What religion has the least appealing afterlife?

Inspired, obviously, by this thread about which religion has the best afterlife.

Many people mentioned that they’d find the Christian concept of heaven pretty boring. But that’s nothing compared to the shadowy world of Hades, where most ancient Greeks could expect to go. Or there are religions like Ancient Egypt’s, where a complicated set of passwords and rituals were required. Some of these afterlives seem outright grim. Which is the worst?

My wife was told in Sunday School (Methodist) that, in Heaven, the silverware is all three feet (close enough to a meter) long so that you could not feed yourself, but had to feed the person sitting at the table across from you.

She was also told that Catholic un-baptized babies went to Hell. It’s Limbo, people, and its not like Hell. Okay, it’s not much like Heaven, but it’s not like Hell. :mad:

Well, the Norse religion had a fairly bleak outlook, at least long term. Sure, there would be drinking and feasting in Valhalla and all that, but eventually the whole thing would go tits up…

In Judaism I don’t think there is a clear idea of a personal afterlife (depending on the variant), so perhaps that would count as well. As mentioned in the OP, the Greek idea of Hades was also pretty grim…and I assume Roman ideas were similar since they borrowed a lot from the Greeks and since it’s one of the reasons Christianity took off so well.


In Hinduism and Buddhism, this is the afterlife and it sux.

Or permanent unconsciousness whcih I find unappealing.

Yah, might as well ask which religion has the worst veridical life.

Not really. Eventually you will (in theory) progress beyond this world and achieve perfection.


Judaism is the most noncommittal. It pretty much says there is one, but what it is, eh, find out when you get there, okay?

Nothing terrifies me more that the prospect of eternal life.

I think you got it the wrong way around. The whole point of getting into Valhalla was for the honour to fight for the gods. The feasting was just a bonus, something to pass the time until Ragnarök.

I’m going with Calvinism. The idea of eternal damnation which is unavoidable is about as unappealing as it gets.

Ooh, subtle snark on the thread title. Well done.

Yes, I know. The point however was that in the Norse religion things were rather bleak ‘afternife’ wise…which would qualify it for contention wrt the OP. :slight_smile:


Incidentally, the way the rest of this story goes (or, rather, the way this story usually begins) is that Hell is the exact same way. Only, the kind of people in Hell never stumble upon the idea of feeding each other, instead struggling forever trying vainly to feed themselves.

Couldn’t you just “choke up” on the silverware, gripping the spoon or fork by the few inches of handle right above the business end of it? Or is that not allowed?

What, and risk poor table manners?!

Only for some people.

It’s tied to your arm so you can’t bend your elbow.

I found that image so appalling that it has stuck with me for decades!

I remember it as just that no one has elbows in the afterlife. (Not official Methodist doctrine, btw!) I also remember the similar Jewish story that in the afterlife, one spends all eternity listening to Moses expound the Torah. For the righteous, this is heaven, and for the unrighteous, hell.

And for both, really freaking boring. Yeesh.