[Mod edit: this interersting post should have its own thread, so it was moved from the rebirth thread.]
I've posted in this thread before, but maybe something I can add to the debate:
Modern technology -- neuroscience and such -- hasn't bothered me too much. I am a peculiar person for being one who would fully embrace the machine. I would let them replace every component in my body, including my brain, with a machine. Why? Because I have such a great confidence that nothing (that is, a self) can be either created or lost.
Being that there is no self, consciousness is a phenomenon contingent on various factors. With a machine replacing this brain, the feeling of self would still persist, but it would still be the machine. A person can lose all of his limbs and yet still, this one is self... A person can take drugs, yet still, this one is self... A person can have severe brain damage, yet still, this one is self. Based on this, I have such great confidence that, even becoming a machine, this one would still persevere.
Based upon this confidence, through my intuition I feel as though death is a case of a metamorphosis rather than death, though I cannot say what it is we become. I feel like it is something that might not be explainable through reason or logic, something that can only be understood psychologically. Theravadin and Mahayana metaphysics are not particularly convincing, but neither is western materialistic annihilationism.
Really, though, this question is only controversial because of egoism: the egoism of those who want to preserve a self and the egoism of those who wish to extinguish it.