I think we lack the perception of not having perception, which fuels our inextricable understanding of an afterlife. How can you accept death when the image of death is nothingness? There's nothing to understand, nothing to anticipate. If there is no afterlife, it's exactly as it was before you were conceived. However, as you are conscious, you must conceive of something. So you might as well conceive of a hopeful afterlife, full of whatever you desire, rather than conceiving of a nihilistic void.
There's a counterpoint, however. If you are to accept an afterlife, will you accept your life as it is? I've noticed a trend in people who aren't progressive about the tangible world because they believe in an afterlife. However, the act of being progressive is really like trying to change what cannot be undone.
Life is a constant struggle, and the determining factor in that struggle is morality. We're all autonomous, so we're all moral; our confusion lies within the fact that we all have different value systems that sometimes contradict each other. For instance, a Muslim might find the act of eating pigs repugnant because of the vile conditions that culture brought pigs up in. However, because most of western society has found ways to sterilize the process of eating pigs, we have a different set of morals that does not condemn eating pigs. Sometimes those morals linger into times when they are outdated, but with the right amount of rationalization they can be reevaluated to improve our lives.
Another trend I'm seeing is that there's been an increase in autonomous anarchy within some people, particularly within Western Youth. I find this ridiculous because it's not really a discovery, it's just making a point out of autonomy and conflating it into an individualistic identity thing. In other words, selfishness.
Yes, there's definitely class appeal to the afterlife, I think. Probably trends in religion according to class as well. That doesn't really disprove the notion of religion, though.