Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Saturday, May 6, 2017

On Grief


May 5 2017 ~4pm.
Peter our dog died peacefully late this afternoon. He has been dealing with neuropathy for a month and apparently his heart just couldn't deal with it any longer. Prednisone made him comfortable but apparently the strain was too great. A wonderful pet. Happy to have him a part of the family for these nearly 8 years. RIP Peter,you earned it beautifully.

Grief is ones immediate reaction to the fact that the person or animal that has been an important part of ones emotional support team is no longer an active part of that team.  It is the sudden realization that those little continuous indications of mutual love and support, have ceased and can no longer be relied on and new substitutes must be found.  They are not the big things, a hug in a happy situation can always be found as will sympathetic tears in a sad one.  

It is the "Hi you are back" whether verbal or a tail wag, the food or treat that will no longer be provided as a recognition of all the emotional support provided.  The quick stopping by "just because."  The vetting of visitors to the property and to the house as known friend, unknown person, or possible foe.  "Never trust anyone your dog doesn't like."  But part of the recovery is the realization that those things aren't lost, just not active any more.  That unlicked bowl now needs to be rinsed for the dishwasher, but you still remember the patient waiting begging only with the eyes that you taught with the service provided as the reward.  And you still put the bowl on the floor instead of the table to remind yourself that hesh is still waiting patiently begging only with his eyes in his death dreams; or yours for herm.

Atheists and others have a beautiful ceremony celebrating the life of a deceased love one in part to keep those death dreams of the deceased alive in the real dreams of the survivors.  We call them memories, but what is a memory but the reliving of an event in a dream like state that may be a reflection of the loved one's presence.  


The House Dog's Grave : Robinson Jeffers.

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.


Robinson Jeffers, 1941


A Friend's tribute to his late wife

An atheist friend of mine lost his wife of 33 years recently. The following tribute is his beautiful response:

When someone has sweetened your existence with a strong “sense of life,” transforming every dark and shaded place around you to warmth, even the grief one feels in the hours of separation appears out-of-place in the brightness of her after-glow. It is easy to see her mark upon the Earth, etched forever in the hearts and minds of those that she loved and those that couldn't help but love her, too.

When a life-thread so vibrant is unexpectedly snapped, this awful circumstance comes upon us like a dark cloud; for some time we feel we cannot find our way without her guidance. Look carefully and you will still see a trail lined with candles that she left for each of us, to help us find the path to joy, to take up those candles, to light them and to share them with another person trying to find their way through life. 

On Atheist Priests.

beliefnet

I was part of a Requiem sung for a good Catholic friend. There was no hypocrisy there, for the duration of the requiem I was a believer helping other believers send their loved one to herm Lord Jesus Christ. My beliefs or lack of them had absolutely nothing to do with the performance. I was a human being helping other human beings deal with their grief.

A very good Catholic friend asked me to pray with him in a bereavement situation. He knew I was an atheist, but he also knew that I knew his God. We were on our knees together in a chapel praying for the gift of strength for him to deal with the situation. Was I being a hypocrite or was I helping a friend in a difficult situation? He was the one that told me that atheist prayers are more valuable to God as they are always sincere.

I see no problem with an atheist priest suspending disbelief to perform his offices for the benefit of his parishioners. Since there is no God to care anyway, what is the difference if the priest complies sincerely with the rituals for the believers in his parish. If their belief in the myth helps them get through the week, what is the problem with an atheist facilitating that belief? He is simply a human being helping other human beings, not judging them. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Thoughts on an Old Legacy

LEGACY
by
John Dobbs

I leave you this space
which I have occupied
temporarily,

now clean as a vacuum
to hold short sorrow,
and brief remembering.

There are no shards,
no broken statuary.
I had no idols.

The proud thoughts
and the humble things
remain unshattered.

I leave you this valuable
and useful
space.



Posted with permission from the old boards.



