From a Slashdot thread that started with a question about uses for a software "dead
man's switch", and went off on a tangent about the meaning of life. Quoted
material is from Slashdot user lukas84.
Whatever these little consequences are, they can't concern
me anymore, since i'm already dead...This thinking can, of course, lead to
amoral decisions, and that's why we have invented religion :)
The fact that consequences of your death can't concern you when you're
dead, in no way means that reasonably foreseeable post-mortem consequences
should not concern you now.
That's why even people who don't believe in any sort of "afterlife"
still buy life insurance to take care of their kids.
You don't need any sort of supernatural belief to end up with behavior
that most people would call "moral", just some compassion and a reasonable
ability to foresee the consequences of your actions.
Which takes me off on a bit of a tangent...
Foreseeing the effects of our actions is of obvious use; if you can't do
that to at least some degree, you'll quickly end up dead or
But compassion? What's in it for me, you wonder.