No Fear of Death

In my last post I was asked in a comment why I don’t fear death, what brought me to that attitude towards it.

I would guess that due to the amount of death, ‘near death’, and ‘about to die’ that I have seen due to my work it has driven me to think about it a bit more than a ‘normal’ person would.

The two things that influence my thoughts about death would be my atheism, and my grasp, tenuous as it may be at some times, of logic.

Firstly, my atheism, means that I have no fear of a Heaven, or Hell, no Limbo (and sadly no Valhalla). So I don’t think that there is anything after death. You die, and you stop. Stop thinking, stop feeling, stop worrying about work, or family, or why the cat keeps scratching your sofa.

And if I stop thinking, then there is no consciousness, and therefore no experiencing of anything, including time.

So when I am dead, that’s it – I won’t feel anything because I won’t exist anymore. When I sleep I have no experience of time, no feelings of pain, no nothing. I don’t worry about if I am going to wake up because my conscious mind ceases to exist for the time I’m asleep.

(I know that with the different phases of sleep and with dreams the analogy breaks down somewhat, but I think the general point is made).

So, logically, why should I be scared of death? Even if I die in a horrible and painful fashion, I’ll not remember any of it, because I will no longer exist. So ultimately it won’t matter how I die, because even with a long drawn out death it will end eventually.

And I don’t plan on having a long, drawn out death. If I become terminally ill then I shall scream for the really good medications, and when I’m fed up of that – well, there are ways out of the situation.

As I have no sense of self before I was concieved, I will have no sense of self once I have ceased to exist. All of which, in my mind, is comforting, that no matter how bad things get, in the end all worries, all pain, will cease.

Of course, if I’m wrong? Well won’t I look foolish as Anubis weighs my heart against a feather.

But that’s a bridge I’ll worry about when I reach it.

5 thoughts on “No Fear of Death”

  1. Thank you. I found it to be a somewhat conforting answer and I wish , really deeply, that someday I can feel the same way towards death.

    You said “As I have no sense of self before I was concieved, I will have no sense of self once I have ceased to exist. ” But between those two points you existed. You were here, you lived, you loved, you felt pain and happiness… Won’t that make it harder to know it will all end? Won’t that raise the question : “Then what is this all about?”.

    I swear I used to be a very positive girl (most days I am) but lately this thoughts fail to leave my mind. And after reading your stories in your books I realised… it’s all gone in a minute (if we’re lucky not to suffer)….

  2. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me at all. I try to go through life generally trying to make things better for people – it’s a pretty low bar, but one I can normally achieve.

    ‘What is it all about’? Well, ultimately nothing, but if you can leave the world a bit better for those who follow us, then I’d say that’s an alright reason to have existed.

    I mean, from a biological sense, I’ve failed – I’ll never have kids and so my genetic material won’t be passed along. But, I’ve helped people out, so I’d say my impact on the world while I’m alive has been generally ‘good’.

    Again, once I’m dead I won’t have to worry about such things 😉

    1. That is a very nice way to put things but allow me to make a correction on what you said: Helping people is not a low bar. Its the highest of them all. I am pretty sure you will still be the most important person to a lot of people lives. You have saved their fathers, mothers, friends, grandmothers… And that is something that it will make you eternal for those families. (Didnt mean to sound that poetic, but oh well)

      Take me for example. I always suffered from anxiety and panic attacks (I never knew)… My mother tought it was my liver, or something I ate, etc, and never associated that it could be simply my mind. Since the age of 5 I fainted. A LOT. Especially when exposed to crowds or blood or even if I tought about blood.

      So, I found your book, I tough : how graphic can it be? And I read the first one (got a little dizzy sometimes but kept on going cause I would laugh so much in most posts) Then the second one, and midway through it I had to stop. I was pushing my mind and my anxiety way to far. I tought : Why do I get dizzy and faint even for reading about an accident or a disease??? And I finally went to the doctor and then I got a proper diagnose: Anxiety and panic attacks (especially when thinking about death) So, in a way, thanks to you, I am getting medicated, followed by a really good doctor and I hope to get to finish that second book of yours in a year or two 😀

      Thank you. You gave me that ultimate push to try to figure out what was wrong with me.

      English is not my main tongue so sometimes things dont make much sense.

  3. Hi Brian,

    I remember you from the annual weekender games on the Isle of Wight. I’m still going (for my sins) with the exact same persona. I’m shifting careers now so on Friday I’ll be attending university for an interview, with any luck I’ll be accepted on the Paramedic Science degree. During my researcha nd reading to prepare for everything I’ve been wandering around the NHS websites. You’re first book is cited in the NHS’s own guidelines on staff blogging and I thought “hah! I know that name”. It just amused me how diverse gaming cultures are and the people who crop up both there, and in other aspects of your life. Hope all is well with you and your bother, it’s probably time to put the kettle on.

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