We all know we're gonna kick the bucket one day. My question is, what is death and how does it affect the way in which you live your life? When you die, is it as if you had never existed in the first place? Are you no longer aware, or do you think that one's awareness or consciousness remains? Do you believe in an afterlife or some sort of thereafter? Are you concerned about how your life and works affect future generations?
I was brought up believing in heaven and hell and taught that the afterlife was eternal and more real than this life. To me, death wasn't such a big deal, rather it was just a transition. Later on, when I broke free of my religious beliefs, I decided that this belief in an afterlife was a fallacy too, so my current understanding is that when you die, that's it. Lights out. Period. That seems most believable to me, at least.
So how has this shift in belief affected me? I now put my comfort, needs, well being and pleasures first (along with those who I care most about). Previously, such things were viewed as unnecessary or mere distractions. I also care more about staying alive as long as possible and getting the most out of life. In light of our impending doom, I seek to wring as much juice out of life as possible while I can.
What matters to me? Living well, enjoying life and doing what I can to try to make my kids lives better. The way I see it, once I die, nothing will matter from my perspective. It won't matter if I was a vicious murderer or a charitable soul( hell, I won't even have a perspective), but the consequences of my choices will matter to my kids. I guess that through them my life will continue to matter ... for a while at least.
What are your thoughts?
(I promise not to bash religious opinions. In this thread, at least.)