I just know for me myself, I could not be happy in having no hope for life after this one. I would be terrified of death.
See, this I can understand. You've now given me something to work with. Thank you.
Check this out:
Sit and examine yourself. Your intelligent, self aware, and probably productive in some fashion. At some level, your creative, maybe with artistic ability, but most definitely imagination. But of these things, its self awareness that is the greatest curse man has. Because with that, comes the knowledge of death. Sooner or later, your going to die. And when it comes down to it, no one wants to. Why? Because no one knows, definitively, what happens after. In steps religion, with the claim of an answer. Religion is the same as the pursuit of easy, great wealth. Most people desire something easier and more valuable than what they have. Con men know this, and exploit people around the world daily. Ever been part of a pyramid scheme? Bet you know someone who has. Would you eat the ground up arm of an albino woman if it would bring you great wealth and power? Probably not. But right now, in Africa, there are people cutting off the limbs of albino people and selling them to witch doctors, who in turn make potions that supposedly will bring great wealth if consumed. Religious voodoo in practice today. In Christianity, it’s the same thing. Believe in a book, and all its magical stories, combined with following the rules written in the book, (and of course pay the required bills on time) and you get a fat juicy reward: a glorious place in the afterlife, even though we cant prove it exists. Religions prey on this daily. it’s a trillion dollar business. Look at Vatican city. How much did all those priceless works of art cost the average person afraid of dying? People want more. Its our nature. And we will do just about anything to get it. The problem with man is, we are men. We are all capable of lying, but we always want to believe others tell the truth, especially if its something we really want to hear. Like, there’s a magical place in heaven for you, for example. What does man want? IMMORTALITY. Where can I get it? Religion.
You're going to die, just like every other person who was lucky enough to have been born. Once you're dead, it will no more bother you than how you were bothered before you were born.
With time, this won't terrify you at all. It will probably give more meaning to your current life, the only one you've got.
Until then, I can admit that creating a useful, hopeful idea of future bliss is an appealing thing -- if you TRULY can convince yourself that it's true.