The proud thoughts and the humble things I have taught to others are enough for me. I did what I could to make my space a little more valuable, useful, beautiful and loving for those who will occupy it temporarily and make it even more valuable, useful, beautiful and loving based on what I have given them while occupying that space.  That is the way of life.  We do what we can with what we find and the next generation will be able to do better with the results of our doing and our taught wisdom.  

I learned what I could, did what was possible, and taught what I learned.  There is no need for me to continue in my present limited and obsolete form, I have done my part.  I have lived a life worth dying for. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Brain Preparing for Death

beliefnet
NDEs that is extremely high stress experiences, OBEs, anoxia, awe, wonder and are common human experiences.  Not all humans have all such experiences, but most have experienced many of them.  One might argue logically that how they are interpreted is a clear indication of the fundamental basis of their human experience.  If any God or supernatural entity is the basis of their human experience all will be attributed to that entity.  If not other explanations, including WTFWT, will be considered. If God has never been a reasonable answer to any question it is not likely to be even considered as an answer to WTFWT.  If it remains as an important experience some natural explanation even a speculative one will be found and God will remain a belief for others irrelevant for an atheist who by the way may or may not be a materialist.  

A NDE is commonly described as one's life flashing by as if in a time lapse movie, which is the brains way of either finding a solution to the predicament or preparing a dream like state for death.  Believers attribute this dream like state as heaven or hell, and the anoxia induced light at the end of the tunnel as God.  Believers in reincarnation attribute the dream like state as preparation for the next life.  I know of one atheist who sees the dream like state as indefinite in length as dreams often are, which may last apparently eternally.  He is aware that the appearance of eternal is false, or perhaps has a holographic existence on the fabric of space-time.  But in any event, each person experiences that which will allow the brain to shut down to a calm rest in peace. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On Death - Henry Scott Holland

Death Is Nothing At All - Poem by Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Christian Atheists

beliefnet
YEC:  I would think almost all of the Atheist living in a free society are to one degree or another.
 It is hard to be a Christian if not a theist.  The entire dogma of Christianity is centered around groveling at the feet of God whether it is Jesus, the Trinity, or "Thy God" of Jesus.  Atheists do not grovel at anything or anybody. Nice try at the Great Commission, but abject failure. 
YEC: For a Godless society there is no moral rule.  Natural evolutionism is the rule.  Survival of the fittest.  There is no absolute law in which a standard can be erected.
In a Godless society moral rules are derived from evolutionary necessity and its corollary tribal living necessities expanded to larger societies as required.  While there is no absolute law governing morality, humanistic empathy is a firm foundation.
YEC: You are born, live and die and "puff"...it's all over.
Yep.  In the words of Forrest Church one had best live a life worth dying for.  It is all anybody has. Theist or atheist. 
YEC: In a free society the Atheist follow the moral teachings of Jesus and I might add, the bible.  They know the morals work.  They are tried and proven.   If Jesus never appeared, if the bible never existed....if our laws didn't reflect those morals, where would we be?  
Your remarks about Jesus are pretty close to the mark.  The rest of the Bible morality is either obsolete or dysfunctional in a modern society.

YEC: You said, "They're Out There, I Just Haven't Found Any Yet"...the truth is, you are one of them.
Sorry.  There are many atheist Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other theistic religions, that enjoy the traditions, rituals and tribal gatherings associated with the faith, but without the faith in God.  Atheists without a religion are not among them.  In general we (I include myself among them) have developed our own meaning and purpose for being alive and having to die.  But in the words of johnbigboote on the old boards it is a One Person Religion.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More on Living and Dying


A well integrated atheist has a different view of death.  It is a natural result of not being able any longer to continue working on one's legacy which is an atheist's reason for living. There is no fear of consequences, they have already happened.  At any point at need I can and do remember the valuable life lessons taught me by my atheist predecessors which I have passed on to their and my successors.  When I have nothing more to pass on due to pain or infirmity, there is no reason to want to continue.   As a well remembered member of the DA community, Charles Fiterman/Gaius_Caesar, expressed it so well I ask daily what am I doing with my time that justifies the pain and expense and inconvienience to others of going on. When the answer becomes bad enough I will do the right thing.  Not surprisingly he was working on his legacy up until the right thing was necessary.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Live a Life Worth Dying For.



