CM: I don't know who apologists think they're fooling when they step forward and try to solemnly, double dog declare that imagining living forever surrounded by the ones they love is so much more chilling than their existence ending in a universe that doesn't seem to care. Because I sure as heck don't buy that one.
VR: But the doctrine of heaven isn't all there is to it, is there? First off, the belief that there is a heaven doesn't guarantee that we are sure to enjoy it. Admittedly there are some Christians who think they are eternally secure, but a lot of them think they could end up being lost eternally.
Second, most people, especially the younger among us, deal with death by not thinking about it. Christianity tells you that you have a chance to live forever with God, but that's going to be a long time in the future. It also tells you that if you want to get laid tonight you can't (if you want to remain in God's will), unless you are married to your prospective bed partner. If you have done wrong, you have to repent of that wrong, which means you have to reverse your course of action and accept consequences for having done wrong. Forgiveness doesn't imply that your actions lack consequences, and that there won't be a painful process you have to go through to reverse the effects of sin in your life. That isn't fun at all, and it isn't supposed to be. It means that someone in control of the universe has laid down rules of proper conduct which you have almost certainly broken, and as your maker he has the right to lay those rules down and expect you to obey them. You don't own yourself. Whose life is it anyway? Not yours! If you go to heaven, you don't reign there, God does. Milton's Satan said that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven, or was that Christopher Hitchens? Do you never have thoughts like that? Really???? You don't have any of what Nagel called the Fear of Religion?
I sure as heck don't buy THAT one. If you'll buy that, I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona, from my front porch you can see the sea.