How Do You Feel About Death?

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#16

Post by patrick » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:21 pm

Death is a concept I've had a lot of trouble with conceptually. My view is that either you exist at a point of time or not. If you don't, you can't enter into that period of time, so essentially you just jump to the next point in time, perhaps even repeating life if no more points are available (similar to how the sum of all positive integers is actually -1/12, see more here: https://plus.maths.org/content/infinity-or-just-112). Back when I was an atheist, my main concern (and why I ultimately decided against committing suicide) was that death was the start of a long period of disjointed, chaotic, and senseless moments separated by millions if not trillions of years. Moving away from that, my concern has since been why death exists, in spiritual terms, and what the implications of that will be in the afterlife. At my current conception, I don't fear death so much as I fear the numerous opportunities I have to make decisions across time preceding death. I think it's self-evident that we live in a fallen world, one which on its own would be of questionable worth, and death just reminds me of my concerns of why life was good or necessary to begin with.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#17

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:54 pm

patrick wrote:Death is a concept I've had a lot of trouble with conceptually. My view is that either you exist at a point of time or not. If you don't, you can't enter into that period of time, so essentially you just jump to the next point in time, perhaps even repeating life if no more points are available (similar to how the sum of all positive integers is actually -1/12, see more here: https://plus.maths.org/content/infinity-or-just-112). Back when I was an atheist, my main concern (and why I ultimately decided against committing suicide) was that death was the start of a long period of disjointed, chaotic, and senseless moments separated by millions if not trillions of years. Moving away from that, my concern has since been why death exists, in spiritual terms, and what the implications of that will be in the afterlife. At my current conception, I don't fear death so much as I fear the numerous opportunities I have to make decisions across time preceding death. I think it's self-evident that we live in a fallen world, one which on its own would be of questionable worth, and death just reminds me of my concerns of why life was good or necessary to begin with.
Seems like you were a different "breed" of Atheist, obviously so, since my theologic often made some sense to you. ;)

Sam Harris though, in watching discussions he recently had, mentioned seeing death as simply being like the same state we were in before being born. That is, non-existence, nothing. We aren't conscious, don't experience anything, just quite simply don't exist (or at least we can't remember existing if we did exist).

It seems to me when you were Atheist that you embraced some sort of afterlife, devoid of God of course, but nonetheless some sort of mystical consciousness that lives on though in a disjointed state. I wonder what reasoning got you think that such is likely the case, at least likely enough to stop you wanting to enter into that state? Was it unanswered questions to do with consciousness, or perplexities of such?

Interestingly, I do feel socieity if become more enamoured with views likes your, where death isn't the end of us, but that we go through some transformative conscious experience. I notice the recent Star Trek Discovery plays upon this, so if the philosophy is now seeping into TV shows, this new form of secular philospohy has indeed likely arrived socially.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#18

Post by patrick » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:52 pm

Kurieuo wrote:It seems to me when you were Atheist that you embraced some sort of afterlife, devoid of God of course, but nonetheless some sort of mystical consciousness that lives on though in a disjointed state. I wonder what reasoning got you think that such is likely the case, at least likely enough to stop you wanting to enter into that state? Was it unanswered questions to do with consciousness, or perplexities of such?
Kinda. The motivation to reconsider popular ideas of death came from Dr. Carl Gustav Jung. He was very driven by the idea that psychological experience is a real thing that needs explaining, and he makes compelling (though difficult to follow) arguments as to how the psychological is real. From there, I noticed that most science-loving types not only disregarded direct experience, but moreover had a view of the world that always started from what they knew, not what they experienced. And that lead me to the realization that when they described death, they almost always were describing it from an impersonal, external point of view.

That said, I didn't move beyond simple skepticism of the popular view until I went through a period of considering suicide, and it was then I decided to take a good hard look at myself and my motivations for advocating for anti-natalism. I ended up discarding anti-natalism for other reasons, but as far as my own suicide went, I had the sneaking suspicion that I was being unreasonably optimistic about death. Or at least, relative to my rather bleak view of life. So then, after positing some rather horrific possibilities, I realized that the fundamental logic of the atheistic worldview was that (1) order comes from chaos and (2) by the law of entropy, death was likely a process of degrading from order into chaos. Equations of modern physics imply that order randomly generates out of chaos for extremely brief (and rare) moments before dispersing back into chaos -- I've considered since that the equations shouldn't be taken so literally, but if order can't randomly generate from chaos, then the big bang could not have happened, so I've kinda settled on that possibility as being the most reasonable in an atheistic world.

