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Posts: 514/611
(15-Jan-2009 at 12:36)


Fearless Atheist

Does anyone of you know an example of a self-proclaimed atheist, who went to certain death without any fear or signs of fear?

Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.

If he fears, then his 'faith' (take this as you like since some atheists dont like the notion of them 'believing' in my knowledge) is weak.

Same counts for believers, many self-proclaimed believers run away at the sight of death when their religous obligation would be to face death.


What im up to is the concept of angst, of fear.

I hope i will receive alot of good comments that will make me reflect on what fear truely is.

peace

PS: thread inspired by Caelis666 comment #34 on the December 21, 2012... End of days? thread.

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(15-Jan-2009 at 14:01)


Quote:
Does anyone of you know an example of a self-proclaimed atheist, who went to certain death without any fear or signs of fear?
Well i imagine most suiciders didn't fear that much death,same goes for junkies who are so high they don't care. As well extreme sitautions like in war,entering a burning building and so on where the adrenaline and the situations itself takes so much of your attention that you don't have time for fear and probably a lot more . I am sure you can always find some examples if you look hard enough. But imagine the majority of atheists just like with any other sane group have an instinct of self preservation and fear death and injury


Quote:
Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.
Care to elaborate?

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(15-Jan-2009 at 14:31)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.

If he fears, then his 'faith' (take this as you like since some atheists dont like the notion of them 'believing' in my knowledge) is weak.
This only works if you assume the only reason people fear death is that they fear God's judgment upon death. That's a fairly simplistic view, as it isn't God's judgment most people fear, but the pain of dying; the fear of leaving mourning loved ones behind; the worry about whether they did the right thing with their limited time.. All those frightening issues remain when you believe there's no God or afterlife waiting for you, hence there are plenty of reasons to fear death for a non-believer.

Your brain is unique in the history of the universe. Use it wisely.
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(15-Jan-2009 at 14:36)


Whats fearsome of death for an atheist? An atheist shouldnt be bothered of dying except for the pain, but not for the consequences or any kind of after life. Actually, if i would be atheist, i wouldnt really give much importance to the after-death time. Thats as far an atheist thinks of life. Have a good life, as long as possible( why is a long life important anyways?) and then die and point. Thats it. If you are strong enough in this your belief then death shouldnt be fearsome. If one has stern belief one can jump into certain death for ones principles.

Thus my asking, do you know of someone, not hypothetical, someone who stated that he is atheist and died a mans death? I would salute that man because although i cant side with him in this disbelief i can at least give him respect for living as he deemed right ... no actually, i wouldnt salute him. Id think what a waste, lived his whole life and is now going to face God, the One he disbelieved in .. but whatever, everyone has to look for himself in this matter.

My initial thought is fear is only explainable on a theological level of discourse but ill let myself suprise if someone can come up with something else than the evolutionary concept of fear. If its only theologically explainable then what does ahteists have to explain fear?

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(15-Jan-2009 at 21:55)
Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
Whats fearsome of death for an atheist? .....

My initial thought is fear is only explainable on a theological level of discourse but ill let myself suprise if someone can come up with something else than the evolutionary concept of fear. If its only theologically explainable then what does ahteists have to explain fear?
Gee, I don't know... maybe the fact that I would cease to exist? I don't know about you, but I find the idea of becoming nothing pretty damn scary. I won't ever see, hear or talk to my family ever again, or any of my friends. I like being alive. In fact, I love it. Dying would take everything that I have grown to love and enjoy away from me. I fear the loss of those things.

If you ask me, most religion is just a cushion for people who are afraid of becoming nothing. I find it comical when such cowards then accuse atheists of being the same.

As for your allegory that 'everyone needs a god', I frankly find the idea to be pretty childish. I have never believed in a god (but am very willing to be proved wrong - for the reasons given above), and unless someone comes up with a compelling argument, I will probably die not believing in a god.

Quote:
What if the nothingness atheists fear is in fact God?
What if it isn't? If it isn't, then your whole argument falls in a heap. If you want to continue this discussion with an atheist, you had better give a reason for this assumption, or they will just start ignoring you.
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(22-Feb-2009 at 22:25)
Re: Fearless Atheist

[quote=Armitage;1663675]Whats fearsome of death for an atheist? An atheist shouldnt be bothered of dying except for the pain, but not for the consequences or any kind of after life.

You honestly think just because someone doesn't believe in your god, that this person will not have fears before death. Fears of what was done right and wrong in his lifetime. Fears of what could have been. Fears of who they may have left behind. Fears that they will NEVER see anyone EVER again.

Just because your book implies Christianity doesn't mean an atheist can't live his life along the same guidelines. This person may not go to church or pray, but he can still live by the rules that these guys wrote in their monumental piece of literature. Just because an atheist doesn't go as far as believing in some invisible man doesn't mean that they can't die a happy person and possibly die in their own "heaven."

