Is believing in an afterlife really so comforting?

It’s hard to not think about death right now.

One of the most commonly-cited criticisms of atheism is the lack of comfort it offers in the face of death and tragedy. Atheism doesn’t provide any kind of solace when loved ones and innocent people die, the reasoning goes, so why rob people of that happiness?

I can’t say that I relate to that line of thinking at all, personally.

The vice I felt tightening around my godless heart as I read through as much of the New York Times front page list as I could stand? The pain couldn’t compare in the slightest to the soul-crushing agony I used to go through upon the most minor news of tragedy when I was a Muslim. When I was a believer, that allegedly comforting belief in an afterlife was agonizing torture. Continue reading “Is believing in an afterlife really so comforting?”

Is believing in an afterlife really so comforting?

Everyone & Everything Will Die — & That’s Okay

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Greta Christina’s Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, which goes on sale today.

This is what I had to say about my experience reading it.

When I was very young, I lost someone close to me in a car accident. Almost more painful than the loss was the way by which those around me attempted to find meaning in the senseless death of a young person. This is the book that seven-year-old me needed instead of the endless religious tracts that assured me that everything happens for a reason.

Here is the story.

It was in England, circa early 1990’s, that I first dealt with death. The memory stands out to me as the first time I deliberately disobeyed what I had been taught. It also belies the notion that religion is universally comforting in the face of tragic loss.

Continue reading “Everyone & Everything Will Die — & That’s Okay”

Everyone & Everything Will Die — & That’s Okay