Sunday, April 8, 2012

Will Heaven Eventually Get Boring?

During a recent discussion on the comments of one of my posts the idea was brought up that heaven would eventually get boring. (I think I first heard this idea from Hitchens, I'm not sure though) The argument basically says that everything will eventually get boring and ultimately heaven will become hell. I think the real point of this argument is supposed to be how absurd the concept of forever really is. I'm not really sure how serious of an argument it is supposed to be, but it's kind of a funny idea and I figured "sure, that makes sense".

So I had this in the back of my mind and later that day I was relaxing playing pikmin. This is a game I played about 3 years ago and recently decided to break it out and play it again. I had a bunch of fun even though I have played it before, then I was thinking, I wonder how many times I could play this game before I could never play it again because it is too boring. Perhaps if another 3 years goes by I could play it again, but maybe not, what if I waited 10 or 100? Certainly if I waited long enough my memories of it will be so faded it will be like new and I will enjoy it. But then I thought, will my memory be as terrible as it is now if I was in heaven or would it be much better? How much am I going to be me in heaven?

Then my mind went in a different direction. Let's suppose I have every video game ever created at my fingertips. Let's further suppose that given infinite time, I will eventually get bored of all of them. I don't really see that as a problem either, because I don't see why there can't be new stuff being created all the time. There is the easy (somewhat cheating) answer that God could create new content for us whenever we want it, but you don't even have to do that. People love to create, people create stuff for free all the time (just look at little big planet). This doesn't just go for video games of course, how many times have you heard someone wish they had time to write a book? You can't get bored of everything, because there is always new stuff being made that you haven't seen yet. In a strange way this reminds me a little bit of arms races in evolution.

If you read this far, thanks for indulging me in this silly little trip through my thoughts as to why heaven would not get boring.


  1. I like your example of Pikmin. That game was awesome, but I could see getting bored of it. It's really hard to say. For not being able to really know anything about heaven since no one has been there, save some people who've had those "near death experiences" people sure do claim to know a lot about it. I think one's interpretation of "the light" very much depends on your background such as whether you are religious or not, and if you are, what religion you believe.

    I always imagined heaven enjoying the small things I love in life, if it exists. Like the feeling of wrapping yourself in something fresh out of the dryer, or always having new socks. But even then, I could see myself become bored as that became “the norm.”

    I've also thought about what it might feel like from a “bliss” standpoint. I once heard Heroin compared to having a thousand orgasms at once. I think that might have been a movie or a TV show or something. Like any hard drugs, its a good feeling.. until you have to come down. People get addicted to these drugs and I've heard of meth users saying that they have to be high just to feel normal. So, you can't really go back “down” and just have to keep feeling better in heaven I guess. Who knows?

  2. yeah, talking about what heaven will be like is naturally quite silly as there rules are not well defined. Nobody knows what heaven is really like, or if it even exists, so it is all pure speculation, but it can be fun. I guess my point about pikmin potentially never getting boring is that I have an infinite amount of time to let it sit and forget about details and then pick it up again and it being sort of like new. I played it in 2009 then I played it again recently, if I picked it up again next year I would probably find it boring, but what if I waited until 2050, or 3050?

    Speaking of alternate visions of heaven, there is a pretty funny one in the comic Johnny the homicidal maniac. Basically everyone in heaven is in permanent bliss, so they are content to just sit around doing nothing. No one is motivated to do anything, even stand up, because they are already in perpetual bliss. That comic is really awesome by the way, it is by the same guy who did invader zim, which is also really awesome.

    1. I figure anything eternal will get boring. God must be hella-bored. The only way I wouldn't eventually go insane within the pearly gates is if I still have my crappy, human memory. As long as I forget some of the past thousands of years, I'll be able to stay interested in the next thousands of years.

  3. That is a really good point Grundy. I suppose I was assuming I would have the same human level memory as I have now. The whole idea of waiting a bunch of time before playing a game again is dependent on the fact that as time goes by the memory fades.

    Either way though, God certainly does not have a crappy memory. Maybe the only way to fight his boredom is to create a new universe. Although I guess the moment he creates a new universe he knows exactly what will happen in that universe for all time and it would instantaneously become boring as well. I read a short book years ago that started with this premise, and basically God killed himself which resulted in our big bang.

  4. Another thing to consider is free will. If heaven is going to be "perfect" and there won't be any suffering, then I don't see how we can have free will.

    Which brings up another point. How ticked off will people be, to find out that their whole earthly life was centered around properly managing their free will, and then they lose it as soon as they get to heaven.

    I am a christian, but that's one of the wierd things I think about.

    I like your writings, Hausdorff.


    1. Thanks Victor, that is a great compliment :)

      I agree, the idea of free will and the idea of things being perfect don't really go together. I suppose it has to be one or the other. The next question comes to mind, if you don't have free will, are you able to be ticked at the fact that you don't have free will?


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