Panicing Atheist

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Mushrooshi, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Mushrooshi macrumors regular

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    #1
    Ok.

    SO I am an atheist, but I can't accept that when I die, I will go into nothingness! My life, everything I have done, everything I will do... NOTHINGNESS! I don't know how this can happen! I just cant comprehend it.

    I don't want to accept it, I am in denial.

    I can't sleep at night because of this!

    I am a closet atheist, and my parents don't know I am one, and I haven't told them because of a possible (albeit very slim) risk of a huge requiring of lectures, and (this is gonna sound greedy) christmas presents.

    So don't tell me to tell them, and to go to a councilor.

    Macrumors, can you help me?
     
  2. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    #2
    How does your life go into nothingness?

    You decide whether or not it goes there. You can make a positive impact on this place. You can leave something tangible behind.
     
  3. karenflower macrumors 6502a

    karenflower

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    #3
    I cannot offer help, only sympathy, since I suffer from this too. . it's most perplexing :(

    I have a friend who said they went through a similar thing for about a year, and then the phase ended. But I don't understand how it's possible to just 'get over it', I really don't. :confused:

    Even if you leave lots of positive things behind, in the end what does it matter? If you're gone? If everyone goes?

    I'd love to make myself be religious, to believe in God and heaven and whatever. I just can't. So frustrating.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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  5. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #5
    I'm an atheist too, but I accept that when one dies we go to "nothing."

    My human form was on the earth for X number of years. It will expire.

    You don't need to follow a cookie-cutter definition of Atheism. If you believe there is an afterlife but no deity, those are your beliefs.

    Do what you do in life to make sure you live it to the fullest. Volunteer, plant trees, don't litter, whatever. :)

    We all have a very short time on this planet. I feel that if I've lived a full, prosperous, happy life that I've done all I wanted. If I died tomorrow morning, I'd be a little ticked off (mainly because I have a date tomorrow night ;) ) but I feel I've lived as much as my 20 years would permit.


    Gaahh, there's a great book about this. I'll raid my bookshelf and edit in the title. :)
     
  6. Mushrooshi thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    So far, I think I will lose all of my memory, and "reset" and be placed in a new body.

    Yet my logical part of my mind tells me that won't happen!
     
  7. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #7
    This is why so many of us go into studying philosophy.

    I can tell you what I believe (and don't believe) in... and the main thing I don't worry about is linear time.

    Ask yourself this question... When I leave the room, does existence stop in there? If the answer is no, then are you worried about not being there?

    At one point I wasn't here, then I was, and someday I won't be anymore. I no more worry about not living forever than I do about not being everywhere at one time. Time is a dimension, a degree of freedom, and we exist within it for a relatively short period. That short period defines who you are sort of in the same way that your height might. I'm 5'11", it would be nice to be 7' but I'm not. If I live to be about the same age as my grandfather, I'll have been around for 80 years... some people stay around for more than 100 while others have their lives cut short.

    I am what I am... finite. My existence is secure, as I am, but I no more worry about not being here in 100 years than I do about not being somewhere I'm not at this very moment.

    What I do worry about is what I do with the time that I have. That is what defines who and what I am. I see myself as the string of every event in my life. From moment to moment to moment, the actions that I take, the choices that I make, the effect I have on those around me, that is who I am.

    We are all a light that winks on and then off in time and space. Some of us have shined so brightly that even though they have been gone for centuries we still know about them. We may never meet them in person (anymore than we might meet someone living on the other side of the world in our own time), but just like you and I, they exist*. We can decide how bright we shine and what effect we have on the world around us.

    It is a scary prospect when you first realize it, but don't waste too much of your time on it. You've got so much more to get done. :D




    * No, I didn't get the tense wrong here, it is best when thinking of lives not to think of tenses. I think more in term of distances when it comes to this.
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #8
    Dr. Michael Newton has some interesting observations concerning this subject.

    I've read two of his books, "Journey of Souls" and "Destiny of Souls." Both books were recommended by a friend of mine. The books, for me, were very good reads.
     
  9. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #9
    At risk of sounding condescending, you're young yet. You probably can't get your head around being an adult yet, going to college, having a job and a family, getting old and so forth. Almost nobody, believer or not, can really accept dying at your age. I only say "almost" because I've occasionally met kids with very bad diseases who grew up a lot more quickly than anybody ought to do. You shouldn't be worrying about your own mortality.

    I'm still a long way off from it myself (I hope!), but what it seems like to me is, paradoxically, the closer you get to your own natural death, the less you worry about it, and the more it just seems like what's supposed to happen.

    Not believing in an afterlife just makes everything you do here more important, because every time you have an effect on something else, that's a little bit of yourself you've left behind.

    When your grandchildren remember you and make choices as a result of your example, that's your afterlife. You've shaped their brains to reflect a bit of yourself, and thus you live on as a part of them. They, in turn, will become an example to their own grandchildren, using that part of you to guide them. You don't get to be conscious for all this, to be sure, but thinking that your mental identity is erased from existence instantly on death is like assuming your physical body vanishes upon death. It doesn't. It stops moving around on its own and begins to break down, but in the process it spreads out and re-mingles with the world. Like pouring a bucket of water into the ocean, you'd never find that exact bucket again, but it's not exactly gone, even after you can't see the ripples from it anymore.