Good Bible quotes for Atheists
Ecclesiastes 9 -
5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost.
Good old Ecclesiastes: Probably the first atheist. How he got into the Bible is still one of the great mysteries of life.   

I would, as an atheist, modify 9:5 ... they have no reward but the memory of them in those they have affected. 

Forrest Church is remembered and probably will be long remembered for, among many other things, "Live a life worth dying for."  Even special animals can live on if only as an abstract in fiction:  Balto the sled dog IRL and Lassie representing all working/companion dogs. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Before Death

Beliefnet

I have considered the various fables of after death existence, reincarnation, physical or emotional resurrection, and find them all manipulative to distract the individual from paying attention to a personal contribution to society.  I choose, in the words of Forrest Church, "To live a life worth dying for." 
 
Beliefnet

I see life after death every time I read a favorite book by a dead person, when I think about the lessons in self reliance taught by a special uncle on a pack trip into the high Sierra when I was 10, when I remember the importance of giving pleasure to strangers when my sister played an impromptu concert in a department store lobby on the display piano, and standing up to authority when she said to the guard "The rope is to save it for me."

I could go on endlessly and do in quiet moments of reflection.  I think I have Paid it Forward by doing my part for others, by teaching the lessons I have learned and creating some of my own.  I am content with my legacy, which is, not incidentally, a gift from a deceased person.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happiness and Suffering.

Beliefnet
 
What awareness has you come to you through happiness?  What awareness has come through suffering?  -  Seefan

Happiness, both for those important to me and for myself brings awareness that my behavior especially my social behavior is correct and moral.  Technically it means that dopamine and serotinin are stimulating the social awareness compliance centers in the brain to produce the feeling of pleasure in complying with social rules for good behavior.  

Suffering, both for those important to me and for myself means that something is seriously awry in my social system and I must do whatever is necessary to repair the damage.  As an example I hear a baby crying in a burning building indicating that it is suffering.  Since a universal evolutionary imperative for social animals is to protect the next generation at any cost including a serious threat of survival for the adult, I am compelled to enter the probably fatal environment to attempt to get the baby out.  If I can get the baby out of a window safely, the dopamine and serotinin will activate the social compliance centers to mitigate the pain and suffering I feel from the fire.  If I can get out the window myself great, if not I have done the socially necessary thing and will die happy as the building collapses around me.  

Please note that death is the other bookend to my life and nothing follows.  My social group may remember me as a hero, but I won't be aware of that except momentarily as the building collapses.  But no matter. I have done other beneficial things for my society, and when death comes the dopamine and serotinin will flood the social compliance centers so at death I will be happy and I will indeed rest in peace.   

No God. Just evolutionary success that allows the baby to live to enjoy my legacy.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is Death an Extinction?

beliefnet
Is death an extinction
frbnsn

In the sense of the particular body, certainly.  In the sense of the whole person probably not.  That person has influenced others and for better or for worse that person will be remembered by those influenced.  "Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them."  Actually God is a piker.  The iniquity of some is visited on human memories for millennia, if only in myth.  

On the other side of the moral ledger those that have enriched human culture will be remembered as long a people can make music and tell stories.  Homer, Jesus, Shakespeare, Palestrina, Mozart and countless others are long since returned to the stardust of their origins.  To say they are extinct is the raving of a fool.  One can easily understand that the kid that sang "Twinkle, twinkle little star" or more likely "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman," to Mozart still lives on in Mozart's 12 Variations. 

