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markdohle

Not for spectators

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Posted (edited)

Not for spectators

(a process most of us will go through)

I just saw a clip on the internet that deals with how some atheist look at death and the afterlife. Of course they all said that they did not fear death. In fact in our day it seems to be in vogue with just about everyone. People tend to think that death is one event, when it fact it is a process that actually takes years. It is called aging. True, there comes a time when ‘death’ happens, but all that leads up to it is also part an parcel of that event. There are some of course who go instantly, but for most there is some kind process that is gone through.

If someone actively fights against aging, I believe that is one way of dealing with their fear of death. Making money, lots of it, becoming famous, or just filling ones life with lots of ‘things’ to do, is a way of not thinking about the shortness of our lives and the speed in which our time here passes.

I like to say I don’t fear death, but when I am thinking about my end, it is as some sort of spectator watching a movie. Now the fear of death can come in many different degrees. Some people are terrified of it; some can keep some calm when they contemplate their death, or when they hear the finale findings of their doctor. In any case, most of us will one day see what our reactions will be.

There is no shame in fearing death and from my experience there are those who fear death much less than others, no matter what their belief system is. Perhaps it is because they are better at repressing the terror of the reality of their own demise. It is certainly easy to think of someone else’s death, but to think of my own, well it is difficult if not even possible. Again, because when thinking of my ending, or being with others when they die, I am a spectator, not a participant.

If there is nothing after death, then oblivion is not a problem, well that is, after one dies. However, before death comes, well the thought of oblivion, of losing everything for eternity, can make for terror for many, perhaps most, or even for all, even if it is denied and buried deep.

Everything is essentially ‘emptiness’ in this world. Everything will fold in on itself and cease to exist in the form that it is in today. The study of history will manifest this strongly. Yet this emptiness is what is sought after, it is as if we are beings of deep inner hungers and thirst, yet we seek to fill this void with sand. I am of course speaking of myself and my struggles to come to terms with my life, the wonder of it and the rapidity which it passes.

I am not a fan of Sam Harris, yet of all the so called “New Atheist” he has some interesting things to say. He can share some profound insights about life. Here is paraphrase of one thing he said when giving one of his talks: “Everyone around you, all those you meet, will one day lose everything, if that is true; why should I not be kind to them”? He is not talking about niceness, but about the reality of our temporality and how that should evoke compassion in us for others.

Each human has to come to their own understanding of reality. Even if it can’t be articulated, we each have one. Perhaps our beliefs, our true beliefs can be hidden underneath a great deal of denial, but they do in the end have a great influence over us. If some of our assumed beliefs are actually known, then something can be done about changing them if possible. Many thought patterns, our beliefs and yes prejudices are passed on from generation to generation, without being thought about at all. Today in a world where all beliefs seem to be in the public forum, where deep discussion is going on about them, well perhaps this is a good time to live, a time of deeper introspection as well as a time where actual tolerance can be learned and practiced.

Contempt and disdain for others because they are different, is the first step towards overt violence.

Both atheist and believers (of a certain sort) do that in abundance. Possibly one day we can learn to listen, in the meantime, perhaps all we can do is hold on for the ride. Which I believe will become rougher. Those in the fanatic fringe will make sure that will happen.

Edited by markdohle

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What I find more scary than death is the "promise" of some religions to spend friggin *eternity* in the company of the pious believers, admiring their stupid god.

Just fwiw.

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What I find more scary than death is the "promise" of some religions to spend friggin *eternity* in the company of the pious believers, admiring their stupid god.

Just fwiw.

Well thanks for sharing my friend.

Peace

mark

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Posted (edited)

Well thanks for sharing my friend.

Peace

mark

Just out of curiosity: How can I be your "friend", when according to your twisted religion, I am supposed to roast in hell for eternity for the crime of not believing in your god?

Do you wish such a thing on your "friends"?

