Essay on Analysis and Interpretation – the Nine Billion Names of God

1312 Words Oct 17th, 2014 6 Pages
Analysis and interpretation – The Nine Billion Names of God

In 1953 Arthur C. Clarke wrote “The Nine Billion Names of God”. This is a science fictive short story where we meet a group of lamas who wants to write the nine billion names of God. Atypically, the lamas will not use the ‘normal’ alphabet; but their own alphabet where they have invented and written in their holy books. In over three centuries they have been typing these names down, and it would take another fifteen thousand years for them to complete the chore. Therefore, they purchase a special computer, Mark V, from a company, which can calculate and write all the letters down. Compared to the fifteen thousand years the
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Chuck and George are only here for business, therefore, they think about the consequences of the monks’ reaction to their purpose not working properly. Chuck and George are rational people who don’t believe in religious thoughts either. They really find the monks silly for being so stupid and naive.
They are not capable of accepting the monks’ belief. They even feel sorry for them. ”And don’t you think I’m running away because I’m afraid. I’m just sorry for those poor old guys up there, and I don’t want to be around when they find what suckers they’ve been.”
Once again, this underlines the total lack of understanding each other when it comes to religion and science.

On their way away from the monastery, Chuck and George were discussing whether the monks would smash up the computer in their rage and disappointment. Ironically, a moment later the stars were going out. It was really the end of the universe. “Overhead, without any fuss; the stars were going out.”
This is the last line. Things in the sky such as stars, the sun and the moon are in many religions considered to be Gods or something divine. After God’s purpose was achieved, God himself would end the universe and disappear since the human race would have finished what it was created for. The last thing the two engineers see is that the stars are going out. Therefore, it could be a symbol for God has now left mankind forever.

You could say that religion beat science in this matter. The

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