I'm an atheist. I don't believe in an afterlife. If you think I'm happy about that, you're wrong. The average 78 year lifespan of an American male is entirely too short for my liking.
On the other hand, if one were to think it through, eternal life would be a fate worse than death. After a relatively short time (compared to infinity), you would have thought your last original thought. No more sense of wonder, your every action done by rote. Assuming finite memory, you would eventually forget how you came to be, everyone you ever loved, everything you once thought important. Eternal life as a zombie? Thank you, no.
I'm sure there's a happy medium in there somewhere. We may even achieve it someday. How long is long enough to reach one's full potential? I'm sure the answer is as varied as every member of humanity.
Early in our relationship, I tried to explain to my wife (a believer) how I came to be an atheist. As I did so, I began to see a sort of fear, even panic behind her eyes. For days afterward, she was depressed. I felt horrible, and I've never brought up the subject again. I vowed then, that if a person's belief did them no harm, and gave them comfort, I'd leave them their illusion. In the end, they'll never even know they were wrong.
As for me, I've taken Carl Sagan's advice: "Better a hard truth, than a comforting fable."
Unfortunately, believers like my wife, people whose moral compass isn't swayed by people like Pat Robertson, and other prophets of hate too numerous to mention, are becoming an endangered species.
There are those, so conditioned by their beliefs, that they would cheerfully commit the most horrible of atrocities if they believed it to be the will of their god. For them, the wage of sin is death. Of course, their definition of sin is often a matter of convenience.
These arbitrary definitions are a common occurrence in the Middle East, and could easily be here, if Dominionists ever succeed in their efforts of doing away with the secular nature of our government.
It is these people that should be fought tooth and nail, with every resource at our disposal. Their vision of the future is this twisted, monocultural utopia where selfishness is a virtue, compassion is a sin, and diversity is not tolerated.