Please Note: The following is a guest post by Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon Cooper is a former Christian fundamentalist, and is now an agnostic blogger. You can read more about him at his blog, Ramblings of Sheldon, where he talks about his past fundamentalist life, atheism/religion, and just about anything else on his mind. If you are on Google +, please make sure to add him to your circles. And, yes, if you are wondering, his blogging name does come from the character on the TV show, The Big Bang Theory.
If you yourself are interested in writing a guest post for this blog, please contact me at email@example.com -- Paul.
Perhaps it's because of the fact that I have had depression for most of my life (and tend to view the world with a much drearier perspective than many other people), but I've never understood why people have a fear of death. I grew up in a very fundamentalist Christian family, and I always thought fear of death among that crowd was the most bizarre fear of all.
After all, if you believe you are going to heaven when you die, a place where the streets are paved with gold, you get to be in the presence of the god you have worshiped for so long and have striven to live for. Therefore, shouldn't someone's funeral be a time of celebration instead of a time of mourning? And shouldn't you be jealous of the fact that a fellow believer in fundamentalism went on to that amazing place, heaven, while you're still trapped here on earth, dealing with your daily struggles?
As a teen, I asked the assistant pastor at my church about this. Why is it that so many Christians have a fear of death? He admitted to me that he struggled with that fear, and he felt it was because people who are afraid of death are worried about the people they leave behind.
He said that he himself was worried, he did not know if his wife and children would be able to cope without him. But he did point out that he felt he shouldn't worry like that. After all, doesn't the Bible say not to worry, that god will take care of us?
Even now as an agnostic, I don't understand fear of death in society at large. I think that, instead of using our energy fearing death, we should make the most of our life here. Of course, we should make plans in case the worse happens, and make sure that those who are depending on us (our children and spouses/lovers) are financially taken care of in the advent of our death, and a little moderation and common sense while enjoying life is good, but we should enjoy life while we are still living it, instead of worrying about when it will end.
I also think that we should strive to make sure we make this world a better place than it was before we arrived. I don't think it's surprising at all that atheists and agnostics tend to be very generous people. When you believe that this life is all there is, and it's up to us to provide for our fellow human beings, it would tend to make someone a more charitable person.
There are even atheist/humanist charities out there to help others without any religious motivation or proselytizing. I admire the work of groups like Foundation Beyond Belief, and of a school in Uganda called Kasese Humanist Primary School, which my good blogging friend, Godless Poutine, is a major supporter of. It's a school that not only educates students, but feeds them as well.
I think that, instead of worry about death, how about we make sure that life is much better for the people around us in this world?
Do it because you want the world to be a better place; do it because you want a better future for this world. We don't need a promise of rewards in the afterlife to do what's right, we should just do it because it's the right thing to do. I see that as a better way to spend life than worrying about death. We should live life to the fullest while we are still alive.