Group Work on Orson Scott Card's "Mortal Gods"

Break up into small groups. Then discuss the following. Delegate one or more members of your group to prepare an oral and written summary of your group's discussion. If you were not present in class for this exercise, you may complete it (in less than 2 pages) as a typed assignment

1. Name two religions people in your group know about and ask what they would mean to a people (like the aliens) who did not die. Which, if any, of these religions would continue to exist as we know them, if we did not die?

2. The alien claims that death is behind art and literature. What do you think of this claim?

3. The alien explains that we "invent lives of never-known people to delight others who know they are being lied to." What could this have to do with death?

4. Some philosophers (e.g., Plato in the Phaedo) suggest that philosophy is a response to death, a learning how to die. What do you think of this?

5. Some philosophers (e.g., Rand in Atlas Shrugged) would  argue that philosophy is a response to life, a learning how to live.  What do you think of this?

M. Kagan, Le Moyne College
Last edited October, 2012

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