Edited by Zaphod222

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Just out of curiosity: How can I be your "friend", when according to your twisted religion, I am supposed to roast in hell for eternity for the crime of not believing in your god?

Do you wish such a thing on your "friends"?

Your dealing with a stereotype, I was never taught that, even when young, and that was a long time ago. Christians don't always think alike, just like not all atheist think the same. As a Christian I do believe in hell, however the popular understanding of it is childish and I feel harmful. Hell is a state freely chosen, how does that happen, I have no idea.

I suppose we all cherry pick when reading the scripture, that goes for those who are seeking things to gripe about, or for those who have a specific desire to see God in a particular light. We are told not to judge for a reason, we don't know what we are talking about. Jesus showed this in how he related to those who were considered 'outside', he loved them and they responded better than the religious, people just like me. We can often become hard hearted, too self assured and arrogant in how we look on others. Even though the scriptures tell us that we will find Christ in 'those others'. Infinite love is of an order that no one can comprehend, though we may have some insight into it by personal experience....being a parent for instance, or receiving love from another that is pure gift.

The Our Father is a universal prayer, when Jesus taught it, it was directed towards all who listened, be they Jews or pagan, none were left out. If God exists and is truly personal and loving, then all are part of the loving interrelating. Only God can read the heart, I can barely understand mine, so how can I understand the heart of another.

I pray for the salvation of all, that the highest good is reached by every human being, which goes for everyone, for all are loved by God as is shown through Christ Jesus. If Jesus is God, a revelation, it is not about everything, but what we need to know and understand. As times moves on the church does mature though many side roads can be taken. I also believe that the church is very, very, young, that we still do not understand the depth of what Jesus taught. I still ponder over the sayings and stories that are presented in the New Testament and still understand little.

Seek and you shall find,….I believe that…. So yes I can call you friend ;-).

peace

mark

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Death doesn't scare me as much as slow death. I've seen to much of that. I don't know what death is, but someday I'll find out.

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Your dealing with a stereotype, I was never taught that, even when young, and that was a long time ago. Christians don't always think alike, just like not all atheist think the same. As a Christian I do believe in hell, however the popular understanding of it is childish and I feel harmful. Hell is a state freely chosen, how does that happen, I have no idea.

It's pretty clearly laid out in the Bible: if you don't accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you can't get in to heaven. No way around that. Any Christian sect that bases it's beliefs on the Bible will attest that that is the message of salvation. No stereotypes involved, that is Christianity.

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Your dealing with a stereotype, I was never taught that, even when young, and that was a long time ago. Christians don't always think alike, just like not all atheist think the same. As a Christian I do believe in hell, however the popular understanding of it is childish and I feel harmful. Hell is a state freely chosen, how does that happen, I have no idea.

I suppose we all cherry pick when reading the scripture, that goes for those who are seeking things to gripe about, or for those who have a specific desire to see God in a particular light. We are told not to judge for a reason, we don't know what we are talking about. Jesus showed this in how he related to those who were considered 'outside', he loved them and they responded better than the religious, people just like me. We can often become hard hearted, too self assured and arrogant in how we look on others. Even though the scriptures tell us that we will find Christ in 'those others'. Infinite love is of an order that no one can comprehend, though we may have some insight into it by personal experience....being a parent for instance, or receiving love from another that is pure gift.

The Our Father is a universal prayer, when Jesus taught it, it was directed towards all who listened, be they Jews or pagan, none were left out. If God exists and is truly personal and loving, then all are part of the loving interrelating. Only God can read the heart, I can barely understand mine, so how can I understand the heart of another.

I pray for the salvation of all, that the highest good is reached by every human being, which goes for everyone, for all are loved by God as is shown through Christ Jesus. If Jesus is God, a revelation, it is not about everything, but what we need to know and understand. As times moves on the church does mature though many side roads can be taken. I also believe that the church is very, very, young, that we still do not understand the depth of what Jesus taught. I still ponder over the sayings and stories that are presented in the New Testament and still understand little.