And so taking that from a first-person perspective, yes, we do die, but there's a non-zero chance that we will spontaneously be "reborn" into the universe in some form that meets the prerequisite of being "us" as conscious beings. So life after death seems like it'll simply be those spontaneous accidents all strung together, with the likelihood of a spontaneous but coherent experience decreasing more rapidly than the likelihood of a disjointed experience, as we approach the heat death of the universe. And yet, even well into the heat death, it seems this spontaneous "order from chaos" principle will still hold, and the exceedingly unlikelihood of us spontaneously existing will never be offset by the infinite amount of time that lays out before us into the future.
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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#19

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:26 am

There have been numerous instances of life after death being documented.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

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Post by Philip » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:23 am

Patrick's side panel info identifies him as being a Christian. So, Patrick, why do you consider yourself a Christian if you don't believe what Jesus and His apostles said about death, and what is to come for those with faith, and without it?

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#21

Post by patrick » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:19 pm

Philip wrote:Patrick's side panel info identifies him as being a Christian. So, Patrick, why do you consider yourself a Christian if you don't believe what Jesus and His apostles said about death, and what is to come for those with faith, and without it?
I do believe. I was talking about my view when I was an atheist, and what I consider most likely if God didn't exist.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#22

Post by Philip » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:22 pm

Patrick: I do believe. I was talking about my view when I was an atheist, and what I consider most likely if God didn't exist.
Any thing that ultimately changed your mind about Jesus?

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#23

Post by patrick » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:39 pm

Philip wrote:
Patrick: I do believe. I was talking about my view when I was an atheist, and what I consider most likely if God didn't exist.
Any thing that ultimately changed your mind about Jesus?
Well, the seed for that was when I realized the popular atheistic view (masquerading as scientific) framed everything in a very impersonal way. And then when I rolled up my sleeves to try to understand the philosophy behind Christianity, I found it to be actually more sensible than, well, basically every other view I'd heard of. And then when I read the book of Mark, after thinking about the account, I realized a person performing miracles is perfectly plausible if that person is the son of God.

I guess this topic brought up my atheistic thoughts because now I don't believe I'm really fated to die.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#24

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:50 pm

You might recall Phil, that when Patrick first visited this board he wasn't Christian. If I recall Pat, you mentioned in the past one thing was having just assumed Atheism as a kind default position. When in fact all positions have certain presuppositions about reality that are more or less justified, and if intellectually honest need rational support rather than just assuming.
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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#25

Post by patrick » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:16 pm

Yeah, I forgot about that. That's a very big part of it, and the key sentiment that's made me waffle about Christianity even after being convinced that it's the most reasonable position. Why atheism gets away with being presented as the default might be an interesting topic of discussion, but it's a sentiment that many otherwise reasonable people hold, making it all the more insidious.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#26

Post by Philip » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:47 pm

Yeah, I forgot about that. That's a very big part of it, and the key sentiment that's made me waffle about Christianity even after being convinced that it's the most reasonable position. Why atheism gets away with being presented as the default might be an interesting topic of discussion, but it's a sentiment that many otherwise reasonable people hold, making it all the more insidious.
Patrick, every believer's journey is different. But just to be sure, you have sought forgiveness and submitted yourself to God/Jesus, correct? Just want to make sure you're not merely stating an intellectual belief that Jesus is God, didn't just "pray a prayer," etc.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#27

