Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David Eagleman
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mirrors: How many stages does death have in this afterlife?

2. Sum: In this afterlife a person's life is:

3. Oz: What does the Creator really look like?

4. The Cast: What is death in this afterlife?

5. Scales: What are humans in this afterlife?

Short Essay Questions

1. Descent of Species: What does the human-turned-horse realize right before he can no longer think?

2. Spirals: Why do the creatures in this afterlife think humans are so intelligent?

3. Oz: What does God say is the true measure of bravery?

4. Egalitaire: How did the people who died feel about this afterlife?

5. Sum: In this afterlife all of your life experiences are grouped together. You can't experience something different until you have run through all of the experience in one chain. For example, you can't take a shower until you are in the shower experience period of the afterlife. Why would this make you long for your life on earth?

6. Great Expectations: In this story the people who create and program afterlives are basically selling a false product, though not intentionally. How is it that people are mistaken in their understanding of the afterlife?

7. Mary: Why does God love Mary Shelley?

8. Spirals: What do the creatures in this afterlife want from humans?

9. Missing: Why is the dispute over God's gender irrelevant in this story?

10. Adhesion: What is the adhesive (alluded to in the title) that holds humans together in this story?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Scales:

In this afterlife the reader finds that man is just part of the biology of God. Humans are basically the cells that make up God's organs. As they destroy themselves and others, they also destroy God.

How does the story of God and Man in this afterlife mirror the real life relationship between Man and the earth? Present three or four ways in which the earth (God) is being destroyed by Man's actions. Do you think the earth would be as wonderful as it is now if Man was not a part of it? Why or why not?

Do you agree with God's conclusion in this story: Everything creates itself upon the backs of smaller entities which will ultimately destroy the original entity.

Essay Topic 2

Absence:

God is missing and no one knows where he is. To make matters worse, God has been gone for so long some in Heaven are beginning to believe he never existed to begin with. As a result wars break out that mirror the religious wars on earth. Why does this happen? What are the people in Heaven fighting over? What do the people on earth fight over? Do you think it is important for those of Heaven and earth to have a God? Why or why not?

Please base your answers on the context of the story, not on your personal religious beliefs.

Essay Topic 3

Egalitaire:

The god in this story finds herself torn about how to judge people. She realizes that no one is all good or all bad; as a result Heaven is filled with people who feel that they are each in their own kind of hell. Why are the people in Heaven unhappy? What is it about their personalities and their earthly lives that makes them unable to get along with each other? What would you have done if you were this god?

(see the answer keys)

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