Respect for the Dead

I have no respect for the dead because dead people are not really people.  They were people.  The word "respect" means to have high esteem or regard.  I cannot have high esteem or regard for something that is barely distinguishable from a rotting chimpanzee carcass.   Biologically, there is not much difference.  What separates humans from animals is their minds, and when a person dies their mind is gone and only the physical non-working tissues are left.   What exactly is there left to respect?

The purpose of any good law is to prevent unjust suffering.  Therefore, laws that protect the dead are irrational because the dead are incapable of suffering.   However, this does not mean it should be legal to openly piss on a grave in a cemetery.  Why?  Because living people will be emotionally hurt by such behavior.  Respect for the dead is really done out of respect for the living.  Living people do not want to see their loved one's bodies or graves treated in a degrading manner, so to ensure these living relatives are not emotionally hurt, laws against corpse and grave desecration are passed.

So I agree with respecting the dead as long as this is done to avoid hurting living friends and relatives. But respecting the dead for their own sake seems irrational and pointless to me.