All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

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I probably shouldn’t do this. It’s against my better judgment. After all, my philosophy is “you do you and I’ll do me.” So I’d be better off just keeping my mouth shut and minding my own business.

I also suggest, should you decide to take a moment and continue reading this post, that you lower your expectations, since I have no special qualifications or knowledge on the subject matter. I am merely expressing my opinion.

So what, exactly, is the subject matter? No biggie. Just the purpose of life is all.

I read a blog post earlier today in which the blogger wrote, “the reason for life is for God to know me, love me, and serve me.” Then the blogger said that our life’s purpose, our mission, is “to know, love, and serve God in this life so we will be happy with Him in Eternity.”

Now I’m not being critical of this blogger for her beliefs. Hey, whatever floats your boat, you know. But what she wrote did confuse me. The two statements seem contradictory to me. Is the purpose of life to let God know, love, and serve us? Or is it for us to know, love, and serve God? Which is it? Or is it both?

The blogger also can’t understand why anyone would fear death, because death is what allows us to be happy with God for eternity. Death, the blogger contends, is life changed, not life taken away.

I think the blogger has a point. Why bother fearing death if the sole purpose of life is to “be happy with God for eternity” and death brings you closer to it?

You see, this is why I’m an atheist. I believe that death is the end, that there is no afterlife, no eternity to be spent at the right hand of God. So I want to live my life to the fullest because death, I believe, is life taken away.

The blogger ended her post by writing, “The atheist reasoning best explained from an epitaph etched on a gravestone. ‘All dressed up and no place to go.’”

Yes, I agree with that. When it comes to death, the end is not a new beginning. It’s just the end and there is no place else to go.


Written for today’s Your Daily Word Prompt, “qualification,” for the Word of the Day Challenge, “expectation,” and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “moment.”

26 thoughts on “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

  1. Marilyn Armstrong July 28, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    I am very happy knowing that I have no idea what will happen when I die. The ONE thing i am sure of is that I won’t be HERE.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Jordan July 28, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    Good post Fandango. While I do believe in afterlife, I agree that none of us can really say or know anything beyond conscious awareness.
    Therefore, I support you and think it is wrong for someone who believes in an afterlife judge those who do not. Afterall what is the point of supposed enlightenment if a person still harbors judgment or pettiness? Odd she should just move on!! Don’t RIP quite yet Fandango, I am enjoying your posts!!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor July 28, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I hope that this is not TMI, but I have no place to go, so I never even bother getting dressed.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Sue Vincent July 28, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Atheist or not…and I’m not… I’d be confused at that one too!
    Laugh, love, cry, experience life! If there is nothing after this, it would be an awful waste not to. And if we are part of some bigger picture, I’m pretty certain there is a reason for humanity’s incarnate existence… so it would be a waste not to make the most of it for divinity’s sake too.
    I do believe there is some kind of continued existence after this one… and I’d hate to arrive there full of regrets and thinking, ‘Oh bugger’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 28, 2018 / 5:17 pm

      I don’t think there is one answer on the meaning or purpose of life. I just believe in making the most of it because I think this is the only life we have and when it’s over, it’s over.

      Like

      • Sue Vincent July 28, 2018 / 10:59 pm

        I’m a firm believer in there being a purpose to life… not that we can be certain of knowing what it is…. but I also believe that this life is the only one where ‘I’ will be ‘me’… and I rather enjoy this body’s possibilities 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Paula Light July 28, 2018 / 4:15 pm

    I am weird about this, I readily confess. Total atheist, don’t believe in any supernatural. Yet, I have very flexible ideas, at times, what “natural” might mean… and i often talk to my deceased mom and “God” or whatever. I don’t believe anything further happens after death or that there’s any type of soul separate from our physical selves. That doesn’t stop me however from jabbering on about such things in poetry and other writing because it helps to express and explain certain types of emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. theministryofshrawleywalks July 28, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    I agree, the end is the end, My remains may well make a contribution to someone’s allotment compost ultimately, but my mind which is created in my brain will cease to exist as my brain will cease to work.
    Hey the great thing about this earth is we are all allowed to believe in what we want and there shouldn’t be any problem with that. As far as I’m concerned you can believe in Jack Frost, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, whatever. Live and let live!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Richmond Road July 29, 2018 / 12:06 am

    A strong belief in Santa Claus is all that you really need. He provides hope and a reason to forge on for another year. And He knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. pgraysurvival July 29, 2018 / 1:36 am

    Yep, you die and the body either rots underground or gets added to the roses.

    As for the afterlife? There everything goes a bit grey for me.

    Nature never wastes anything and inside of everyone is ‘the spark of life’.
    It’s actually got a value. In Volts, Amps, and thus power.

    Some brainy person did tell me once how much but I’ve forgotten what was said.
    Probably because I’m getting old.

    Still I favour the notion that the spark gets recycled into something that needs it.
    As said, nature doesn’t waste anything. Only man does that.

