Thanks for the welcome.
Anyway, I most definitely agree that the desire to control and influence others is a common thread in religious contemplation ('we're the Chosen', etc.). But for the purpose of this topic, I didn't include it. Examining the reasoning behind the desire for an afterlife, at least if you're just trying to incorporate it into your beliefs to mollify your fears, didn't really make the 'control' angle one that I felt applied. After some thought, though, maybe that is incorrect.
Afterall, controlling this method by which one can attain the aforementioned afterlife (you gotta pray to Our Poppa only the way we
say you can, or you ain't goin'), is directly on point. Interesting. Considering the motivation of the controlling entity, it makes me wonder if their desire to attain an afterlife is really a concern, or if they merely feel that they will be rewarded in the 'hereafter' for their diligence in spreading the 'correct' way to know their god.
Of course, IMO, I think it kind of matters what nature of afterlife awaits me. In the OP, its regarding seeing loved ones, friends and family, pets, et al. Some have pointed out that many wouldn't appreciate an everlasting existence, that this would be more of a burden than a boon. For me, personally, I think I would be just fine with an extended existence as long as I could explore and continue to learn new things. Seeing and learning about the nature of the universe would be about as fantastic as it gets. To look into a quasar, or witness a star being born, or a nova. Checking out other galaxies...just, wow.
Sorry. Gets my nerdiness up a bit thinking about this kinda stuff.
Then again, maybe in another 20 or 30 years (if I live that long), I could just say 'meh, I'm tired and wanna take a long nap. Learnin' is for them youngers.' I hope not, but you never know. That, and you know, the whole 'I don't really believe in spiritual hooey, anyway' stuff. Atheist, and all...