Seek and you shall find,….I believe that…. So yes I can call you friend ;-).

peace

mark

You are a better man than I mark.

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Just out of curiosity: How can I be your "friend", when according to your twisted religion, I am supposed to roast in hell for eternity for the crime of not believing in your god?

Do you wish such a thing on your "friends"?

Do you just make up these strawmen on the fly or do you think about them ahead of time. Your ignorance has preceded you more than usual this time.

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It's pretty clearly laid out in the Bible: if you don't accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you can't get in to heaven. No way around that. Any Christian sect that bases it's beliefs on the Bible will attest that that is the message of salvation. No stereotypes involved, that is Christianity.

Of course, Jesus being God, as all Christians believe is the savior of all. I however don't believe that simple quotes from the bible can prove who goes to heaven and who does not. Read the last judgment scene in the gospel of Matt, the people who are invited into the kingdom are surprised, since they did not know when they feed Jesus by their acts of mercy, they were not of our faith, but their heart was touched by God's grace, which the is the Grace of Jesus Christ. It also says that God wills the salvation of all men, so I think that would give us pause before we start making judgements that we were told not to participate in. Or in Romans 2:13 it says:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

I

Peace

mark

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Posted (edited)

I see your Biblical quote and raise you one more:

I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me

Jesus is saying, clear as day, no one gets to heaven unless they go through him (the Biblical message of salvation). I can post Biblical quotes all day that clearly support the Christian method of salvation...and to be honest, this is the first time I've ever had to debate that within the context of Christianity. Like I said, any Christian sects that bases it's beliefs on the Bible will attest that Jesus message of salvation is the foundation of God's word to man. Any Jehovah's witness, Mormon, Baptist, etc that knocks on your door will give you the same message. Doesn't matter what other differences they may have, Jesus message is always the one commonality between them. Hence why I think this arguement is a bit silly...

Of course, Jesus being God, as all Christians believe is the savior of all. I however don't believe that simple quotes from the bible can prove who goes to heaven and who does not.

The Bible is (supposedly,) the only direct words we have from God himself. He clearly lays out how to be saved, word for word. If you don't believe the message it has, you are assuming you know God's plan better than he does. So yes, simple quotes from the Bible prove who goes to heaven and who does not. (It's called the "WORD OF GOD" for a reason.) If you don't believe the Bible, you're just not a Christian - simple as that. No offense intended, it's just logic. (I'm running on no sleep here so if I keep going in circles, I apologize!)

Edited by Dark_Grey
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I see your Biblical quote and raise you one more:

Jesus is saying, clear as day, no one gets to heaven unless they go through him (the Biblical message of salvation). I can post Biblical quotes all day that clearly support the Christian method of salvation...and to be honest, this is the first time I've ever had to debate that within the context of Christianity. Like I said, any Christian sects that bases it's beliefs on the Bible will attest that Jesus message of salvation is the foundation of God's word to man. Any Jehovah's witness, Mormon, Baptist, etc that knocks on your door will give you the same message. Doesn't matter what other differences they may have, Jesus message is always the one commonality between them. Hence why I think this arguement is a bit silly...

The Bible is (supposedly,) the only direct words we have from God himself. He clearly lays out how to be saved, word for word. If you don't believe the message it has, you are assuming you know God's plan better than he does. So yes, simple quotes from the Bible prove who goes to heaven and who does not. (It's called the "WORD OF GOD" for a reason.) If you don't believe the Bible, you're just not a Christian - simple as that. No offense intended, it's just logic. (I'm running on no sleep here so if I keep going in circles, I apologize!)

Thank you for you thoughtful comment. Christian disagree over many things, as well as calling them non-christians. I won't do that to you for you are a christian, even you don't think I am.

Jesus is Lord!

Peace

mark

You are a better man than I mark.

I doubt that ;-).

peace

mark

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Posted (edited)

I don't fear death....

I saw my father die at a young age.

