A Conversation for Atheism

An athiest funeral

Post 1


I regard myself as an athiest however my wife is a christian. My dilema is, when I die (assuming I die first) should I have a christian funeral or an athiest one ? As I regard death as the end of everything then the type of funeral I have is imaterial to me, however it would console my wife to have a christian service for me. If I have the christian service specifiacally for my wife, does that make me a hypocrite ?

An athiest funeral

Post 2


If you are an atheist then you shouldn't care apart from what makes whoever else happy. You should respect your wife's wishes.

An atheist funeral

Post 3

DA ; Simply Vicky: Don't get pithy with me!

I agree with Ste, as it won't do you any harm, and will make your wife happy.

Not it is not hypocrisy.


An athiest funeral

Post 4


I think you ought to discuss it with your wife so that if you do die first you can share in something that maybe convey's something of both of you. Perhaps you'd like to think of it the other way as well, suppose she were to die first, would you have a Christian funeral for her? I say that cautiously as I have no knowledge of the strength of your assumption, or any evidence that may back it up, that you will die first. Doing what feels right, for you and for others you love is the most important thing here, do that and you will know that you are not a hypocrite, if others think you are that's their problem.

An athiest funeral

Post 5


I remember the funeral of Stanislaw Lem - as officially known atheist he wished to have simple athiest funeral, but his family decided to invite a priest anyway... There was quite a discussion about it in Poland. I think if you definitely do not want to have christian funeral but your wife cares about you as a christian, maybe it would be a solution to ask a priest only to prey on your grave - as only a part of the ceremony. But if you really do not bother about the way your family will say goodbye to you, it is not hypocrisy at all in my opinion.

smiley - smiley

An athiest funeral

Post 6

Two Bit Trigger Pumping Moron

Here's how I see mine. There would be an opportunity for some people to talk to the group. Then at some point in the service, a preacher would be able to offer a prayer for the sake of those who are religious. The prayer would not be for me or my sake. If people want to do that on their own, that's their own business. The point of the prayer is to comfort those who would be comforted by it.

While it probably won't matter much to me, I think it would be very offensive to have a service that would somehow imply that I'm something that I'm not.

Christians have a habit of claiming converts as people enter danger or near death. I think it's disrespectful.

I remember when I went to my grandmother's funeral, and one of her caretakers said that my grandmother had converted in her final weeks. It sounded sweet, if you were a Christian. I was dubious, since she had had a stroke, and had a hard time recognizing people. She was getting kind of childlike towards the end. Preaching to the weak and disabled sounds like taking advantage of them to me.

An athiest funeral

Post 7


"a priest only to prey on your grave" ... what a disturbing image!

An athiest funeral

Post 8


PRAY, prAy, sorry! smiley - smiley you're right, terrible image...

For me personally disturbing is the very idea of a any religious ceremony on my funeral, against my wish... but unfortunately I won't be able to object, will I (ok, no more disturbing images!)

thank you for correcting my mistake smiley - smiley


Post 9


This post has been removed.

An athiest funeral

Post 10


< If I have the christian service specifiacally for my wife, does that make me a hypocrite ?>

How about both? Or something similar: civil weddings can get blessings can't they? So, why not a non-religious funeral for you but with some sort of blessing or other religious ceremony to give your wife closure(icky Yank phrase!)?

This would a) allow your beliefs to be respected in that you will have a funeral that you would want i.e. your beliefs would be respected and b) it would console your wife.

The flip side of this is: would your wife be happy to have a secular funeral specifically for you? rather than a Christian one at which you would possibly feel a hypocrite and there would be no closure for you?

Would you want that closure? Would, indeed, your wife want you to have a Christian funeral when she kows you are an athiest? Would the closure for her be such that she knows you are having the funeral you would want?

It's pretty much irrelevant whether your wife gives you a Christian burial since (unless you have a death bed conversion) you are going to hell anyway!

And to answer your question: no, you are not a hypocrite you are a caring giving, thoughtful husband thinking more of others than yourself...gosh...you sound like a Christiansmiley - winkeye.

An athiest funeral

Post 11



So, the views and beliefs of an athiest are not important? Or maybe as a Christian his wife should respect his wishes? Just because someone does not believe in a god does not mean they not have beliefs and rules to live by which one would wish to be respected.

