A Soul for a Cookie October 5, 2010

A Soul for a Cookie

The Secular Student Society at Texas Tech University spent their Blasphemy Day offering cookies to students who were willing to give up their soul.

Sounds like an amazing deal to me.

Hell, depending on the type of cookie, I’d be willing to exchange a few of my souls.

“The point of this is not to antagonize people. We’re promoting critical thinking among various religious perspectives with students at Tech.” [public relations manager Austin] Fielding said.

Rebecca Stacks, a junior history major from Lewisville, is the activities director of the organization. In the organization’s second year, her participation in International Blasphemy Day has a strong meaning and purpose for her.

“Right now in the UN they are trying to pass a law to ban blasphemy,” Stacks said. “We’re out here for freedom of speech. We should be allowed to say whatever we want.”

It’s amazing how many students took the idea of a soul so seriously that they wouldn’t just write it off for a cookie. They had to take a few “precautions”…

Some Tech students were hesitant to sign because they believed it contradicted their religion. In order to make them more comfortable, the group had a light-hearted solution to assure the student they were not making any binding contract.

“We have people cross all of their toes, cross all of their fingers, cross their eyes, sign with their non-dominant hand and use fake names or fake signatures,” Fielding said.

Did they just add superstition to an already fictitious idea…?

*sigh*

I know they’re just joking, but the fact that the joke even needed to be made says something.

This is very simple. Your soul was worth nothing before. It’s worth nothing now. The sooner you figure this out, the sooner you can get a cookie. (And isn’t that what really matters?)

It’d be nice if the message that souls don’t exist actually got through to some of the students… maybe they’ll even attending a future meeting of the secular student group. The publicity stunt could have a tremendous benefit.


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  • mmm gingerbread.

  • This is very clever. Low-cost, low-risk, maximum exposure and a serious idea to address, that gets addressed aggressively.

    That is what our movement needs more of. Ideas like that.

  • Whilst I know I don’t have a soul, and it’s therefore of no value, I would have haggled for two cookies.

  • silver fox

    I wouldn’t say souls have no value. The value is a cookie!I’d sell mine in a heartbeat, depending on the type of cookie, since I have no other use for it.

  • Carrie

    I sold my soul for a dime to a classmate in high school. He collected quite a few.

  • Alice

    I think allowing religious people to keep their ridiculous souls by such ridiculous means could have been a learning experience. I mean they must have known how silly they looked, maybe even put finger crossing in the same category as souls. The real victory is in getting religious people behind the idea of blasphemy as protected speech, because atheists aren’t the ones we need to persuade!

  • Liz

    i like the posters.

    i think i traded my soul for something as well in high school….can’t quite remember what. probably a cookie =P

  • cypressgreen

    That’s very like a graphic novel I own, Proposition Player by Bill Willingham.

    http://www.amazon.com/Proposition-Player-Bill-Willingham/dp/156389808X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1286280417&sr=8-1-spell

    A propostition poker player in Las Vegas buys beers for a bunch of people (because of a joke) in return for signed coctail napkins from the people selling their soul for the beer.
    Next, heaven and hell send out agents to try to buy them from him…turns out that’s how gods get power, by the number of souls they command.
    The whole story is very funny, and paints a very ugly picture of Yaweh in the process.

  • Bob

    A good read is Tim Powers’ ‘Last Call,’ where some gamblers end up selling something – if not their souls – thinking they’re winning something else.

    On the subject of Cookies-For-Souls, I wonder if Christians (or similarly religious folk) would sell an equally intangible failing for a cookie? That is, you sell us your sins, we give you a cookie. Would anyone object to the ‘blasphemy’ of the vendor trivializing sin or the nature of divine forgiveness?

  • l.vellenga

    @bob – i think that’s what the medieval Church called “indulgences.”

  • Bob

    @I.vellenga:

    Correct. You could pay to play, so to speak, if you donated to the church. Would believers be as willing (or reluctant, since the point is trading intangibles) to sell off their sins for a cookie? Why or why not?

    What makes it a good deal, or a bad deal? Trading ‘sin’ for an equally vague assurance that you have received ‘forgiveness’ brokered by a divine middleman, as opposed to a tasty, delicious cookie that someone has invested time and care and love to produce?

