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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  10:37:02  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1)What to you think about funerals in general?

2)What to you think about the funeral industry in America?



1)I think the whole thing is kind of bizarre. Displaying dead bodies, burying them in elaborate coffins. It's all very strange to me....always has been.

2)I think it's an F'ing shame. Praying on the weak and needy much like a psychic talking to dead loved ones. The fee's are outrageous even when talking about cremation.

I don't really understand the whole process. People talk about "laying them to rest" and "having closure"

I guess I do understand the "paying your respects" if they were a respectable individual. And I understand the supporting of the loved ones who are grieving. But all of that can be accomplished at a favorite pub or restaurant....or even your house. No need for an elaborate ceremony...IMHO.



I have already willed that my body be donated to science. I told my wife to go shopping and have fun with the money she saves.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  10:59:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You were expecting religion to make sense?


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  11:02:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I told my family they could dump me in the woods, they did not take it well, so I settled for a no-view creamation and a promise that any attempt to religify my wake/death be dealt with harshly. (this includes little flower cards with crosses on them) I had to threaten my Mormon friend with the desecration of his family's graves to prevent him from doing a post-mortem baptismal on me.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26000 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  11:22:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by astropin

2)I think it's an F'ing shame. Praying on the weak and needy much like a psychic talking to dead loved ones. The fee's are outrageous even when talking about cremation.
When a friend of mine's dad died, her sister insisted on a viewing. So, the funeral director started talking about how they wanted their dad dressed. The subject of underwear came up, and the director offered a pair of boxers for $400. That's where my friend drew the line. "Dad will be going commando," she said.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  11:58:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quick cremation, ashes scattered, no services unless the bikers want to party.

The funeral & mortuary industry is an obscenity.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 08/27/2009 12:00:18
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  12:08:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When people who can afford it decide to spend a ton of money as part of the mourning process, that's their business and they shouldn't be judged for it. People spend all kinds of insane amounts of money on silly stuff that they just happen to personally like, so why shouldn't they spend money in silly ways when their loved ones die if they want to? $400.00 for a pair of boxers is outrageous by any standards, but keep in mind that the money goes to people making a living. Funeral directors and people who run companies who make expensive specialty items for funerals don't typically live in obscenely opulent mansions. People who produce luxury items and who direct special events have a right to make a living too.

If someone pays for a luxurious funeral on credit when they can't afford it, they are being a foolish consumer. I kind of get sick of this always blaming the salesman stuff. If the salesman is actually using deception, that is and should be illegal and it is certainly unethical. But simply offering expensive items and services to people who are mourning isn't unethical. I imagine some people in the funeral business do attempt to play on peoples' vulnerabilities during the sales pitch, such as trying to make them feel guilty if they don't buy the most expensive stuff, and that indeed would be a very shitty thing to do. But to complain about the whole industry and talk about people in the industry as if they are all like that is just making assumptions based on personal preferences.

Grieving is a highly personal thing which depends on the lifestyle and culture of the person who died and the people left behind to mourn. Lots of people expect and take great comfort in traditions. I'm not usually into the traditional funeral, but had my Grandma Fran been mourned any other way it would have felt wrong. I cherish the memories of her viewing, funeral service, and the reception afterward. It has nothing to do with religion - I'm not sure why that was even mentioned as a culprit here. The things which cost so much money (such as coffins, embalming or cremation, space and catering for viewings, wakes, and receptions) are mostly things which are completely secular.

I provides services as a Humanist celebrant and I have officiated a funeral. And I do charge for that service because it is work on my part and people should be paid for their work. I've only officiated one funeral so far (I think many atheists just put together their own casual memorial services or follow religious family traditions) but I assume the reason the family hired me was because they wanted someone who shared their worldview (and the worldview of the deceased) but who wasn't so close to the deceased to plan a nice, appropriate ceremony script so they had less to do while they were grieving. They also paid a funeral director and had a hall, sent out invites, and did it all on an affordable budget and it was lovely and I think quite comforting to everyone involved. I don't think most people spend obscene amounts of money on funerals. Most people spend what they can afford.

I personally side with most of you guys - I want my body donated to science and I just want my friends and family to plan a nice, tasteful memorial service so they can mourn me in a way which is supportive of each other and which modestly celebrates my life.

However, my husband (also an atheist) insists that if he doesn't get into space before he dies (which he figures he probably won't) he wants his ashes shot into space. I used to think he was joking until one day I made it clear that I thought he was joking. He got really upset - hurt, really. He had been dead serious. These were his final wishes and they were really important to him, despite the high cost. (I guess he's looked into this and some people do have it done and one doesn't need to be a millionaire. I haven't researched it myself.) So now I've promised him that I will have him cremated and keep his ashes and do my best to find a way to have some part of his physical remains shot into space.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  12:29:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh and I forgot, I will most certainly NOT be donating any part of my body to science or medicine. The silly idea that we have the right to live for as long as possible is obscene IMO. The unchecked artifical extension of human life is destroying this planet. And yes I have a DNR card and would refuse life extending treatments.

Edit: If the Psychic Contest winner fails to get his/her prizes, that is a good sign that my quest to commit suicide by daily bacon was successful.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 08/27/2009 12:32:02
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  13:41:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Oh and I forgot, I will most certainly NOT be donating any part of my body to science or medicine. The silly idea that we have the right to live for as long as possible is obscene IMO.

What about quality of life though? Science and medicine are not exclusively about extending lifespan. What if your cadaver gave some aspiring young scientist the insight needed to eliminate diabetes, or degenerative muscle wasting diseases, or something like that?



