I’ve been struggling lately contemplating whether or not I ever care to attend a Christian funeral again. I mean, it seems to me that time would be better spent acknowledging the reality of death, as far as we know. As an atheist, I have a strong suspicion, and have no need to believe otherwise, that death is the end of our consciousness – of our experience with life. We cease to exist in the physical world. We live on in the memories of those whose lives we touched in some way. I don’t feel the need to think of my loved one living on in some happy other-world where there is no pain or suffering. To be honest, it sounds like a miserable way to spend an eternity.
I’m not afraid to die. I’m not particularly looking forward to it, but it doesn’t scare me. It seems to me that there are a large number of Christians going through the motions in an attempt to hedge their bets on the off chance that their is a deity who set into course the particular fairy tale tradition their family has long adhered to. It makes me sad that humankind still has this need to believe that there is some grand watcher-over looking out for us and levying justice for us.
Part of my recovery from faith has been coming to terms with this new understanding of the true nature of reality. But it has led me to a place where I realize that my life is mine to make of it what I will, and that I get to prioritize my life the way I want it to be. In the grand scheme of evolution, each individual life is so tremendously inconsequential. But in the time we are here, we get the unique opportunity to participate in life, something tremendously, spectacularly, mind-bogglingly rare in the universe. That, to me, is far more glorious and spectacular and awe-inspiring than the story of Genesis.
I suspect that I will, in fact, attend Christian funerals from time to time. If for no other reason, it would decrease the amount of drama that would be generated by my non-attendance. But, rest assured, when the congregation bows their heads to pray, my head will be up, looking around the church, seeing if anyone else has their heads up. I hope that person is you.
I love this: