Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hpoxia blues

If you are an “out” atheist then you have been asked about death. This last Father’s day I had extended conversations with three people who had lost their fathers; two of them were experiencing their first father’s day since the death of their father. None of the three asked me what happens after you die, and that did not really hit me as strange until today when a couple people in a row asked me that. 

My father is alive, and I got a wonderful card from AYD and AOD that reminded me that I was a very-much-alive father to two wonderful people. The card was so great it had me bawling as I re-read it several times.

Atheists are asked “what happens when you die” regularly. I think this is done in part in an attempt to put the Atheist off balance, and it does to an extent. Nonsense is a very difficult thing to accommodate in most conversations. If you do not believe me try asking someone something like “What does the blue jello say when man-in-the moon marigolds make paper?” in the middle of an otherwise reasonable conversation.

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" -Groucho Marx


I do realize that people think about death a lot more than they think about what quivering foodstuffs might have to say, but the answer to both questions is “nothing”. Blue Jello cannot talk, and you are NOT anymore after you die. All the extra information in the stupid question about blue Jello does not make talking Jello any more plausible, and the centuries of writings on death does not make anyone less dead when they die.

"I'm gonna live till I die" - Frank Sinatra


I sometimes punt the question by saying something like “I’m not sure how anything happening after you die could work.” This is not meant as an invitation to tell me something about Jesus. If there was something about Jesus that helped with any kind of post mortem information transfer it would be written up in some book that I would have probably already have read.

"It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens." - Woody Allen


You don’t need to tell me about re-incarnation either.

"Death is a fearful thing" - William Shakespeare


I really want to respect you as a believing individual. Engaging me in arguments about life after death makes that hard. If you can’t answer the question “how can that possibly make sense” then your argument is not going well even before you open your mouth.

"I'll sleep when I'm dead" -Warren Zevon

The Abrahamic believers have additional burdens put upon them by their scripture(s). People –notably Lazarus- have supposedly come back from the dead. They should have known something about it, but they were mum on the topic.

"Death is the tyrant of the imagination." -Bryan Procter

These days we do have all sorts of people dying, and then coming back to life with fantastic stories, and then writing a book. Nobody really believes them, and without a little hypoxia-induced dementia I doubt they believe themselves.








2 comments:

Nihilism is for lovers said...

"This life is gonna be the death of me."
-Mark Lanegan

Kahlil Gibran told me he thinks you're shrewd.

Nihilism is for lovers said...

"This life is gonna be the death of me."
-Mark Lanegan

Kahlil Gibran told me he thinks you're shrewd.