In his forthcoming book, Death and the Afterlife, Samuel Scheffler argues not that we possess immortal souls, but, rather, that each of us has a compelling interest in the future of humanity because we depend on the knowledge that people who are like us will come after to make our lives meaningful even as we live them. If we thought that no child would ever be born again, would we care to go on living? working? Schleffler thinks not, and I find his argument compelling.
I do, however, wonder if he is not making the argument too broad. If we thought that no child would ever again be born to a society like out own, although children would be born to societies with ideas strange and even repugnant to us, would we care enough to build a future?