Most humans in the world today believe in some form of afterlife. But is there any evidence for an afterlife? I don't think so.
There are generally two reasons why a person believes in a thing or idea:
1. Observed evidence forces a person to accept the proposition as true. For example, before telescopes, people used to believe the Earth was flat because it looked flat to them from their point of view. But once telescopes were developed, a new perspective was attained, and people eventually accepted that the Earth was spherical.
2. The desire to satisfy an emotional want or fear produces an idea independently of evidence. Sometimes these ideas are later defended through fake or misattributed evidence. For example, people are typically very afraid of the idea of their consciousness one day expiring, and are very distressed by the idea of death (which is reasonable), so they invent afterlife ideas to alleviate their fears and feel a kind of comfort through providing an answer to a burning question in their mind. Unfortunately, the reason for the idea being accepted (emotional desire) is no reason to suppose that the idea is correct at all.
Number 1 starts with evidence, and then ends with a conclusion. Number 2 starts with a desire for a satisfactory conclusion, provides the conclusion, and then sometimes goes around trying to find evidence for the conclusion after the fact. Number 1 is based on objective reality, and number 2 is based on subjective emotional desire. Which one is more likely to be true?
Now its time to play a game. I will propose two scenarios. In each scenario, think about the question posed at the end. Answer it in your head, and think about why you gave the answer you did to each scenario. Then think about afterlife belief, why people believe it, and if it is likely to be true:
Scenario 1: I insist to you that I can fly like Peter Pan. You ask me why I believe this. I inform you that I was given pixie dust by a fairy earlier in the day, and that I am thinking a happy thought, and suddenly my feet rise off the ground. I then shoot up into the sky like Peter Pan right before your very eyes. At this point, would you believe that I could fly like Peter Pan?
Scenario 2: I insist to you that I can fly like Peter Pan. You ask me why I believe this. I tell you that I believe it because a fairy visited me and told me that I could. I also say that it "feels" to me like I can fly when I think about the ability. I tell you that I read a book that described Neverland where a boy named Peter Pan could fly at will, and that a fairy who knows Peter Pan told me that I had this ability as well. I also ask you if you would like to be able to fly like Peter Pan as well. I also say that if you think you can't fly like Peter Pan, then you've already defeated yourself. But when you ask me to demonstrate to you that I can fly, I tell you that I can't to it yet, or at least not at the moment. And when you ask me to produce the fairy, or some evidence of the fairy telling me this, I tell you that I cannot provide any fairy evidence. At this point, would you believe that I could fly like Peter Pan?
What can we say about afterlife belief? Is there evidence for it? I have not seen any evidence for it, although I have seen evidence against it. To be fair, some people indeed think they have seen evidence for it. If any of my readers know of any "evidence" for the afterlife, I invite them to provide it in the comments section.
But many afterlife-believers will admit that they have not seen evidence for the afterlife. They just believe it because of faith, or because of a holy book, or because of what their parents or friends told them. To those people I ask them to reflect on why they specifically believe in an afterlife (in other words, how they acquired that belief), and if that reason is justified.
I should also note that some people believe that they have "evidence" for an afterlife through a message from God, Jesus, Allah, or other deity that spoke directly to them through telepathy or some other (unverifiable outside of their own head) means. To those people I ask them why they think that it was another entity communicating to them, and not just their own minds telling them what they want to hear? And I ask them if they can present any evidence to support their belief of having a deity communicate directly to them?
And if they really do believe that a deity spoke to them just because they "feel" it, then would they believe me if I insisted that I could fly simply through proof of my "feeling" it, and through my insistence that a fairy told me personally that I could?