"This is definitely that shows Greg's atheist feelings. He questions religious practices and how we feel toward the dead. He shows a contradiction in our society. According to Christianity, the dead are going to a better place called 'Heaven,' but we mourn them and wish they could still be with us--why do that? Is it, like Greg writes, that we 'are you churned by emotion from voices in [our] head[s] or scared of the logic that swirls within [our] head[s]?' Possibly. Greg goes on to say that maybe they are better off this torture called 'life' on a primitive Earth. But then again, life is the greatest treasure offered to us by the complex combinations of molecules made up of heavy elements, such as carbon, phosphorus, oxygen, and sulfur, made in supernovae explosions and a little of luck to form the right combination. Greg then makes a statement that I'm sure angered more than one religious person, 'in the end you may find there's no guiding subtle light, no ancestors or friends, no judge of wrong or right just eternal silence and dormancy and a final everlasting peace.' Most probably, but I don't want to ruin the Vatican's binge on the faithfuls' generous donations or the calm mind of the avid prayer. I can't make conclusions, as we're free to believe in whatever we want. I just hope you got the right answer, because I, as a scientific person, can't find a meaning to religions."
"Just to add on to Bad's idea... Greg also mentions to look at people who are living, and is almost saying why is dying such a bad thing, when someone is finally at peace?"
"Thanks, Blade. I appreciate your addition. I guess I forgot to write it in. Thanks again for reading my little interpretation."
"I think what Greg is saying in this song is that in this day and age, with the fighting and turmoil of the world, it may be better to just escape these troubles through death, than to deal with them in life. the statement that shows this is 'you see the disease, suffering and decay, and you whisper to yourself blissfully its ok, and you still refuse the possibility that the dead are better off than we. Who knows if this is what he was trying to express, we all have different opinions."
-The Headless Monkey
"I believe that when you observe all the pain and suffering in the world that causes death by starvation, disease or whatever it may be, you should not feel sorry for the lost individuals. On an individual basis, with death comes peace and they no longer suffer. I believe that the only thing that we should pity is the whole group's general direction in which they are heading, for if this pain and suffering was to never get better but only to worsen then that would be a pity. I think this is the message that Greg is trying to put across with this song. 'In the end you may find there's no guiding subtle light, no ancestors or friends, no judge of wrong or right just eternal silence and dormancy and a final everlasting peace.'"
"There's something else here that no one seems to have mentioned, so I'll briefly touch on it. Pity the Dead hints at how selfish we really are. If someone is a great guy, really friendly and made a lot of people smile, when he dies, they don't so much pity the guy who died as they do PITY THEMSELVES. Think about it, whenever you mourn the loss of a loved one, how do you think ''Jim'll never be able to see another sunrise...(or anything that they enjoyed)', and then erupt into tears? Never. You always think 'I'll never be able to see Jim smile again,' and the fact that YOU miss Jim, the fact that he'll never be able to make your day that much better, THAT'S what makes you burst into tears. It's totally different when someone eventually loses a long bout to a fatal disease. 'At least grandma won't suffer anymore...' They're not worried that grandma won't be able to do the things she loved, but suddenly they feel happy that she's able to rest. Our speech even revolves around the the survivor. 'WE LOST a loved one.' Not 'She died.'"
"The Song Pity the Dead is the one song that makes me want to break through my bonds and ignore those remarks from people who don't understand, when I'm feeling like the whole world is against me I go and find a song that fits my mood, through my searching I come a cross a song that seems to always give me a better attitude. To me it says that everybody has their pains and problems and most overcome them while the ones setback by depression are wallowing in self-pity."
"This has to be probably the most negative song in the world (not there is anything wrong with that) I know BR are quite negative, although it can be argued they are realistic, but this song basically says the world is so fucking horrible that 'the dead are better off than we.' sadly, its true."
"I'm not sure if anyone is going to find and read this post but I do have something to say. Firstly I'll give my interpretation of the lyrics: Graffin seems indeed to be showing his atheist feelings as pointed out by Bad, highlighted by the words 'in the end you may find there's no guiding subtle light, no ancestors or freinds, no judge of wrong or right' although using the word 'may' seems to be suggesting he is not definite on this point. I just thought that was an interesting point to raise. Anyway, what I would realy like to state is how there is a possible contradiction in the atheist view that a lot of people seem to miss. Bad Aeronaut mentioned he (or she, it's hard to tell from just writing lol) is not able to find a meaning to religion. While religion itself does not seem to be capable of much, may it be noted that if there <i>is</i> a God in whome one can trust (as stated by Christianity) then through faith in him problems can be endured. Take the legendary 'Jesus on the cross' thing, according to the gospels etc he was able to go through this suffering and pain only because God helped him to be able to do so. Therefore, there is pain and anguish as Graffin rightly points out, but those who believe and follow Christianity have a way to deal with it."