Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 22, 2013

H1G3 final essay/blog post Death

People always lift an eyebrow when I say that I’m not scared of death, but they almost always do a double take when I say that in conjunction with my beliefs on the afterlife… or perhaps, I should say, my lack of beliefs.
Like most atheists, I don’t believe in an afterlife...
continued at my blog, There Some Day


  1. I liked your post Matthew! You used a lot of solid logic in your arguements!

    However, there were a few parts I didn't quite agree with.
    "To me, it’s also a little suspicious that people with Christian parents believe in Christianity’s teachings, people with Buddhist or Hindu parents believe in reincarnation, etc. You’ve just been brainwashed (for good or for bad) to believe in your deepest guts that that particular afterlife rings true."
    Conversely, my entire family is true blue Southern Baptist, and I'm a Buddhist. They also don't support gay marriage and have never voted for a democratic politician in their life (and yes, I'm still talking about my whole family, ha ha). I definitely agree that people are heavily influenced by their parents' beliefs, but that doesn't mean that everyone is brainwashed: Some people choose to believe in God against the absence of proof for his/her existence. This just struck me as a little over generalized, but I also understand what you're trying to say: too many people regurgitate their parents' teachings and have no reflection on why THEY believe something is true or not.

    I also have an observation about this notion:
    "One stops doing things to be more aligned with what his/her religion to escape life’s suffering or get into heaven (because, at the root, this is why you’re part of a religion, even if you don’t want to admit that to yourself) and begins doing them to make the time we share on earth better for humanity. There is no saving souls, there is saving lives."
    When religion (or at least to my knowledge of Christianity) is practiced correctly, it can save lives too. My hometown church housed 18 refugees from Syria last year. I'll give another example of religion helping humanity: two years ago, when the April tornadoes ripped through Cleveland, destroying entire neighborhoods and killing many people, and our community was devastated. My best friend Leah Snowman, lost her entire house, along with everything in it. When I got to her neighborhood the next day to help her with cleaning the aftermath, I was surprised to see that no one came to help...outside of 600 people from different church groups that immediately sent out workers, food, water, cleaning supplies, and trucks to move things. In response to, "One stops doing things to be more aligned with what his/her religion to escape life’s suffering or get into heaven (because, at the root, this is why you’re part of a religion, even if you don’t want to admit that to yourself)," I would say that many Christians that I know would argue that they don't believe in God to get to Heaven or so that they can mutter their problems to Him and feel better, but because they look around them and feel that the world is too perfect, too beautiful to not have been guided by God (I'm DEFINITELY not saying this is what I believe, I just feel as though this needs to be brought up). Going to Heaven and being comforted by God's presence in their lives is more of a happy bonus: the truth is they wish to worship the being they believed created them.

  2. In reaction to this paragraph,
    "When you know that there is no form of immortality out there, you begin to live entirely in the present. Each day is a gift—and if it’s terrible, well, at least you now have a fuller understanding of Life. Your time is more valuable then ever before, and each loved one deserves your undivided attention . . . I fully believe that I, and others who share this belief, have a greater appreciation for our lives, and live more in the moment than my religious neighbors for one simple reason: we don’t get another one."
    I'm not sure if you do or don't appreciate everyday more than a Christian or not, but one of my pastor's best sermon's talked about how we should thank God for every single second of every single day that He allows us to continue to exist. We should thank Him, because He's keeping the roof above our heads from collapsing, He keeps the heart inside your chest pumping, and everyday He gives you is not to be taken fore granted. Admittedly, whether or not it's better to be thankful because you know you're time on Earth is limited or to be thankful to some being for keeping you alive each day isn't clear to me; however, I wouldn't be so absolutely sure that you value your time on Earth more than every religious person (legit, my grandma goes out into the woods every morning behind her house and praises God for the beautiful day He's given her, the beautiful nature He's surrounded her with; and then she promises to live that day to serve Him (she thinks we can't hear her inside the house, but she's a loud talker, ha ha)).

    So, in conclusion, I really liked a lot of your points, and the flow of your arguements were very nice and logical. However, some of your assertions are a little bit over-generalized (and you can rest assured that I'm not saying this as an offended Christian, but as a third party Buddhist, politically moderate observer that has a lot of experience with Church and Christianity). Overall, I agree completely with your post, there were just a few things you said that I know, at least when looked through my frame of reference (my family/church), weren't verifiable.
    Love you Matthew!!!! ;)

  3. Jake, these are excellent comments, and well written, and I take what you said to heart. I may actually put these on my blog as a "rebuttal"