I almost died in my early 20s...

the only thing I fear is losing my magical soul....

There is the quote..

it's not about dying..

But what dies inside of you.. while still alive...

I will be a ghost when I die.

I will be sure to come visit you all..

so say your prayers at night!

i prefer a more horrific form...

I will enjoy haunting all you mortals!!! mu ha ha ha ahaaa

thank you

Edited by LostSouls7

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Not for spectators

(a process most of us will go through)

I just saw a clip on the internet that deals with how some atheist look at death and the afterlife. Of course they all said that they did not fear death. In fact in our day it seems to be in vogue with just about everyone. People tend to think that death is one event, when it fact it is a process that actually takes years. It is called aging. True, there comes a time when ‘death’ happens, but all that leads up to it is also part an parcel of that event. There are some of course who go instantly, but for most there is some kind process that is gone through.

If someone actively fights against aging, I believe that is one way of dealing with their fear of death. Making money, lots of it, becoming famous, or just filling ones life with lots of ‘things’ to do, is a way of not thinking about the shortness of our lives and the speed in which our time here passes.

I like to say I don’t fear death, but when I am thinking about my end, it is as some sort of spectator watching a movie. Now the fear of death can come in many different degrees. Some people are terrified of it; some can keep some calm when they contemplate their death, or when they hear the finale findings of their doctor. In any case, most of us will one day see what our reactions will be.

There is no shame in fearing death and from my experience there are those who fear death much less than others, no matter what their belief system is. Perhaps it is because they are better at repressing the terror of the reality of their own demise. It is certainly easy to think of someone else’s death, but to think of my own, well it is difficult if not even possible. Again, because when thinking of my ending, or being with others when they die, I am a spectator, not a participant.

If there is nothing after death, then oblivion is not a problem, well that is, after one dies. However, before death comes, well the thought of oblivion, of losing everything for eternity, can make for terror for many, perhaps most, or even for all, even if it is denied and buried deep.

Everything is essentially ‘emptiness’ in this world. Everything will fold in on itself and cease to exist in the form that it is in today. The study of history will manifest this strongly. Yet this emptiness is what is sought after, it is as if we are beings of deep inner hungers and thirst, yet we seek to fill this void with sand. I am of course speaking of myself and my struggles to come to terms with my life, the wonder of it and the rapidity which it passes.

I am not a fan of Sam Harris, yet of all the so called “New Atheist” he has some interesting things to say. He can share some profound insights about life. Here is paraphrase of one thing he said when giving one of his talks: “Everyone around you, all those you meet, will one day lose everything, if that is true; why should I not be kind to them”? He is not talking about niceness, but about the reality of our temporality and how that should evoke compassion in us for others.

Each human has to come to their own understanding of reality. Even if it can’t be articulated, we each have one. Perhaps our beliefs, our true beliefs can be hidden underneath a great deal of denial, but they do in the end have a great influence over us. If some of our assumed beliefs are actually known, then something can be done about changing them if possible. Many thought patterns, our beliefs and yes prejudices are passed on from generation to generation, without being thought about at all. Today in a world where all beliefs seem to be in the public forum, where deep discussion is going on about them, well perhaps this is a good time to live, a time of deeper introspection as well as a time where actual tolerance can be learned and practiced.

Contempt and disdain for others because they are different, is the first step towards overt violence.

Both atheist and believers (of a certain sort) do that in abundance. Possibly one day we can learn to listen, in the meantime, perhaps all we can do is hold on for the ride. Which I believe will become rougher. Those in the fanatic fringe will make sure that will happen.

