your boyfriend is right about the anxiety. Unfortunately, I cannot just "choose" faith over the 95% likely fact that my personality and personal consciousness is merely and totally a product of my intact brain - something that will be lost to oblivion upon death, something that can be lost even before due to brain injury or degeneration. I have a scientific mind and the evidence is just screaming in my face. Same as you and others here, I cant overcome it by wishful thinking. Having said that, there might be something to the idea that there is some sort of "uber-consciousness" that is not part of my brain and that is something like an energy in the universe - and that survives death. NDEs and such seem to suggest this. However, this is no comfort because even this is highly unlikely and its also no use, since I only care about the "me" that my brain is producing. I suspect like Dr. Blackmoore, I would not even believe if I personally had an NDE or OOBE.
At the moment, I find it very hard to keep going on this brutal path. I am much older than you - I find myself looking at young students, looking at my kids and fiercly envying them the years that they have over me, years that may enable them to reach physical immortality while it may be too late for me. I see wrinkles and some first grey hair, I can see my body starting to go downhill, I am starting to have health issues...I cant sleep a single night since a few months when this really hit me.
The reason why I came to you all for advice is that I suspected - many of you being highly intelligent atheists or agnostics - that some of you have the same issue. Maybe not as bad as I do, but to some extent. And I thought you might have some pratical suggestions how to deal with it.
I did sign up for cryonics, although I have trouble with my insurance and also, not living in the USA, I fear the chances are much worse for me because I will have to be transported after death. I am starting with CR. Supplements and such - dunno, most seem to be untried and later proven dangerous. There is just not much one can do, maddeningly! I try to work for SENS and imminst -it the most important work in our times in my opinion.
My husband - he does not want to hear about this endlessly, understandably. He is also a believer in the afterlife. To my "brain damage" argument, he only replies "but God knows the right "me", and that is the me that will be restored". You cant argue with faith, and to be honest, I envy him fiercly - I wish I could believe like this. What does it matter if he is totally wrong? He will live and die in peace and I will not. He promised me that he will support my cryonics plan, and I hope he does, but he wont choose cryonics. I`ll see what my kids will do.
I would so like to live the remaining years that I have - hopefully a great many - in a happy fashion. Once I am dead, I wont care, but now I do :(. And yes, I too would prefer hell, at least I would exist and maybe God would save me in time (if I suppose a hell, I suppose a God). Oblivion is just the worst thing I can imagine, mainly because of its total finality, and the fact that its the 95% (I insist that 5% agnosticism is warranted due to the gaps in science) likely option just makes me want to scream "please help" - but there is no one to listen. That cruelty alone is an argument against the existence of a loving God in my opinion.
Hah, like you, Luna, I also dont see how everyone can sleep so comfortably when their beds are literally burning! I dont count the people with faith - they have comfort - but the atheists. I honestly know quite a few who are not afraid of oblivion. I`m clueless how this can be. It`s a personality thing I guess. Only thing that helps me a bit is that there is good evidence that fear lessens a lot once your body is very old and actually failing big time - endless sleep doesnt seem to sound bad to most people then. Urgh. But its not all, only most...argh. Some fight till the end, the poor ones, I know how they feel I think.
I`ll get a vey thorough medical check up next week, maybe there is also some physical component to this because it is so specially bad at nights and I wake up all tense even when I dream about perfectly mundane stuff.
Edited by chrwe, 30 May 2010 - 06:12 AM.