An atheist's question about the afterlife.

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Lost and tired, Sep 12, 2013.

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  1. Lost and tired

    Lost and tired Well-Known Member

    I haven't believed in God for a long time but I imagine many people on this forum are religious. I was always told that suicide was considered to be a mortal sin and that there was no place in heaven for those who take their own life. Do the religious people here believe that is true and does it play a role in your survival? Is the thought of what happens when you die something that influences your actions?
  2. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    to answer your questions,

    yes. i used to believe that suicide was a way out of heaven/ afterlife.... and i kind of still do- i always believed you have to go through this life in full first. why have an afterlife if you can't live this one firt?

    does it play a part in my survival?. no

    i don't know what will happen when i die (no one does) and if their is an afterlife, which i actually do believe in... i believe in some kind of afterlife, i just don't want it... i want to go home
  3. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    an old parish priest once told me, when asked if there was a hell; said "Of course there is, but you don't think anyone is down there do you?"
  4. Psych77

    Psych77 Well-Known Member

    For most of my childhood, what kept me from suicide was the thought that my last act would be a mortal sin (Catholic) and I would have no time to repent, so I would go straight to hell. I kind of thought that the one thing I could do to change my situation would only make it worse.

    Today, I know more about mental health, and I believe that suicide is the result of an illness that compromises the integrity of a person's mind, so that people who commit suicide are not necessarily in hell. However, I do believe that if someone in full posession of their senses, in full control of their actions, and aware that they have complete choice in the matter, deliberately ends their life, then they would have to answer to God for desecrating the sacred gift that life is, and destroying their opportunity to do good in the lives of others He loves. And I don't think I could ever convince myself that I am so sick that my ending my life would not be a freely chosen act. So, yes, fear of consequences after death does help to keep me on this planet.

    I would say far more, however, my thoughts about the harm that would be done to my children, whom I love dearly, is what really glues me to the earth. I'm not sure how safe I will be when they grow up and don't need me anymore. But for now, I am solidly here.

    I come to this forum because I still have suicidal thoughts, feel like I would be better off dead, feel guilty that I am still alive when I think ex would be better off if I were dead, and so often wish I didn't have to live. So, I still come here, even if I am not in immediate danger, because these thoughts and feelings are so painful, and you guys really seem to understand.
  5. lightbeam

    lightbeam Antiquities Friend

    looool!!! Fantastic!
  6. Count Floyd

    Count Floyd Well-Known Member

    When you die, you cease to exist. You don't know your dead, yuou don't know anything because there is no you anymore and that's what's scary about suicide. Some folks think they're going to see their family after their gone and the family is goig to be greiving and they'll feel bad but in reality, there's that doubt of "what if there really isn't a heaven or any after life and you're just gone."

    I used to be religious too, then I studied it a lot and found how ridiculous it all was. Religion was created to keep people in line, essentially. We have the power to believe in an afterlife because we have conscious thought. But there is no afterlife. When you're gone, that's it.
  7. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    how can you be so sure?

    of course, you're entitled to your beliefs- and i too,am not saying their is an afterlife or their isn't one.. no one knows
  8. Ocarina of Time

    Ocarina of Time Active Member

    I'm an atheist as well and I've thought about these things quite a bit.

    ”Could a deity exist?”
    I believe anything is possible. If one did exist, it would definitely be to much for humans to comprehend. So what I am getting at here is that basically any talk of deities are most likely wrong. Like if you just think about it we're so small compared to the rest of the universe. But the possibility of being wrong is just as much of it as being right. (I'm pointlessly rambling on lol) People often think of me as a theist for thinking this way.

    ”Is there an afterlife?”
    Maybe, anything is possible after all. Different dimensions blah blah blah. It's basically similar to the first question. It's just kind of sad to think that there's nothing after death. Going through the struggle of life with no reward.

    I guess with suicide, it's a bet you are bound to lose. You trade in a REAL reality for something that may or may not exist. (I still feel as if I rambled on pointlessly for quite a bit, sorry)
  9. Lost and tired

    Lost and tired Well-Known Member

    I think there are some very interesting posts here, for both viewpoints.
    Like some of you here I was brought up Catholic, its the default setting when you're Irish. I was told that suicide was the ultimate sin and damnation guaranteed. Now im an atheist I actually get some comfort not believing in God, it makes me feel that,if I ever went through with it, I wouldn't be swapping one hell for another.
    I also believe (and I understand the point that no one actually knows) that when you are dead its game over. No hell or heaven, no eternity drifting through a dark void, no soul to be reborn or consciousness to contemplate the mysterys of the universe. Just a light being switched off and all elements of my existence gone. Strangely I also take comfort in this.
    I dont want anyone to think that I am criticizing anyone's beliefs as I think there are many people here who find their religion to be a fundamental part of their lives and without it would probably have given up a long time ago. I just have a different view but I am always interested in other people's opinions.
  10. prakash

    prakash Well-Known Member

    Hi 'Lost and tired'

    You say you do not believe in God. then why do you care what others believe in?? Be strong and have faith in yourself. Have faith in your own beliefs.
    do not give a damn for what others think.
    There is no heaven, there is no hell.
    These were all invented to scare us, because our mind is always at work wondering what will happen after death.
  11. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    My opinion on this?