Pain and Death and Morality

beliefnet
Humans and other social animals work very hard to eradicate pain because pain is next to death on the spectrum of things to try to avoid. There is a problem, however, in that humans have been inventing tools, weapons and machines that are designed to inflict pain and death in order to conquer and use other humans for thousands of years. Somebody want to continue this thought? I don't know exactly where to go with it. .christine3

Inflicting pain and death is part of survival for predators and frequently pain and risk of death are part of predation.  And humans are certainly predators.  Avoiding pain and death is a characteristic more of prey than predators, and social prey animals develop moral strategies to minimize pain and death for the social unit.  One universal moral imperative is protect the next generation at any cost.  Although it might be argued that this is a species survival instinct rather than a moral precept for our purposes the difference is probably insignificant. 

The real problem for humans is that they are both prey and predators.  In tribal societies (aren't we all) especially nomadic tribes resources are generally controlled by other humans and tribal survival means better killing tools, weapons and machines and not incidentally tribal moral imperatives that encourage their use.  Kill or subdue all the heathen, gentiles, or other "non-humans" that is, not us,  with the fear of pain and death.   It is no accident that religious morals distinguish strongly between "us" and "them" and discourage any sympathy or empathy for them. 

It is perhaps significant that the "thems" have not only developed highly efficient defensive killing and pain inflicting weapons, but have also developed more inclusive moral imperatives that recognize others as important as well.  Probably the most radical and important moral innovation of the Enlightenment was that all are equal.  OK all men, but that was the critical break with the "Us v. Them" morality.  And put the human race on the slippery slope to the humane treatment of all.  There are still those trying to claw their way back up the slope to the rock of hatred, frequently led by God the rock, but those "defensive" horror weapons in the hands of the relatively enlightened are formidable intimidators of the remaining predator humans. 

Interestingly one of the most intimidating of those weapons is the Enlightenment idea that all are equal.  The people in the streets have no fear of pain or death, and can in fact defy the most powerful offensive weapons.  See Tiananman Square or Kent State University. Certainly many were hurt and killed, but the mores of the world were radically changed.

Incidentally, I would put pain as a much greater fear than death. Suicide is a common solution to pain, emotional and physical. Three banksters seem to have heard the call to jail them and fear the pain that will be inflicted if those calls are implemented.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Beliefnet
 iamachildofhis wrote:
 JCarlin wrote:
 iamachildofhis wrote:
iama:  We know that "all die."

JCarlin: End of story.  Get used to it.

iama:  You have evidence?

Yep.  In a long lifetime with many friends of all ages, I have been to many funerals, and other rituals associated with the end of life.  In many the celebrant said nice things about the deceased being "with God" and that we should be happy that their alloted life of woe and sin is over, including the devoted wife and mother of a 2 year old child I was godfather for.  In 100% of the deaths, the living had no further contact with the deceased, except for memories of the good times when the deceased played, sang, enlightened, and otherwise brought joy to our lives.  It didn't matter what faith they were, real memories, were the only contact anyone had.  Ever. 

I was at a Catholic Requiem Mass recently where the celebrant made rude comments in the homily about celebrations of the lives of the deceased, implying that those lives were worthless, and that the only important thing was that the deceased was happy in heaven or would be at some point.  But all those still living wanted to talk about was the influence the deceased had on their lives and how they would miss it now that (whisper it) the deceased was with God.  

In all the funerals, and celebrations of life, I have been to, not even once has the deceased been present in the moment even lying in the casket, to share the stories, the songs, and all that made their life worth living.  Nor has any been back since except in memory to report on their experiences with God, or the worms, or even the mingling of the material remains with a beautiful sacred place for them. 

