Death is nothing to us, because a body that has been dispersed into elements experiences no sensations, and the absence of sensation is nothing to us.”
– Epicurus (Principal Doctrines 2)
It is folly to die of the fear OF death.”
He who fears death either fears to lose all sensation or fears new sensations. In reality, you will either feel nothing at all, and therefore nothing evil, or else, if you can feel any sensations, you will be a new creature, and so will not have ceased to have life.”
- Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man - yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hairsbreadth of time assigned to thee, live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.”
Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.”
- Francis Bacon (Essays, 2, 'Of Death')
“The fear of death is worse than death.”
- Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other.”
- Francis Bacon (Essays, Of Death)
There is no such thing as death.
In nature nothing dies.
From each sad remnant of decay
Some forms of life arise.”
- Charles Mackay (There is No Such Thing as Death)
To me the honour is sufficient of belonging to the universe — such a great universe, and so grand a scheme of things. Not even Death can rob me of that honour. For nothing can alter the fact that I have lived; I have been I, if for ever so short a time. And when I am dead, the matter which composes my body is indestructible — and eternal, so that come what may to my 'Soul,' my dust will always be going on, each separate atom of me playing its separate part — I shall still have some sort of a finger in the pie. When I am dead, you can boil me, burn me, drown me, scatter me — but you cannot destroy me: my little atoms would merely deride such heavy vengeance. Death can do no more than kill you.”
- W. N. P. Barbellion (Bruce Frederick Cummings) (The Journal of a Disappointed Man)
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”
- Richard Dawkins (Unweaving The Rainbow)
People are frightened of death, and the central lie of all religion is that there’s a cure for this and an exception we’ve made in your own case: an eternal life offered if you make the right propitiations and the right abjections. Well, I’m sorry. I think that it's the height of immorality to lie to people like that. That’s why [religion] survives”
Every single atom of our bodies is preserved and is used again in the grand evolutionary process that is going on around us. Also our memory and most of all our ideas will live long after we are gone. These ideas and memories can linger on for a long time, if we just will create interesting enough ideas or memories when we are still alive. Some will make themselves 'immortal' in a way, when their ideas will live on and keep on changing peoples minds even after their physical demise. However, most of all we will live on in our genes. Our children and their children and grand-children and so on will always carry part of us into the future. This will happen as long as we do not destroy our ecosystem or bomb humanity with nuclear weapons out of the face of the planet Earth."