The secular West has lost its belief in the afterlife while retaining much of its Christian compassion. This is an unhealthy combination.
Belief in the afterlife fundamentally changes our understanding of death. Is the person just removed from this world and sent to the next, or is he permanently extinguished? One is tragic and regrettable, the other is a catastrophe of cosmic proportions. It’s no surprise if our debates on life and death get a bit unhinged.
In the temporal world, our resources are limited and we must balance our most sacred values against others. There is no room for infinite value on this side of Eternity – even life must have its price. You can’t have Christian compassion with secular metaphysics.