What if we cease to exist at physical death? Being mortal with no soul and there is no afterlife. It is the same as never existing in the first place. In my opinion, thinking the preceding in deep thought while alone with one having no hope of the possibility of an afterlife (along with a second part to it which I will not mention as it would not be right to give some people this needless apprehension) is the most unsettling thought there is. Needing to know and to the extent one needs to know all depends on the individual and the animal they are.
∙ Life after death can neither be proved nor disproved. This is because one would have to undergo physical death in order to prove or disprove it (and by its very nature, disproving it would not be possible). This is in contrast to something like astrology where one could undertake a study of people born at the same time and evaluate their personality traits and life outcomes at a later time to see if there is any correlation with time of birth.
There is no actual direct evidence against an afterlife - only arguments refuting the specific examples of evidence for life after death as not being sufficient proof. Although it can easily be argued that not having direct knowledge of an afterlife constitutes evidence against life after death. Life after death cannot be disproven; only the evidence in its favour can be scrutinized and rational non-believers are left to make the conclusion that life after death cannot be proven.
∙ It is hard to imagine any species (ie. mankind) would reach such a high level of consciousness of our own existence if it were all to end with this life. There is no evolutionary advantage or biological need for this. For a mortal life here on earth, the human mind is much more advanced than necessary.
Possibly we have reached such a state of consciousness, because there is a continuum to this life after this one ends? Just being conscious of our existence suggests that there may be an afterlife. Why else would we be aware of our mortality or be concerned with life after death? Possibly we can only fathom we could cease to exist because we never will cease to exist? In fact, awareness of our mortality or immortality and what it means goes beyond the awareness you exist (consciousness). Having a soul can explain consciousness, but if we do not possess souls, then how do we account for consciousness?
If it so happens that ones existence can end at any time and is not everlasting, it makes ones existence pointless in the first place and really, the ultimate form of cruelty.
∙ Why life? There is no scientific reason for the existence of life. The universe doesn't care if there is life in it - it does not benefit from it. Yet life, and especially more advanced life with consciousness like us humans, came about. A 'driving force' in the universe behind it that made it all happen would make some sense of it all. Many would...