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Old 01-07-2014, 08:36 PM
 
278 posts, read 255,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
Here is a question for those who consider themselves an ATHEIST (especially a strong atheist/gnostic atheist . . . but any atheist can otherwise answer). Just curious as to what truly occurs in your actual thinking:



If you are an ATHEIST and you make regular or occasional visits to a CEMETERY to visit the FINAL RESTING PLACE of any of your loved ones (parents, relatives, children, your marriage partner, close friends, et al), why do you go IF YOU DONíT BELIEVE THERE IS AN AFTERLIFE and therefore that deceased person is, in your thinking, completely extinct forevermore (i.e., no mind, no soul, no spirit of that person continued on after their death)?

That is, if that deceased loved one is completely extinct in every conceivable way and always will be, then why do you go to the cemetery (with whatever degree of frequency)? That person will never know that you were there, will never be there in spirit for you to speak to or cry to or to share your thoughts or feelings with or anything else. They no longer exist in any way, shape or form (not physically, not mentally/psychologically, not in spirit or soul, not in any way). The ultimate question for me to ask of you is: Is your visiting the cemetery (with whatever degree of regularity) for your loved one(s) a demonstration that you actually wish or else secretly believe that this deceased loved one actually DOES exist in spirit? That is, are your visits to the cemetery a reflection of some degree of wishful thinking on your part?

Because, if you are correct that there is no afterlife, you can think of that person and pay tribute to them in your mind anytime and anyplace that you are locationally situated (without having to ever make any visits to the cemetery) if they are, in fact, extinct in every conceivable way. You donít EVER have to visit their final resting place in the cemetery. They wonít know the difference (after all, they do not exist anymore and therefore no continuation of their mind or soul has occurred for them to know in any way of your visits or your talking to or sharing your feelings and thoughts with them wherever you are locationally situated . . . whether at the cemetery or anyplace else).


Please satisfy my curiosity . . . and perhaps your own curiosity as to how your fellow C-D contributors or posters on this thread think about this issue.
On the rare occasion I go to a loved one's grave site, it's for my benefit. It helps to clear my head, mark passage of time, and to recall the life of the loved one.
What do I think when I'm there? What a waste of real estate and money! ..And did these dead people really think they're going to remain here forever?!?
Someday(100 years or so) they're going to be exhumed, extracted from their coffins, and either thrown like garbage into a mass grave or incinerated!
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:03 AM
 
3,682 posts, read 4,943,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Someday(100 years or so) they're going to be exhumed, extracted from their coffins, and either thrown like garbage into a mass grave or incinerated!
really? i didn't know that....
i mean....makes sense....but didn't think they did that within a 100 years.....
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:02 AM
 
278 posts, read 255,688 times
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Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
really? i didn't know that....
i mean....makes sense....but didn't think they did that within a 100 years.....
That was just a number I threw out there! I'm thinking of when the dead are no longer receiving visitors because everyone that knew them are dead too.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
really? i didn't know that....
i mean....makes sense....but didn't think they did that within a 100 years.....
Probably more like a thousand years, really. So that graves are old enough to be regarded as archaeological sites, like the Egyptian pharaoh's tombs, or old native american burial mounds. Even the latter get a lot of respect; I recall that a major civic center project in downtown Phoenix ground to a halt some years ago when an ancient Anasazi village was uncovered during excavation, and highway construction is not infrequently delayed or diverted when old graves are found on reservations.

There are tombstones in cemeteries all over the East Coast of the US from the 1600's and 1700's that remain basically undisturbed, and I'd imagine that if someone wanted to move one of those cemeteries it'd be handled like any other exhumation / reinterment process.

But ... regardless of how long it takes, or how remembered or forgotten the grave, the fact remains that eventually we are all worm food.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:24 PM
 
278 posts, read 255,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Probably more like a thousand years, really. So that graves are old enough to be regarded as archaeological sites, like the Egyptian pharaoh's tombs, or old native american burial mounds. Even the latter get a lot of respect; I recall that a major civic center project in downtown Phoenix ground to a halt some years ago when an ancient Anasazi village was uncovered during excavation, and highway construction is not infrequently delayed or diverted when old graves are found on reservations.

There are tombstones in cemeteries all over the East Coast of the US from the 1600's and 1700's that remain basically undisturbed, and I'd imagine that if someone wanted to move one of those cemeteries it'd be handled like any other exhumation / reinterment process.

