I don't believe in the afterlife (no surprises there). But if there is in fact an afterlife, would I want to know? Absolutely. I would much rather know the truth than to adhere to an incorrect belief simply out of pride or desire. But what about a theist who believes in an afterlife? Would they want to know if they were wrong?
In past posts I have argued that an eternal life would have no value. I have argued that having a finite amount of time in one's life makes that life much more valuable than it would be if it was an eternal life. Still, the thought of my consciousness expiring (most likely in less than 100 years; a relatively short time) doesn't exactly give me comfort. So why do I adhere so strongly to a non-afterlife worldview? Because I believe it is the truth. I would rather ingest a cold hard spoonful of reality over a spoonful of sugarcoated bullshit any day, because I value reality over my own desires of how I'd like things to be.
But what about the theist, the pro-afterlifer? I've previously argued that there are no theists in foxholes, because every time a pro-afterlifer's life is in danger, they work very hard to remove themselves from that danger in an obvious act of self-preservation. They act as if their consciousness is finite, despite their claims of believing the contrary. I think that in many instances, the theist adopts the pro-afterlife stance out of a desire to not have to face their own semi-subconscious knowledge that their life is indeed finite. The thought of their consciousness being only temporary is unsettling to them (as it is to me to a lesser degree). The key here is that, unlike me, the pro-afterlifer values his/her own desires over reality. They would rather ingest a spoonful of sugarcoated bullshit rather than a spoonful of cold hard reality. And as a consequence, they (or their religious authorities) spend hours and hours coming up with rationalizations to convince themselves that what they are ingesting isn't sugarcoated bullshit.
I personally believe that most pro-afterlifers wouldn't really want to know. I also believe that most of them would deny that they wouldn't want to know. And I believe that most pro-afterlifers get around this intellectual dishonesty by trying really hard to convince themselves that the afterlife really does exist, and this way they can lie to themselves by believing that they do want to know the truth, and that indeed, they already "know" it, for the truth to them conforms with their desires.
To test this belief of mine, I have started a thread in the General Apologetics section at Christian Forums dot com asking Christians if they would want to know the truth if there was no afterlife. I don't expect too many good (read: well thought-out) answers, after all this is Christian Forums. But that's okay because Christian Forums provides what I believe to be a very accurate demographic/cross-section of the English speaking Christian body. This is the Christian message board for the everyday Christian, and it will expose just how much, or how little, these people even understand these concepts.
So next time you are in communication with a pro-afterlifer, you should ask them this question. In addition (assuming that you the reader is an atheist), you should ask yourself this same question but in reverse: If there was an actual afterlife, would you want to know? I think most atheists can honestly answer "yes," but I don't think most pro-afterlifers can honestly answer the same, and this only serves to undermine the validity of their position.