Anyone else feel more comfortable with death now that you don’t have religion?

 


From Atheism Reddit
Selected and Edited Comments

This of course doesn’t count for people who never believed in anything their whole lives, but now that I’m no longer a Christian, I no longer fear dying. I don’t worry about where I’m going, I don’t even worry about missing my family, because I know that I won’t have to worry about anything once I die. And with that thought, I can live in peace, because the one thing we all have in common, is that we all die. What do you guys think?
~

My experience was similar. I was terrified of death as a Christian, convinced I wasn’t good enough or saved enough and that I’d burn for eternity. Now I feel mostly a sense of peace about death. Now it’s a natural course of life, not the prelude to an eternity of either torture by fire or fawning over a egomaniacal deity, which would be torturous in a completely different way.

~

This exactly. Although I will add indoctrination is a bitch. Every now and then a flash of dread will wash over me about “what if I’m wrong”. Edit: I will add that this knowledge of this being it makes me appreciate every moment. The good and the bad.
~

Yeah, I’ll get that flash every once in a while as well. When you were indoctrinated for the first 18 years of your life, I think that’s to be expected.
~

I hated the idea of heaven as a kid. All day every day just eternal church with healthier bodies? Praying day in day out? I didn’t want to go up heaven lol
~

Ditto with me. Though there was a period where I had to come to terms with my mortality and non-existence after I die after I lost religion. But yeah…. am way better for it now.
~

Well I’m not completely over it. I’m not sure it is possible to be completely over it. But thinking clearly about life and death is how I came to terms with it. One phrase that helps me think clearly about death and fear of death is from Epicurus- “Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”
~

Not so much death, but infinity beyond scared the crap out of me. I changed every year, I grew up each birthday, I could deal with 100 birthdays, but 100 billion birthdays gave me the willies!
~

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. -Mark Twain
~
If you were a really good Christian, why were you scaredof afterlife? That goes for any other religion, if the person is so righteous, and your religion is the truth, why be afraid of death?
~

Because God and his afterlife are instruments of fear. One example: he made a bet with and allowed Satan to torture his most faithful of followers. Fuck that bullshit.
~

Man. I can’t tell you how much I like the idea of not having an after life. I don’t want to hang around for ever. For ever is to long and I don’t even like it here all that much. I still fear death, especially a painful one, and I miss my family members that have died, but overall I’m ok with death. Just hope my funeral has a lot of beer and happy people. Also, very good not having to worry about apologizing for everything to baby jesus just in case I die. Even if every interesting person ever is in hell, it still sounds like a shitty place.
~

I have donated my body to medical science. When I die, my body becomes the legal property of the department of health as a cadaver. That way, I can help train future surgeons who could go on to save lives.
~

I was raised on the TERRIBLE fear of hell. As a catholic, you can never have 100% certainty that you’re going to heaven. As an atheist, Penn Jillette set me free from any fear of hell with his 1911 analogy… (paraphrased “Are you afraid of 1911? I ask again, are you afraid of the year 1911? Do you have any memories of it? Well….. THAT is what death will be like.” I LOVE that analogy. It’s just facts. No emotion. And most religions are based on fear and guilt… powerful emotions.
~

For me, at first, it was scary as hell. (pun not intended) Just the incomprehensible idea of absolute void. Nothing. I was kind of reminded of the moment Neo got pulled out of The Matrix. Disoriented, confused, constantly asking myself “so what now? What’s the point?” But once I had made peace with it, yeah. I feel better. I enjoy my life more, not because I can now do whatever I want, but because my life, what I have and who I am, right now, has more meaning. This life is all there is. No second chance. So I live for the moment, make every second count. So I do what I can to make sure I have a good, happy life. My family and the people around me don’t realise that, so I cherish them just as much. They don’t want to know the truth, so I just help them also make the best of what they have.

Not many people know that I’m an atheist. I tend to avoid talking about religion when I can. Not that I’m hiding it or anything. If someone happens to ask, my response is usually something along the lines of “Let’s just say I’m not religious, and leave it at that.” Bottom line, do I feel happier after taking the red pill and being freed from the matrix of religion? Without a doubt, yes.
~~

This was exactly my thought process on the whole thing. Happiness is the true meaning of life, and if you’re not happy worshiping a god or whatever that you don’t believe in, then why do it? Death is a scary thought, and always will be, but it’s just natural. Do dead people seem to mind that they’re dead? Nah, so I don’t think we would either.
~

I take comfort in being an apatheist. I don’t know what happens to us but I do know that believing one way or another doesn’t make it real. It’s such a relief to know that the universe gives no fucks about my beliefs.
~

Honestly even though I questioned very early I always preferred the alternative to eternal life. I’m… OK with dying. I don’t WANT to die. But that’s because I love/hate humanity and want to see our future and progress or destruction. But the idea of ceasing to exist doesn’t freak me out every day. Mostly I worry about my love ones dying before I can fully enjoy life with them. But I don’t need an afterlife. The same way I was nothing before I came to live is the same way I’ll be nothing after. My atoms will continue on my physical energy will continue but there will be no I.