But ... regardless of how long it takes, or how remembered or forgotten the grave, the fact remains that eventually we are all worm food.
Mordant, in the span of the next 75 years or so alone, we will have 6 billion new dead humans and maybe another 9 billion alive. You think we can keep burying our dead at that rate for the next 1,000 years?
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Mordant, in the span of the next 75 years or so alone, we will have 6 billion new dead humans and maybe another 9 billion alive. You think we can keep burying our dead at that rate for the next 1,000 years?
No, and the natural progression is to cremate instead. Some people will store those ashes in an urn in a memorial of some kind but most will scatter them in some fashion. Even those who continue to inter ashes in cemeteries will be taking up far less space. Most efficiently, in mausoleums with walls of urns and tiny plaques on each one instead of expensive monuments.

When I lived in the Phoenix area, there were basically zero new cemetery plots available so cremation was the norm. I expect this presages what we will see as traditional cemetery plots are unavailable or overpriced elsewhere.

Oddly when people cremate the ashes up front they seem far less obsessed with "respecting the dead" (as if the dead would care) and preserving remains. It's like cremation helps people let go of the physical form and thus there is nothing physical to preserve anymore. It's irrational of course, but I understand the subjective experience. I recall my dead wife being wheeled on a gurney out of our house and wincing at the impact when the gurney was banged into the rear of the ambulance. I saw her body lurch on the gurney and even though intellectually I knew she felt nothing, I wanted them to treat her gently even in death.

Once they loaded her into a cardboard box on a pallet and reduced her to a breadbox-sized plastic box of ashes, she got jostled around in a hall closet until I had repackaged some of the ashes to give to her relatives and then I scattered the rest under an ironwood tree across the street. The idea of dividing up ashes is fine but shipping off a couple of legs to her mother would seem macabre by contrast. Funny how we hang onto empty form like that.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:14 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,984,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
Mordant, in the span of the next 75 years or so alone, we will have 6 billion new dead humans and maybe another 9 billion alive. You think we can keep burying our dead at that rate for the next 1,000 years?
First thing we have to do is to stop preserving and sealing bodies in steel or concrete boxes. What the hell are people preserving them for?

Cremation, or natural burial. And there are even those that oppose cremation because of the energy required to render a body to ash.
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:28 AM
 
2,415 posts, read 2,431,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
On the rare occasion I go to a loved one's grave site, it's for my benefit. It helps to clear my head, mark passage of time, and to recall the life of the loved one.
What do I think when I'm there? What a waste of real estate and money! ..And did these dead people really think they're going to remain here forever?!?
Someday(100 years or so) they're going to be exhumed, extracted from their coffins, and either thrown like garbage into a mass grave or incinerated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
really? i didn't know that....
i mean....makes sense....but didn't think they did that within a 100 years.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
That was just a number I threw out there! I'm thinking of when the dead are no longer receiving visitors because everyone that knew them are dead too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Probably more like a thousand years, really. So that graves are old enough to be regarded as archaeological sites, like the Egyptian pharaoh's tombs, or old native american burial mounds. Even the latter get a lot of respect; I recall that a major civic center project in downtown Phoenix ground to a halt some years ago when an ancient Anasazi village was uncovered during excavation, and highway construction is not infrequently delayed or diverted when old graves are found on reservations.

There are tombstones in cemeteries all over the East Coast of the US from the 1600's and 1700's that remain basically undisturbed, and I'd imagine that if someone wanted to move one of those cemeteries it'd be handled like any other exhumation / reinterment process.

But ... regardless of how long it takes, or how remembered or forgotten the grave, the fact remains that eventually we are all worm food.

Just yesterday, I called the funeral home that was used for my father years ago to ask if, at that time, the funeral home offered film or videotape recording or else audio-only recording of the funeral home service (and then, if so, if it is possible that my mother had paid for such recording services to be done for my father). They said such recording services were not offered at that time and are not offered now by them (yet I used a different funeral home for my mother in later years & videotape recording was paid for by myself for my mother's funeral home service).

(Then, as long as I was on the phone with a funeral home): Taking into account the claims stated here originally by Steel Dragon, I asked how typical it is that cemeteries, after a span of time (e.g., 100 years, 150 years, 200 years,or after whatever other time span) exhume the contents of coffins and place them into a common or mass grave or dispose of them or incinerate them (as Steel Dragon claimed) . . . for, by that time, it is likely that no surviving relatives or loved ones or friends of the deceased will be visiting the final resting place of the deceased anymore. And I also asked what does a cemetery do for monetary income when all its possible spots are filled up. The funeral home representative said that cemeteries are required to maintain a maintenance fund (or perhaps it can be called a perpetual maintenance fund) to maintain their cemetery grounds and its contents perpetually.

