What do atheists believe & where will atheists go when they die?

So, what do atheists believe? I have to admit that I have a deep interest in the subject, as you must as well. Where do atheists believe they will go when they die? Do they simply believe in “blackness” or “the end”?

Those who are religious often denounce atheists as “pretty shallow people” who do not spend too long thinking about things. Some religious people say they find atheists to act morally superior, often accusing religious people of “believing in fairy stories” or “an invisible man in the sky”.

Some atheists say that those who actively believe there is no God have never been responsible for causing any pain and suffering in the world, as religious leaders have with wars over this religion vs. that religion.

Let’s be nice and clear here from the start: If you believe there is no God – you are an atheist. If you are simply unsure as to whether there is a God or not, you are NOT an atheist. By definition – you are Agnostic – or “not knowing”. There’s nothing wrong with that – but you can’t legitimately call yourself an atheist unless you don’t believe in any sort of afterlife and you truly believe that there is no God.

Not everyone is a religious person, but there are many people who really love religion and who love to study anything to do with spirituality. Personally, I have studied Catholicism, Gnosticism and Buddhism and I love reading about Orthodox Judaism, Mormonism, Scientology and cults. I love all the amazing things that people believe and I wonder what makes them believe them. This is what keeps me up at night. I simply want to know.

What do atheists believe?

What do atheists believe & where will atheists go when they die Buddha

A true atheist has a “Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. In fact, there are many types of non-believers. Choose which one you are out of these 7 modern options.

Some people accuse atheists of not thinking very hard about these deep matters of life, such as “is there a God,” “who am I,” and “what does this all mean?”

Those who have religions may think that if atheists really thought about the big issues, they would see how ridiculous they are being. Is atheism similar to giving a Shakespeare book to a toddler and asking them to write an essay on who the real villain in The Merchant of Venice was – how could they comprehend the nuances of the narrative before they have even learned to read the alphabet?

Here is what one atheist online said about the afterlife:

“I absolutely do not mean that it is stupid to believe in an afterlife or to desire it (though such a desire may be a result of naiveté, irrationality, or great pain). I mean that such an existence would itself be stupid. It would be devoid of anything that gives our intelligence any significance, and our current lives any meaning.”

Many atheists seem to believe that after death, they will return to a state similar to the one they had before birth. “I didn’t miss my mortal life before I was born, so why would I miss it after I die?” they ask.

Atheists’ points of view and Voltaire’s last words

But how do they react when their loved ones are dying. How could they tell a friend who is sick, “Enjoy your dirt nap” (I did not make that up – an atheist really said that). There is a page online where atheists have made suggestions as to what they want to hear on their deathbeds. Simon Brown “Dog Worshipper” says, “I love you so much, now go and enjoy your dirt nap you beautiful man.”

Another has said (more honestly I think).

“The only death that really scares me is the death of those I love, far more than my own. This is not to say that I don’t want to live as long as possible, so long as I can function in some way and not be an excessive burden. And this desire, it seems to me, is itself strong proof that there is no afterlife.”

Yuh, uh-huh. That makes a lot of sense.

There are many pages online that have the very scary last words of atheists – as in – the words they said on their deathbed. I have always loved death bed quotes as they have been recorded for some very interesting people, including Buddha who died from food poisoning. The problem with ‘death bed quotes’ is that often there are different versions, or versions in dispute.

What is atheism and where will atheists go when they die?

Voltaire has been attributed with this very confronting expression on his death bed. He was said to be an atheist (but there is also some contention to that fact), “I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life.” (He apparently told this to his doctor who said that “it could not be done”) “Then I shall die and go to hell!” (His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.” (Source).

So, there you go.

Personally, I couldn’t think of anything worse than believing that this lifetime is all we have. I am still not sure about God – I have at times believed in God, not believed in God, believed in God as a Higher Power and believed in God as a separate Being.

I am not here to tell you what to believe but I am here to urge you to make sure that you continue to question everything throughout your life. In the quiet moments – the answers come.

Good luck on your journey.

Do you think I am wrong when I say that atheists “don’t think about things too much”? If so, please let me know in the comments section below.

2 Comments

  • Brien Doyle says:

    As with all animals, including the self-aware and intelligent Neanderthal, and CroMagnon, when we die – that is it!
    We are simply evolved animals who have developed the ability to make cognisant thought.
    But this knowledge comes from a good education in the sciences. What do you come to the debate with…?

    • Alyce Vayle says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Even “a good education in the sciences” cannot officiate any proof of what happens to human consciousness after death. It is still unknown. Many people turn to spirituality from science as they believe that science was inefficient in providing the answers they sought out. Equally, many religious people abandon their practices and reach for science to explain things that they want further explanation on. One thing you will have to admit though – is that the sciences are still largely unaware of where we came from, and therefore cannot really say for certain where we are going. If you truly believe that “when we die, that’s it!” I would argue that you probably haven’t really spent too long thinking about it.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this post. Since your time is running out, I hope you enjoy what years you have left 🙂

      Love, Alyce

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