QUORA: ‘Wouldn’t Heaven literally be Hell? Imagine living forever and ever and ever and you can’t do anything to stop it… Wouldn’t you go mentally crazy at some point?’
I posted this answer:
This question struck a chord with me, primarily because I am a Twilight Zone fan. The Twilight Zone’s creator, Rod Serling, was a master at concretizing abstract ideas through very interesting, captivating entertainment. And Serling dealt with this very question, in slightly expanded fashion, in the episode A Nice Place to Visit.
[WARNING—PLOT SPOILERS AHEAD]
In this episode, a two-bit thief with a history of bad behavior dating back to his childhood, Henry Valentine, nicknamed Rocky, is shot and killed by police during a gunfight. He awakens to who he thinks is his guardian angel standing over him. The “angel,” identified only as Mr. Pip, announces that his job is to grant Mr. Valentine his every desire on demand, be it beautiful women, wads of money, great food, winning at gambling, or even the chance of getting caught robbing a bank or losing occasionally at the craps table—anything, at any time, all pre-arranged by Mr. Pip.
Rocky, initially ecstatic, soon tires and grows increasingly frustrated of getting everything he wants, when he wants, without any chance of losing or failing. Without the challenge, Rocky muses to Mr. Pip, “It’s not the same.” Toward the end of the episode, Rocky tells Mr. Pip that eternally getting every desire provided at will does not provide satisfaction, but instead will make him “go nuts.” He tells Mr. Pip that heaven is not for him, that maybe he belongs in “the other place.” To which Mr. Pip declares, through a demonic laughter, “Whatever gave you the idea you were in Heaven . . .? This is the other place!”
I am an atheist. But I’ve often wondered about religionists’ promises that if you lived a virtuous life—by their standard—you would be rewarded after death with a trip to heaven, where you will live in eternal happiness. Happiness without effort . . . eternally . . . “forever and ever and ever,” as the questioner so succinctly puts it. That prospect always sounded hellish to me.
Maybe it is Hell—”the other place”—and the joke is on us. Given that religious ethics commands us to put the happiness of others above our own as the price of getting into Heaven, maybe real virtue means working to achieve our own personal happiness through honorable means.
Have a watch of A Nice Place to Visit