Shall we take it for granted that the funeral home representative's statements about cemetery practices regarding this matter are correct or not? (at least about all cemeteries in the United States or Canada? or what about other nations as well?) I would imagine that in Europe (for instance), where land area is so scarce compared to the North American continent, full-body burials are rarely available and very expensive and hence most people go for cremation and, if they have the cremains interred in a cemetery at all (rather than having them scattered or saving the cremains themselves), the cremains are is just interred in a small container in a tiny space in a cremains vault or mausoleum crypt or columbarium wall (or else people choose to have their cremains scattered whereever).

What are your thoughts of this funeral home representative's claims regarding this matter? Do you deem his claim to be universally or near-universally true or not?
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:01 PM
 
2,415 posts, read 2,431,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsAll View Post
Just yesterday, I called the funeral home that was used for my father years ago to ask if, at that time, the funeral home offered film or videotape recording or else audio-only recording of the funeral home service (and then, if so, if it is possible that my mother had paid for such recording services to be done for my father). They said such recording services were not offered at that time and are not offered now by them (yet I used a different funeral home for my mother in later years & videotape recording was paid for by myself for my mother's funeral home service).

(Then, as long as I was on the phone with a funeral home): Taking into account the claims stated here originally by Steel Dragon, I asked how typical it is that cemeteries, after a span of time (e.g., 100 years, 150 years, 200 years,or after whatever other time span) exhume the contents of coffins and place them into a common or mass grave or dispose of them or incinerate them (as Steel Dragon claimed) . . . for, by that time, it is likely that no surviving relatives or loved ones or friends of the deceased will be visiting the final resting place of the deceased anymore. And I also asked what does a cemetery do for monetary income when all its possible spots are filled up. The funeral home representative said that cemeteries are required to maintain a maintenance fund (or perhaps it can be called a perpetual maintenance fund) to maintain their cemetery grounds and its contents perpetually.

Shall we take it for granted that the funeral home representative's statements about cemetery practices regarding this matter are correct or not? (at least about all cemeteries in the United States or Canada? or what about other nations as well?) I would imagine that in Europe (for instance), where land area is so scarce compared to the North American continent, full-body burials are rarely available and very expensive and hence most people go for cremation and, if they have the cremains interred in a cemetery at all (rather than having them scattered or saving the cremains themselves), the cremains are is just interred in a small container in a tiny space in a cremains vault or mausoleum crypt or columbarium wall (or else people choose to have their cremains scattered whereever).

What are your thoughts of this funeral home representative's claims regarding this matter? Do you deem his claim to be universally or near-universally true or not?

(As a clarification of my posting located immediately above this posting): As to the question asked of the funeral home representative about whether cemeteries, after a span of time (e.g., 100 years, 150 years, 200 years,,or after whatever other time span) exhume the contents of coffins and place them into a common or mass grave or dispose of them or incinerate them (so that they can make more room for new bodies or remains), the representative said that he never heard of any cemeteries engaging "legally" in such a practice. As a followup question to clarify, I asked him "Then what do cemeteries do to assure their regular and sufficient income flow after all its possible spots have been taken and there is no more room to take any other deceased persons' remains?" The funeral home representative's response was that cemeteries are required to maintain a maintenance fund (or perhaps it can be called a perpetual maintenance fund) to maintain their cemetery grounds and its contents perpetually.

This is a more fuller and clarified posting of what questions were asked of him, how they were phrased, and how he answered the questions. So do you deem his claims to be valid at least for the United States? What about Canada? What about various other nations of the world? That is, do they ALL have laws requiring cemeteries to maintain a maintenance fund (or perhaps it can be called a perpetual maintenance fund) to maintain their cemetery grounds and its contents perpetually? Or which nations do and which nations don't? Or, in the United States and Canada (for instance), does it vary from state-to-state or from province-to-province?
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,144 posts, read 18,604,845 times
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I do not see why the corpse is necessary for any sort of honoring or remembering a deceased loved one. If everyone had my attitude, dead bodies would be a municipal responsibility with a city disposal service which comes, picks up the corpse and that is the last anyone sees of it.

Memorial gatherings may still be held, monuments, if thought necessary, may still be erected, all the things associated with mourning may still prevail save the burial/cremation stuff.

I'm confident that I will be past caring what happens to my body after I die. Lying in state in the US Capitol Rotunda, or fed into a wood chipper, I'll never know. No one will be able to please or insult me with the way that it is handled, so my post corporal instructions are no instructions whatsoever. Do as you please, its your party, not mine.

So, in answer to the OP, I've no interest in visiting graves or having one of my own.
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