We were interviewed by media site SIX-SIX with regards to atheist views on death and rituals, as part of a longer article on different religious views towards death.
Here’s the interview:
So, what does death mean to an atheist?
Zheng Huifen, the Vice-President of the Humanist Society (Singapore) says, “As the Humanist Society (Singapore) is an umbrella body for atheists, agnostics and other like-minded people — we do not speak only for atheists but also for agnostics and other types of people who do not belong to any organised religion.”
Zheng says, “Death means the end of physical life, one ceases to exist. However, the person’s memory continues to live on with his/her family, loved ones, friends. The person’s legacy may also continue to exist in the form of good work she/he has done in her/his lifetime.”
She adds, “Because humanists do not believe in afterlife, most humanists believe in living this one life to the fullest. We do not make decisions on the premise that we will get returns in afterlife, or that there will be a second chance after death to correct our mistakes.”
The atheists don’t believe in the concept of a ‘soul’. There is the belief that this is the one life we have on this planet.
When asked about who are the people involved in the humanist’s death rituals and why, Zheng says “Singapore has a small number of trained celebrants, who we would be happy to help put in touch with if required. We have also compiled this list of non-religious funeral packages: http://humanist.org.sg/non-religious-funerals/.”