    Would the result be different if it were a church bake sale?

  • I’m ahead of the game here- I sold my soul to a kid named Randy for half a cookie back in high school.

    It wasn’t even that good of a cookie.

  • Dang, I wish I had started questioning religion while I was at Tech so I could’ve joined this group (if it was even in existence at that time). Oh well. Better late than never! I’m glad to hear their group is getting some press. Thanks Hemant!

  • pmsrhino

    Too bad, I already sold my soul for a french fry in middle school. I guess no cookie for me.

  • Sven

    I have a reverse mortgage on mine!

  • KeithLM

    I’d be tempted to do this too, but isn’t it the case that if you sell your soul automatic doors will no longer open for you? That’d be kind of annoying?

  • Nik

    I’d sell my soul for a cookie. It would have to be a pretty good cookie though – I’m easy, but not cheap.

  • wow, you people are cheap. i sold my soul for a really fun sexual encounter with a hawt Christian. one night stands are fun like that. “you wanna save my soul baby? come here and get it.” /takes off clothes/ there was a lot of “oh god! oh god, yes!” later in the evening, so maybe the Christian got what was desired.

  • Suzanne

    I like this as a blasphemy day promotion of free speech. But trying to get people to understand souls aren’t real is ridiculous in my mind. Whether or not a soul is “real” depends on your definition. If I believe my soul is what makes me who I am, regardless of whether it’s made up of something implanted into my body or created by the way the parts of my body work together, then it’s real enough to me. Of course in the latter case, it’s not something I would be physically able to sell without handing over the rest of me so I guess I’d be out a cookie 🙂

  • Do souls grow back over time like hair or fingernails? If so, then you could over time get lots of cookies (or entertaining encounters). 😉

  • muggle

    Hmmm… soul? cookie? soul? cookie? C’mon, that’s a no brainer.

    As long as the cookie’s peanut free that is. Can’t fuck with the science of food allergies, I’m afraid. 🙁

  • John Gregson
  • ButchKitties

    pmsrhino: The awesome thing about selling your soul is that souls are undetectable and therefore unlimited stock. You can sell your soul as many times as you want, no one will ever know that you’re already sold out. I’ve sold mine at least a dozen times.

  • Reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Highway 61, where a guy who thinks he’s Satan goes around buying people’s souls.

  • Ben

    Wow. Our SSA did the exact same thing at the University of Chicago last semester. Although, we didn’t have quite as good artwork.

  • pmsrhino

    ButchKitties: Yay!!! 😀 Now I just need to find a cookie vendor close buy that takes souls as legal tender. 😛

  • BoomerChick

    I would sell my soul for a cookie because the soul is nonexistent and therefore worth nothing.
    But, I would not sell my health for cookie if it contains high fructose corn syrup and/or hydrogenated fat!

  • Atom Jack

    Hmm… looks left and right askance; where are your ethics, atheist people, you’re stealing by giving something nonexistent for a cookie. Well, I guess it’s fair game. After all, what’s a cookie worth? [Fundie screaming in the background, “It’s your immortal soul!]

    If you read Piers Anthony, yes, indeed, souls grow back. His stories aren’t any less factual than the buy-bull, and have the added benefit of the good winning out in the end- with an explanation of why. I don’t remember the time frame for soul regrowth, but hey, what do you want from science fiction, anyway?

  • Mark

    I’ve been doing this for years.

    I live and work in a neighbourhood (<-Why does Firefox think that I'm in England?) that has a lot of bums. Every time I step out for a smokey treat, I get panhandled.

    I keep a few blank "soul deeds" in my wallet. When a bum approaches me with the inevitable "got an extra cigarette?", I tell them they can have one for their soul. They say "OK". Then I whip out a blank deed and a pen and tell them that I need to see a picture ID with a signature. They almost always leave immediately, some with a line something like "That's messed up.".

    I wanted to get a bunch of them to sell on ebay but there are surprisingly few takers.

    The upside is that I've seem some cross the street to avoid me. I saw one point me out to some other bums who have never approached me.

    Religion does some good after all.

  • keddaw

    Within their own loopy world-view their soul is them. Their bodies are merely vehicles for their soul.

    I don’t see how they can sell themselves, unless they doubt that their corporeal vehicle is nothing.