    I'm an atheist - and I firmly believe in making the best out of this life. If there turned out to be an afterlife - then ok - I'd participate where possible. But I do prefer believing once I'm dead I'm gone.

    I might think about dying now and again - but I just don't think i've given enough effort in this life so far to ever consider acting on it. Knowing I have the control over what I actually do, and that i'm not one who wants to die - I have no reason to act while everything is looking a bit brighter again.
  12. Lost and tired

    Lost and tired Well-Known Member

    The reason im asking this question is purely to understand how an alternative belief system affects the behavior of someone who is at a desperate point in their life and whether their depression overrules the things that their faith teachs them. Im only asking because it is a subject that interests me, im not trying to change anyone's opinion nor have mine changed. I understand the importance of religion to many people here.
  13. Count Floyd

    Count Floyd Well-Known Member

    This post is me to a tee.
  14. PGG

    PGG New Member

    I know how u feel. Much of my family is very religious and i was when i was young but now after everything that i've seen and experienced i wonder if there is a god. I'm told suicide is the unforgivable sin but if there is a god surely he can see how much pain we r in. I can't understand how suicide can be worse than all the other terrible things people do. If someone who rapes, tortures, and murders others, even children, is forgiven and i'm not then this is a god i can't understand.
  15. Lost and tired

    Lost and tired Well-Known Member

    I suppose one way of looking at it is that if God created me, and I am defective, then my death is just a product recall.
  16. insiiideouuut

    insiiideouuut Well-Known Member

    Grew up atheist and still am, but when depression/suicidal thoughts set in as a teenager I started looking more and more into religion and how it could help someone in my situation... and oh how long I have spent trying to convince myself there's really a God, an afterlife and a plan for everything and everyone. I just can't do it, I can't lie to myself. God just can't help anyone anywhere if he/she/it won't even communicate with us.
  17. Count Floyd

    Count Floyd Well-Known Member

    Very good point. I grew up religious but finally came to my senses years ago after lots and lots of research. There's just too many things that don't add up. And Christianity is only 2000 years old. You should see the conversations I'd have with Christians about this. The fact that so many are hostile and judgmental was the final nail in coffin for me. How can a religion be true when a good portion of its members judge you if you're not one of them. That's more like a cult. But I've read the Bible and it's filled with so many inconsistancies and contridicts itself throughout, besides promoting stuff like slavery and killing and things that were normal 2000 years ago but don't apply today in any shape or form. When I argue with people about this, they say "of course some doesn't apply to today" so I say "so you pick and choose what you want to believe, whatever fits you, right?" "Oh no!" They say and act like I'm crazy when what I'm saying is 100% true. Basically you're supposed to spend your life telling a mystical magical man in the sky how great he is and you can go to heaven if you do. If you're the greatest person in the world but don't tell this guy he's great every Sunday, you go to hell. Just ridiculous. And grown up people today believe this baloney.
  18. kittylover

    kittylover Well-Known Member

    I'm atheist but don't want to proselytize here regarding the merits of it over religion, but I'll answer your question.

    Being atheist for me makes suicide easier, because I would not have to answer for it, unless I failed. Sometimes people (including atheists) don't understand the concept of nonexistence and so are afraid of suicide for this reason, but I feel that I understand it.

    I wish God existed, because then I could pray to Her to fix my gender... =(
  19. Lost and tired

    Lost and tired Well-Known Member

    My feelings exactly.

    Some get comfort from the idea of God and and an afterlife. Some, like you and me, get comfort from believing neither of those things exist. But each to their own. Both concepts have merits if it helps the person involved through a difficult time.

    I know what you mean about the concept of non existence being difficult to understand. I imagine it's linked to the concept of the soul, which for me is as difficult an idea to get my head around.
  20. kittylover

    kittylover Well-Known Member

    I actually don't get comfort at all from the lack of an afterlife. I find atheism extremely depressing. That there is nothing beyond this terrible universe and its second law of thermodynamics - at least, no universe that we can get to - means we're stuck in this hellhole. The worlds of fantasy and wonder in our imagination are much better places than here.

    I cried after seeing the movies What Dreams May Come and Dogma, as well as others I can't remember right now, because I know that such places as Heaven do not exist, as much as I would like them to. My mind seems essentially incapable of doublethink.
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