No matter really, the living do it for them and keep the meaning of that sacred place alive for them.   Part of the cremains of my sister are near the grave of her beloved Chopin, and even the picture of her son placing them can evoke the many times she shared Chopin and others with us on whatever piano was available.  Actually, not even a picture is necessary, any thoughts of her always included either her sharing music or her kitchen with all who loved her for both and the wisdom and love that were a part of either sharing. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dog's Last Will and Testament

A Dog's Last Will and Testament
(Author unknown)
Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....
To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:
My happy home.
My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
The lap which I loved so much.
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I'd  will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's heart, of which there seemed no bounds.
So when I die please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."  Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.
This is the only thing I can give...the love I left behind.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The House Dog's Grave : Robinson Jeffers.

The House Dog's Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me--
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.


Robinson Jeffers, 1941

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christian asks about Dying

Beliefnet
I hope you followed the link to legacy it should explain much. With nothing expected after death, you look backward, if you have taught your children well, all of them, not just your own, you should be confident that there are many who can build on your legacy for a better world for all who follow.

Thinking about the unknown that happens after death is a waste of time. All the data points to no answer. If there is something after death it would make no difference at all in how I live. If I have lived a moral, useful life any possible afterlife concierge would consider that and nothing else. Or as Forrest Church frequently charged "Live a life worth dying for." Note the active verb is "live."

Consider the second runner in a relay race. What does hesh think as hesh passes the baton? Hesh is probably the weakest runner, but if hesh did herm very best, the others may win the race. So, as hesh ran all that mattered was that hesh ran well. Focusing on anything else would doom the race.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is Life Enough?

beliefnet
When is one's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality enough? Shouldn't one desire more?
ctcss

One's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality is never enough. But by sharing one's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality with others with perhaps more wisdom or drive to make it more accurate and adequate is how human progress happens.

I have no intention of ceasing to share my current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality with others, indeed that is why I get out of bed each morning, even though I know I will be unable to do so relatively soon.

I have already seen how others with more wisdom and drive have taken what I have shared to places I cannot get to. I see others in the process of doing so, and am quite confident that they will achieve goals that are beyond my capabilities. Have I personally changed my world for the better? I think so, but others are doing as much or more.

I have no time to appease some God so that I might increase my current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality after I die. I do the best I can with what I have. If I haven't learned enough and shared enough by now one thing is certain: all the learning I achieve after death is useless. I never will share it with anyone who can affect humankind.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Atheists on the will to live.

All my life I have been positive but lately I have been thinking why? I do not see the reason to live. I mean it all ends in death anyway.
s
Isn't that a bit like saying; what's the use in baking a cake because it just gets eaten?
wn

When it is gone it is gone.
s
There's no particular reason to live, but most of us have got into the habit of it. As long as we're doing it, we might as well make the best of it.
ka
Life is an end in itself. It is pointless to look for the reason to live beyond living itself.
ea
What is the best of it?
s
Being reasonably comfortable and having something interesting to do.
ka

But don't you want to just lay that down sometimes. As you said before no one will remember the person anyway.
s
Why would I want to be uncomfortable and uninterested? And why would I care whether anyone remembers me or not? My contentment doesn't depend on other people's opinions.
ka
Perhaps not, but if you change someone's life they will remember the change. Is that not enough?
ja
Some of the Buddhists that I have met over the years have said that one of the things that humans find difficult is valuing things that are impermanent; they tend to find value in things that they consider permanent, unchanging, and eternal. But just because something does not last forever does not mean that is is not of value, or that we cannot find a reason in it. Likewise, the idea of "being forever known" (as Charlotte Bronte phrased it). We may remember someone like Steve Jobs now, and he may have invented a number of things that many people find beneficial, and we consider him a "genius," but the things that he did does not mean that his name, let alone his life, will be remembered years from now. And does it really matter that people who did not personally know someone like Steve Jobs remembers him? I don't know. I'd personally prefer to be remembered by a few family and friends for a brief while after I have died rather than have people far in the distant future recall me.

Some authors, like Charlotte Bronte and Anne Frank, really did want to be forever known, while others, such as Emily Bronte, merely wanted to be left alone and to remain anonymous.

