Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

General discussions
Keithzworld
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:39 am

Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Keithzworld » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:58 am

I know a lot of Atheists I've talked with online, feel that it really doesn't matter since they will be dead.

But, personally I just don't want a Catholic burial, actually I don't really want to be buried at all. I feel that it would be an insult to my memory, regardless of me knowing it or not.

The fact here is, I will soon be leaving the Catholic Church entirely (I have my reasons) and a big part of that will include me not having the right to a Catholic burial regardless to whether I want one or not.

I have also been considering donating my body (or at least my organs) to science or scientific research on the event of my death, however some people have been saying that even if I do donate my organs to a hospital or collage, the body will still be returned to my family to dispose of; which still leaves me with somewhat of a dilemma.

I would also be open to the idea of having my body cremated, proving it isn't performed in any form of religious ceremony, I'm not sure if that is even possible.

Anything you can suggest for me?
HylandPaddy
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Co. Donegal

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by HylandPaddy » Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:56 am

Why don’t you donate your body to one of those body farms? They study the decomposition of human cadavers in various physical conditions and study the type of insects, bacteria etc. that are attracted to the rotting corpse. It helps date how long a body has been lying for, you never know you might just provide the knowledge to catch a serial killer! Or you could try burial at sea, as long as you comply with environmental standards that is.

My personnel choice is, after I die, they remove all my internal organs and replace them with popcorn kernels then I would get cremated. I would just do it, to see the faces of the people attending the ceremony.

I was just thinking recently how you would go about setting up your own graveyard, I presume you need some kind of licence. Because in ultra-modern Donegal there’s not much choice.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/nort ... 588035.stm
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Ygern » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:45 pm

The Humanist Association of Ireland performs secular services, you can contact them on their website here or by phone (number listed on website too)
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
NorthOfTheBorder
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:36 pm
Location: Co. Armagh

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by NorthOfTheBorder » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:24 am

Personally I'd prefer cremation when the time comes. I don't like the thought of leaving a grave in case it became a focus for grieving or moping amongst family & friends. Once I'm dead I want whoever I leave behind to get on with their lives and not feel obliged to visit some piece of stone or be gardeners/caretakers for a particular piece of ground (can you tell I never liked cemetery sundays as a child?). I say send me up in smoke and then scatter the ashes to the wind or waves. I have some sympathy for the option of donating my body for scientific purposes, but I think I'd rather be sure of its timely destruction in circumstances that I dictate.
“I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”

Richard Feynman on doubt,uncertainty and religion
Feardorcha
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1266
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Feardorcha » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:39 pm

I was associated with an organisation back in the 1980s called The Campaign for Non-Religious Funerals.

It came into being following some nasty goings-on in graveyards where rival factions of the bereaved josled each other and even got priests to follow the coffin and spray it with holy water. There was one case, as I recall, where the hearse was hi-jacked and a high-speed chase ensued.

This was in the pre-divorce era when there could be rival 'partners' fighting for the mortal remains.

Anyway, the C for NRF took legal advice and received two options from an eminent solicitor in family law: "Simply direct your executor to have a non-religious service and the other is to make sure that one of the beneficaries arranges the service and if they don't, they won't be beneficiaries...."
"I think the word funeral includes both burial and cremation but knowing the deviousness of the Catholic Church, unless people specifically say burial, funeral and cremation, using these exact words, I feel a way can be got around it."


The other thing to do, just to be sure, to be sure, is to inform the beneficiary in question of the condition in your will, as wills are not read until after the funeral.

WARNING: The making of a will cancels all previous wills and all conditions of all previous wills, so if you have a will at the moment you would have to do the whole thing over again.
If so, let me know and I'll send the actual wording in legaleze with all the whereofs and whyfors, and I won't charge you a single guinea.
Beebub
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1014
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:22 pm

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Beebub » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:33 pm

It reminds me of a corney joke...

What happened at the Atheist's funeral?

He was all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Ygern » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:40 pm

Bet that has 'em rolling in the aisles :p

That of course sums up the whole problem with funerals, particularly religious ones. It's not about the person who has died, it's about those left behind and how they are to deal with the loss of a loved one.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
thegalwegian
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:26 am

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by thegalwegian » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:32 am

HylandPaddy wrote:My personnel choice is, after I die, they remove all my internal organs and replace them with popcorn kernels then I would get cremated. I would just do it, to see the faces of the people attending the ceremony.
:lol: Love that one.

I also plan to donate my body to scientific research. Then cremation, followed by spreading the ashes anywhere suitable
as long as it isn´t a religious place. Anything else is for my family to decide, in what ever way they want to mourn is fine.
Keithzworld
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:39 am

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Keithzworld » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:32 am

Ygern wrote: It's not about the person who has died, it's about those left behind and how they are to deal with the loss of a loved one.

I would of thought that it is about honouring the life of the deceased person and tributing their life and honouring their memory? It is often referred to as a celebration of life, is it not?

Who's life? The deceased person's life, thought that was the whole point.
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: Non religious options for Atheist Memorials

Post by Ygern » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:06 pm

I think you kinda missed the point there... the person who has died will only be celebrated, honoured & remembered by those they have left behind.
The deceased may be the focal point, but the ceremony or memorial is actually for the bereaved friends & family - to comfort them, to give them support during a difficult time and to help to give them closure.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
Post Reply