I had the pleasure of seeing the movie "The Invention of Lying" recently. When I first saw the previews, it looked to be a hilarious comedy, and not much more. One thing the previews don't reveal is that the movie is pro-atheist.
by Nick Coons
The premise of the movie is that lying has never been invented, or discovered. All people tell the truth all the time. But it goes beyond that. There are no social filters of any kind. People tend to blurt out what's on their mind without regard for the consequences of what they're saying. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, the completely unrealistic interactions are surprising and hilarious. Later on, the lack of dishonesty becomes very refreshing. I also don't recall seeing any politicians in this movie.
Near the beginning of the movie, the main character (portrayed by Ricky Gervais) discovers how to lie. He tries to explain to his friends what he can do, but without success. He realizes he can use this new discovery to his advantage and a montage ensues.
His mother is very ill, and he's spending her last few minutes with her in the hospital. She's scared to pass on, understanding that there is no afterlife. He uses his gift of lying to create the concept of an afterlife, telling her that she'll live in a big mansion in the sky. When she passes on, he turns to witness the hospital staff eavesdropping, intrigued by what he's saying. They want to know more about what comes next.
Imagine my delight, as an atheist, when the movie's premise was that the concept of the afterlife, with religion soon to follow, was an effect of the newly-discovered ability to lie.
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