April 12, 2011

Atheist Tales - "It's All About Soul" by Jane Gallagher [review by starlight]

"You humans - and their clones - have a bizarre interpretation of how we work, but this is the basic idea: this is a private club... You don't get in."
This is a laugh-out-loud short story included in Atheist Tales that, in my mind, really points out the absurdity of many of the rules in religion. In fact, it pokes fun at a lot of things. The idea of some beings having souls and others not, the idea of one religion being the right one and all believers of other creeds being ---- out of luck, and the image of heaven with a door man who is essentially just a bouncer at a nightclub.

I loved this one because it is very light-hearted and humorous, but with a really strong point. The more you think about it, the funnier faith becomes. It doesn't matter how strictly you observe what Gallagher calls "the morals" as if they are legal precedents, what matters are arbitrary distinctions such as whether a human being was made by God or by a doctor's mixing bowl. By making her story very futuristic, Gallagher gets to play with the religious concerns about advancing technology and cloning, and the way she puts it just really hits the nail on the head and draws attention to how ridiculous it all is. A perfect example of how speculative fiction, in this case sci-fi, can be used to comment on religious faith, and a barrel of laughs to boot.

By the way: the image is pretty random, it's Ed Norton in this movie where he plays both brothers in a set of twins. It has nothing to do with Atheism or cloning, but I loooove Ed Norton :)

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