Think about what you are honestly going to fear when you die. When it really comes down to it, you will fear your absence from your family members most, not some man that will judge you at his heavenly gates.

Check out this site. Keep in mind that Horus was hundreds of years before Jesus.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm
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(15-Jan-2009 at 16:41)


1. As Nietzsche rightly remarks, it's unfair to judge people by their dying hour, for it is generally their most irrational and weakest one.

2. Yes there have been several atheists who were famous for staying calm in the hour of their death. David Hume kept telling the people mourning on their bedside that their praying for him was most unreasonable because there simply was no afterlife. Voltaire took it a step further by mocking a priest who asked him to renounce satan, stating that 'My best man, this is no time to start making enemies, wouldn't you agree?' Nietzsche himself also wasn't particularly concerned, but that might have been because he was batshit crazy at the end of his days. Anyway, I'm sure there have been countless others

3. True fear is fear of the unknown, as the cliche goes. It is true though. Atheists will tell you that there is nothing after dead, but since we can't imagine nothingness, we can't help but keep imagining the most horrible things when we think about death.

4. Fear is not rational. If someone had been walking trough a desert for days and believed (for good reason) that he was having an illusion of an oasis, would you tell him that his believe just wasn't strong enough because the illusion didn't disappear? We can tell ourselves that our fear is silly, but that won't take the fear away.

5. I myself fear death, not for death itself because I have not finished what I want to do in my lifetime.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
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(15-Jan-2009 at 21:35)


It might be unfair to judge a man at the time of certain death but then im not choosing this vurnerable state because i have ill intentions. I choose this time because it brings the signs out that im seeking to understand. I could watch many many videos of Richard Dawkings and he would state his beliefs and all i can do is take his word for what it states. But is he faithful to his rhetoric? The face of death provides a glimpse in his heart better than anything else. The same applies for believers' faith as well. Perhaps there were fearless atheists. Why not? But then, there is a difference in behavior between death facing believers and atheists. Like believers willingly accepting martyrdom. The question arrives, whats so special about this life that one wants to "taste it to the best and end"?

It is interesting that you say, nothingness cant be imagined. The same counts for God. We can never truely imagine God. What if the nothingness atheists fear is in fact God? Ive stated several times, and im comming to the conclusion that everyone needs a God. Let me explain with an allegory, if you have an material object, and you speak with words of power and you state "this object is no more". Then the object disappears. Now the object is gone but leaves a void. Now this void is of such nature that it has to be filled. Imagine an atom bomb that explodes and leave a void of air. After a time the atmosphere reclaims its territory again. The void is filled with air.

Now you have disintegrated your material object and there is a void. This void is surely going to be filled, probably with air, if in water it would be filled with water.

Now, if you state with your word, "God no more", then you made God disappear but only to have the place be refilled by another being or object. The place however is unique as God is the last of the last, the highest of the highest. So the place is special. Denying God means making place for an object, not worthy of that place and not possessing Gods qualities, that will assume Gods role. Ill call this the "Godification process". And i am merely asking now, is the "nothingness" the God of yours? There are similarities to the theological concept of God.

So what is fear? "True fear is fear of the unknown". Circular argument? I mean this doesnt answer what fear is. We have to discuss this further.

Regarding point 5. If this is the case, you will always fear death. Even with 120 years in age, you will feel like there is something missing you havent experienced. So i get that you dont know what fear is? We actually fear something we dont understand. No, better said, we do something that is called fear and we know know where this emotion orginates from.

peace

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(15-Jan-2009 at 22:12)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post
It might be unfair to judge a man at the time of certain death but then im not choosing this vurnerable state because i have ill intentions. I choose this time because it brings the signs out that im seeking to understand. I could watch many many videos of Richard Dawkings and he would state his beliefs and all i can do is take his word for what it states. But is he faithful to his rhetoric? The face of death provides a glimpse in his heart better than anything else. The same applies for believers' faith as well. Perhaps there were fearless atheists. Why not? But then, there is a difference in behavior between death facing believers and atheists. Like believers willingly accepting martyrdom. The question arrives, whats so special about this life that one wants to "taste it to the best and end"?

It is interesting that you say, nothingness cant be imagined. The same counts for God. We can never truely imagine God. What if the nothingness atheists fear is in fact God? Ive stated several times, and im comming to the conclusion that everyone needs a God. Let me explain with an allegory, if you have an material object, and you speak with words of power and you state "this object is no more". Then the object disappears. Now the object is gone but leaves a void. Now this void is of such nature that it has to be filled. Imagine an atom bomb that explodes and leave a void of air. After a time the atmosphere reclaims its territory again. The void is filled with air.

Now you have disintegrated your material object and there is a void. This void is surely going to be filled, probably with air, if in water it would be filled with water.