Sometimes individuals like Steve Jobs can make our lives look pretty puny and worthless. That, I think, is one of the problems with heroes and other individuals. We may celebrate them for their acomplishments, but they can make us devalue our own lives. But just because someone like Jobs is so famous now does not mean that his life was any better than anyone else's, or that what he accomplished is somehow better than, for instance, all of the men and women throughout history whose names are not famous. Many people accomplish great things -- things that are not celebrated in heroic songs, or that are not included in world history chronicles.
ca

I don’t know. Lying in bed at night knowing this –dying- which we will all do I do not know. How do you know my friend?
s

there are many reasons to enjoy life to the fullest:
passion for a hobby, mine is flying.
passion for those we love, mine is my wife and son.
pleasure of experiencing new things, like getting a pilot's license, or flying an ultalight at 5300 feet to discover a commercial airplane coming straight at you wondering if you have enough metal to show up on their radar.
satisfaction of making the world a better place.
enjoyment of helping someone in need.
even simple things like an excellent dinner with someone special.
I've long felt like life is passing me by, without having done anything extraordinary. since Steve Jobs passed away I've been asking myself "why does that does it bother me so much?"
at

I know a I have been asking myself, because of Jobs, the same thing.
s
Don't know if anyone remembers a movie with Robert Duval and James Earl Jones, "A Family Thing".
My favorite scene is Duval explaining to his newly met nephew that happiness is as simple as having something to look forward to.
wn
I've long felt like life is passing me by, without having done anything extraordinary.
at
Where would we be if it weren't for the billions of people who never do anything extraordinary? They keep things going.
ka

I guess that what bothers me the most is I do not care to dream anymore.
I can not seem to capture my happiness. I read poetry and it does not help. I take my long walks on the river. I spend time with friends. Who knew?
s
Then find an old dream and make it happen.
ja

Have you ever had a time in your life when you could not dream of better things. I ask you because you seem honest.
s
I don't dream of better things. I fully accept that my life is as good as it will ever be. But I don't care. It's good enough
ka
Many times. Which is why old dreams had to do. And each time the old dream led to new ones. As a result I keep a stock of old dreams around for emergencies.
ca
Is love an opinion?
s
I'd personally prefer to be remembered by a few family and friends for a brief while after I have died rather than have people far in the distant future recall me.
ca

Yes that would be nice but as you know my family are all gone.
s
But you have friends -- and me.
ca

Yes thank you. You hold away the thought of death for me.
s
I want to be clear the WHY is about the fear of death. Do you not have it?
s
I know ma but has there not been times in your life when you needed a reason?
s
I can't say that I've had much existential angst in my life. I've always found values that make life worth living. They don't have to be grand values either. Sometimes it's just anticipating movies based on some novel I've enjoyed in the past, such as the Lord of the Rings movies.
But I always locate my reasons in this life, and never outside.
Also, I don't try to force meaning onto life. There is an unusual aspect to happiness, and that is that it can't be achieved directly. It can only be approached indirectly. It's almost something that has to sneak up on you from behind, as you do things that suit you.
So, I do what I enjoy and find interesting and challenging. Meaning catches up
ma
Yes I also in the past have seen it that way.
s
I know but can atheist ideology fix things?
s
Sartre seemed to have thought so, but some critics think that his three-part system (anguish, forlornness, and despair) is only really relevant for former Catholics during the mid-20th century, and is of little use for anyone else during any other time period. (And the fact that Sartre was supportive of suicide makes his atheist Existentialism unacceptable for some people who otherwise support his Existential ideas.) Other than Sartre's, I am not familiar with any other atheist ideology, unless you are referring to an individual atheist's ideology, one that he or she personally invents for his or her own life
ca
That all depends on what we want it to fix, I suppose. Atheism doesn't seem to particularly fix our human struggles for meaning, purpose, and value, nor does it seem to particularly fix our human knowledge of our own mortality. Theism, though, doesn't particularly seem to fix those things, either. Saint Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, for instance, are two examples of theists who seemed to struggle through much of their lives with a search for meaning and purpose.
ca
No, but it does give you an incentive to fix things for somebody that God isn't going to fix either. Maybe that somebody is you, maybe somebody else.

