RE: virus: Death

Smith Wade (
16 Oct 1995 15:30:50 -0400

>How can a hardcore
>materialist deal with the loss of loved ones? I don't think Virus can
>be a viable religion until it satisfactorily addresses this issue.
>David McFadzean

I have been an atheist and humanist for most of my life, ever since I came
home from my first day at Sunday School and told my folks- 'That was weird, I
didn't like it.'
This past August my mother passed away, and while my family did not go to
church, there was a Christian service. I sat there, both in my grief and,
somewhat strangely, somewhat in ponderance of this very question posed by
David above. Objectively I accepted the service as one of a gathering, one
where religious institutions do their work, ministering to grief and loss,
offering comfort and solace, regardless of the belief system at work- here
was something that needed to be done, I told myself.
In many ways, birth and death are the mainstays of most organized religions.
Certainly they should have the appropriate ceremonies and rituals to offer
their particular brand of solace. But- once you've relied on an afterlife to
solve your grief, you've denied it.
I spent a goodly time with my daughter, who had lost her grandmother, and as
I am raising her to be a freethinker, I consoled her with tales of all the
good and kind things her grandmother had done for her, and for me and the
rest of my family. In short, we need to keep spreading the memes of our loved
I don't think this is beyond the realm of Virus, or of any atheist or
materialist. The things people have done are real things, and can be
It is the vacuous afterlife I have no need to further....