The idea of nonexistence is the worst. I rather get to experience severe pain and torment for eternity than not exist. Fortunately the conservation of matter and energy suggests there is likely a continuity of consciousness in some form even if you lose all awareness you previously had in your past life and it never comes back so it's not likely we're going to experience nothing. You will never have another life that is just like this one so appreciate and enjoy it, but afterwards something has to happen.
It's also unlikely that even a single religion has the way this works right. In time by calculating how matter/energy lines up to human consciousness science will be able to trace and prove reincarnation as a physical process that doesn't require religion.
I'm not confident in a answer that is why I turn to you people for understanding. I am not a atheist, so please don't hate me because of my lack of knowledge on it. On my point of view as a christian being a atheist is sad, because you have nothing to look forward to at the brink of death. It would be a depressing thought that would scare me for years and years. Thinking of death is scary as a atheist isn't it? Not living is just scary, i think of it like when you are in a deep sleep but you never wake up, no dreams or anything, just endless nothing.
Very depressing. Believing there is no afterlife makes me feel myself and the whole universe meaningless, every tiny beautiful sound of a flying bird or waterfall would be meaningless. All bright colors would be black and white. All good deeds from beginning of human history to end of it would be meaningless. That's too much. How I gain hope if a catastrophe, out of my hand, occurred to me? Life would be definitely depressing.
Believing so would destroy morale. Why then I sacrifice for others?! Why then an old man about to die is ready to sacrifice for a new born baby he will never see again shortly? Why not I abuse or steel others if it happened I get safe from consequences?
Believing that there is no life after death is kind of the same as playing a video game knowing that you can only play that video one time, and if you die then youre done and you can never play that game again.... Also the game can be really good or really bad, and you may not get to do all the missions you wanted to do before time runs out.
In a world where people and animals suffer the most horrendous pain and torture, it would be nice to think they would get a second chance. To those who say they have been blessed, I say why? Why were you so important to be so lucky while others are murdered, sick, and tortured? It's probably just a dream, but I still hope for something more.
Knowing my beautiful improbable life will come to permanent oblivion is so sad. Ironically, I used to wish to "have never been created" sometimes when I was religious. I can't believe it. I really hope any religion would pull throuh one day. The idea that I'll never see light again is so sad. I cannot believe the "man in the sky" could ever make anyone blind! What is life worth without vision. Many thanks.
If our consciousness does not live on after our bodies shaved died, it's sort of similar to the time before we were born. We don't remember what it was like to not exist yet, so perhaps we won't mind not existing after we die. If, by chance, we do remain conscious after death, I think that we will each make our own dreamlike illusion of an afterlife; I don't believe that a realm was created especially for us after death. Maybe we'll be reincarnated, maybe we'll be ghosts. Maybe it'll be like Andy Weir's "The Egg." It's still scary, like the panic you get right before anaesthesia because you have to wonder: where do your thoughts go when you're unconscious?
When I had heart surgery when I was 22 my heart was stopped, I was under the deepest anesthesia, at the threshold of death, I remember waking up in the recovery room but the time between being put under anesthesia and waking was completely blank. It was like a missing chunk of time, there was no light or tunnels or any awareness at all. I am not a religious person, I'm a man of science and critical thinking, and the laws of physics say it is impossible for your mind to exist without your brain. All of these NDE experiences take place in a living brain . How does this make me feel? Very sad, if there is nothing , (and it looks like there is nothing ) than why do we go through this thing called life. Will science ever have the answer, I believe it will and we won't like it. And so the only thing left for us to do is to try and do your best and be kind to others as we are all in the same predicament.
When (there is no if, all things will die) you die, everyone you ever cared about is gone. Everything you ever meant to say will never be said. Every single thing you've wanted to do will not happen. Eternity with your loved ones will never happen. If a relative dies early, and you ignored them for the most part, tough luck, because you'll never be able to make it up.
No afterlife means all our daily futile concern about fashion and favorite football team results meaningless. Human have built a rather complicated society which keep us busy with school and work and family but to me, all of this is useless. Hormones in my body control my mood, eat good happy, fuck good , happy, hit my toe on the door unhappy, traffic jam unhappy .... And so on until we die. After 2 die, unless u got nobel price, nobody will remember who u were after 2 generation. Who cares about his great, grand-parents.
To me, a human life is a tiny blip in the timeline of the universe. We are nothing, we mean nothing, and nothing we ever do will ever amount to anything. Sure, it may matter in our tiny world, but ultimately, in a short time, just billions of years, Earth will be gone, and everything we ever worked for, everything we ever were, will be gone. Just like that. And yet life is beautiful. With life we try to build, we try to create, even though, ultimately, nothing matters. Constantly in life, we get torn down by obstacles, and yet we fight on. The world will always be the same, and no matter how many new gadgets and innovations we create it will always be essentially the same. There will be births, deaths, war, love, happiness and sadness. Life is is mostly just tragedy, but occasionally, there is a flare of brilliance, of happiness, of love, that makes all the tragedy and the futility of life worthwhile.
