A question about the afterlife?

What do you think of the idea of Oblivion after death? For those who don’t know it’s the idea or belief that there is nothing after death, that it will be the same way before you were born, lack of awareness, thoughts, feelings, etc. This belief or view of life after death is typically held by atheists.

I’m catholic, I believe that there is an afterlife, but for a long time I had trouble over this idea of Oblivion ( or cessation of existence). I find it a little scary and try to cope with it. Even though I beleive in an afterlife, that in would go to heaven, im a still bothered by Oblivion. I want to feel just as comfortable with Oblivion as I am with Heaven, sounds strange I know but I would like to stop worrying so much.

So my question is what do you think of the idea of Oblivion ( cessation of existence or no afterlife), does it bother you or you would be comfortable with it if it was true? And how do you feel better about Oblivion ( I don’t believe it but I just don’t want be afraid of it)

Another term for it is anihilationism. The Catholic Church rejects it, teaching that God created everything good and for a purpose- that existence, itself, is an undenaible good, and that while He’ll help us, He won’t force us to “utilize” it wisely. We can experience it with Him or without Him but He won’t wiipe us out of exsitence…

…Honestly Lousyhouse? I don’t really think about it very often or fear it. I asked a similar question to my mother after an RE lesson when I was at High School once and I think she had a good answer

“Does it matter? Why think about what you can’t change? If there’s an afterlife? Great, if not, oh well”

If Oblivion is the case of what comes after, if it really is the absolute end there is nothing we can do about it. Why mull it over and sadden oneself, do you bemoan the fact you cannot grow wings and fly? Surely, if death is indeed the end that should be a greater call to embrace life and live it out to the full.

The concept of an Afterlife does have it’s merits, it taking the sting from death is a useful one, especially in the case of ones you love dearly. But even not, shouldn’t that move people to brighten, celebrate and make more of the here and now? Living every day like it is your very last, trying to improve the lives of others around you so they too can get the best out of their allotted time, even if at the end all that remains of you are memories in the hearts of others.

Who knows? The only folks who know for absolutely sure these days are the one’s who’ve already moved behind the veil. Perhaps one day hundreds of years from now science might surprise us and confirm the afterlife or prevent death, but for now there’s not really a lot we can do either way.

I personally don’t think death is the end, it could just be a feeling or indeed wishful thinking, but whatever leads me to that conclusion doesn’t really matter. What shall be will be if I spend my time fretting over it or not, so I just carry on and make the most of things.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”- Reinhold Niebuhr

Oblivion after death is something, I think, that more Jews than Christians wrestle with. Not that Jews don’t believe in heaven as well as purgatory; however, hell is not so much of a concern as it is for some Christians. I don’t have any quick fixes for your fear or worry except to have faith and trust in G-d’s mercy and justice.

I also believe that fear of oblivion carries with it the feeling that life is for naught and that G-d, if He exists, is unjust. This may be an equally frightening concern for many.

If we were to go into oblivion, this would be the same as what we “experienced” before being born.

Nothing to be a priori concerned about. The worst part of it would be the actual dying, knowing that everything was ending and that life would go on without oneself. But some human beings die rapidly and don’t have that experience.

More bothersome than oblivion, IMNAAHO, is the idea of a “ghostly afterlife” in which one has just enough of a mind left to wish one were alive. I imagine this is the standard idea in modern Christendom.


Not to be flippant, but I was just remembering some of the goofy concepts I have had over the years. When I lost someone I love, I kept hoping somehow they would pop back into my life to say hello. Of course, they didn’t and it kept gnawing at me that when I die, it could be centuries before I would ever reconnect with anyone. I told a priest that, and his reply was “Who told you that?” I don’t think anyone told me that; it was just a fear I would hang in space without seeing anyone for a long, long, eternal time.

I heard where those who pass on are sometimes required to spend their purgatory in a place on earth, such as a house or ship or whatever. I also heard the devil can hang around with ghosts. (Nice, eh?)

