy every day and to improve my life as much as I can.

Elephants gather. Hell, I've seen pigeons gather. Do they have religion?
efyu_lemonardo
May I have a cookie?
(04-21-2017, 03:58 PM)
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Also I find this to be very comforting when trying to wrap one's head around the whole "You only live once" thing.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722

AudioNoir
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(04-21-2017, 03:58 PM)
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I plan to tell my kids that no one knows absolutely what happens after you die, so I can't answer.
Mahonay
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(04-21-2017, 03:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by NandoGip

Atheist societies are stupid. Gathering together in non-belief doesn't make sense to me

I don't believe in any religions or gods so I guess I'm technically an Athiest. My belief is that when you die, everything goes black and thats it. You are kept alive in the memories of your loved ones. Since when you die, you're dead, I just do my best to be happy every day and to improve my life as much as I can.

Atheists are the minority on the planet, so gathering together makes sense.
Regulus Tera
Romanes Eunt Domus
(04-21-2017, 03:58 PM)
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It's about the journey, not the destination
slit
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:59 PM)
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Simply tell your child, you don't know what happens after death since nobody truly does.
JordanN
Junior Member
(04-21-2017, 03:59 PM)
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Originally Posted by Mahonay

Death is natural. Everything ends at some point. I'm fine with it.

The universe is mind bogglingly vast and complex. I'm happy I'm here at all.

I always remember that humans have been on this earth (and universe) for a very small fraction of time.

So what happen to all the species before us who died? Especially if they were intelligent? If heaven doesn't discriminate, we should be seeing lots of dinosaurs and insects when we get there.

Hell, even trees should be in heaven. They're alive as well and capable of dying.
JoeNut
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(04-21-2017, 03:59 PM)
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you're worm food, son.
mentallyinept
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(04-21-2017, 04:00 PM)
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As a new(ish) father and an atheist, I haven't really considered how I would approach this.

Apart from echoing other's sentiments about living this life to the fullest, I would approach death probably like this:

"Do you remember what it felt like before you were born? Did it hurt? Exactly. It will be like that."

...or maybe this if my son is older:

"The energy that came together to make you will spread out once again and become part of the rest of the world\universe"
Brandson
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:01 PM)
I plan to tell my kids that your life has meaning by living on through your children and deeds. Just don't be a dick when you're alive so people have good memories of you. Other than that, you won't care about this problem when you're dead, because you'll be dead.
AntraxSuicide
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:03 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lothar

The latter.

Well I'm not going to tell them "The fact that nothing lasts forever makes life all the more precious. " because I believe that's a crock of shit. The alternative would be telling them it's all meaningless since we die because that's what I believe. God, I hope they never think that. I certainly would never at any point tell them that. I would hope they go through their whole lives believing the opposite of that. Nor would I tell anyone I care about that when they're experiencing a loss.

Yeah, I'll say that people who have this "Life is all you get, so might as well be happy" mindset are in a good place, but like any belief, you can't just snap your fingers and buy into it. It's just as easy to say "in 100 years I'll be dead and nothing, so what's the difference if I die alone and sad or happy and loved?" Logically there isn't a difference. You get to the same destination.

My kids are just going to have a lot of religious texts around the house. I'm an atheist but I came to that decision on my own and I'll let them come to it that way as well. I'll drive and go with them to whatever service they want (if they do) and back that call 100%. Religion is a protected class for a reason and I don't really have the jaded view of religion that most atheists seem to have.

edit:

Originally Posted by mentallyinept

As a new(ish) father and an atheist, I haven't really considered how I would approach this.

Apart from echoing other's sentiments about living this life to the fullest, I would approach death probably like this:

"Do you remember what it felt like before you were born? Did it hurt? Exactly. It will be like that."

...or maybe this if my son is older:

"The energy that came together to make you will spread out once again and become part of the rest of the world\universe"

Do the second one. I had panic attacks for years when I first became an atheist because what was the point of living if my entire being was going to shut off one day? What if I went to sleep and died in my sleep?

Related note: I had some wicked insomnia for years until I came to my current mindset (which is that philosophically I'm a mentalist and by conservation of matter and energy I don't believe my consciousness will disappear).
Last edited by AntraxSuicide; 04-21-2017 at 04:05 PM.
Adam_Vania
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(04-21-2017, 04:03 PM)
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if you are an atheist you must accept that nobody has authority on what happens after death. including atheists. fwiw it's just as misleading to say atheists "know what happens after death".

given the malleability of human consciousness, it's extremely possible that the death experience is not simply cut-and-dry on-off switch like shutting off the power.

everyone, religious or not, approaches death the same way, as a mystery.
efyu_lemonardo
May I have a cookie?
(04-21-2017, 04:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by NandoGip

Atheist societies are stupid. Gathering together in non-belief doesn't make sense to me

I don't believe in any religions or gods so I guess I'm technically an Athiest. My belief is that when you die, everything goes black and thats it. You are kept alive in the memories of your loved ones. Since when you die, you're dead, I just do my best to be happy every day and to improve my life as much as I can.

There is plenty to believe in for an atheist: believe in mankind's potential for good, believe in love's ability to triumph over hatred, believe in continually building a better world, believe in acquiring and spreading more advanced knowledge towards a deeper understanding of the universe, believe in broadening our horizons as well as redefining what it means to be alive.
Servbot24
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(04-21-2017, 04:05 PM)
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I don't think about it too much. My life doesn't really matter that much so dying isn't a concern. I just try to live as focused and efficiently as I can, and when it's over that's fine.
Aselith
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(04-21-2017, 04:05 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lothar

Atheist here, still going to tell my children about heaven. It's a good lie, like Santa Claus. I'm glad I had that comfort as a child. I wish I was still capable of believing in a afterlife as an adult.

What are you going to say if the kid asks how you go there?
Brandson
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:05 PM)

Originally Posted by JordanN

I always remember that humans have been on this earth (and universe) for a very small fraction of time.

So what happen to all the species before us who died? Especially if they were intelligent? If heaven doesn't discriminate, we should be seeing lots of dinosaurs and insects when we get there.

Hell, even trees should be in heaven. They're alive as well and capable of dying.

I've always preferred a concept of "heaven" as a function of your brain's perception of the passage of time in the instant before death, which would be an entirely personal and not communal experience. For all we know, that moment might be extremely or infinitely long for the person dying and impart all sorts of mental images on the soon-to-be-deceased, even though to others it is perceived as being over in a flash. Or maybe it's just instant lights-out. Who knows.
Dali
(04-21-2017, 04:05 PM)
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Originally Posted by Pizoxuat

Raising a non-religious kid here. We've had a few chats about death, especially around the death of my grandmother, and to us death is just the end. There's nothing more to it. If you aren't starting from having believed in an afterlife beforehand, there's nothing especially scary about there not being an afterlife. That's just the way things are. This is one area where I think it is much harder to have been a believer and later become atheist than it is to have always been atheist.

I was going to disagree about it being difficult but then I realized I never bought the god thing or believed in an afterlife so I guess I was never a believer or had the trouble you say believers had when coming to terms with it just being game over.
Budi
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(04-21-2017, 04:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by PillarEN

Czech person here. The country is quite non-religious. Death is sad because that's that. Nothing else to say about it. The only approach to a kid freaking out about death is to tell them something along the lines of "you're so young. You don't even have to worry about that."

Oh man, I really hate that :/ Just talk to the kid like a person, I don't think saying "you don't need to think that" necessarily stops them thinking about that.
Lothar
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:07 PM)

Originally Posted by Aselith

What are you going to say if the kid asks how you go there?

That everyone goes there no matter what. :)
RangerX
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(04-21-2017, 04:07 PM)
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It's just an accepted fact of life. It's actually the religious people I know that worry about it most.
Theandrin
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(04-21-2017, 04:08 PM)
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I've found it comforting that in a way I won't be completely gone. Yes my body and mind will be dead, but my energy isn't destroyed. "I" will simply move on into something else.
Elandyll
Wants his cup full of frames
(04-21-2017, 04:08 PM)
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You get to do as much good as you can, and impact as many people as you can while you live, as you will be remembered by what you have done and by whom you leave behind.
bonesmccoy
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(04-21-2017, 04:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by Theandrin

I've found it comforting that in a way I won't be completely gone. Yes my body and mind will be dead, but my energy isn't destroyed. "I" will simply move on into something else.

What does this mean?
BajiBoxer
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(04-21-2017, 04:12 PM)
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Mostly I just accept that you cease to exist. Though it's fun sometimes thinking about the mysterious nature of time, multiple universe theories, and so on.
Jasup
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(04-21-2017, 04:12 PM)
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Well, my grandmother is in late stages of cancer and will soon die. And her approach is that it's the end, she had a good life and that is enough. By her own account the best thing is seeing the people close to her for the last time and to know life goes on, that she can let go of life peacefully without worrying.

I think that's a good way to think about it.
ahoyhoy
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(04-21-2017, 04:12 PM)
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We're lucky to have the time we have and so we should enjoy it while we can.