Post by Kenny » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:12 am

Kenny wrote:Over the years, I’ve structured my life in a way that makes life easy and joyful. If I were to die now, it would be horrible because it would mean an end to what I really enjoy doing; living. However in the future, there could be things outside my control that makes life more difficult and painful; and under those conditions I may perhaps see death differently than I do now.
You know Kenny, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live." He also said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." ;) Sorry, couldn't resist. Given you said you like life, Jesus was a big supporter of wanting to give life it seems. I'm curiuos, what do you make of Jesus' statements like this? Ramblings of a crazy man, or do you simply dismiss as something like followers wrongly recording his words, believe Jesus was a fiction, or?[/quote]
I believe Jesus was one of many religious leaders throughout history. What he said sounds typical of what a religious leader would say to his followers.
Kurieuo wrote:As for your response, your logic that death would be horrible because you enjoy living doesn't really follow. You may not want to die beacuse you enjoy living, but such doesn't make death horrible anymore then my liking black makes white horrible (unless I'm a Lefty of course :P).
You don’t see a difference between never being able to experience love, family, friends, accomplishment, goals, and all the wonderful things that comes with living; vs choosing one color over the next?
To get bitten by a mosquito is painful, and getting bitten by a viper snake is painful. Would you consider them equal?
Kurieuo wrote:I could like living in this life, but then still consider death alright too.
Obviously we see things much different than each other
Kurieuo wrote:And, if we assume your view of the world, then death is really the same non-existence like presumably before we were born. By your view of things, death can only be as horrible as before we were born, but you wouldn't call the time before you were born necessarily horrible would you?
Compared to living? YES!!!!

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#28

Post by patrick » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:10 pm

Philip wrote:
Yeah, I forgot about that. That's a very big part of it, and the key sentiment that's made me waffle about Christianity even after being convinced that it's the most reasonable position. Why atheism gets away with being presented as the default might be an interesting topic of discussion, but it's a sentiment that many otherwise reasonable people hold, making it all the more insidious.
Patrick, every believer's journey is different. But just to be sure, you have sought forgiveness and submitted yourself to God/Jesus, correct? Just want to make sure you're not merely stating an intellectual belief that Jesus is God, didn't just "pray a prayer," etc.
I mean I think so, but I don't really know what that entails. I've long had doubts about what God's will is exactly, so I've prayed to know what God's plan for me is. I read the Bible for a while, but I got out of the habit and only just started back with it. Maybe I'd just have to say I'm still in the process of doing so.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Death?

#29

Post by Philip » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:31 pm

Philip: Patrick, every believer's journey is different. But just to be sure, you have sought forgiveness and submitted yourself to God/Jesus, correct? Just want to make sure you're not merely stating an intellectual belief that Jesus is God, didn't just "pray a prayer," etc.
Patrick: I mean I think so, but I don't really know what that entails. I've long had doubts about what God's will is exactly, so I've prayed to know what God's plan for me is. I read the Bible for a while, but I got out of the habit and only just started back with it. Maybe I'd just have to say I'm still in the process of doing so.
Patrick - you don't need to GUESS at what makes one a Christian. But, to be sure, it is NOT merely an intellectual belief that Jesus exists. It is a desire of the mind and heart - the mind believes Jesus is who He said He is (God!), and what He did: That we are sinners, that He died and arose to pay for our sins.

Romans 10:9-13: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Luke 12:8: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

And just WHO and WHAT is this Jesus we are to confess of and to? http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/w ... hrist.html and http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/w ... s_god.html

Jesus is the one prophecied by Isaiah 9:6 - a child to be born that would also be "Mighty God" - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace ..." And so, the day Jesus was born, this came true: Luke 2:11: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." And after the death, and Jesus' subsequent resurrection back to physical life, Thomas the doubter, finally realized just who Jesus is, in John 20:28: "Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!

So, to be saved, what one confesses to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is also believed in their heart - that you are committing and submitting yourself to God, through faith in belief as to who and what Jesus is, that He is your Lord who died and arose to save you from your sins (as you acknowledge you are a sinner who needs His forgiveness), and your wish to follow Him. While Jesus has always been Lord to those who have faith in Him. But learning to make Him, evermore fully, YOUR Lord in further obedience, is a life-long journey of learning to more fully submit and obey his wishes and directives. But at the very moment your heart and mind believe the above, and you've confessed and submitted to God in a desire to follow God/Jesus/Spirit - that IS the moment of salvation. There's no trying to be good enough first, or first having some great perfect knowledge of Scripture or God, as He has made salvation exceptional easy for every sincere heart and mind that wishes to make Him their Lord. And that is the moment He begins to change us, our way of thinking, the beginning of HIm beginning to free us of all our messy stuff. Patrick, if you've not come to that place of confession and submission in your heart to Jesus, faith in who and what He is, please do so - don't delay!

I'll pray that you have come to this point, Pat!
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