The Invention of Lying

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Invention of Lying

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.” There has been a lot of talk about heaven over the years. Many people who have claimed that they know what heaven is like or what we experience when we die. While this can be comforting to some, it raises questions of how they could know given the fact that one would have to either be a prophet of God or someone who has actually been there. In the Universal Pictures movie, The Invention of Lying, Mark Bellison is a man who claims to know what happens when we die. He fabricates these images for the comfort of his dying mother. His satirical dialogue on the topic jokingly mocks the parallels from the bible as well as ideas that mainstream religious “prophets” claim to know. That being said, how do we really know what to believe? Are there prophets sent by God who know? Are there people who have been to heaven? Newsweek Magazine and a book titled, “90 Minutes in Heaven” suggest yes.

Mark’s character in this movie is a nerdy single guy just trying to make it in the world. When he is down on his luck, he experiences a “switch” in his conscience that allows him to be able to lie. Prior to his shift where he begins to use it more for his own personal gain, we see him using this for others like the lonely people in his mother’s nursing home and those who are homeless. On the night that his mother takes a turn for the worst, Mark is upset to see his mother so frightened of death. Her fears of “falling into an eternity of nothingness” (Invention of Lying, Universal Pictures, 2010) prompts him to ease her fears by telling her, “You are wrong about where you go after you die. You don’t have an eternity of nothingness. You go to your favorite place and everyone that you ever loved will be there. You will be young again and you can dance. Everyone gets a mansion, to live out their eternity in...
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