One of the things the writer Christopher Hitchens, who has recently passed away, was noted for was being an atheist. Basically, I assume that implies not believing in an afterlife. Someone I know recently put on Facebook this comment.
Right about now, Christopher Hitchens has confirmed his long held religious beliefs, or he is one surprised MOFO.
In reply I wrote, "If Hitchens atheistic beliefs are true, his awareness has ceased to exist just in time to miss experiencing the confirmation of his beliefs."
There's probably nobody holding up a sign at death saying, "dead end."
Come to think about it, it's pretty depressing to think that life ends at death. One even misses the confirmation that there is nothing which conceivably comes after death since, of course, one is no longer there to experience even that.
Believing in the possibility of something seems more enjoyable to me since, at least, it provides some hope for a future. I can imagine this hope would be especially useful at a time when one's life has little prognosis for much future. The hope would come in handy during this life at least.
If what most atheists say is true, one will not know the difference anyway. Like I mentioned before, I'm assuming one has to be conscious to even experience the reality of nothing.
One could say, belief will not let you down, or disappoint you in death since you have to be conscious to be disappointed.
A former Christian, I know, who's now leaning toward being an atheist does say something different. He says that he has less fear of death now, being an atheist, than he did being a Christian. Imagine that. More peace of mind from being an atheist. Partially that fear from being a Christian had to do with the teachings about hell that he grew up with. There was the constant fear and questions like, "is one was pleasing God."
I'll admit, nothing would sure be a lot better than something like a hell.
On the other hand, nothing still doesn't seem like it's enough.
Unlike my friend, I grew up in a very liberal Christian church. It is a church where the concept of a hell isn't really promoted.
That church is pretty open minded and I think there are even some atheists who attend that church. They attend mostly because it's a social center.
I have to admit that I don't go there, myself, as it doesn't fit into my schedule, but I get a good feeling when ever I do go.
There's probably no egotistical "man in the sky" who's offended if one's not fitting a church service into one's schedule.
Science has always met a lot to me and it does seem to be inconclusive, at best, as to whether there is a god or not.
Maybe I shouldn't say a god since that conjures up images of the man with a grey beard, which, other than Santa Clause, I don't really believe in.
Science does seem to indicate that there is still a lot out there we don't know about. The universe, by itself, is huge and there may even be other universes as well as stuff like multiple dimensions. Hard to conceptualize with our very limited minds.
There's a lot of interesting shows about physics I listen to on NPR Radio; for instance.
At least it seems like there is plenty of "stage" for things we still don't know about to exist. Science can be quite humbling.
The fundamentalist brands of religion tend to be more arrogant than the liberal brands. People claiming to know answers. Science tends to unravel a lot of beliefs. At the same time, I'd say we certainly haven't written the last chapter.
Might as well hold a hope about something since it can bring some comfort and pleasure to this life at least.