I had no consciousness prior to my physical life, amazingly the world proceeded without me. It will do so again.
This view is a Christian one too. Matter is independent from us. Our minds does not creates matter like some New Age views. And we doesn't have previous lives before our conception.
I have had a general anaesthetic a few times. I suppose death will be exactly like that.
This peculiar situation (among others) when a soul is still attached to a neutralized body and is not free to leave it is called Limbo.
However I think this comment of yours is the real core of the debate. Unless life is eternal you find it hard to see that it is meaningful.
No. This life is unique. We'll never live like this again. This mortal life is exactly what will give meaning to eternal life. The eternal destiny will be defined based upon what we do in this mortal life.
Unless moral decisions are based in the character of an almighty god you see them as no more binding than a personal preference.
You then make an unnecessary leap into abyss of nihilism.
This is my opinion, by my own experience, I don't see how atheism doesn't leads to nihilism.
I do sympathise with your fears. Coming to terms with the provisional nature of our existence is not easy.
I see mortality as necessary.
The odds of our being here as individuals was astonishingly small. We won the biggest lottery imaginable the moment we were conceived. The speciality of our species was our large and complex brains, evolved for their ability to live in complex social groups using advanced language skills. We possess functions for empathy, compassion, justice and reciprocal altruism as well as guilt, disgust, fear, anger and revenge.
You make a distinction between Homo sapiens and the rest of the animal kingdom that is unwarranted. Ethologists have observed many of the functions that underpin our moral capacity in other species of social animals. Pre-human species left behind evidence that they were in any ways like us. They cared for their aged and sick and buried their dead with ritual. I could recommend some sources for you on that.
Still the gap is practically infinite, no other specie can produce knowledge that drastically changes the very environment or even goes outside the very environment responsible for evolution (like our space exploration).
Christians build their beliefs about humanity on unproven and unscientific dogmas that have some very negative moral consequences.
This is true to some interpretations of Christianity.
Prohibitions on stem cell research rests on an anti-scientific assertion about the zygote.
Non-scientific and not anti-scientific.
Laws about contraception have done immeasurable harm to the poorest societies on earth.
Are you referring to the spread of Aids? The Catholic view on contraception is only directly to married people faithful to each other. If you are going to have sex outside marriage you already failed to follow the fully Catholic faith, so why you'll only follow the contraception law? How can this view be responsible to spread of Aids?
The desire for eternal rewards and justice leads to the indoctrination of children with disgusting threats about hellfire. Saving the souls of infidels from eternal torture has been the justification for appalling atrocities.
I found your assertion that "the logical conclusion of materialism is consciousness doesn't exists at all" to be especially strange.
It's not mine but from the very materialist philosophers.