I don't want to die either. Ever. I'd be perfectly happy existing forever, particularly if it was in a healthy non-painful way. But that doesn't mean that I have to believe in an afterlife; quite the contrary to what IBleedSkittles suggests.
I use as an ideological balm this fact: I have no sense of what non-existence was before I was born, and the majority of evidence and reason I've applied to the mystery of death leads me to believe that it will be comprised of that same non-existence after I die. No angelic droning without the ability to change the station, and no hellfire and pitchfork torture. I find the lack of those things (or any other religious conceptions of afterlife) to be an incredible relief.
All that makes us conscious is the brain. There is no evidence of a soul. When our brains die and no longer function we simply cease to exist and there is the non existence like before we were conceived. We were never bothered by non existence before we were conceived and we won't be bothered by it after we are dead.
The funny thing is that we can all be sure that there's an afterlife. It's what happens after our lives. I find the idea of lugging my body and mind around through an undying, inescapable cosmic afterlife to be a concept that I think any intelligent person would find hellish. The funny thing about Christians and Buddhists is that they both crave personal extinction, they just phrase it differently. And perhaps there is some extraordinary continuation of consciousness upon death, but chances are it would be indescribable to us. So I maintain a Gnostic attitude. Be Christlike, help others, and learn. The Dead don't sit around in darkness lamenting their passage any more than the unborn lie excited in the womb. Extinction doesn't scare me. Eternity sucks. I'd prefer to sleep through it.
How is an afterlife better than this mortal life? I believe that this is my one life and it is short and insignificant. If I believed there was an afterlife it would be more depressing, you live forever knowing how many people are living in eternal torture and you of all people are living it up. I believe that because I have one life I am obligated to life it fully and as best I can because I have no second chances.
Besides, I know what it feels like to be dead. I was dead for 13 billion years before I was born, wasn't bad
This is somewhere where I would wish to tread softly, as opposed to deliberately stomping all over people's hopes and dreams and associated beliefs... I believe that all of our history thus far reflects the fact that the concepts of nothingness and the very ephemeral nature of our existence have been difficult for our species to process without reaching out for something to assuage their brutality and finality.
We seem to be wired to see meaning, to see patterns, to detect purpose and agency, where sometimes there is none. We have evolved to be this way because it made sense, it helped us to go on (as hope and optimism do), it served to ensure we would thrive and become successful. I feel that things are changing.
The old myths and narratives are beginning to fray and look as if they have outlived their purpose and usefulness, they are starting to become counter-productive or ineffective in certain areas. We need new ones and it is my humble opinion that the sciences are able to step in and help us out with that.
This life is magnificent and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to live and experience it and all its wonders in this habitable corner of our universe - let's not waste a minute. Yes, by all means live in the present moment and make the most of your life, of your talents and skills, but let us also remember that we can have a future here, that we can protect our environment and leave a good legacy once we have gone. If the Iroquois can do it, think seven generations ahead so could we.
It is impossible to imagine how I would experience my own non-existence.
The thought of no existence prior to my conception causes me no feeling of depression.
The thought of my death as an absolute end to my existence is no more depressing.
Part of the problem may be human perception of time. A person can exist and interact with the world. When they die, their existence and interactions during life do not cease to have been.
Realizing the reality of our situation- that we have this one, finite life to live- makes life even more precious. If anything, atheists live life more fully than those who believe this life is some kind of audition for a mythical afterlife.
In fact, I can't imagine anything more depressing than the thought of infinite consciousness.
I feel like it's motivated me to do the best that I can in this life, since it's the only one that I'll ever get. I'm taking AP classes, I had a 3.5 GPA last year, and I'm planning on becoming a neurosurgeon. I don't think that I would have done as well as I have if I believed that I would go to heaven even if I didn't do much. I would be encouraged to take the easy way out, and not work hard in life. I would probably go to college, but I probably wouldn't have such a big goal. I also find it comforting that after all the hard work that I've done in my life that I'll be able to have a final rest. All you religious people will most likely disagree with me, but I'm sure you feel just as strong about your belief that the afterlife is a comforting thing. I find myself actually quite happy knowing that this is the only life that I'll get, and trying to make the best of it. So, in short, believing there is no afterlife is not a depressing thing.
I have never believed there is an afterlife, nor will I ever believe there is one. The thought of there being no afterlife is liberating in a sense as it gives a person nothing to aspire to or mould themselves to. With religion one is confined to believing that ultimately you will go to Heaven if you please [insert deity] or you will go to Hell if you displease [insert deity] and in my opinion aspiring to please something you have no idea exists is more depressing that assuming you just die when you die. In reality when you look upon it with some thought one realises that the afterlife is just a concept like any other concept, it was probably invented to help people come to terms with their own death and the death of those around them, unfortunately the concept never wore off.