Huseng wrote: You can have people saying, "I'm a Buddhist, but I don't believe in rebirth."
It's a curious development. In fact sometimes if you admit belief in rebirth you are accused of mimicking traditional Asian belief.
It's actually a complex topic. There is nothing that can convince materialists at all except their own personal experiences.
Rebirth is a belief. Post-mortem oblivion is a fact.
This is would take exception with (not yet having read the rest of your posting yet) - esp. the second sentence. Some people seem to just be born knowing that rebirth (or at least life after death) is a fact. Trying on the materialist claim is just counter-factual to their deep-rooted understanding making as little sense as saying up is down.
Post-mortem oblivion is hardly a fact. What is factual is that no one around as seen a dead body reanimated (for example, several friends, relatives and pets died and their bodies were not reanimated). Whether reanimation is possible as mentioned in several religious traditions - that is not determined as fact. But that is not the same as post-mortem oblivion and asserting such is quite a leap of atheistic faith.
As an example, I was quite upset when my first cat died six years ago. At the vet's, after medical procedure to save his life were terminated I prayed and meditated that he would go to the heart of Amitabha and be reborn in the Pure Lands or go to a rebirth where he would meet the Dharma. I massaged the top of his head a little and visualized him going to Amitabha. And I visualized Amitabha radiating light and drawing him to his heart. I did not do phowa where I consciously united my mind with my cat's mind. Nonetheless I was surprised when in a short while clear and red fluid came from my cat's nose - this is actually one of the signs of accomplishment of phowa in humans. Later at home over the next several days there was an extraordinary display of birds coming to our window (a fifth story apartment which is not a natural place for birds to land) - my cat used to vocalize a twittering at birds he saw outside on the next building about 30 ft away - in fact bird and animal displays are common during funerals in my family. Then I had a dream where I saw my cat in a very good and happy place although not clearly a Pure Land and during that time there was an extraordinary full moon display that broke out very clearly over clouds and shone brilliantly.
And there was also a light rain a couple of days after he died which is a sign of blessing.
So all of these can of course be dismissed as psychological projections but these are actually potent signs esp. taken together. They aren't definite proof of course but for me from childhood it was just not reasonable to assert oblivion after death. None of this would change the minds of a materialist but signs do occur and usually people miss them.
So then, why do they not occur for others? Or do they? Afterall, in the time period that these signs occurred at least 250,000 people died (basically a 4 day period). Signs arise in the perception of the perceiver, they may or may not manifest and they could in fact take time. While indications, they aren't scientific proof. All of this is actually inward experience.
OTOH the materialists can't prove that their position is correct. All they can prove is that a dead body cannot produce thought and physical interaction with the living. They can prove brain death and that's about it. Since they believe that the mind is strictly a function of the brain then they assume that post-mortem oblivion is a fact.
"Set your heart on virtue: Virtue's outcome is delight".
“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”