Of course, the great thing about having a free-mind and not locked into a supposedly pre-defined set of rules is that one defines ones beliefs oneself so if that is how he defines his beliefs (i.e 'I'll be dead I don't give a stuff!) then, of course, have a Christian funeral and make his wife happy! It would ironically given the statement of belief in the first post it would only be hypocritical if the funeral WASN'T Christian as the personal belief set down is: I do not care what type of funeral I have - so enforcing a secular funeral on a living relative who would prefer a Christian funeral would be hypocritical.

Your comment that I pasted above would not be true in my case: I would hope that as my family know I do not believe in any 'supernatural mumbo-jumbo' then any non-secular or even humanist orientated funeral would be out of the question. And as they only believe that 'there must be something' then they will not be bothered if it is secular.

I would want some 'closure' things going on for family and friends but with my family (and friends) I think they will be able to sort out some sort of event that allows them to cope with my passing. They are a sick but caring bunch so it would be a good laugh...shame I won't be there.

An athiest funeral

Post 12


You don't sound like a hypocrite. You sound like a pessimist. Assuming you'll die first!! C'mon man, you're one foot in already. Take every opportunity to get a little stress put upon your wife. Shave some years off of her. Give yourself a fighting chance. Okay, enough of the pep talk.

Let's go ahead and assume you've tossed off first. You will not be the hypocrite with a Christian funeral. The hypocrisy will lie with the Christian church burying an atheist. If they'll bury you with a kneel and a prayer, then who's going to hell anyways? Just like the world needs ditch diggers, people must go to hell. Perhaps you will be denied eternal bliss on a technicality. I hear Heaven has some wicked lawyers.
Either way, you are an atheist and you are screwed. Live it up now pal, because when you're dead, you don't get everlasting peace. Hah!


An athiest funeral

Post 13


You are dead and as an atheist, that is the be all and end all of things. What do you care what your wife does with your earthly remains.
The dead do not have the luxury of positions nor preferences. But you may be humane and afford your mate of whatever number of years some comfort or is that too much to ask of a godless soul?

An athiest funeral

Post 14


I would care that my personal, strongly held beliefs were being respected in death. The memory of me is my legacy and to have the end of that memory to be something I totally disagreed with would show me no respect at all. As ones body IS what remains of you as an athiest, i.e. no soul has risen up to heaven, there should be more respect given.

The irony that religious people spend all their time trying to get brownie points so their souls go to heaven but seem to spend so much time over the empty shell that isn't the person is lost on many people.

I, again, had a Christian at the weekend ask me what I beleived in when I told her I was an athiest. You just want to give her a slap and go *BELM* don't you KNOW the definition of an athiest? We do not beleive in woo-woo supernatural beings.

Fine so does that mean he can bury his Christain wife in a Secular/Humanist Funeral to give himself comfort?

An athiest funeral

Post 15


Quote by Stephen F Roberts - to a "theist"

I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

An athiest funeral

Post 16

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Six of one, half dozen of the other, as far as I'm concerned. If I were to die first, and I thought it might give my wife some kind of comfort (thankfully it doesn't) for man wearing robes outdoors to mutter incantations over my carcass, and if you first make the illogical assumption I'd have the capacity to do anything other than provide nutrients as carrion, then I suppose I would approve.

And if my wife were to die first, and I thought it would make her feel better to have some man wearing robes outdoors to mutter incantations over her carcass, I wouldn't consider that wish in the slightest, because she's hardly in a position to protest, is she? Life is for the living, and she's not living, so it's up to me to figure out what's best for the living people she left behind. Now, if there's someone in particular among that group, or a general consensus, that muttered incantations and dolorous songs are necessary for them, I'd certainly consider it.

My own experience has been that the Christian funeral is, in general, the worst possible response to personal tragedy. Telling someone their loved one died tragically because it was planned? Because the planner loves you? What kind of sick bastard does that? Doesn't that sound like the trailer for a bad horror movie? What's he going to do to you next? And how, exactly, is this supposed to be consoling???

An athiest funeral

Post 17


You could donate your body to science or something. I think that should prevent people from keeping the wrong memories of you (not to mention the general usefulness of the procedure).

An athiest funeral

Post 18


How about a spot of cryogenics? That way you can hope for a future re-animation into a utopia of reason and approeciation for non-superhuman entities.

"All hail our glorious squid overlords!"

An athiest funeral

Post 19


I think I'd like to be eaten by some animal - preferably of an endangered species. I think that's more sensible than donating one's organs to some humans... Do I by any chance sound cynical?

An athiest funeral

Post 20

DA ; Simply Vicky: Don't get pithy with me!


Just a tad! smiley - smiley Perhaps you could do both - have any usable organs harvested and then what remains, could be sent to a wildlife park, for the tiger cubs...


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