Unrelated, but really cool. And really real.
My own personal feeling on death is that you die, and that's it. It's an end. There's no afterlife, no haunting people, no heaven, no hell. I don't fear this, because there's to fear in this idea. Does anyone think a rock is afraid of it's fate? Because if I'm right, you have as much awareness as a rock after you die.
I am aware that I may be somewhat influenced by my own chronic pain in this belief. I've been in pain for so long I can't remember not being in pain. Actually, I can't imagine not being in pain. If I woke up tomorrow not in pain, not any, not at all, I'd probably be so freaked out I'd start screaming and need a serious amount of Ativan to stop.
So it's probably not possible for me to picture eternity with any happiness, but that's not what makes me think death is an end. I think death is an end because there's no evidence otherwise. There's no scientific, verifiable, falsifiable evidence of continuation of consciousness after physical death. There's lots of stories about it. Every culture has or had at least one. But preponderance of fanciful tales is not truth. There's innumerable tales about vampiric and werewolfian creatures, too, and I don't often run into people trying to get me to join their vampire worshipping club.
I have been accused of believing death is an end because I want to. Because of my physical pain. Because I don't want to believe in hell, therefore I reject any afterlife at all. That's not true.
I'd like to believe in an afterlife. It would be nice to think that all the people I love, all the people I admire, all the good people in the world get to hang out in paradise forever. That would be awesome, for a while anyone. I think boredom would set in fairly quickly, but that's just me.
I'd like to be wrong about this. I'd like to die and find myself at the Pearly Gates, and there's the Slacktivist (I think he's older than me, so I'm not wishing him dead before his time) and we meet and have a good laugh about my atheism being proven wrong so dramatically. And then we go play Dance Central with Moses and Socrates.
That'd be cool. But just because something would be cool doesn't make it true. Nor does wanting something to be true make it true.