The unchecked artifical extension of human life is destroying this planet.

I disagree with your premise that we don't have the right to live as long as we want, and would like to see some evidence linking life extension to ecological damage.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  14:15:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Quick cremation, ashes scattered, no services unless the bikers want to party.

The funeral & mortuary industry is an obscenity.






Agree and have that in my living will (minus the bikers as I do not know any)

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  18:26:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After being harvested for any useful organs, I'd like the rest of my carcass to be weighted down with rocks and dumped into the ocean to become fish and crab food. If that's not practical, a simple cremation will suffice. Whatever's cheapest.

Funerals are for survivors. Though I'll make it clear that I want no religion, deities, prayer or woo-woo involved (and expect my family will honor those wishes), they really are free to do anything they like, and it'll cause me no injury.

I'd like my survivors to lift glasses of wine and tell a few stories and jokes about me at my expense. I hope they'll laugh at my memory more than they'll cry for me.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  18:42:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After the memorial service for one of my wife's relatives, where the preacher prattled on about how Fred was now partying with the angels, and I had to restrain myself from repeatedly coughing "BULLSHIT", I told my wife that I didn't want any religious nonsense within a half mile of my funeral. And further, that if possible, I would like a party at a golf course, where I would be propped up with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other, while the guests would enjoy food and drink. After that, have me cremated and the ashes scattered in a sand trap where I could be of service to the living.

The $400 underwear reminded me of one of the reasons we decided to get married on the beach in St. Thomas rather than have a traditional ceremony. I could get a limo to take me to the airport and pick me up, close to an hour drive each way, for under $100. But as soon as the limo companies heard "wedding", it was $400+ to go 15 minutes across town. Screw that. We had a wedding and honeymoon, and were wed in a setting that would put any church to shame, for less than the traditional wedding would have cost. When we got back we had a party with a great band, open bar, and fantastic food with the money we saved.

To each his or her own, but I can't imagine a more depressing affair than the typical wake/funeral most people are subjected to.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  20:40:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BPS wrote:
The unchecked artifical extension of human life is destroying this planet.
The worldwide average human lifespan hasn't increased all that much over the years. What has increased dramatically is our sheer numbers. Also hurtful to maintaining the current state of the planet (the planet itself is in no danger) are human methods of food production - particularly for affluent human societies - which are highly inefficient and wasteful with regards to the environment.

Again, the planet is in no danger. It is the current conditions of the planet which are being changed. Specifically, the concern is that they are being changed in a way which will not be able to support the current lifeforms, particularly us. Seems to me that what we need to do is first, admit that we're worried about human survival, not the survival of the planet. Second, put ourselves to the task of reducing birth rates while increasing the quality of life for the people already here. And third, develop and promote lifestyles and customs which are sustainable with regards to the earth's resources.

Donating one's body to science simply increases potential of knowledge that scientists can discover and pass on. I fail to see how that is in any way potentially damaging to the planet.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 08/27/2009 20:42:26
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26000 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  21:43:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by R.Wreck

And further, that if possible, I would like a party at a golf course, where I would be propped up with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other, while the guests would enjoy food and drink.
My wife doesn't want any sort of viewing. She made me promise that if any of her family insist on a viewing, that I would rig her corpse so that at random times it would sit upright in the coffin, and say, "don't I look natural?"

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  22:12:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Oh and I forgot, I will most certainly NOT be donating any part of my body to science or medicine. The silly idea that we have the right to live for as long as possible is obscene IMO. The unchecked artifical extension of human life is destroying this planet. And yes I have a DNR card and would refuse life extending treatments.



I don't think I understand this post at all.

My PRIMARY goal is to live as long as possible by any means available.

The same technologies that will enable extremely long lifespans will also take on any ecological issues that exist.

Seems pretty clear at this point that advanced nanotechnology holds most of the promise in this area. Not only could it extend life spans tremendously it could also solve any remaining disease, pollution, hunger & population/living space issues.

Of course any technology that powerful could also destroy us in a blink.....such is the nature of such things.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2009 :  01:48:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used to work for an old TV repairman when I was a kid. He'd often say to me, "just pound me down with a telephone pole when I die." Don't know if he had a funeral or not.

In an unrelated story, my son and a group of friends got in trouble in his high school years for throwing beer bottles at cemetery stones. One of them managed to hit a stone valued at $40,000 and did some minor damage to the picture that was engraved into the stone. My net worth has yet to reach $40,000.

I don't have much patience for most of the money wasted on churches, Christmas or dead people.

Burn me and forget me. If it's not a health hazard to anyone, let me be buzzard food.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 08/28/2009 :  02:30:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gorgo wrote:

I don't have much patience for most of the money wasted on churches, Christmas or dead people.
Again, the money spent isn't for the dead people. It is for the mourners. And seeing as they're the ones making the decision to spend the money, I don't see why they should give a damn what other people think.

If we are going to get judgmental about the money people spend to commemorating their loved ones who have passed on, then why aren't we getting judgmental about other forms of excessive spending by people of above-average means on things such as expensive clothing and accessories? Nobody needs a three thousand dollar suit or hand bag. Nobody needs a $400. haircut. But people do spend that sort of money on themselves, and I don't hear anybody complaining that the sales people are taking advantage.

This isn't comparable to spending money on religion or other woo because in those cases the "product" doesn't actually exist. But coffins and $400.00 underwear do exist. And I challenge anyone who judges those who spend money on those things to demonstrate that they've never spent money in a way that would have seemed silly and wasteful to others.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 08/28/2009 02:31:46
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