My dad was an atheist, and refused the last rites when he came close to dying from a serious injury. However he had neither contempt nor disdain for people, was kind and generous, and when he died there weren't enough seats in the chapel to hold everyone who wanted to pay their respects. You can't paint all atheists with the same brush. Why this need to separate people according to their beliefs and create a them vs us scenario? Why not look for commonality? People think what they think and at any given moment that's likely to change; it's their journey, they travel their own path, learn or don't learn their lessons, but my faith in spirit leads me to believe that each of us is guided, though I may never understand another's path, and may even believe it's wrong, I need to respect it. I don't even pretend to understand the workings of the divine, it's so much bigger than me how could I possibly understand it? But I can trust it, have faith in it, and, as a friend says, "love and support them on their journey." Sometimes it's safest to do this from a distance, as I don't want to be around when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator, but that's OK. Let people go their own way, because they're going to do it anyway. Bringing judgment down on them doesn't hurt them in the least and is non-productive; we are the ones who lose when we fail to the the whole because we're looking at one small piece.

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My dad was an atheist, and refused the last rites when he came close to dying from a serious injury. However he had neither contempt nor disdain for people, was kind and generous, and when he died there weren't enough seats in the chapel to hold everyone who wanted to pay their respects. You can't paint all atheists with the same brush. Why this need to separate people according to their beliefs and create a them vs us scenario? Why not look for commonality? People think what they think and at any given moment that's likely to change; it's their journey, they travel their own path, learn or don't learn their lessons, but my faith in spirit leads me to believe that each of us is guided, though I may never understand another's path, and may even believe it's wrong, I need to respect it. I don't even pretend to understand the workings of the divine, it's so much bigger than me how could I possibly understand it? But I can trust it, have faith in it, and, as a friend says, "love and support them on their journey." Sometimes it's safest to do this from a distance, as I don't want to be around when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator, but that's OK. Let people go their own way, because they're going to do it anyway. Bringing judgment down on them doesn't hurt them in the least and is non-productive; we are the ones who lose when we fail to the the whole because we're looking at one small piece.

I don't judge atheist. my friend, the contempt does however come from both sides. I am glad you dad had a peaceful death, he sounded like a very gentle and loving man. Christ told us to judge no one, for good reason, I think we suck at it ;-).

peace

Mark

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Sorry, Mark, didn't mean to jump on you, you're one of the guys who wear a white hat. I get so tired of the I'm right and you're wrong mentality, with quotes from this, that, or another thing to bolster their arguments. Whatever happened to the live and let live philosophy? And why are some people so insistent that others share their reality, as if it were the only possible and sane choice? People slice & dice & divide one another like they're Karl Rove acolytes. Hokay, done with my rant.

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I think people in general, are afraid of a lot of things, death included, but it's clear to me that not every single person fears death. I think the fear of death is a cultural construct, created by the prevailing thinking of the past, both distant and recent, handed down through the generations and then instilled into the new generation as they are developing in the world. And there are people, I think, too, who, through forming an understanding about their own human nature, challenge their fear until they reach a point of understanding and so learn to accept death as a natural part of this great dynamic known as life, and so, in a sense, they conquer the current death concept within themselves and thus the associated fear also. You only have to say the word 'death' and all sorts of images, memories and feelings start flooding into the mind, all of them ephemeral and transient with no actual substance at all - just mere thoughts and feelings which soon pass anyway.

For me, what happens after we die? I don't know and it doesn't trouble me because, one thing I do know is, we are all going to find out eventually, regardless. And if there is a continuum of sorts, then conquer the fear in the here and now, so hopefully you wont take that with you into the next stage of...life. That's where I am with the whole thing. :)

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Posted (edited)

I just saw a clip on the internet that deals with how some atheist look at death and the afterlife. Of course they all said that they did not fear death. In fact in our day it seems to be in vogue with just about everyone. >>snip

If someone actively fights against aging, I believe that is one way of dealing with their fear of death. Making money, lots of it, becoming famous, or just filling ones life with lots of ‘things’ to do, is a way of not thinking about the shortness of our lives and the speed in which our time here passes.

Of course there are different answers, but existential questions should be asked by any serious person.

Here's one answer, I don't agree with it, but I acknowledge the importance of asking the questions.