Like, if you get to spend a week at Disney World, you're pretty lucky. While you're there, should you be worrying about how much time you have left there or whether or not you'll ever be able to come back? That would be silly, since the whole point of going is to have fun.
Monocle
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(04-21-2017, 04:12 PM)
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Teach kids about the cycle of life, their place in nature, and our shared origin in the stars. We came from the world, we're part of the world, and someday we'll have to go back where we came from so new life can prosper.

Don't lie to them about heaven.

Originally Posted by NandoGip

Atheist societies are stupid. Gathering together in non-belief doesn't make sense to me

I don't believe in any religions or gods so I guess I'm technically an Athiest. My belief is that when you die, everything goes black and thats it. You are kept alive in the memories of your loved ones. Since when you die, you're dead, I just do my best to be happy every day and to improve my life as much as I can.

Who does this? Every atheist gathering I've ever heard of is about finding solidarity in shared values. Humanism is the foundation, in a lot of cases.

You're deriding a strawman.
Last edited by Monocle; 04-21-2017 at 04:16 PM.
Paasei
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(04-21-2017, 04:13 PM)
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Circle of life. Make the most of it while it lasts.

No need to be scared of death itself, it's how nature works.
Dot Matrix
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(04-21-2017, 04:13 PM)
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Atheist or not, the best way to teach children about the cycle of life is with pets. Get them a rabbit and make sure they love it as much as possible. It'll suck for all involved when it dies, but you can't shield kids from the truth about something that important that they will definitely have to deal with again later.

You don't need to dwell too much on what comes next, tell them at most that no one knows for sure, just teach them that all things live and die and to just appreciate what they have while it's there.

When children can't let go of a comforting lie, even when presented with all the evidence, they'll end up believing any cock and bull story to avoid normal human emotions. Not a good trait for an adult to have.
Maligna
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(04-21-2017, 04:14 PM)
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Just be honest. You have one life to live. Make the most out of it so you have no regrets. Death is most likely exactly the same as before we're born. Not being born yet wasn't scary, right? The state it's being dead should be no different.

The idea of heaven makes no sense anyways. At least the classical "perfect happiness" promise attached to the concept. What if you go to heaven but a loved one isn't worthy and doesn't go with you? How can you attain perfect happiness while you are missing them? Some people say god makes it so that you don't care, but if that's the case you're no longer you. The feelings you have for loved ones are a big part of what makes​ you, you.

Even smaller deals can't be made reconciled. Like if you want to go bowling in heaven with your friend and they don't feel like it. Bam, you're slightly disappointed and you've lost perfect happiness.

The whole thing is silly and quite problematic when you start considering it seriously.
ahoyhoy
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(04-21-2017, 04:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by Theandrin

I've found it comforting that in a way I won't be completely gone. Yes my body and mind will be dead, but my energy isn't destroyed. "I" will simply move on into something else.

This was always weird to me. Are you just the matter that composes your body? If so, are you proud of all the dead skin and bodily waste you leave behind on a daily basis? Or is this energy of "you" only released upon death?
mentallyinept
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(04-21-2017, 04:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by AntraxSuicide

Do the second one. I had panic attacks for years when I first became an atheist because what was the point of living if my entire being was going to shut off one day? What if I went to sleep and died in my sleep?

Related note: I had some wicked insomnia for years until I came to my current mindset (which is that philosophically I'm a mentalist and by conservation of matter and energy I don't believe my consciousness will disappear).

They both work for me, but I guess the second is more comforting to a child.

And I should clarify I'm not a new atheist, just a new father. ;-)
Maligna
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(04-21-2017, 04:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by ahoyhoy

This was always weird to me. Are you just the matter that composes your body? If so, are you proud of all the dead skin and bodily waste you leave behind on a daily basis? Or is this energy of "you" only released upon death?

Yeah I don't get this "energy" stuff either. Everything we understand about what gives us our unique personalities and memories comes exclusively from functions within the brain.

What makes people think that their personality survives the death of their brain?
Last edited by Maligna; 04-21-2017 at 04:29 PM.
OmegaTreeFish
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(04-21-2017, 04:16 PM)
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You will live on in a way in the hearts and minds of those who care about you. Its also about realising the person least effected once you die is you as you cease to function / think. Its those who love you who will be sad and have to deal with it.

Mostly i just dont really worry about it bar not inviting it quicker by not playing on the motorway, juggling rabid lions etc.
uncelestial
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(04-21-2017, 04:20 PM)
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Just be agnostic about it. It's the most logical stance anyway.

