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J. D. Brucker has written books about why Christian beliefs fail and why religion itself is a problem.

His latest book, though, is far more introspective. It’s called Facing Oblivion: Essays on Life, Death and Grieving from a Nonbeliever (Atheist Republic, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Brucker explains why the absence of an afterlife doesn’t damper his spirit:

As atheists, we don’t hold to wishful thinking. We formulate our understanding from the evidence that is presented against us. Faith is our enemy and facts are our friends. Nonbelievers and believers have something in common, though: We’re all facing oblivion. Whether we wish to accept it or not, we face death beginning the second we were conceived. It’s a sad, horrifying reality, that all of this will end for us one day. In a way, I’m happy that it does, though.

It puts my life into perspective whenever I think of it. I only have a limited time to live a fulfilling life. So, whenever I think of it, work becomes less stressful, books I read become more enjoyable, spending time with family becomes more important, and the kisses I share with my wife become much more passionate. You don’t have to fear death. You can face it with courage. Though one day your life will end, remember you had the opportunity to live in the first place. You got to experience the most amazing thing about being a human being.

Don’t live your life by someone else’s agenda. Do what makes you happy, not someone else. Only then will you understand what it means to be alive. And remember, most importantly, you’re never alone. We’re all taking this beautiful ride together.

Facing Oblivion is now available on Kindle.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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