Atheist in a foxhole: coping with cancer

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:27 pm

I gave up going to Christian funerals a long time ago. The ritual isn't too bad, but I can't stand the sermons. I always want to heckle.

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Jackrabbit
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Post by Jackrabbit » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:49 pm

As much as I hate the denomination I grew up in, I have to admit that in my parents' funerals (the only ones I have been to for decades), he did indeed talk mostly about them rather than preach. He even asked me for humorous family anecdotes illustrating their character and used them.

Maybe some of it depends on how well the preacher knows the deceased. My parents had been going to that church for a long time. Perhaps the more extreme cases of preaching at a funeral happen when the preacher barely knows the deceased, if at all, and therefore has nothing to say about them.
Moe: "Why don't you get a toupee with some brains in it?" <whack!>

sohy
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Post by sohy » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:34 pm

I went to a funeral held for a black Christian a couple of years ago. Ever since, I've said if I were ever to return to Christianity, I'd join a predominately black church. The thing I liked most was the open grieving. There was no sparing of emotions and I think that probably was a help to those close to the deceased, enabling them to freely express themselves. There was lots of music, both secular and religious and I don't remember any preaching although I know that's not always the case at black funerals. The church was packed and it was a mega church. It was certainly better than any white Christian funeral I've ever attended.

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Pierrot
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Post by Pierrot » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:36 am

We arranged a secular funeral for my wife. It was a celebration of her life, and I and I think many others there found it moving. I also found it cathartic and it helped me with grief - the old cliché, "closure".

A few weeks later we had a memorial service for friends and family in her native area in northern England. It was in a parish church with family links - her parents married there, and many ancestors are buried in the churchyard. As such a formulaic Church of England service, which had no emotional resonance with me, and doubt if it did for the audience.

We made up for it in the pub afterwards.

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JamesBannon
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Post by JamesBannon » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:42 pm

We had a humanist celebrant for my mother's funeral. She would have been livid if it was a god botherer, as would I. Unfortunately, we didn't manage that with my nephew's wedding. The minister kept wittering on about marriage being between one man and one woman, ordained by god. However, that was what they wanted, so we had to endure the garbage. I couldn't stand it, and wasn't feeling well, so I had to leave about two-thirds the way through the service to get some air. As for me, I don't want any kind of service. Throw me on the compost heap.
There you go with them negative waves ... Why can't you say something righteous and beautiful for a change? :grouphug:

Shaka
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Post by Shaka » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:23 pm

You know there is now a legendary book in my country, it's an autobiography about a woman who during the 70s had a son with leukemia and although she was educated and from what I could perceive not religious started believing in everything. So the book is pretty much a document about a person that is loosing her mind. You can see her starting to believe in Sai Baba, pyramid power, Jesus and since she was a wife of an ambassador also faith healers in US and chronicling Uri Geller and just every crap imaginable.
Few years ago she even appeared in some stupid TV show here in Croatia testifying of supernatural powers Sai Baba has, like she witnessed how he projected map of the world on the wall and then started zooming in and in until he came to some guy's house in the audience and inside the house until the guy just stepped in the house.
So when someone tells me how religion offers solace to parents of a dead child I tell them about this person.
And this is something that happens not so unusual. One of the most famous examples is Arthur Conan Doyle. I mean there is also a guy now in my country whose infant son died few years ago and now he's leading a crusade against evolution with the help of Catholic church.

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Jackrabbit
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Post by Jackrabbit » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:08 pm

[quote=""JamesBannon""]As for me, I don't want any kind of service. [/quote]
Yeah, same here. If there's a service, have mine at a titty bar where at least people will have a good time.

My cousin didn't have a service. It was just a gathering where people hung around and remembered her life.
Throw me on the compost heap.
I hate the concept of cemeteries. Sort of a human landfill, just taking up a lot more space. I could have a burial at sea, just ashes dumped overboard. As a Navy veteran, I am entitled to it.

Back in the 70s, there was a SF movie called Soylent Green. The ending was supposed to be a big shock, though I saw it coming at least half way through. Basically Soylent Green was food made out of recycled people. The scriptwriter made a big deal out of it, but why not, I say.
Moe: "Why don't you get a toupee with some brains in it?" <whack!>

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JamesBannon
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Post by JamesBannon » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:17 pm

Well, there is the small matter of prions causing a few problems.
There you go with them negative waves ... Why can't you say something righteous and beautiful for a change? :grouphug:

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:24 pm

Koy wrote: But that's not what they are doing regardless of what they say or even believe in their heart of hearts.
What they truly believe is mistaken, yes; but sympathy is a thing of the heart, so I still think that someone may be honestly expressing it in a mistaken way.

A good question here is how we should best respond to the mistake aspect, while still appreciating their intent. (Or at least, our best interpretation of their intent. I know as well as anyone that sometimes it's not real sympathy, but instead concealed gloating. Usually that shows, though.)

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:37 pm

Comforting lies

That's an old discussion about how I dealt with a religious funeral.

I admit I've been to funerals that made me feel like an anthropologist watching some primitive tribe solemnly smearing themselves with blue mud... though the example in that thread was actually one of the better ones.

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:15 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]
Koy wrote: But that's not what they are doing regardless of what they say or even believe in their heart of hearts.
What they truly believe is mistaken, yes; but sympathy is a thing of the heart, so I still think that someone may be honestly expressing it in a mistaken way.[/quote]

I still think you're missing a key ingredient (and that's to your credit, because you actually are someone capable of sympathy and, more importantly, empathy, so you are once again apologizing and taking it upon yourself to justify their behavior). The insidious nature of this particular cult programming is that is supplants genuine sympathy. Or, perhaps, "shunts" it is a better word. The calculated purpose of funneling ALL thought (and emotion) through the cult--through "god"--is to shut down their individual ability to sympathize, because that would mean they are in fact individuals and not a subordinate part of the cult; of the "larger" organism. They give the appearance of sympathy, but in reality they are not being sympathetic in the slightest because that ability has been short-circuited.

Think about what they believe, for a moment (no matter the level of deprogramming). They believe there is no such thing as death and that whatever may have happened, it was according to a "plan;" that it was on purpose. Among the more radical sects, that it was "deserved." This is all, of course as a base layer of belief. So when death--any death--happens, this kicks in and stops them from sympathizing, but of course that sets up cognitive dissonance.

In this regard, they are simply robots responding to programming and I suppose on that level you can take an apologetic position, but then you have literally removed their humanity in order to do so and we're in a whole new realm of wtf.
A good question here is how we should best respond to the mistake aspect, while still appreciating their intent. (Or at least, our best interpretation of their intent. I know as well as anyone that sometimes it's not real sympathy, but instead concealed gloating. Usually that shows, though.)
Well, that's the imposition of it and why I respond so vociferously against it. Not irl, of course; irl I just smile and nod, but it truly infuriates me on a profound level (in case that wasn't already clear :D ).
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stupidity is not intellen

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