I know… talking about death is never a comfortable conversation. However, it is one of, if not the only certainty we have in life. Therefore, I believe talking about it should be done more often.
Majority of the people reading this are still relatively young. Death isn’t on your mind, its not the forefront of your thoughts. But we all know that our time to leave planet Earth will come. As crude as it is to say, all of our days here are numbered.
According to Athenian philosopher Epicurus, death shouldn’t be something to fear. In fact, the man doubled down and stated that being afraid of death was illogical.
“Death is annihilation. When something dies, it is annihilated. If death is annihilation, then it is nothing to us. The living have not yet been annihilated”
Epicurus believed that death doesn’t and couldn’t affect the living (direct effect, mourning etc isn’t relevant in this case). Therefore, death was not something to be feared. He believed that because death was annihilation, even when death occurred, we wouldn’t be alive to experience it. So the concept of death was nothing to be feared in his opinion.
Now, I’ll go out on a limb and say that Epicurus wasn’t a religious man. Simply from his words and teachings, I may be wrong, but for this arguments sake. Lets say that Epicurus is an atheist. Now, to an atheist the concept of death and the fear of it being illogical would sound logical. However, for a religious individual (like myself) that believe in life after death. Heaven and hell, demons and angels. Epicurus’ explanation doesn’t quite satisfy my thought process.
If there is in fact life after death (I believe there is) then according to Epicurus’ we will experience annihilation and all the consequences/rewards that come with it.
And this brings me to my main thought: Is death something that is only feared by those with religious beliefs? Atheists, having no religious beliefs and believing that death is the ultimate end. I would’ve thought that would be somewhat of a comfort as opposed to the pressure of making heaven or the possibility of hell.
But on the contrary; reading, watching movies and simply living life. Has taught me that it is the religious individuals that seem to have the comfort and the atheists that bear the anguish. For example, take your standard megalomaniac in a movie. Hell bent on finding immortality by any means possible. Now think back… has that maniac ever been religious?
This leads me to believe that their desire for immortality is fueled simply by their fear of mortality. Their limited time in which they inhabit their flesh.
But what do you guys think?
Is death scarier for an atheist or a religious person that believes in life after death?
The song for today is: The Kid Laroi – Pikachu