You room going come die. So to be I. These space facts. The inquiry of just how to address the truth of death is one as old together mankind. Billions that people, living and also dead, have put their really hopes on one afterlife. The promise that Heaven, Valhalla, Elysium, reincarnation, or even a kind hell provides death but an inconvenience.

You are watching: Fear of non-existence

For atheists, however, there is no such advantage to death. It is just the end of the one and also only visibility that deserve to be confirmed. Death can take on one extra aura of fear without the benefit of one afterlife. The realization of death"s finality deserve to be unsettling because that the non-believer, and is one factor why the religious feel confronted by atheists. Luckily, many great minds in background had think on exactly how to challenge death without the comfort of one afterlife.

Many thinkers who did think in the divine, such as Epicurus, walk not think in one afterlife. While the end of visibility troubled them, the idea of being dead did not. Note Twain, the deistic writer of Adventures that Huckleberry Finn, wrote in his autobiography that:

“Annihilation has actually no terrors because that me, due to the fact that I have already tried it prior to I to be born — a hundred million year — and I have actually suffered more in one hour, in this life, 보다 I psychic to have suffered in the totality hundred million years placed together."

That is come say, in fatality you prevent existing therefore you can"t be bothered by it. There is no longer a “you" to be bothered.

Epicurus mutual that sentiment, saying, “Death is nothing to us; for the which is dissolved, is there is no sensation, and that i beg your pardon lacks emotion is nothing come us." Epicurean philosophy focused on life, rather than death, and also practitioners strove come not fear it. Socrates weighed in too. In Plato"s The Apology, Socrates supposes that he will either live on ~ death and debate the good heroes the Greek History, or stop to exist. The agrees through Epicurus that ceasing to exist can"t be painful, together he would no much longer exist to feel pain. The absence of conflict in this scenario more than likely did disappointed him though.

This kind of skepticism around the opportunities of an immortality can it is in healthy, together Michael Shermer defines in his recent big Think interview.


*

Okay, so non-existence could not be unpleasant, however I really don"t desire to avoid existing in the an initial place! Well, most world don"t favor the idea of eternal oblivion. However, if it is the case then we had finest figure out how to challenge it. The science on the issue is pretty definite too; the existing neuroscientific check out is that mind death reasons the annihilation that consciousness and also nothingness forevermore. So, we might be the end of luck. because that the existentialists, specifically Martin Heidegger, acceptance of fatality was a an essential part of living. In the confront of death each an option in life becomes vital one. They took the finish of visibility as a motivation to value visibility all the more. The existentialists press you to accept your inevitable demise, psychic it, and also use it together a factor to adopt life. Such a positive view on oblivion is difficult to uncover elsewhere. theorist Luc Bovens offers us a more modern view on just how to method death secularly in his large Think interview.


*

What about the cosmos? The idea the the universe still cares after I dice sounds enjoyable, deserve to I have actually that if I give up the afterlife?

The very same science that supports the idea that fatality is the final finish can give us comforting words too.

American physicist, comedian, and author Aaron Freeman created Eulogy native a Physicist describing how fatality can be regarded from a scientific worldview. A eulogizing physicist would remind a mourning family that:

“No energy gets developed in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mom to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu that heat, every wave of every fragment that was she beloved child continues to be with her in this world."

Even if we space not immortal, many of ours component elements are. Even if us die, components of us never ever will, those parts can affect every component of the universe lengthy after we room dead and also gone. That is the lull science can offer.

See more: Which Two Native American Empires Were Conquered By The Spanish

Death is unpleasant to think about. Our find for ways to do it less complicated to take care of or even avoid it totally goes ago as far as human being history. Through the fatality of God, and the increasing variety of atheists roughly the world, do the efforts to aid people address the idea of death may it is in a bigger task than ever. Together Ernest Becker composed in The denial of Death: “To live completely is to live through an awareness of the rumble that terror that underlies everything."

For those who don"t think in one afterlife, viewing fatality without smoke and mirrors can be a good comfort. Mirroring on how human being have faced oblivion in the previous can assist us all challenge it in the future, anytime it come — and also come that will.