Fear of Death

TheHonestAtheistJune 13, 2016

Recently, a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to an article reviewing a book about Christopher Hitchens (here's the book). The book claimed that Hitchens had "doubts" about atheism and that he might have had religious leanings.

In other news, I was thinking about death lately as well (I know--a bit morbid). As a Christian, I had no fear of death because I believed I would be fine in the afterlife (or Heaven). This might have been the first time I had thought considerably about death as an atheist.

Okay, back to this Facebook post. I was incensed by this person's post, mainly because he said he was 1) interested in getting/reading the book and 2) the book is an absolute sham and deception. I would have liked to respond with a similar reversal, like if John Piper (a famous Christian pastor) died and someone wrote a book about him having gay leanings. Yes, I was furious. And, for that reason, I did not respond.

Hitchens was the one that said if he had a deathbed conversion it was because his sickness had reached his brain.

Why is it that Christians try to grab these major atheists back by rewriting history? I've heard some say that Darwin had a deathbed conversion too (not true). I think it's an attempt to invalidate anything they have ever written or said (which is a fallacy).

Back to me thinking about death. I've wondered if fear of death is an accurate response and decided it is. Here is my reasoning: it is not fear of judgment after death or fear of the unknown; it's fear that your life is over and you're not ready. It's akin (by a large stretch of imagination) to going off the high dive as a child. You're not ready for it and it is extremely scary. No child thinks that life is over after going off the high dive or that they will get hurt. It's just fear of the process and the experience.

Let me know your thoughts. Christians usually don't fear death and like to say that's a better position than atheism, which is really just absurd. Fear of death, in my humble opinion, makes your life a little more meaningful and may makes one less risk-prone.