When we abandon the thought of immortality we at least have cast out fear. We gain a certain dignity and self-respect. We regard our fellow travelers as companions in the pleasures and tribulations of life... We gain kinship with the world.
The man who is seeking comfort does not want truth; he only wants security, safety, a refuge in which he will not be disturbed. But a man who is seeking truth must invite disturbances, tribulations because it is only in moments of crisis that there is alertness, watchfulness, action. Then only that which is is discovered and understood.
If death is final, a rational agent can be expected to value his life highly and be reluctant to risk it. This makes the world a safer place, just as a plane is safer if its hijacker wants to survive. At the other extreme, if a significant number of people convince themselves, or are convinced by their priests, that a martyr's death is equivalent to pressing the hyperspace button and zooming through a wormhole to another universe, it can make the world a very dangerous place. Especially if they also believe that that other universe is a paradisical escape from the tribulations of the real world. Top it off with sincerely believed, if ludicrous and degrading to women, sexual promises, and is it any wonder that na
There is nothing which even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during vigilance at night. And even if it is offered with distraction, it does not return empty, unless perhaps that which is asked for is unsuitable.