It is difficult for the average person to believe that we do, in fact, live in and accept a culture of death. How can I say this? It is not too difficult if you give it some thought. A culture of death denies any form of an afterlife/rebirth. Science, speaking for this culture of death, wants us to believe that what we call consciousness or mind depends on the brain and when that goes, that's it. The long dirt nap.
It is my impression of those who are new to Buddhism that what irks them the most about Buddhism is Buddhism's belief in an afterlife. This is to say, that when you die, according to your karma, you could go up the ladder or down in terms of a next life. The adventure called life goes on. It doesn't stop when the cells of the body crap out. What they once received through their membranes is still at work like a radio signal in search of a radio. It doesn't matter if we turn the radio off, smash it or listen to it—the signal is unaffected. We might even think of ourselves as something like this radio signal, and the fifty to seventy trillion cells that make up our body as the radio.
Our body does a lot of things having received its marching orders from a hidden signal. But it also can't do a lot of things such as fly, walk through walls or live forever which consciousness can when free of the corporeal body. It is an extremely, fragile and limited, protein composed, terrestrial vehicle. Regrettably, even though our immaterial mind or consciousness is what actually operates this vehicle we don't see it that way because our culture doesn't see it that way. We are taught, don't believe anything the experts on NDE have to say. They are preaching woo woo. Woo woo is taboo boo. Stick with the accepted and settled theories and models. After all, while not admitted with banners and trumpet calls, nevertheless, we live in a culture of death—when you die that's it.
And how odd that some Buddhists should attack me for trying to champion the afterlife/rebirth when there is zero evidence in the discourses of the Buddha that old Gautama rejected rebirth after the death of the physical body. In fact, the teaching of Buddhism recognizes that consciousness (not ātman) continues after the death of the physical body linking up with a new composition. Our rebirth after our death is almost a crap shoot. We could end up reborn in wretched poverty, wealth, or as a deva—even as an animal or a ghost. The Buddha teaches us how to end this crap shoot. It is neither difficult nor is it easy. But living one's life as if there is no rebirth, especially, after being born once already, is stupid beyond belief.