    If you like, think of it as distributed reincarnation, only without the supernatural bits, and you've actually got to really work at it while you're alive.

    Alternatively, if you want a completely non-supernatural yet almost as crazy bit of hope to cling onto, consider this: computer technology doubles in power every eighteen months. At that rate, in 45 years or so, the average desktop computer will be roughly comparable in processing power to current estimates of the requirements to simulate a human brain. At the same time, medical technology allows people to remain healthy to ever greater ages, neuroscientists learn more and more about how the human brain functions and artificial intelligence researchers figure more and more clever ways to make machines behave like people. There is a blazingly optimistic school of thought that says if you're very lucky and take care of yourself and things work out just right, you might be among the first generation of humans who don't have to die at all.
     
  10. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #10
    WHAT!!! ARE YOU A FRACKIN' CYLON!?!?!?!

    haha, I watch too much Battlestar Galactica.

    You really just have to figure out what immortality means to you... for me it is becoming a huge rock star, then people will remember me for generations to come (hopefully)
     
  11. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I will be remembered for generations to come, and I am nowhere near being a rock star.

    I have faith that my children will remember me, my grandchildren will remember me and they will tell their children about me and so on.

    You don't have to be famous to attain immortality! :)

    You just have to have faith.
     
  12. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    #12
    You beat me to it. I was about to type the same thing. Especially after Sci-Fi Friday tonight. :)

    What I really wanted to say though, it why not think about the effect your life has had on the people around you? Think about the good things you have done for family and friends, and let that be your legacy.

    After you die, you may be gone, but your life still has meaning for those around you. My mom passed away a couple of years ago, and while her body is certainly gone, she lives on for me, in my memories of the good times I had with her.
     
  13. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #13
    Obviously this is true, but I think the OP was more concerned about leaving a bigger mark than just within family and friends.
     
  14. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #14
    Are your parents evangelical/fundamentalist christians?
     
  15. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #15
    Isn't part of atheism accepting the nothingness? Staring into the abyss.

    I guess its better than worrying about the fires of hell. :mad:
     
  16. Mushrooshi thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #16
    No. Infact, we don't even go to church, and we haven't gone to church for 2 years, even not for christmas and easter!

    I actually suspect my dad could be agnostic. I am not sure.

    edit: I live in Texas, and pretty much all but three of my friends are republican-conservative* liberal** protestant (most southern baptist) christians who absolutely hate macs with a passion, disagree a ton with democrats and liberals, and when asked rhetorical questions they answer wrong.

    *conservative in the political sense
    **liberal int he religious sense

    Example: Me: "if evolution were true, how long would it take for squids to evolve to land?"
    "Evolution isn't true"
     
  17. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #17
    Dude, think of all the inanimate matter that didn't get a shot at consciousness. You're lucky just to be alive, no matter how brief that experience gets to be. Picture life more like a ride to be enjoyed and not so much as a competition in which to set a record.

    Think about it, if you do become nothingness, you wont feel a thing. You wont be able to feel or be concerned about that anymore. And yet you'll continue to exist as something else.
     
  18. Mushrooshi thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    What if when you die, the last "frame" you saw before you died stayed frozen, and you ended up paralyzed. You would remain that way forever, and all you could do is think. Eventually, you would get so bored and depressed you would go insane, trapped prisoner in yourself.

    There has to be an afterlife!
     
  19. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #19
    Even the thought of heaven scares me more than anything. Existence for eternity alone seems like the greatest hell imaginable. Things only have meaning because they are finite.
     
  20. Aranince macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Atheism is the reason why we have a high suicide, and depression rate among other things. I'm sure if Atheism wasn't as prevalent as it is, there would still be suicide and depression...just not as much.
     
  21. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #21
    Curious. Why do you say this?
     
  22. Mushrooshi thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Probably because things would lose their touch. You would see the same thing everyday.

    I remember reading things online that disprove religion.

    I wish I could erase that, and become religious.

    You get to live carefree, and things are much nicer then this cold "You just die" business.

    I think the only way to truely enjoy life would be reincarnation and resetting of memories.
     
  23. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #23
    If that was the case, it would only last until your brain decayed. Anyway, I'm too lazy to look for this data, but I'm pretty sure that brain activity stops very soon after death. So you see, the advantage of nothingness is that it can't perceive itself (no perception = no pain, no anguish, etc.), so no worries here.

    I can't remember the last time I saw the headline "Teen loses faith in God, commits suicide to escape his Godless emptiness" :rolleyes:. The causes of suicide are much more diverse than that. I don't think that faith works as deterrent for suicide either.
     
  24. Aranince macrumors 65816

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    #24
    If you research what exactly is needed to support complex life, you will find the list quite long. The chance of the list of everything needed to support complex life randomly coming together like it has...really makes you question Atheism.

    Did you read the thread starter's post? He feels worthless because everything he does here doesn't really matter. It doesn't go towards anything. Once you die, you die. Its game over man, game over. We're finished, we're through. What you do down here is a waste of time, according to the thread starter's belief. If that doesn't make you feel hopeless...I don't know what to say.
     
  25. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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