From an AMA
X3C15: Are you afraid of eternal non-existence?
“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for.” – Vladimir Nabokov
No matter in what words you describe death, I’m sure that it will always scare me in some way. How do you cope with it?
Richard Dawkins:What is frightening about the abyss is the idea of eternity, and the best way to avoid it is with a general anaesthetic.
Think of death as a general anaesthetic to spare you from eternity.
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”
― Richard Dawkins