I’m often asked by believers if atheists fear death. I find that to be an interesting question because the sense I get from those asking is that we atheists are somehow different from other people. I don’t think we are at all.
I usually have to qualify my answer though that no, I don’t fear death from the point of view of there being an eternal reward or punishment, but, yes, no one I have ever met looks forward to dying. As atheists, at least all those I know, we have this one life and after? Nothing.
I’ve always thought this being a curious question for atheists in particular. As I said, we’re no different from anyone else. We just don’t believe there is a god or some pantheon of gods awaiting us after death. What is so difficult to understand about that?
I think everyone has a fear of death to some degree. I personally tend to avoid those that say they have no fear of death. They’re either lying or they’re an idiot. I tend to not gravitate towards either type of person.
So yes, I think that atheists fear death to the degree anyone else does. It’s a normal human feeling.
4 thoughts on “Do Atheists Fear Death?”
I don’t fear death, which I view as non-existence; however, I do very much fear the process of dying and all it entails.
When I wrote about people claiming not to fear death were either lying or idiots, I was thinking about my time in various combat zones. The fear of dying was there everyday but that just made me more aware of what I was doing. Guys that said they didn’t fear dying were avoided because they took chances not only with their life, but those of others as well.
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I feared death much more as a Christian than I do now. The possibility of hell was terrifying, especially when I was younger. Going to sleep? Not so much.