My late father used to say, “What fools we mortals be, as we linger on the brinks of idiocracy!” I don’ think idiocracy is a word; he just made it up. Maybe he really meant, “What fools we mortals be, as we linger on the brinks of oblivion!” But that doesn’t rhyme.

You may be surprised to know that some people have memories of before they were born, this is prior to them being conceived, Ive seen quite a few people saying this over the years, so Im not sure what this means.Sometimes young kids will talk about this too, Ive heard a few kids talking about memories before they were born…so, who knows?

When you say that a ‘ghostly afterlife’ is an idea in Christendom, do you mean it is a kind of folkloric belief apart from what Christianity teaches?

I can’t speak for your pop but idiocracy is indeed a word, though probably not what he meant.

A combination of “idiot” and the Greek word, kratos for “rule,” idiocracy literally means rule by the idiots.

It is also the title of a feature film of the 2K decade.


Sort of.

I mean that it is the prevailing idea of the human afterlife as seen from the sinners’ seating, made up of fragmentary church teachings, references in pop culture, and familial beliefs.


The idea of being something before being born on earth was denied by the church centuries ago in a particular heresy.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

We are eternal beings in time.
We exist now. The moment itself, has no boundaries. Events come and go, but here we are. Fear of oblivion comes up thinking that this now, this being which persists in time, will be no more.
The fact is that this being, which is who we are, does persist, resting in the Now of eternity, but not statically. In time, one is transformed through one’s actions.
This existence on earth is the means by which, through the exercise of our free will, we become who we are in eternity.
Where the person finds fulfillment, where one’s soul yearns to be, is in loving union with God.
God transcends time; from Him all life comes into being. He can never not be. So, don’t worry, oblivion is an illusion. Try to be good: loving your neighbor and God.

Interesting. What heresy was this?


Interesting questions!

Although the idea of Oblivion (cessation of existence) is only conceptual and not actual, I once felt Oblivion as actuality, and from deep consideration, discovered that Jesus Christ reveals the way to unbreakable peace with unending joy for all the living in His Passion and Crucifixion.

My process of realization went a little something like this:
If I completely cease to exist, what do I want life to be like after I die, and what is necessary for this experience?
I knew I wanted my family, friends, and everyone to get everything they wanted and needed for the experience of unbreakable peace with unending joy. I learned that the only way to get everything wanted and needed as a finite human is to always want to, as well as be patient and kind, even in the face of unjust cruelty to the point of death. Then I realized Jesus shared this most gracefully in “Embrace Your Cross.” Therefore, I knew I would have to share the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ with everyone, in order for everyone to experience the greatest experience, even after I ceased to exist.

So how exciting it is for me to realize that no matter what happens after death, Jesus Christ is the Way to the greatest experience!

Thanks for your time and consideration!

Second Council of Constantinople. (Scroll about 2/3 of the way down to “The Anathemas Against Origen

If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema.

I’m very comfortable with oblivion. For me the main attraction is the ancient greek idea that humans are better than gods because we only have one life to live/give. Gods have eternity and therefor their actions are of no consequence. We get only one chance so our choices count.

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.” - Oscar Wilde

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me it’s almost a necessity for an atheist to believe in oblivion (if for no other reason, then at least from an emotional/mental health perspective).

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace.” - Oscar Wilde

That’s probably one of the most ridiculous statements by an atheist that I’ve read – to hold that “nothing” is better than “something”. Seems to me the only time eternal “nothing” would seem beautiful would be if one figured the only other option they’d be likely to qualify for would be eternal misery/pain. I can easily see how someone like that would happily latch on to the idea of eternal oblivion.

And how in the world did Wilde think one in eternal oblivion could “listen” – and be aware of the his physical surroundings – and be aware of experiencing an absence of time.
Apparently he didn’t really believe in the concept of oblivion.

Thanks for the help.

It’s a poetic statement, not meant to be analyzed in a prosaic way. And sometimes “silence is golden,” or, as Keats says, “Heard melodies are sweet but those unheard are sweeter.”

Do you believe then, contrary to what some people of faith believe, that it is death which gives life its meaning?

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