Love your life, live your life, for there is probably nothing after death

Are you one of those people who are just waiting to die so that you can cash in your “morally good” life, in exchange for a place in heaven, partying with your particular version of god? And perhaps some of you in this group, who are a little apprehensive about hell, are right now tearing your hair out trying to be “good.”

Or perhaps you are one of those fatalistic people who are “exceedingly good” and believe that you will be spared the agony of death, to be raptured into heaven on a winged horse or something equally spectacular. And perhaps right now, you are fervently praying for the second coming.

Or maybe you are one of those people who is naturally hard on himself or herself, and are just waiting for death so that you can get on with your next life or re-incarnation. And perhaps some in this last mentioned group who are just a little apprehensive about what form their next incarnation might be, are right now spending an awful lot of time trying to be “good.”

Or perhaps you, like me, are none of the above, and have “discovered” through critical thinking that life is all we have, and we need to own it, love it and live it. There is absolutely no evidence for anything spectacular or painful or even mundane, after death; and thus there is no reason to think about it, worry about it or dream about it. Rather, think about life, dream about life, even worry about life, if you must. Or better still; touch it, feel it, share it.

Perhaps the following words of wisdom supposedly written by an old man, sent to me only recently by a work colleague will help to contextualize my plea:

First, I was dying to finish my high school and start college

And then I was dying to finish college and start working

Then I was dying to marry and have children

Then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back to work

But then I was dying to retire

And now I am dying…

And suddenly I realized I forgot to live

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10 thoughts on “Love your life, live your life, for there is probably nothing after death

    • Ah Sidney, thanks for confirming that you’re in one of the first two groups I mentioned. You see, it’s been my experience that those in the third group won’t bother to reply. However, a characteristic of the first two groups is how defensive they are.

      Well then, now that we’ve got that all squared away, please get on with wasting your life…

  1. Wow, you have some real anti-fans. I think it’s a great post, though I see how it could be taken offensively – but I don’t think that was the point – I think the poem at the end summed it up, and it’s something everyone can take into consideration regardless of what they believe. I also see it as a waste of life spending this one worrying about the next (with no evidence available) but I don’t feel bad about that since I know my Christian friends think I’m going to hell and are more worried about my afterlife enough for all of us.

    • Well nessie, I do tend to attract them don’t I? I try real hard to be a humanist, and what do I get? Ungrateful people like Sidney.

  2. I agree that it is important to live the present rather than the future because if we don’t, then we have neither.

    All the same, I think it is illogical (not merely anti-religious) to suggest that we shouldn’t at least be concerned as to what extent the present will affect the future…

  3. Hi twocentsworth,

    I think you have missed the point of the blog. Nowhere do I advocate that we should not be concerned with the future. In certain instances we should be very concerned, as in how we treat the environment now which has (positive/negative) affects in the future.

    The point of my blog was to not worry about the unknown, ie. what happens after death.

  4. Well, the future in both cases is unknown, but maybe you’re thinking of a different type of unknown. You’re saying we should be concerned with the future in as much as we can observe/predict/affect it by the present.

    I’m saying, that we should at least be worried enough to find out if what we do in the present can affect what happens in the after-death-future and how long that may be.

    (By the way, these kinds of questions are the type that philosophy attempts to answer. Philosophy’s only tools are reason and the observable world; it is NOT a religious thing necessarily).

    • Well, the future in both cases is unknown, but maybe you’re thinking of a different type of unknown. You’re saying we should be concerned with the future in as much as we can observe/predict/affect it by the present.

      Agreed. No problem there.

      I’m saying, that we should at least be worried enough to find out if what we do in the present can affect what happens in the after-death-future and how long that may be.

      Big problems here. You can worry all you want; it ain’t gonna do you no good. The only thing you can do is live life the best way you can; a moral life is not a bad idea, but you don’t really need religion for this (unless you’re so weak mentally that you need policing).

      • Worry or concern about the future are what drives one to live life the best way one can. Maybe you would choose other words to describe it, (personally I would make it more positive as in “desire for greater happiness”), but we definitely need to think about after-life possibilities rather than blowing them off.

        Btw, (a little off topic) what is a “moral life” for an atheist? Do you recognize absolute values (i.e. ones that apply to all), or do you simply mean one’s own opinions on how life ought to be lived? The latter idea, which is prevalent in modern society, stands in contrast to the universal order of the cosmos and the earth in that they obey natural norms. Imagine if each planet decided to make up its own correct laws. The planets would then be free…only to create a chaotic mess which would likely result its destruction. It seems that the same problem happens to society each time someone breaks the balance by disobeying the “natural law”, which I argue is to us as the laws of physics are to planets…

  5. Hi twocentsworth,

    On the contrary, the sad reality is that worry or concern about the future drives one to a premature death. The desire for greater happiness is a nice sentiment; discarding superstitious beliefs is a step in that direction.

    A moral life has no different meaning to an atheist than to a theist, although theists would have you believe that there is a difference. Non-believers don’t make up definitions for morality as they go along. Believers base their morality on religion; non-believers base their’s on rational/critical thinking which is devoid of the emotional contamination that is prevalent with religious dogma.

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