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I won’t be working on the section on death for a few weeks yet, but it’s time to start mining your heads.

My feeling about death is pretty straightforward: I’m opposed to it. I’ve pretty much mastered it intellectually, but emotionally I’m still not a fan. Natural selection will keep me at least somewhat skittish until I get there, at which point I’ll relax completely. Engaging the insights of my fellow bits of temporarily animated carbon has helped put it in perspective for me, even bringing out the beauty and poetry of it.


Q: What ideas or ways of thinking about death have been interesting, thought-provoking, intriguing, helpful, and/or comforting to you?

Note that comfort is just one element here. As I wrote in Raising Freethinkers, “The most significant and profound thing about our existence is that it ends, rivaled only by the fact that it begins.” So tell me the best things you’ve thought about that profound fact, ya mortals.


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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.