Friday, September 16, 2011

Death of an atheist

After the resurrection?

I don’t fear death anymore.  I am afraid in the manner in which I might die.  I wonder what those last few hours or moments might be like.  Will it be quick; or will I know in advance?  Will I have months to prepare or catastrophe?  Yes, I am afraid of dying.  Who isn’t? I am not afraid of what comes after.  I am not afraid of death.

As an atheist, I believe that after you die, nothing happens.  There is no soul. You cease to be.  Kaput!  Why be afraid of nothing?  For a theist, death can be a frightening prospect with every manner of hell, demons and mean as fuck gods to torment your immortal soul.  Oh yes I can hear you cry out, “what about the eternal reward of heaven?”  Say you manage to win a backstage pass to hang out with JC, Big Daddy and the Third Wheel, what about your loved ones that lost?  While your livin’ it up in the afterlife, your buddies are getting stomped in the mosh pit of hell.  Are you really going to enjoy yourself with that knowledge?  Heaven, hell or reincarnation are all fairy tales, so why fret?

The real beauty of being an atheist is you don’t have to waste time about groveling to a myth, or tithing to a corporation.  I can get on with life.  Knowing that this life is it, I am free to enjoy it.  There is no second chance.

What about getting something positive out of my own death?  I am an organ donor.  While I don’t want to die, when it happens perhaps someone else will have a life.  I would also like my remains to be donated to science.  Perhaps I can help train the doctors of the future, or help scientists learn more about the human body; or even the disease that claims me.  If science doesn’t want me, then I think it would be nice to be buried at sea.  I enjoy the irony that I could get to feed all the little fishes of the sea.  Plus I don’t like the idea of hogging a piece of real estate for eternity or all the emissions for cremation.

Why would I care what happens after I die if I believe there is no afterlife?  I won’t get to take pleasure in seeing someone make use of my liver.  I take pleasure in it now.  I know I am doing the right thing by my fellow man; just by signing a bit of paper letting my loved ones know what I want.  Once I am finished with it, please make use of my old body.

My uncle recently passed away.  He donated his body to science.  I could not be prouder.

The only caveat to all this rambling is that if I had the funds I would be very selfish and have my body cryogenically preserved.  Yeh, I know the odds.  So the freezing process destroys your cell walls.  Who needs ‘em?!  There is that nagging little doubt, that can not be proven one way or the other that in a century or more the technology might be able to repair that damage or rescue the data off this mushy computer.  Think about what life was like 100 years ago, now imagine waking up 100 years in the future.  Wow.  I wonder if I will meet Leela?

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