[media=]

[/media] Edited by redhen

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Posted (edited)

I think people in general, are afraid of a lot of things, death included, but it's clear to me that not every single person fears death. I think the fear of death is a cultural construct, created by the prevailing thinking of the past, both distant and recent, handed down through the generations and then instilled into the new generation as they are developing in the world. And there are people, I think, too, who, through forming an understanding about their own human nature, challenge their fear until they reach a point of understanding and so learn to accept death as a natural part of this great dynamic known as life, and so, in a sense, they conquer the current death concept within themselves and thus the associated fear also. You only have to say the word 'death' and all sorts of images, memories and feelings start flooding into the mind, all of them ephemeral and transient with no actual substance at all - just mere thoughts and feelings which soon pass anyway.

For me, what happens after we die? I don't know and it doesn't trouble me because, one thing I do know is, we are all going to find out eventually, regardless. And if there is a continuum of sorts, then conquer the fear in the here and now, so hopefully you wont take that with you into the next stage of...life. That's where I am with the whole thing.

Good post, thank you. However, we do have the instinct to survive and fear is one of the responses when our life is threatened. I do agree that people have different responses to fear; age helps I believe to lessen fear, at least from my experience of working with the elderly. Yet they will do whatever it takes to survive longer. We can repress our fear of death until it is actually a reality that is placed in front of us. I also think you are right about the images of death that can develop in all cultures that can complicate matters.

Sort of like people who say they smoke and are not worried about getting cancer, for we all have to die of something. I have never met anyone who is that sanguine when they get the news.....some quit smoking, but often too late. Of course my experience is limited.

peace

mark

Edited by markdohle

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Religion or no religion, I think we call all agree that level of 'the fear of death' would certainly change if we knew how we were going to die.

If I knew I was going to die peacefully in my sleep, I have absolutely no fear of that.

If I was going to be burned to death or tortured to death I'm pretty sure I'd be afraid then.

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Iv almost died a couple of times when I was younger, due to pneumonia complicated problems had to be hospitalized, But I don't actually fear death, I mean I don't go looking for it either. But as far as that goes I don't have kids or really anybody that depends on me, so I know a lot of parents give that reason as to why there afraid to die. Iv actually been to a LOT of funerals, and I don't cry. I mean maybe if it is someone from my immediate family like my grandma or mom or one of my aunts I'm close to Ill cry then. But so far no tears have slipped. I don't know if that's weird or not but there's just nothing there.

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Iv almost died a couple of times when I was younger, due to pneumonia complicated problems had to be hospitalized, But I don't actually fear death, I mean I don't go looking for it either. But as far as that goes I don't have kids or really anybody that depends on me, so I know a lot of parents give that reason as to why there afraid to die. Iv actually been to a LOT of funerals, and I don't cry. I mean maybe if it is someone from my immediate family like my grandma or mom or one of my aunts I'm close to Ill cry then. But so far no tears have slipped. I don't know if that's weird or not but there's just nothing there.

I thilnk we all mourn differently. I have been with a lot of death, it is in my line of work. People I take care, so when they die it does affect me....but I seldom mourn the way other do. I withdraw for awhile, need time to myself, until things retrun to normal. A hole that was once full, is empty, so it does take time to get used to that inner presence that is gone.

peace

mark

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Posted (edited)

I thilnk we all mourn differently. I have been with a lot of death, it is in my line of work. People I take care, so when they die it does affect me....but I seldom mourn the way other do. I withdraw for awhile, need time to myself, until things retrun to normal. A hole that was once full, is empty, so it does take time to get used to that inner presence that is gone.

peace

mark

Yeah I remember going to funerals and literally everybody crying at some point, and I didn't, my ex girlfriend when we were going out went to one with me and even she started crying. She thought it was odd that I didn't, and don't get me wrong its not a trying to be tough thing I just didn't feel anything that made me feel even close to wanting to cry

Edited by R4z3rsPar4d0x

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