Buddhism’s deepest thesis:
between suffering and annihilation, it is a better bet to side with annihilation.
- fear of anything unknown is unreasonable, and
annihilation is unknown, so
fear of annihilation is unreasonable;
- fear of a known evil is reasonable, and
suffering is a known evil, so
fear of suffering is reasonable;
- something that is reasonably feared should be avoided, so
suffering should be avoided;
- something that is unreasonably feared need not necessarily be avoided, so
annihilation need not necessarily be avoided;
- something that should be avoided is worse than something that need not necessarily be avoided, so
suffering is worse than annihilation, or equivalently,
annihilation is preferable to suffering.
In brief, if one were afraid of suffering, and if annihilation were the only other option, then annihilation would be the better bet.