These were compiled by Jon Winokur for Funny Times.
Peoples beliefs shape their lives and philosophers, comedians, scholars and just plain folks weigh in on the subject of an afterlife. At Christmas time, the religionists want us to keep Jesus in Christmas, and I expect they will be offended by afterlife humor. Others want to avoid the word Christmas and call this time of year a generic “the holidays.” Many people, myself included, don’t believe in an afterlife. In short, there is enough here to offend or amuse just about anyone.
From Woody Allen:
I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
I don’t believe in a big vacation village up in the sky. Bill Maher
The Baptists believe in The Right to Life before you’re born. They also believe in Life After Death, but that is a privilege and you have to earn it by spending the interim in guilt ridden misery. At an early age I decided that living a life of pious misery in the hope of going to heaven when its over is a lot like keeping your eyes shut all through a movie in the hope of getting your money back at the end. Whitney Brown
From Samuel Beckett:
We’ll sit around talking about the good old days, when we wished that we were dead.
Woody Allen, again:
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it by not dying.
He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt. Joseph Heller
I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse. Isaac Asimov
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Susan Ertz
We have no reliable guarantee that the afterlife will be any less exasperating than this one, have we?
It is a curious thing…that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste. Evelyn Waugh
When I think of the number of disagreeable people that I know who have gone to a better world, I am sure hell won’t be so bad at all. Mark Twain
It must require an inordinate share of vanity and presumption too, after enjoying so much that is good and beautiful on earth, to ask the Lord for immortality in addition to it all. Heinrich Heine
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor. Aldous Huxley
Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an afterlife. Arianna Huffington
He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife. Douglas Adams
And as the wife says to her husband:
You realize if you go to Heaven, my relatives will all be there. LasHowski
Eternity’s a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it all going to end? Tom Stoppard