There are no atheists on their death bed.
As a humanist (atheist), I have heard this comment more times than I can count. In fact, it was said to me earlier today. I want to share an experience of mine that debunks this myth.
I had an acute pancreatitis attack in March 2017. Due to other pre-existing conditions, my body was unable to fight all that was going on in my body and my organs were starting to shut down starting with my kidneys and liver.
An MRI showed that about 25% of my pancreas was permanently damaged from the acute attack, my right kidney was only 10% of its normal size and that my left kidney had over 50 kidney stones in it.
I was in bad shape. The surgeon told my wife that I only had a 20% chance of making it through the emergency surgery on my pancreas and kidney.
I made it through the surgery and I was in the Intensive Care Unit for 10 days. The first 4 days were touch and go. During these 4 days, I had ample opportunity to understand my proximity to death.
Never once did I ever consider turning to a god — any god — for help. I was at total peace knowing that I was most likely going to die … just like every other living thing on Earth. I had lived a full life. I was ready to die.
I had treated others with respect and did my best to help those in need of empathy, compassion and support. I lived my life to make every day count because I knew there is no such thing as a hereafter in which one is rewarded or punished based on the life they lived. I knew I had to make this one life matter.
As it turned out, I didn’t die. I was released from the hospital 14 days from the day I went in. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity for my humanist (atheist) belief to be tested and confirmed.
“Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.”
– Penn Jillette
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