Showing posts with label immortality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label immortality. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is Death an Extinction?

Is death an extinction

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. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Buddhist on immortality

I didn't have a lot of words of comfort for my dad then, but if he were here now, I'd tell him: you are going to live forever. Not floating around on a cloud, or at some bizzare feast with harps and angels, but in the actions of those you touched, and the people they touch, and so on.

I'd heard this concept before from humanists and such, and it always seemed kind of thin to me, sort of a "salvation lite" attempt at comforting the bereaved without bringing a god into it. But since my father's death, I've seen this in action, and I am here to testify, it is real. I see it in myself, when I catch a stranger's eye and smile. That's not someting that's native to me, or something I learned from a book. It's something my dad taught me by modeling it over and over, and I've seen it have profound effects on relationships with other people. I see it in my niece, when she plants a garden anywhere she stops for awhile, and when she shares the fruits with friends and neighbors. I see it in all my family, when we forgive each other again and again for our differences and misunderstandings, and stand beside each other when it counts.

I don't know if I am conveying this very well, but this revelation is meaningful to me. I can see it, I can feel it, I can watch people pass it on. It's immortality of a fine and active kind, and all of us can have it. We just have to live like it matters, and people around us will take care of the rest.
These thoughts are why atheists generally have days of remembrance or celebration rather than funerals, so we can share those little, and big influences the deceased had on our lives and the society of which we are a part.

While many of those influences are anonymous, those that are important know but it doesn't really matter. While you are alive you know, and that is a more certain immortality than any little vuvuzela in the fancy dress in the over decorated balcony can provide.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Uncertainty in Unbelief.


I, a life-long, wholly dedicated believer in God and one who thinks he has a reasonable basis for that belief, do not think that I have enough information to come to an absolute and accurate conclusion regarding the matter.
At some point a thorough investigation having found nothing concludes that there is nothing to be found. In your quote you are in effect admitting that you have found nothing but hints and rumors of something valuable perhaps eternal life that keeps you chasing these hints and rumors in the hope that there will be a there there at least after you die.

I have no problem admitting I am not certain the hints and rumors of a life after death are all false. Since they all require different rituals and understandings of the mediator of that life after death, the only conclusion is that they are all false, and pursuing any one is chasing an invisible pink unicorn and destined to be a waste of time.

As a result I do not claim there is no God, I just live as if none of them are of any value. In addition I live my life as if there is no reasonable way to achieve an afterlife but to live this life as if it will be the only important criteria for any afterlife concierge. This has the immeasurable added value of insuring that if there is no afterlife, everything I do in this life is significant. Which puts responsibility for everything I do right where it belongs: on me. No savior, no one to do it over for me, no one to blame.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eternity with God or Hell

pertaining to IQ. - Beliefnet

So, I can't say that non-Christians don't have the hope of spending eternal life with God? If you don't believe in God, why would you have hope that comes from knowing you'll spend eternal life with him?

"Why would I care. Everything I read about God or gods spending eternal life with them would certainly be hell. I will take my chances that existence ends with death."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Life after death?

Life after death? - Beliefnet Community
Through his ignorance, man fears death; but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.
J'C: "I neither fear nor shrink from death. Birth and death are the frame for my life that provide the purpose and meaning for my living. Whether death is real or unreal makes no difference in my living. The total absence of any evidence other than empty promises of religious con men of any form of existence after death, would indicate to me that what is important in any event is living. I will devote all of my energy and resources to that living, confident that come what may after death the living will be the only meaningful part of existence. Now or later. If there is a later."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What is a Soul

Life after death? - Religion and the Human Mind
What is your concept of the soul?
J'C: The soul is a myth created to sell religion and the god associated with it. It is based on convincing people their legacy is worthless, and that their only hope is that somehow things will be different after they die. Mostly this takes the form of god thinks you are worthless now, but after you die god will change herm mind and make you something worth while. A con as old as humanity. But the con men are good at their game and can con enough to make a living off the particular myth they are selling.

The horrible thing about this con is that it is a self fulfilling prophesy about self worth. The person who buys into this con is convinced that their only hope is to believe in whatever God the con man is selling and that the pie in the sky after they die will taste better than the worthless wafers dispensed by the con man.

Thank you. I will take my chances with the people I love and who love me, at least I can talk to them, leave a few scribbles on the internet, and trust that I will make enough difference in enough lives that I will be remembered with love and perhaps even a quote or two that helped. The pie in the sky doesn't exist, but even if it did, it wouldn't taste any different from the pie I am making in my life while it exists.

Life after death?

Life after death? - Religion and the Human Mind - Beliefnet Community
The life of the body is a power, a force. Where does it come from and where does it go when the body dies and this life leaves?
J'C: The life of the body comes from the survival characteristics of its ancestors back to that amoeba mentioned recently. The power and force come from the society of which it is a part and which provides the nurturing and training so that the person can have whatever influence they are capable of having in their society. For some that maybe only be their family and friends but that is a significant contribution. Others may have a wider influence for good or for evil, but all affect some and the legacy is secure again for good or for evil. The force is a part of the body and dies when the body does. Only the legacy lives in the others that were affected by the person while alive and the stories and myths they perpetuate about the person.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Find Me" on the internet

"Find Me" on the internet - Beliefnet Forums:
When asked what he wants most in life, August answers, "To be found." This, I believe, is one of the most profound and simple statements one human can make and it explains an innate purpose for living that we rarely admit to ourselves. What good would there come from 'living forever' if you had to do it "alone?" I say "alone" in the sense that you might be surrounded by people, even family, that don't necessarily "find you."

One of the wonders of the internet is that almost insignificant minorities, in our case atheists, can 'find' one another and make connections that can in some cases transcend death. In response to a blog post you mentioned our late friend from the "late" boards at beliefnet Charles Fiterman. I responded with an obscure reference to his appreciation thread and his daughter asked me about it on the blog. In effect, you must have been a friend of my father, but I don't know you. Who are you?"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thoughts on Dies Irae

Hell - Beliefnet Forums: "Some should fear the discordant Brass in the Berlioz Requiem. It is summoning them to infamy. The human choir tries to call them to harmony, but for many the brass wins. (It always does in the Berlioz, I guess there is something discordant in us all that needs to be dealt with.)"

Dies Irae- Judging the deceased.

Hell - Beliefnet Forums: "Although I am not a believer in an afterlife of the body or soul, I do find that a semblance of immortality is achieved in how we are remembered by those whose lives we touch. Perhaps this is why I like the Dies Irae in the mass. The trumpets sound and we think of our deceased acquaintances. Surely they are judged, as they have sown, 'He brought laughter and irony into my life' 'He was a stinking asshole. Shitting on everything that he disagreed with.'"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Charles Fiterman

Needs a post of his own on this blog. His influence is pervasive. He has been a part of my valuable and useful space since I first encountered his small statues, and cavemen beating each other on the head and the body on the atheist boards at beliefnet. I return to his Appreciation/Celebration thread frequently to remind myself of my debt to him and to keep him an active participant in my space.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Love-and-Death - Forrest Church Sermon on Mortality

Love-and-Death.pdf (application/pdf Object) somewhere they and we share at least one common ancestor who, with twenty-twenty hindsight, would do the same for us if she were here. In fact, she is here. Those who have come before us must now use our hands to touch, our eyes to see. We carry them in our hearts and bones, we and our blood brothers and sisters, survivors of the miracle, of the ongoing miracle, never ceasing to amaze, pouring itself into new vessels, recreating itself, over and over again.