Why do people worry about the meaning of life and what happens to them after death?
The weakening of religious beliefs changed man’s outlook concerning his idea of death and its significance. Increasingly, the focus switched to life ‘here and now’ as man became more preoccupied with the material side of the world at the expense of the spiritual.
I amazed how much time is spent on these two points, but no one asks or worries about pre-birth, where or what was I before my birth, everyone seems happy to accept they didn't exist before birth but can't comprehend you just stop existing after death, making room for a new crop of humans to mess up the planet, and worry about the meaning of life rather than living it.
Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have - James Baldwin
Death has always been inevitable, but the idea that science will eventually conquer death has taken root—achieved through some combination of future technologies like nanotechnology, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Some think the possibility of technological immortality renders human life meaningless, others that life can only attain its full meaning if death is overcome.
But whatever view one takes about the relationship between death and meaning, the two are joined. If we had three arms or six fingers, our analysis of the meaning of life wouldn’t change; but if we didn’t die our analysis would be vastly different. If our concerns with annihilation vanished, a good part of what seems to undermine meaning would disappear. To understand the issue of the meaning of life, we must think about death.
Imagine a number of men in chains, all under sentence of death, some of whom are each day butchered in the sight of the others; those remaining see their own condition in that of their fellows and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is an image of the human condition. – Pascal
Facing one’s own death is radically different from being concerned with the death of others. My own death means the end of my possibilities, the total disintegration and the end of my world. The fear of my own death comes from the fear of my extinction as a human being. This causes me a great deal of anxiety. I may be able to face other people’s death but may find it virtually impossible to come to terms with my own death. Death is existentially significant when one perceives one’s existence in the light of Being, not if it is merely taken as an empirical event that will happen someday.
The aftermath narrative is not just a personal view, it is part of an organisation of power “so called RELIGION” attempting to prevent us from using our minds rationally. Denying the existence of an afterlife doesn't have to be about cowardice as opposed to courage – after all, everyone's going to make this journey one way or the other. And some of the many different visions of what the afterlife might be like may be more reasonable and more persuasive than others.