    As for heaven, hell, and whatever?
    I lost my chance to get into Valhalla years ago.
    Medical science brought me back darn it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 29, 2018 / 7:34 am

      “The spark of life.” I suppose it’s comforting to believe that whatever spark of life we have inside will continue on in some way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Christine Goodnough July 29, 2018 / 7:19 am

    Read your post and all the following comments and found it all really interesting. Likely no one wants me to spout my beliefs, but I’ll leave a few thoughts, for what they’re worth:

    IF, as some believe, there really is an Eternity and an all-wise Creator/God who dwells there —if there is a final judgement re: our earthly deeds — then I feel it’s impertinent or sarcastic to use the expression “All dressed up and nowhere to go.” If this is SERIOUS business, then let’s be serious about it.

    IF, as the blogger believes, God our Creator dwells in Heaven and wants us to serve him, then HE doesn’t serve US. I’m with you on that point. This may be a question of words, though. Assists, guides, or enables would be better choices.

    I do believe there’s a purpose to life. It isn’t “just whatever I feel like doing,” either. A well-meaning friend, rather confused on the issue, told me once, “Of course you’re doing what God wants you to do with your life. Otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it.” And I thought to myself, Hmm… If I were robbing banks for a living, selling drugs or embezzling company funds, would you say that same thing?”

    So often we hear, “JUDGE NOT.” True, no one can judge another’s relationship with their Supreme Being. But Jesus says, “By their fruits ye shall know them,” and society does judge by deeds. If a person is a pedophile, violent, or a scammer, we call his actions evil. In these days we’re led to sympathize with the bad guy, but if he robs YOUR bank and you lose YOUR life savings, you want him locked up pronto.

    I’m in agreement with you that we shouldn’t push others. I believe in respect and free speech. A person can say what they believe, but to pressure or condemn others — especially to force someone else under threat as some religions do is a no-no — and usually a lost cause in the end. Each person must chose for themselves.
    “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 29, 2018 / 7:51 am

      Thanks, Christine, for taking the time to comment. I am in no way condemning or criticizing those who believe in an “all-wise Creator/God.” If that helps get people through the day, then that’s good. I do wonder, though, about people who talk about “God’s will” or how “God works in mysterious ways” to explain all of the bad things that their beneficent God allows to happen. As you say, my role is not to judge others, but I find that, as an atheist, I am quite harshly judged by many of those who preach “judge not.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christine Goodnough July 29, 2018 / 8:39 am

        I find a lot of religious people, of whatever creed, tend to go with “God’s will” or “the will of Allah” or some mystic karma, to explain bad stuff. We all like to start with the assumption that the Creator, or Eternal One will naturally give everyone good stuff, if… choose from the following options:
        He could out-maneuver the devil and get it here;
        the recipients are good/deserving people;
        they, we, our friends, everyone will pray fervently enough.

        This thinking can be such a trap when some young father/mother is killed in an accident or some teen is lost to the drug world, etc.

        I think we go here because we NEED a reason that acquits us. Or perhaps a blanket coverage. This XX didn’t happen to me because I deserve it. (Not that the person does deserve bad stuff, but our subconscious immediately wants to assign guilt. If you’d only… ) We’d rather believe it’s caused by some other factor I can’t control.”

        Sometimes bad stuff is just life. A car accident, a sudden market crash, violence, etc. Sometimes it is our own “reward.” I expressed sympathy to my ex-bro-in-law after he broke up with my sister. He shrugged and said, “Things happen.” It’s easier than saying “I’m impossible to live with.” Since he’d been divorced twice before, he might do well to look into that angle. (I didn’t tell him that. His own conscience will.)

        As to your last statement, I’m truly sorry if others are judging you harshly. Beware of reading in a judgemental tone, though. It may not be. At times my conscience is niggling me about a certain attitude or deed I’ve done, so someone has to say just a few words and I feel sharply poked. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango July 29, 2018 / 9:12 am

          When I’m told I’m without a moral compass or that I’m condemned to eternal damnation or that I cannot be a good person if I don’t accept God or Jesus as my savior, I don’t think I’m reading or hearing in a judgmental tone. I think I’m being judged…harshly.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • Christine Goodnough July 29, 2018 / 12:41 pm

            True — that is a harsh judgement to hand out to someone. I hope that not a lot of zealous types have hit you so hard?

            And I suppose in some countries, if you didn’t subscribe to the religion/culture of the land, you might even be beaten and/or imprisoned.

            IMO, people who feel okay with themselves and who they are, satisfied with where they are and where they’re headed, generally won’t put others down. Religious or not, the kind of people who go around kicking dogs and condemning “different” others just aren’t happy with themselves or feel insecure unless everyone else is going the same way. Lot of folks who’ve just begun in a new path are both over-zealous and a bit insecure. Sadly, some “harden” in that position as the cement sets.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango July 29, 2018 / 1:43 pm

              I don’t really go around advertising that I’m an atheist, since I believe one’s beliefs are personal. But I find it disconcerting when some people find out that I don’t share their personal beliefs and begin thinking of me as flawed or immoral.

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Marleen July 29, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    I’ve always believed there is a future after. All very positive. Then my dad died; now it’s like it would all be pointless if there isn’t life after. (It’s been less than two years, and I think this has to change.)

    Anyway, it was a bit shocking to hear that someone said God serves her. Maybe it’s just strange semantics. Or maybe it’s the health and wealth t.v. mess. [I have no idea of the person who said it.]

    As for a moral compass, as per what we can observe in the world in front of our eyes (ears, senses), supposedly “believing” things that get people “into heaven” doesn’t seem to be a sure-fire entre.

    Liked by 1 person

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