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Living in the Here & Now

 
swordmaiden
 
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swordmaiden
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01 April 2013 11:18
 

I would like to start a project which helps people come to terms with the fact that we all die and how, by accepting this fact, we can enjoy this life and appreciate those who are still with us. I believe most of people’s need for Faith and Religion is this basic fear of the inevitable. I speak from my own experience. Accepting the unknowability of whatever we would like there to be after we die is not an easy transition from being brought up to, not just believe in life after death and “divine purpose” but to KNOW it. It takes, I believe some courage to face the fact that you have been wrong all those years and lived on the principles of wish-thinking beacuse the thought of absoloute death was too terrifying to accept. Also the thought that there is no big judgement call on those who have wronged you or huge pat on theback for all the good things you have done for others.
I was brought up as a Spiritualist and, up till relatively recently, had no doubts whatsoever of the existence of life after death, I had my own “evidence” and could justify any doubts that others could throw at me.
Now I live for this life and those who share it with me across the world. Life is too prescious to waste on nonsense. If there was an association of people who live their lives happily in the knowledge of the inevitable, yet acknowledge how scary it can be to face that for some people, I believe more people would be willing to ditch their comfort blankets of Faith.Any thoughts please?

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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01 April 2013 11:30
 

We have a thread here, written by a dying man, which you should find and read.

 
 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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01 April 2013 11:52
 

Snowmaiden, I think that’s right. I think religion draws on two sources for its perpetuation: fear of the nothingness of death and indoctrination of the young. We can fight indoctrination but we can’t yet avoid death. I think it was Marcus Aurelius who said we should not fear death because we will be no more inconvenienced by it than we were by the nothingness before our birth. Most people who come from religious backgrounds may not have had the opportunity to think of death in any way other than the old reward/punishment paradigm pushed by religion to maintain power and keep control of people’s minds. I think a place where they could discus death in non-religious terms is a great idea.

BTW, welcome to the forum.

 
swordmaiden
 
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swordmaiden
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01 April 2013 12:04
 

Thank you for the welcome.
I have to say I found Christopher Hitchen’s attitude to his impending death was refreshing and inspiring.
x

 
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01 April 2013 22:31
 

I don’t fear death, but I do fear the pain often associated with it.  I hope to die in my sleep.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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01 April 2013 22:47
 

Imagine there’s no heaven.
It’s easy if you try—
No hell below us;
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people, living for today.

I don’t think anyone said (sang) it any better.

And welcome to the forum!

 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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02 April 2013 00:09
 

I agree, Hannah. That song will last forever.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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02 April 2013 01:07
 

Woody Allen:  I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be around when it happens.

 
 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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02 April 2013 02:58
 
Dennis Campbell - 01 April 2013 11:07 PM

Woody Allen:  I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be around when it happens.

LOL

 
SkepticX
 
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02 April 2013 11:01
 

I don’t fear death either, just the effect it will have on my quality of life.

I still have a real hard time buying claims that people don’t fear death. It’s not the pain associated with many deaths or the fact it’s just like when we weren’t alive prior to our births, it’s the permanent end of life—the end of all personal experience—existing no more. I was having this discussion with my sister once, probably a decade ago. She told me that she’s not afraid of death, she just hates to miss what will happen afterward. I found that pretty amusing. I think most who claim not to fear death are either deluded (as in believers who presume they’re going to an infinite, wonderful afterlife), or they simply aren’t giving it realistic consideration. I suspect when it gets closer a lot of those people, if they haven’t yet really considered it, are in for a bit of an unpleasant wake up call ... quite unfortunately.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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02 April 2013 12:51
 

‘I don’t fear death either, just the effect it will have on my quality of life.

I still have a real hard time buying claims that people don’t fear death.’

Bit of dissonance Byron?

I am not sure if ‘fear’ is the right description. Just because somebody does not desire something to happen, does not mean they are in fear of it happening.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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02 April 2013 14:50
 
Epaminondas - 02 April 2013 10:51 AM

‘I don’t fear death either, just the effect it will have on my quality of life.

I still have a real hard time buying claims that people don’t fear death.’

Bit of dissonance Byron?


Not at all. The former is a humorous way to put the latter—a kind of Yogi Berra type comment.

The humorous statement is just a “disguised” self-contradiction—expresses the point of the comments that follow in a very linguistically ergonomic manner, as the kids say.

 
 
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02 April 2013 17:29
 

“I can’t die; it’ll ruin my image.”  - Jack Lalanne, the godfather of fitness

 
EN
 
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EN
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02 April 2013 18:55
 
SkepticX - 02 April 2013 09:01 AM

I don’t fear death either, just the effect it will have on my quality of life.

I still have a real hard time buying claims that people don’t fear death. It’s not the pain associated with many deaths or the fact it’s just like when we weren’t alive prior to our births, it’s the permanent end of life—the end of all personal experience—existing no more. I was having this discussion with my sister once, probably a decade ago. She told me that she’s not afraid of death, she just hates to miss what will happen afterward. I found that pretty amusing. I think most who claim not to fear death are either deluded (as in believers who presume they’re going to an infinite, wonderful afterlife), or they simply aren’t giving it realistic consideration. I suspect when it gets closer a lot of those people, if they haven’t yet really considered it, are in for a bit of an unpleasant wake up call ... quite unfortunately.

Perhaps sadness about death is an appropriate description. Even for people of faith who believe in life after death, there is still the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones, of not experiencing the world, etc. There is nothing more valuable in the world than life, and losing it is true loss. Even the story of Jesus in the gospels reveals someone who did not relish the thought of dying, and longed to spend time with his friends right before the end.

 
SkepticX
 
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02 April 2013 21:10
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 02 April 2013 04:55 PM

Even for people of faith who believe in life after death, there is still the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones, of not experiencing the world, etc.


that’s what a lot of believers say, anyway. They demonstrate a far deeper sense of loss than their beliefs would indicate though. It’s quite notable if you see one who really does believe the rhetoric. There’s a very different degree of grief when you really believe you’ll see someone again, even if not for a long time, than when you recognize it as final, the ultimate sense of loss. This is another case in which believers’ behavior is inconsistent with their rhetoric. It’ll be very interesting if neurology ever figures out how to quantify this.

 
 
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02 April 2013 21:29
 
Ecurb Noselrub - 02 April 2013 04:55 PM

Even for people of faith who believe in life after death, there is still the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones, of not experiencing the world, etc.

From Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5

Clown: Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.

OLIVIA:  Can you do it?

Clown:  Dexterously, good madonna.

OLIVIA:  Make your proof.

Clown:  I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse of virtue, answer me.

OLIVIA:  Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I’ll bide your proof.

Clown:  Good madonna, why mournest thou?

OLIVIA:  Good fool, for my brother’s death.

Clown:  I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

OLIVIA:  I know his soul is in heaven, fool.

Clown:  The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother’s soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

 
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