Now, back to our regularly scheduled atheist programming…
You know what I miss from religion? Rituals. Ceremonies. Pump and circumstance and all that.
Religions all have pre-scripted ceremonies for most of life’s important events.
Births are celebrated with baptisms. What do you do if you’re an atheist? Throw a “meet our baby” party? Having any kind of formal ceremony looks silly.
Then there’s marriage. You can get a civil marriage, but it’s performed at the court house or at city hall in a little room with neon lighting and beige carpeting. You can play a tape cassette on a boom box for “ambiance.” It definitely lacks something. At least compared to a marriage in a large church or cathedral. The judge reads the relevant passages from whatever regional laws apply. Nothing about the wife owing obedience or anything like that. It’s pretty sucky.
Funerals. Not as much of a problem for the atheist, as if he’s the one who’s dead, well he’s gone and that’s it. But for your loved one who get to dispose of your rotting carcass, what are they to do with it? A short stay at the funeral home? Maybe. People will by flower for your corpse and comment on how nice they’ve made you look. More annoyingly, they’ll comment on how you’re in a much better place now. Really? How’bout we trade places then, ok?
But I digress. After the funeral home, you can’t really get “a service”. Again, all the ceremony and ritual is missing.
I guess the best bet is incineration and followed by flushing the ashes down the toilet.
My problem with that is that I always wanted to get a tombstone. I’d so love to have one that said “Please do not resuscitate.”