Now, if you state with your word, "God no more", then you made God disappear but only to have the place be refilled by another being or object. The place however is unique as God is the last of the last, the highest of the highest. So the place is special. Denying God means making place for an object, not worthy of that place and not possessing Gods qualities, that will assume Gods role. Ill call this the "Godification process". And i am merely asking now, is the "nothingness" the God of yours? There are similarities to the theological concept of God.

So what is fear? "True fear is fear of the unknown". Circular argument? I mean this doesnt answer what fear is. We have to discuss this further.

Regarding point 5. If this is the case, you will always fear death. Even with 120 years in age, you will feel like there is something missing you havent experienced. So i get that you dont know what fear is? We actually fear something we dont understand. No, better said, we do something that is called fear and we know know where this emotion orginates from.

peace
You are mistaken of course. There are no complete voids in this world, no true nothingness. Everything that experience can tell us is moot here, because everything that can be experienced is already something. So let me turn the question around on you. What if you're just trying to fill up the only real nothing with a God?

God reduced to a bad analogy.

As for there always being more things to experience: perhaps. But I have no intention of experiencing everything. I'm quite certain that there'll be a time when I can die in peace.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
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(15-Jan-2009 at 22:02)


Quote:
Im thinking, if one doesnt believe in God, then there must be no fear of death.
It's been sometime since I read something as nonsense as this, fear has nothing to do with God. In fact if anything an atheist should fear death more than any believer, since he thinks there is nothing after death, so he better get as much time on Earth as he can. Believers on the otherside can delude themselves thinking there is an afterlife, so not all is lost.

Personally, in the sense you're asking, I don't fear death since I don't fear any judgement, that doesn't mean, just like the others have said, that I'm not afraid of the pain of death, be them to myself or to those around me.

Not believing in an afterlife only makes one want to stay here and live as long as possible, which generates a normal reaction of fear.

Let me ask you... is fear of God's judgement the only reason you fear death? If God came to you and told you he can put you on the express elevator to Heaven completely painless, would you accept? By your logic you should.

Last edited by Cobra2002, 15-Jan-2009 at 22:04.
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(15-Jan-2009 at 22:22)


My defintion from reading your peoples post so far is. Fear to an atheists is the "death" of his faith.

Let me explain how i come to this interim conclusion. Atheist and that is granted, have only this life, the consciously observe able world as basis for anything and everything. As i stated, your belief and - dont agree to my words here: - your 'God' is in this realm.

Now if you now leave this realm and loose all consciousness you loose all you believe in. Or it looses you. Im inclined to put humans on a higher stage than this world, thus you see the death of your 'faith'. Its hard to loose the grounding, it surely is a reason to fear. In fact, loosing 'God', being banished from God's Mercy may or probably is the cause of fear of believers.

Not so much the actual physical "death". Thats rather uninteresting for both cases, for atheists and believers alike but unfortunately put too often in the limelight of investigation.

To cobra2002. On a personal note on myself. I regard us to be humanbeings a family. We dont differ in anything, we do the same things and the same mistakes, there is just one difference in what draws a line between humanity and that is the belief in either a God or no God. In this light, yes, believers delude themselves all too often too. We live in hard times for everyone. Its very difficult to make out what is right and what is wrong with european philosophy of legal positivism having spread all over the world.

peace

[Holy Qur'an (Surah Al-Furqan; the Criterion]
Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (25:1)
But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged [...] (25:4)
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(16-Jan-2009 at 09:19)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Quote:
Gee, I don't know... maybe the fact that I would cease to exist? I don't know about you, but I find the idea of becoming nothing pretty damn scary. I won't ever see, hear or talk to my family ever again, or any of my friends. I like being alive. In fact, I love it. Dying would take everything that I have grown to love and enjoy away from me. I fear the loss of those things.
And here it is. The obvious answer


Quote:
My defintion from reading your peoples post so far is. Fear to an atheists is the "death" of his faith.
I don't think you really understand the mindset of most atheists. Sure there are a few teen atheists who like to shout constnatly from their lungs but for most atheists god is completly insignificant. Fate,religion it's less important then remembering to clean the attic . There is no great ideology or philosphy based on not believing. I know that for a rather fanatical person as you this is hard to understand that for some people your most precious thing is insignificant but thats how it is.

Originally Posted by Armitage: View Post

To cobra2002. On a personal note on myself. I regard us to be humanbeings a family. We dont differ in anything, we do the same things and the same mistakes, there is just one difference in what draws a line between humanity and that is the belief in either a God or no God. In this light, yes, believers delude themselves all too often too. We live in hard times for everyone. Its very difficult to make out what is right and what is wrong with european philosophy of legal positivism having spread all over the world.

peace
Actually no. There are an almost infinite numebrs of differences. Religion being just one of many. And we live in what is probbaly the easiest times in history

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(16-Jan-2009 at 09:26)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by DHoffryn: View Post
And here it is. The obvious answer
Exactly. I was going to write something akin to it, but there's no need to state the obvious more than once. I don't want to die, simply because I'm 99,99% sure that death is the end. I like living.