If it is to be it is up to me to do it.

I find that a liberating, demanding, and inspiring thought. If something needs to be fixed, neither God nor atheism is going to fix it. And there is always something that needs fixing. Endless opportunities to make each day worth dying for.
ja
I want to be clear the WHY is about the fear of death. Do you not have it?
s
You can find an extended answer on Thinking About Death. It is an atheist's answer.
The short answer is I do not fear death.
ja


The preceeding was extracted and rearranged from a beliefnet thread. Names abbreviated as this was obviously a personal thread.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Atheist Lfe Stages.

Is Theism Simply Born And Persist Due To The Fear of Facing Reality? - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet Community

I also think that after the age of fifty or so we should gradually become disenchanted with life so as to ease more gracefully into our departure from it.
Ken

If I may respectfully offer an alternative for an atheist. As a youth with a lifetime ahead one has plenty of life to waste even if one is vaguely aware that death is somewhere ahead and final. So one wastes it discovering what is of transient value and what might be of more value to self and society. In midlife one is so busy with creating value for self, family and society that thoughts of the end of life seldom intrude. After the creative torch is passed to children and/or the creative successors at work, 50 is as good an age as any, that the end of life becomes apparant and one reflects on the contributions one has made, and what still is left to be done to help those carrying on the legacy. Telling stories about life lessons learned is a common solution, either live if one is fortunate enough to have the successors nearby, or in writing if not. Self published books that may have surprising impact far beyond their intended audience of friends and family, or which languish on shelves. The value is in the creation, not the result.

I know of one atheist who is struggling to stay alive to finish volume IV of an immigrant's life story that is resonating with another immigrant from a different country in a different era. Worthless? Easing into death? I think not. But the pressure of impending death is powerful, and the work left to be done is reason enough not to go quietly into the night.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On a Life Worth Dying For.

Is Theism Simply Born And Persist Due To The Fear of Facing Reality? - Beliefnet

Accepting the reality and finality of death, does not lead at all to fear of dying today or any day. When the time comes that the mind and body cannot maintain their integrity they will cease to function. In the mean time there are many things that a person needs to do to affect the society of which hesh is a part to make that society more human friendly. Some of those things will have lasting effects, some perhaps will have none, but all are important reasons for living today, and as long as one can affect others in the society.

Death might well be described as a condition when affecting others is no longer possible. It is nothing to fear, if one has affected others properly they will carry on the task of making society a better place for humans, and life in the larger sense goes on, even though the no longer useful individual is not a part of it.

Today I can see people I have affected taking the society to places I cannot conceive, but which I approve of. Whether I die today or some day in the future I am content. But I am not finished affecting others in my society. So until the time comes when I can no longer do so I will continue to live my life so that it is worth dying for. Thanks, Forrest Church.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christian for Eternity

The Bright Line - Beliefnet:

"We atheists will die and as a result of our living a righteous and moral life according to our chosen society that society will be a little or a lot better because we lived. We get continuous feedback from that society that we are doing the righteous and moral things that improve that society so that when we die the society will be better than when we were born. We have no need to imagine what will happen when we die, we can look back as others will and see how we made our society better. I am using 'we' here not to represent all atheists, just the ones that think as I do about living and death.

I am glad you, as a Christian, believe that God will take care of you when you die. You seem to have done nothing of worth in this life but annoy strangers with your blather about God and the Hell you created for yourself in this life as a rebelling Christian. I hope God will ignore all that and reward your belief with His eternal presence. I doubt it, but hang tight to that belief. It is all you have."