My fav quotes on death tend to go the route of Richard Dawkins quote which listen to very often: “Death makes much more sense now as an atheist… it’s the great equalizer– we get to live, and then we die to make room for more life. I like not being able to be manipulated by preachers and gurus and those claiming divine knowledge. I like understanding science– understanding that if scientists cannot know about something… that nobody else probably knows about it either.”
~

I find this a common thing from those who have left religion. I, on the other hand, never had that growing up, and am terrified of death. Dying and my brain then just turning off, gives me occasional panic attacks. It’s so time to the point where i can’t sleep, because of those moments where your eyes close, and then open and time has passed with out you even realizing it. Closest thing to death i assume. Scares the shit out of me. And i know all your arguments about how awful eternity must be, or how selfish i must be to want to live forever, or all the other completely rational reasons why an eventual death Should be a comfort… still doesn’t stop the dread. Only reason i’m letting my sons be raised (holiday) catholic. They’re both probably going to be smart enough to see reason on their own, and if the by-product is that they don’t fear dying of old age, awesome. And if they stay in the faith, as long as they aren’t denying science, i wont care as long as it keeps them happy.
~

Absolutely, I do. I feel much more at ease knowing the truth. I feel like I understand my position in the universe. I feel small and insignificant in comparison, but my life also feels so much more significant on a personal level because I know that I only have one life, and I know how amazing it is that I even get to exist for a fleeting moment in the universe. And I don’t take my life as much for granted.

I think this is also because I lived so many years of my life trying to push the questions out of my head and forcing myself to “believe” in god. And as you kind of also said, not having to fear hell honestly felt like the hugest weight off my shoulders when I finally admitted to myself that there’s no god or satan. It was definitely one of the most freeing moments of my life. It may have even been the most freeing because that was the moment I truly opened my mind. People who weren’t raised into religion have no idea what it feels like to experience all the fear and shame. It’s especially psychologically difficult and damaging for a child.
~

The only thing that bugs me about death is that I won’t be able to enjoy the peace and quiet.
~

Totally, not just for understanding it’s something that has to happen and there’s not heaven or hell, but it made me cope with the death of some members of my family really well, and far better than when I believed in life after death. Instead of being sad and worried for someone’s soul, I couldn’t stop remembering the good times I spent with my grandma and my dog.
~

I am comforted by the idea of non existence as we will not be aware of our own existence or ever existing in the first place. Our own memories have disappeared but the memory of us exist in the people we knew or influenced. We will become extinct but we can care about our dna line by caring about the planet we shortly exist on, with no real influence on the whole universe.
~

After reading most of the comments I see I’m the exception here. I’m a 30 year old ex Catholic, questioning belief since 8 or 9, secure in my atheism around 13 or 14. I remember the summer when I was 8 very vividly. For the first time I considered death as an end of my existence, and I spent the entire summer terrified and tortured by the concept. Eventually I somewhat came to accept it, but ever so often to this day that feeling comes back and lasts for a few days, never as intense as it once was, but always just enough to cost me some sleep.

I know death is inevitable and fear of it is irrational, I’ve just never been able to come to terms with not existing….. I try to imagine it as being the same as before I was born, but it’s still way too abstract a concept for me. I’m terrified of death and I probably always will be😦
~

Definitely. I hated the idea of eternal life since I had a rough time growing up and the last thing I wanted would be to have to remember all of it forever. so now I’m a lot happier believing that death is simply the cessation of my consciousness.
~

I don’t fear death like I used to but I think of it in the way Christopher Hitchens put it once and I couldn’t find the direct quote but it was something like “Dying is like being told the party is going to go on but you have to leave.”
~

Fuck nah, it’s worse. Way worse. I’m scared, I don’t want to die. There’s no point in living if it amounts to nothing. I feel trapped, I feel like I’m in a hell in which I cannot escape the inevitability of death.
~

Death is OK, the process of dying on the other hand is not something I’m comfortable with. I can’t look (statistically) confident towards it. The process of dying is aggravated because even in my modern Western country religiously inspired laws make euthanasia at my request an arduous process.

It is (the end of) my life; I’m the one who should have more say about that process. Sure, the process should be well regulated to prevent abuse (for example by pressure from relatives) but currently that is used as an excuse to keep the law as it is, not as an incentive to think of better safeguards and implement those.

On national TV a conservative christian politician argued that the request of suffering people to improve the law on euthanasia should not be honoured because her voters wrote her that it would reduce their sense of self-esteem/that they were worthy of living. Excuse me? Your self-esteem is dependent on other people suffering? That’s terrible. Why don’t you derive more self-esteem that you helped these suffering people with their (last) request?
~

It’s not really fear I have. It’s lamenting what I won’t get to experience. The sun will come up and the beautiful sky will continue long after I’m gone as it did long before I was born. I still want to be buried under a sapling in a compost safe sac so that at least for a time part of me will still be there for my descendants to visit and maybe enjoy a nice lunch in my shade. Life is so precious.
~

No. As a Christian I now know that I go to spend eternity with Jesus when I die. When I was an atheist I thought I faced oblivion, and that life was the sickest, most cruel joke imaginable to give us the beauty of life full of love, passions, and desires only to take it all away as the last human dies with the faint whisper-nothing ever mattered.
~

Denying a grim truth does not make it any less true.
~

I live happily knowing when I die my existence ends. I live in the now and knowing there is nothing more frees me to be real with myself and others rather than live a tangled web of lies. My life matters to those that care about me and I hope to have made some tangible positive impact on humanity. The religions of the world, all 4300+ of them!, all feed on this basic human fear.
~~

 

One Comment

Yes! Abandoning religion and fear of the afterlife is so liberating. I can live these years I have for myself to the fullest without being tied down by the fear of “Hell”