Quote:
And we live in what is probbaly the easiest times in history
Again: exactly! It always annoys me when people try to make it out like this is some dark age of history. It's particularly annoying when the argument is being made by people who then associate this with the end of times. Fact is the vast majority of people are much better off than they would have been at almost any point in history.
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(16-Jan-2009 at 17:29)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Nimon: View Post
Again: exactly! It always annoys me when people try to make it out like this is some dark age of history. It's particularly annoying when the argument is being made by people who then associate this with the end of times. Fact is the vast majority of people are much better off than they would have been at almost any point in history.
That depends on your perspective. Life has undoubtedly become vastly more complicated than it has in any point of history. This brings problems with it that should not be underestimated.

To me claiming this to be the easiest or 'best' period in history is as pointless as claiming it to be the worst.

Modern world I'm not pleased to meet you

You just bring me down
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(16-Jan-2009 at 23:13)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
That depends on your perspective. Life has undoubtedly become vastly more complicated than it has in any point of history. This brings problems with it that should not be underestimated.

To me claiming this to be the easiest or 'best' period in history is as pointless as claiming it to be the worst.
I disagree. You're much less likely to be a victim of disease, war or injustice than almost any point in the past. The vast majority of people have it simply better. I'm not at all fond of this "new" big sort of cultural relativism where people are adamant that, for example, people in pre-technological primitive societies have and had just as good lives as us.

This is probably a topic for another thread, though.
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(16-Jan-2009 at 08:47)


Quote:
Now if you now leave this realm and loose all consciousness you loose all you believe in. Or it looses you. Im inclined to put humans on a higher stage than this world, thus you see the death of your 'faith'. Its hard to loose the grounding, it surely is a reason to fear. In fact, loosing 'God', being banished from God's Mercy may or probably is the cause of fear of believers.
You're just trying to make everything into some form of God, this entire thread you're going from "God is Nothingness" to "God is real life" to "Loosing God when you die", now I understand that you need to explain everything in terms of God, but it makes for a very poor argument.

Even when describing death to an atheist you have a very clear theist vision of it, "leaving this realm" "higher stage" etc etc, there is no leaving of realm, there is no higher stage as far as an atheist is concerned. When he dies he stops existing... completely. The fear that an atheist has of death is because he only has one life, so he better make the most of it, it isn't because his "faith dies" whatever that might be, it's because he dies.
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(16-Jan-2009 at 15:26)


I am an athiest & I fear death (feels like I am at alcos anon). I fear that I will leave my pregnant wife with only enough money to support her for a few years, I fear that I will never see my son. I fear the effects it will have on my family & friends. I fear that my life will end before I complete everything that I want do & see.

In short I fear the ending of my existance & the ripple effects it will cause on those I hold most dear. I do not fear what lays beyond death, for there is nothing, nothing for my conscience to continue and experience, it will just cease to be.

This is what every PvP argument boils down to:
Dear Devs:
Rock is overpowered, please nerf. Paper is fine.
Yours, Scissors

Last edited by Grashnak, 16-Jan-2009 at 15:28.
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(16-Jan-2009 at 17:58)


Re: Fearless Atheist

Originally Posted by Grashnak: View Post
I am an athiest & I fear death (feels like I am at alcos anon). I fear that I will leave my pregnant wife with only enough money to support her for a few years, I fear that I will never see my son. I fear the effects it will have on my family & friends. I fear that my life will end before I complete everything that I want do & see.
I'm agnostic and I don't fear death, and it doesn't sound like you do either. You fear the consequences of death, but not actually death itself. It will be a major bummer whenever I die to not get to see what happens next. It would certainly upset me if I weren't there to see my daughter shine as an adult. Life, however, will go on without me. I love life... enjoy watching the movie, if you will. When the lights go out for me I'll be disappointed, unless of course I just get moved to another room with a better view. Regardless of what happens after death I don't fear it.

Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.-- Mark Twain
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(17-Jan-2009 at 02:17)
It is not the fear of the unknown, because every day is unknown. It is the fear that it will not be within our control. So we inflate our feelings of control in the universe, but then we also inflate the risk of fear. All of a sudden we are driven to continually explain more and more of the world in terms of how we are able to control it, and to further bury the possibily of being fearful. This behaviour, however, seems to resemble more of an illness than a deliverance, and I do not believe that in such a way the fear of death could ever be genuinely overcome. The only way is to learn to love that we are not in control, and to treat the totality of life as if it was wholly given to us by God.
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(17-Jan-2009 at 07:43)


AS an atheist i would not want to die because all i have is my life. how does that not make sense?

RIP John Lennon
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