The Nine Billion Names Of God Essay

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Though, when Jose Cordeiro asked Clarke what he thought about religion in general, Clarke replied “Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses. I am afraid to be struck by lightning one day while saying this” (Cordeiro). The slight skepticism in this quote is manifested in Clarke’s short story The Nine Billion Names of God. In this story, the Dalai Lama calls a man to create a machine that will print out all of the names that describe God in a specific language that the monks had devised. He believes, Once the machine finishes, “God’s purpose will have been achieved” (Clarke, Nine Billion Names 4). When the skeptical maintenance crew realizes that the machine will soon be done, they flee the area in hopes of not being blamed for an …show more content…
In 2001, the extraterrestrials took form as the creators of the monoliths. These beings led the primitive “man-apes” to use tools and weapons, and they also are the ones responsible for Bowman’s transformation (Clarke, Space Odyssey 8, 93). In Clarke’s first major novel, Childhood’s End, he even gives a negative voice to the omnipotent aliens that govern the human race. These aliens harvest humans for a cosmic “Overmind,” which eventually ends in the destruction of the earth (Contemporary Novelists). In nearly all of his fiction, Clarke portrays the wisdom of alien races as superior to however advanced human intelligence might reach. While Clarke did not believe in the presence of an all-powerful, god-like being that watched the earth, he might still have believed in paranormal powers. He served as a coauthor and star of two television shows, dubbed “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World” and “Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers” (Encyclopedia of Occultism). These series served to investigate the paranormal world for some sense of validity. While Clarke endorsed the show, he always showed skepticism in any absolute authentication of supernatural

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