"Well, we don't actually know what happens afterwards. Most people think that if you were good, you get to live on in glorified form. A few people think it's just like going to sleep and you don't feel anything anymore. I can tell you more about what different religions believe happens. It's interesting to think about! It's not going to hurt or anything. And it's so long from now, years and years from now, you don't have to worry about it."

This is where I'm at as an agnostic person. I don't know what happens, if consciousness is some ineffable energy that lives on, if we have spirits. I don't really think any religion ever figured it out, but by nature of the question, science never will, either. So, I'll just find out when I get there.
Last edited by uncelestial; 04-21-2017 at 04:22 PM.
Abstruse Moose
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(04-21-2017, 04:21 PM)
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I'm hoping science is able to eliminate and reverse aging in my lifetime. I want to be 25 forever. You get to exist once, I want it to be as long as possible.
PillarEN
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(04-21-2017, 04:21 PM)
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Originally Posted by Budi

Oh man, I really hate that :/ Just talk to the kid like a person, I don't think saying "you don't need to think that" necessarily stops them thinking about that.

Heh I'm just thinking back to my own childhood. I think there was one time when I freaked out over my mortality. I was probably 8 or so. I know my mom comforted me about it. Can't say she had some great speech or anything. Just let it pass and I was back to being a kid the next day. I don't think there is anything she could have done regardless other than just being a good mom. To be honest if I felt like thinking about it there would have been nothing she could have done to stop me.
Muppet of a Man
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(04-21-2017, 04:21 PM)
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ashes to ashes...stardust to stardust...

Dying. After one is dead, the experience is the same as before one was born, as in there is no experience...no memory...no pain or suffering. There is just a ceasing of being alive. It's like sleeping, not dreaming / not remembering dreaming, and never waking up.
DragonGirl
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(04-21-2017, 04:22 PM)
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There is nothing to fear in death because one does not experience death. Death is the ending of all experience. It is the final bits of life that might suck.

Also if anyone asks the question of "where do we go when we die" I always liked "when you blow out a candle, where does the flame go?" response.
y2dvd
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(04-21-2017, 04:22 PM)
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I never understood this morality criticism, as if religion had a monopoly on how to act righteous. Just treat others the way you'd like to be treated.

As for death, I forgot who I heard it from but I'm gonna terribly paraphrase: We are born out of stars that have been here since the dawn of time. We are simply rejoining them for eternity.
AntraxSuicide
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(04-21-2017, 04:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by mentallyinept

They both work for me, but I guess the second is more comforting to a child.

And I should clarify I'm not a new atheist, just a new father. ;-)

Yeah, I figured, didn't mean to sound patronizing or anything. But yeah, the former one is good if you're in a good place but especially when they hit teen years, that's not often a good place lol.
Muppet of a Man
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(04-21-2017, 04:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by DragonGirl

There is nothing to fear in death because one does not experience death. Death is the ending of all experience. It is the final bits of life that might suck.

Also if anyone asks the question of "where do we go when we die" I always liked "when you blow out a candle, where does the flame go?" response.

Your "flame" carries on in the form of your progeny and/or your ideas.

Simple as that, really.

Makes you want to reevaluate not having kids if you plan on not having them. Or work just that much harder to have a lasting impact on society at large.
Chmpocalypse
Blizzard
(04-21-2017, 04:25 PM)
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Accept it and the end of existence that occurs.

I'm dealing with this now, as my wonderful brilliant grandmother is dying in hospice. I'm full of sadness, but recognizing the reality of her death and what it means isn't terrifying the way people who believe in souls and all that nonsense might think it would be for me. Mostly I'm just grieving for the lost opportunity to spend more time with her.

I don't fear death, but I do wish we all got more life.
NandoGip
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(04-21-2017, 04:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by capitalCORN

Elephants gather. Hell, I've seen pigeons gather. Do they have religion?

Originally Posted by Mahonay

Atheists are the minority on the planet, so gathering together makes sense.

Originally Posted by efyu_lemonardo

There is plenty to believe in for an atheist: believe in mankind's potential for good, believe in love's ability to triumph over hatred, believe in continually building a better world, believe in acquiring and spreading more advanced knowledge towards a deeper understanding of the universe, believe in broadening our horizons as well as redefining what it means to be alive.

Originally Posted by Monocle

Who does this? Every atheist gathering I've ever heard of is about finding solidarity in shared values. Humanism is the foundation, in a lot of cases.

You're deriding a strawman.


Okay fair points. I just have a really bad taste in my mouth from most of the atheist's I know being the militant "well actually" types. The flip side of humanism sounds appealing to me, I'ver personally just have not seen those types of people in my daily life

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